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THE

BRITISH PULPIT:
CONSISTING OP

DISCOURSES BY THE MOST EMINENT LIVING DIVINES,

ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND:


ACCOMPANIED WITH

PULPIT SKETCHES
TO WHICH ARE ADDED

AND SELECTIONS ON THE OFFICE, DUTIES,


AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.

SCRIPTXJRAL ILLUSTRATIONS

REV. W. SUDDARDS,
BECTOB OT GBACE CHX7BCH, PHILADELPHIA.

SIXTH

EDITION.

VOL.

NEW
ROBERT CARTER,

II.

YORK:
58 CANAL STREET.

1844.

THE NEW YORK'


PUBLIC LIBRARY

2o088?
ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILOEN FO'-'OATIONS.
IONS.

1903

INTRODUCTION.

In presenting to the public the second volume of the British Pulpit,


the editor avails himself of the opportunity thus afforded of expressing
his thanks for the patronage given to the former volume, of which
nearly two thousand copies have been sold within six months.
The prevailing literature of the present day is evidently of a light and

ephemeral character. The teeming thousands of novels and romances


which float through the length and breadth of the land, plainly demonstrate that a taste has been created for a species of reading calculated
rather to amuse the fancy than to improve the heart
to inflame the
passions, than correct the life.
It is true, that efforts are made for the
improvement of our widely scattered and rapidly increasing population
for the lessening of their miseries, and the augmentation of their
happiness. But even some of these are of a defective character; for it
unfortunately happens that many are anticipating certain results from
causes altogether inadequate to their production.
Their hearts glow
with impassioned ardour, as they enlarge with enthusiastic animation
upon the influence of civil liberty, improvements in political economy,
beneficent laws, diffused philosophy, and wisely formed plans of education
but with the destiny of man in a future state of existence, they
meddle not, while his responsibility to God as a moral agent gives
them no concern. Thus they reach not the moral part of his nature,
and consequently leave him with wants which neither philosophy,
lavvs, science, liberty, knowledge, or education, can possibly supply.
This supply can only be found in an acquaintance with, and appreciation of, those heaven-inspired truths of revealed religion which direct
not only to the disease and desolation of our fallen nature, but to that
blessed Redeemer who is mighty and willing to save.
Legislative
enactments will not make us benevolent; the principles of political
economy will send forth from our hearts no steady flow of generous
feeling to our fellow beings
neitlier will a knowledge of chemistry
or mechanism curb the unruly passions, or correct the vicious practices
of wicked, unprincipled men.
To reach these, we must avail ourselves of the instructions of that record which reveals the covenant of
God as a resting place for the soul ; which makes known Jesus Christ
as the atonement for sin
and spreads before the eye a bright and
beauteous heaven as the Christian's final and glorious home.
These
truths alone are sufficient to grapple with the miseries and vices of our
world and, under the sanctifying power of their Author, regenerate and
save the nations of the earth.
For while all other efforts shall prove
abortive, yet, under the reign of the Prince of Zion, and amidst the
diffusion of the principles and power of his gospel, domestic affection,
public virtue, and universal peace, shall be enjoyed by the nations of
;

INTRODUCTION,

all nations shall call


our earth. " All nations shall he blessed in him
him Blessed." The si2;ns of the times seem to indicate the dawn of
The almost universal peace at present prevailing
that auspicious day.
;

among

tlie

nations of the earth

affording facilities for translating into

is

every language, and circulating through every region, that blessed


volume which " liveth and abideth for ever." Travellers are exploring
every land, commerce is extending to every people, our ships are
touching upon every shore and a way is thus opened for sending forth
the missionary of the cross to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
And we rejoice that the Christian church, experiencing a revival of
religion greater and wider than that which accomplished the reformation of the sixteenth century, is putting on her beautiful garments and
going forth into the strong holds of idolatry, to publish among perishing
millions the unsearchable riches of Christ.
The prediction of Daniel
" Many shall run to and fro, and
is receiving its accomplishment
knowledge shall be increased." And we trust the time will speedily
arrive when tlieir sound shall go through all the earth ; when the animosity of parties in the church shall only be seen on the dark page
of a past history; and when there shall be but "one fold," as there
is but " one Shepherd ;" and Jesus Christ shall be all in all, the theme
of every tongue, the joy of every heart.
Hasten it. Lord God Almighty! Thy people in all lands say. Amen.
Among the means instituted by God for the accomplishment of this
great and glorious result, is found that of a living ministry, established
for the proclamation of that plan of redeeming mercy which is made
known in the oracles of divine truth. And it must be a source of joy
to the Christian, that God is I'aising up in all Christian lands, and in
some heathen countries where the missionary has unfurled the banners
of the cross, men who, like Barnabas and Paul, are willing to hazard their
lives for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
large portion of these
worthies, during the last three hundred years, have been found in
Great Britain and it has been well observed by a reviewer of the
;

first

volume of the British Pulpit,

" E norland

that

the home, the bulwark of Protestantism; the champion of Bible


light and knowledore ; and amidst all her agitations, she is a Christian land ; hers
is a Christian people ; nowhere on earth, in modern times, has the gospel been more
successful ; nowhere has the cross of Christ been better held up as the power of
God for the salvation of men. Are not these reasons why British preachers are
interesting to us on this side of the water?
hear of them ; we read the works
of some of them ; but we wish to know how they preach in their ordinary, regular,
parochial work, that we may see what kind of sermons people hear in England, and
what kind of preaching it is, which in that country is carrying on the cause of Christ."
is

We

It will

be the earnest desire of the editor of the British Pulpit to

meet these wishes, and to spread on the pages of the successive volumes
of the work, sermons by men of every name, who preach not themselves but Christ Jesus the Lord.
The portraits accompanying the volume are said to be excellent
likenesses of the men they picture to the eye. It is scarcely necessary
to say that they are among the choice spirits of our age; men of sterling

worth, whose praise

is

known

in all the churches.

INTRODUCTION.

The Rev. Rowland Hill was born at Hawkstone, Shropshire, Au^st 23, 1745.
He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where, after attending to the
In consequence of
regular course ol' study, he took a degree as Master of Arts.
certain irregularities in lay preaching and other matters, it was with considerable
difficulty he received ordination ; and such at that period was deemed the excess
and extravagance of his zeal, that many of the churches were closed against him.
In 177'2, he laid the foundation stone of Surrey Chapel, which, when completed,
became the scene of his untiring labours until the close of his life, in April, 1833,
at the advanced age of eighty-nine years; having toiled in the service of his Master
Whatever were the peculiar eccentricities or errors of
for more than sixty years.
Rowland Hill, there can be no doubt of his exertions in the cause of Christ having
been crowned with great success. He came into public life when England was
passing through a dark night ; or rather, when she was feeling the dawn of returning

day.

The opposing elements kept up a long and severe conflict; and during this
Rowland Hill was found faithful to his post in the battle field, preaching

period,

the unsearchable riches of Christ; occasionally itinerating through dark districts


of country, braving the noontide summer's heat and winter's piercing cold, as also
the sneers and opposition of wicked men, that he might bring perishing sinners to a
knowledge of the truth. He was a warm supporter of all the benevolent and religious societies of the age and after a life of toil and consecration to God on earth,
he is no doubt now reaping a rich reward in heaven.
The Rev. H. Melville, A.M., minister of Camden Chapel, Camberwell, is
one of the most popular Episcopal ministers in the British dominions ; and if
a highly intelligent, faithful, fearless, and impressive announcement of divine
truth is well calculated to secure popularity of the best kind for the minister of
the gospel, tlien does Mr. Melville put forth his energies to obtain it. As a preacher,
he is always masculine, and frequently vehement many of his sentences are
unusually brilliant and his powerful appeals are admirably adapted to move the
conscience and impress the heart. Placed in the vicinity of London, he occupies a
and the overflowing congregations to
position of vast importance and influence
which he rninislers, both in his own parish and elsewhere, give proof of the estimation in which he is held. May he long continue a burning and a shining light.
Dr. Andrew Thomson was born July 11, 1779. In 180-3 he was set apart to the
work of the ministry ; and in consequence of the strong and fearless part which he
took in the councils of the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland, he has been generally
designated the " lion of the Scotch church." As a preacher. Dr. Thomson was
decidedly evangelical; but his sermons were chiefly of a practical nature; he rarely
entered into abstruse speculations, or bewildered his hearers with philosophical
perplexities.
As a theologian, said Dr. Chalmers, in a funeral sermon preached
on the occasion of his death, he was of the olden theology of Scotland. As a controversialist in the affairs of the church to which he belonged, and the party whose
cause he espoused, he displayed unrivalled talents, as a public speaker; and a
firmness of nerve which neither opposition nor overwhelming majorities could move.
In private life, he is said to have been every thing that is amiable and engaging
His pulpit oratory was distintender in his affections, warm in his friendships.
guished by a nervous vigour which never lost its power ; while a faithful discharge
of pastoral duties endeared him to the people of his charge. But the prophets do
not live for ever: on the 9th of February, 1831, he returned home from the Presbytery, apparently in excellent health, in company with some of his friends, from
whom he parted at his own door he was not, however, permitted to cross the
threshold alive
the hand of death arrested him he fell to the ground in a state of
insensibility, and never spoke again.
Medical aid was immediately procured, but
all in vain
the vital spark had fled ; the parish of St. George's was bereaved of its
pastor ; the kirk of Scotland, of one of its ablest defenders ; the British and Foreign
Bible Society, of a warm and able supporter and the oppressed of every land, of
an ardent and devoted advocate. This unlooked-for event caused the city of Edinburgh to be clothed in mourning ; and men of every creed showed their esteem of
the man, and their respect for the minister, by crowding in thousands, as his body
was conveyed to the place of sepulture.
The Rev. Richard Watson was a minister in the Wesleyan Methodist Society,
and certainly Avas one of the brightest ornaments of that distinguished body. To a
A 2
:

INTRODUCTION.

intellect and grasp of mind which fall to the lot of few men, Mr. Watson
added the riches of theological literature, and the emhellishments of a chaste and
His tall figure; his long, thin face; his high, overarched fore8terlin<T eloquence.
head, hearing the traces of deep reflection ; together with his chaste, simple, and
appropriate action, gave additional force to his clear and solemn announcements of
His Theological Institutes stand deservedly high, as a work of great
divine truth.
research, and give ahundant evidence of his talents, under the influence of genuine
He had a supreme regard
piety, being consecrated to the service of pure religion.
for the word of God, and was strongly opposed to extravagant speculations on religious subjects. After quoting, in one of his controversial pamphlets, an objection
to what he deemed an important truth respecting the divine essence, and expressing
his conviction of the metaphysical soundness of his argument, he exclaims, " But
a truce to these reasonings I willingly give them all up for a single word of the

power of

them not they seem to bring me irreverently too near


would not break through and gaze. While 1 write, I feel how just, and
reproving, are the words of the poet of Paradise

testimony of

God
yet how
to

God

I affect

Dark with excessive light thy skirts appear,


Yet dazzle heaven, that brightest seraphim
Approach not, but with both wings veil theii' eyes."

During the sickness which terminated his honourable and useful career, he displayed the patient spirit of the Christian waiting for the coming of his Lord. He
had a strong attachment to the forms of the Established Church, and when debarred
from the public ordinances of religion, used them in his family, not omitting the
Psalms, the Epistles, or the collect for the day. He would frequently say, " Read
I am very fond of that when I cannot go out on the Sabbath,
to me the Te Beum
because it seems to unite me in spirit with the whole catholic church on earth and
in heaven."
The sting of death appeared to be removed and feeling his entire dependence
upon Christ, he looked at the valley of death as the pathway of life. To a friend
he remarked, that for some time he had a desire to live a few years longer, .that he
might accomplish some matters that he thought might be useful; "but now," said
he, " the desire of it is taken away."
He then spoke of his unworthiness, and of
his firm reliance on the atonement of Christ, and said,
"A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On thy kind arms I fall
Be thou my strength and righteousness,
,

My

Jesus, and

my

all."

On

the 8th of .Tannary, 1833, without any apparent pain or convulsive struggle,
this eminent Christian minister departed this life, in the fifty-second year of his age,
in the joyful hope of a glorious immortality.
Rev. Charles Simeon. This eminent clergyman of the Church of England presents an instance of how much good the inventive genius and ardent spirit of real
piety may accomplish in a comparatively private station.
He was born the heir of
a considerable estate ; and has resided from his youth
first as a scholar, and then
Having early attained a spiritual
as a fellow
at the university of Cambridge.
knowledge of the truth, he has devoted his life and influence and wealth to the promotion of the principles of evangelical piety in the English Church. He has now
attained the age of near fourscore years ; and for more than half a century has occupied the ground on which he still stands, testifying to small and great the great
principles of the gospel of the Lord Jesus.
When he first commenced his efforts
as a preacher in Cambridge, it was in the face of much reproach, for what appeared
to many to be new doctrines in the church.
But under the blessing of God, he has
seen these holy doctrines spreading their influence around him, until a very large
portion of the clergy of the Established Church are united with him ; not a few of
whom have been influenced in their course by him, in preaching the same faith
which was once destroyed. The influence of Mr. Simeon upon young men in the
university preparing for orders, has been very great and useful.
Many such look
up to him as to a father in the Lord, and have reason to bless God for having
stationed him thus, as it were, " a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord.*'

INDEX

I.

ALPHABETICAL ARRANGEMENT OF PREACHERS.

PREACHER.

Adkins, T.

W.

The

Paul's Reasoning before Felix

Sacrifice

FAQB
201

Lamb

Ascriptions of Praise to the

W.

Atherton,
AoLD,

SUBJECT.
.

and Exaltation of Christ

105

97

Belfrage, H.

The Soul an Object of benevolent Sympathy and Regard


The Course of the Gospel

Blackburn,

J.

Necessity of Watchfulness

Beaumont,

Bowers,

E.

J.

J.

Bradley, C.

J.

Dale, T.

Dillon, R. C.

81

The unpardonable Sin

Important Question

307

Professed Subjection to the Gospel of Christ

393

Chalmers, T.

J.

Drew,

S.

The Evil and Danger of popular Ignorance


The Effects produced by Divine Grace

The

J.

Sacrifices

of Christian

471
133
169

409

287

Dixon,

French,

which Paul was willing

to

...*..

...

...

make

Cause

in the

of Christ

Geddes,
Good,

J.

J.

Hambleton,

J.

Hamilton, R.

71

377

The moral Condition of the World a Source


Sympathy
The Worshippers in the heavenly Temple
The Sin and Punishment of Achan
The Privileges of the Children of God

BuDDicoM, R. P.
Bunting,

W.

Hill, R.

Hunter,

J.

277
185

141

The Joy of Heaven over a repentant Sinner


The blessed Results of persevering Prayer

177

249

Character unalterable after Death

223

Recognition in Heaven

463
451

Glorious Displays of Gospel Grace

The Dangers

to

which the Young

are exposed from the

En385

ticements of Sinners

INDEX.

James,
Jay,

J.

A.

Jebb, Bishop

Jklf, R.

W.

The Duty and Advantages

W.

JuDKiN, T. J.

Legge, G.

LiEFCHiLD, T.

LoMAS,

J.

LoRiMER,

J.

FAGB

SUBJECT.

PBBACBEB.
Irving, E.

G.

of religious Meditation

207

The Influence of Memory in increasing the Misery of the Lost


No Temple in Heaven
The Influence of Christ's Resurrection
The Danger of Relapse
The Christian Sabbath

115

God the Source of Happiness


The Sin of Backsliding

247

Christian Perfection explained and enforced

Restoration of the

to their

S.

The

Sufferings and

27
43

Triumph of Christ

M'DoNALD, G. B. The Nature of Conversion and


The Employment of Angels
Macfarlane, J.

123

the Sources of

Delay

Melville, H.

Mysteries in Religion

The Power

59

of Wickedness and Righteousness to reproduce

17

themselves

W.

The Duty

Newton, R.

Profit

Noel, G. T.

The Encouragement

Parsons, E.

Parsons,

Naylor,

J.

343
35

M'Neile, H.

335

own Land, and Conversion

to the Faith of Christ

M'All, R.

91

445

401

Jews

266

of improving God's Visitations

153

317

and Loss
to

299

Prayer

The Messiah's Increase


The eleventh Hour

193

257

Raffles, T.

A Message from

Reed, A.

The Importance

Robertson, A.

Seasons of Trial, Times of Preparation

353

Robins, S.

Human

161

SiBTHORP, R.

W.

Stowell, H.

Styles,

J.

Styles,

J.

Townley, H.

Waogh, A.

God
of Consideration

and Spiritual Knowledge

215
327

The March of the Church

429

485

God the Bestower of all good Gifts


The Question of Miracles considered
The Vanity of Pleasure

The

435

The Nature

Influence of the

Love of Christ

of Prayer

231

367

421'

INDEX

n.

ARRANGEMENT OF TEXTS.

BIBLICAL

PBEACHEH.

TEXT.

PAGE

Genesis xxiv. 63

E. Irving, Presbyterian

207

Exodus

T.

335

25

xvi.

Deuteronomy
Joshua

vii.

Judges

iii.

Kings

A. Reed, Congregational.

R. P. Bcddicom,
T. Raffles, Con

215

T. Liefchild, Con

401

H. Stowell, Ep

20

2023.

xiii.

1 Chronicles xxix. 14.

Psalm

10

i.

Proverbs

xi.

30

Proverbs xxix. 18
i.

Ecclesiastes

ii.

Ecclesiastes ix. 10.

Song of Solomon

...

viii. 5.

Isaiah xi. 11

Isaiah

xlii.

231

Hunter, Pr

385

J.

E. Beaumont, Methodist

J.

Dixon,

Me

277
161

Styles, Con

367

Me

343

Ep

429

G. B. M'Donald,

R.

13

16

W.

Sibthorp,

J.

G. Lorimer, Pr

S.

Drew, Me

H. M'Neile, Ep

Isaiah

R. S. M'All, Con

Jeremiah
Ezekiel

10, 11

viii.

ix.

W.

20

J.

Zechariah xiv. 8

Matthew

xii.

31, 32.

Matthew xii. 43
Vol. II.

45.

Naylor, Me

Bowers,

193

43
185

Isaiah xW. 15
liii.

71

Con

E. Parsons, Con

Isaiah ix. 7

169

J.

J.

327

421

S. Robins,

18

Ecclesiastes

Ep

Waugh, Pr

A.

xlv. 2

Proverbs

Judkin, Episcopal.

xxxii. 29.

1921.

J.

Me

59
123

153

471

H. Belfrage, Pr

377

Pr

287

T. Chalmers,

R.

W.

Jelf,

Ep

445

INDEX.

10

Matthew xx. 6

J.

Matthew

xxii.

Matthew

xxiv. 14

Mark

xiii.

Mark

xv. 42

Luke

XV. 16

Luke

xvi. 25.

Luke

xviii. 1

Me

317

Parsons, Con

257

R. Newton,

26

xvi.

T. Dale,

42

Ep

307

R. Hill

35, 36

J.

451

Blackburn, Con

....

Geddes, Pr

177

J.

A. James, Con

115

Ep

249

J.

Good,

French, Pr

Acts xxiv. 24, 25

W.

Romans

vi. 3,

Rt. Rev. J. Jebb.

Romans

viii.

17

J.

BaNTiNG,

W.

R.

141

Auld, Con

97

Corinthians

xiii.

12.

Corinthians

xiii. 13.

.J. Styles, Con

2 Corinthians

V. 14, 15.

H. Townley, Cow

2 Corinthians

ix. 13.

R. C. Dillon,

Ephesians

H. Melville,

Hebrews

iv.

Hebrews

vi, 1

Hebrews

x. 12, 13.

1 Peter

12

i.

463
485

Ep
Ep

G. T. Noel,

16

J.

...

Lomas,

W.
J.

17

241

Ep

299

Me

27

Atherton, Me

105

Macfarlane, Pr

35

T. Adkins, Con

Revelation v. 12
Revelation, vii. 14, 15.

C. Bradley,

W.

Revelation xxi. 22

RevelatioE xxii. 10

13.

J.

435
393

G. Legge, Con

12

ii.

91

409

Hamilton, Con

..........

Me

353

J.

J.

vi.

81

A. Robertson, Pr

Acts xxi, 13

Galatians

PAGE

PREACHER.

TXT.

Matthew

199

Ep

133

266

Jay, Con

Hambleton, Ep.

...

223

GENERAL INDEX TO SUBJECTS.

Page

Achat's

Buddicom.

siit

consequences

of.

Buddicom

170

72

Raffles.

216

to the middle aged

Raffles.

to the old

Raffles..

217
218

Address to the young

to the rich

Raffles..

to the skeptical

Raffles.

Affliction serviceable to

Nayhr.

man

156

383

the blessings of
Africa, prospects of

Watson.

239

Styles .

371

240

Ambiguous preaching

Amusements of

the world

Anecdotes of French

140

infidelity

Angels delight in viewing the subject of redemption


feel great pleasure in the

triumphs of redemption

joy over the conversion of sinners

occupy a high place in creation


power, and extent of observation

Atonement, blessings secured by

Backsliding

181

Macfarlane.

40

Geddes.

180

Macfarlane.

37

Macfarlane..

39

Liefchild..

403

372

409

Bunting.

of God, heirs of (Jod


'

Christ, adversaries of

ascriptions of praise to

AfJierton ..

Ill

Adkins

202

Dale.. 313

of.

Adkins.. 200

de ath of

death

37

Geddes.

Forbes.. 326

Children sold by their parents

\iews

Macfarlane.

Styles.

Card-playing dangerous

believers'

218
219

438

Toivnley .

of.

Atherton ..

exaltation of.

110

figuratively represented

Adkins.

199

humiliation of

Melville..

341

Dale.

not thought of by some


sacrifice offered

purpose of

sufferings of, expiatory, voluntary,

and

awfiil

308
106

Lessey.

108

Irving

sought in retirement

Lessey

by

11

208

M'All.

123

GENERAL INDEX TO SUBJECTS.

12

Page
Christ, sufferings

in his incarnate state

of,

the Resurrection and the Life

De Courcy

Melville.

419
175

the views of the formalist concerning

Dale.

311

unworthy thoughts respecting

Dale.

309

Hambleton
Bunting.

227
418
394

come

will

to

reward every

man

Christian, duties of the

experience

Dillon

perfection explained

Lomas.

29

Lomas

30

how

to be obtained

Lomas.

necessity of.

31

Bowers

478

often rendered ridiculous

Styles

485

argued from analogies in creation

Melville .

17

Cities uncongenial to meditation

Irving.

209

Considerations for parents and tutors

Baxter.

444

weeps over sinners


Christianity, doctrines

truth

of,

of,

Danger of the aged


Death,

all

must submit

to

contrast

Parsons.

261

Reed.

330

Reid.

391

Reed.

332

necessity of preparation for

Blackburn.

86

ought to be seriously expected

Blackburn.

bed scenes

how we may

prepare for

scene
the nature

M'Do7iald.

343

Blackburn.

85

Townley

of.

the result of

time

87
214
436

Chalmers.

uncertain

of,

DiiRculties in religion

Jebb

93

Discipline of the cliurch

Hall.

427

Divine grace and

its

Drew.

subjects

187

342

Dream, singular
Education, Christian, a preventive of

evil

a great benefit to the community

Ehud's message

to

Ephesus, description

Eglon

Examination necessary

French

Gaming

J.,

infidel

277
283

Rajjles .

215

Stowell.

324
236

Reed.

331

preaching

reclaimed

exceedingly injurious

Gift of tongues

God, goodness

Dixon

of.

Erection of churches, a noble charity

Fletcher, Rev.

Dixon

of.

159
Chateaubriand.

400

Styles.

371

Styles.

491

Legge

242

Foster.

441

proofs of the existence of.

Legge.

241

what

Legge.

242

M'All.

127

invisible

is

implied in being without

Gospel, adapted to universal diffusion

full salvation

confers great temporal benefits

Dillon.. 393

M'All,

128

GENERAL INDEX TO SUBJECTS.

13
Page

Gospel, diffusion of the

and suiEciency of the

fireeness

Parso?is.

194-

Chalmers.

290

power of the

395

Dillon

preaching of the

Parsons

196

the course of the

Belfrage.

349

triumphs over sin

Parsons.

194

Harvest of eternity regulated by the seed sown in time

Melville .

23

James.

115

punishment

Hell, a place of

no temple in

Jot/.

mental anguish of the inhabitants

James.

torturing recollections in

James.

Holy Ghost,

Hope

Immortality of

116
291

Wardlaw.

176

Toller.

247

Hamilton.

463

to the soul

man

266
116

Chalmers.

sin against

an anchor

Goode

Importunate widow

250

Indiscriminate reading dangerous

Sfyks.

474
373

Influence of worldly amusements

Styles.

369

Jowett.

351

Lorimer.

Idolatry of

Bowers,

pagan nations

Jerusalem and

its

vicinity

rejection of Christ

Lorimer.

44
47
48
44

results of their conversion

Lorimer

54

treatment of the

Lorimer

Bowers

Jews, general history of the


great things done for the

Lorimer.

prospect of their return to Palestine

Lorimer.

unbeUef and impenitence of the


witnesses for

Judgment

to

God
of.

Knowledge, limited nature of human


of

God

human,

168

Robins.

163

Robins.

164

Bowers.

475

God

McDonald.

344

Hambleton.

223

Newton.

318

Sfowell.

233

of.

comes from God

destroyer

means employed for

his conversion

God

Naylor.

Drew.

19
.

53

430
.

185

Judkin.. 335

to restraint

powers of his soul

Sibthurp .

of.

Vol. II. B

Melville.

naturally ignorant of

opposed

483

often attended with sorrow

his ability to give,

nature

Raffles.

Robins.. 163

character vmalterable after death

own

103

Robins.

Mahometan delusion
Man, a depraved being

his

46

Auld.

productive of happiness

unsanctified, leads from

dignity

45
475

Lorimer..

come

solemnities

Newton,

319

TtENEral index to subjects,

14

Paga

Man,

his

powers ought

to be rightly directed

spirituality of.

Mental discipline

divines,

and students

m theology

Styles.

368

Newton.

318
69

Burder.

248

Ministers should seek to save souls


style should be popular

should

the sick

visit

Miraculous endowments considered

Gerard.

248

Scott.

264

Styles.

488
375

Missions, Christian

Monuments

human grandeur

of

Collyer

perish

275

Moral evidence

Bums.

34

training

Robertson.

363

Mystery in astronomy and anatomy

M'Neil.

M'Neil.

61

nature of a

M'Neil.

60

Recessity for a

M'Neil.

59

Bowers.

477

Natural sins

297

Paradise

French

Paul, a lover of freedom


character

of,

as a preacher

preaching

extended travels
sacrifices

for

Auld.

French

of.

made by

Persecution overruled

143

good

Pharaoh's heart hardened

97
104

Auld.

effects of

141

French.

143

French

148

18

Melville.

366

Pious family

R. Hall.. 315

Popery
modifications

Robertson

of.

Prayer a Christian duty


design

Noel.
Noel.

to

Waugh
Waugh

God's regard
nature

of,

acceptable

right views necessary to

Principles of religion to be understood

Psalmody, observations on

of Sheba

Recognition in eternity

Redemption, harmony of
to

what

its

scheme

had regard

Waugh.
Lamas

299

300
303
4 25

423
421

28

287

Porteus.

58

Fletcher.

191

Hamilton

Macfarlane

37

Thorpe.

229

Styles.

374

466

152

Religious conversation
pleasures

Repentance
Retirement serviceable to

Chalmers

Procrastination, danger of.

360

Noel.

of.

encouragement

Queen

61

in the doctrine of the Trinity

man

Revivals of religion

Righteousness a branch of religion

Geddes.

179

Irving.

207

R. Hill.

453

Auld.

100

GENERAL INDEX TO SUBJECTS.

16
Page

Sabbath, a day of consecration


for prayer

and praise

self-examination
often violated
signal benefits conferred

on the

of.

opposed

to

Judkin

337

Judkin.

336

Judkin

339

man

Lessey.

105

Jelf.

445

Robertson.. 354

Fenebn.. 114

Scriptures
writers

of,

wise and good

No.

Scripture difficulties.

men

205

Collyer.

114

No. 2

122

No. 3

131

No. 4

140

No. 5
No. 6

192

255

No. 7
Scripture illustrations.

Seed,

336

Judkin.. 338

Sacrifices, nature of.

Satan, agency

Judkin

325

The sun

No.
No.

1.

"

2.

" Let

No.

3.

" He shall

sit

No.

4.

"When

beheld the sun,"

No.

5.

" Whosoever slayeth Cain,"

when sown, produces

him
I

shall not smite thee,"

take hold of

70

strength."

80
286

as a refiner."

&c
&c

286
305

359

Chalmers.

288

Chalmers

289

Robertson

Sin against the Holy Ghost


the only barrier against a return to

20

Melville.

its like

Signs of the times

Sinners, conversion

my

&c

God

of.

diversity of conduct in

Soul, duration of the


endless existence of the
faculties of the

immutability of the

Geddes.

182

Geddes.

178

Newton
Beaumont
Beaumont.

Hamilton

320
75

73
89

nature of the

Newton
Beaumont.
Beaumont.

needs instruction and persuasion

Beaumont

76

redemption of the

Beaumont.

74

redemption of the

Newton.

321

Sunday-schools valuable

Beaumont.

79

loss

of the

mystery of

its locality

Temples of worship deserve our attachment


Theatre
a school of vice

Uncertainty of

human

expectations

Unjust judge

Unknown

322

tongues

73
72

Joy.

269

James.

428

Styles.

372

500

Logan

Goode.. 250

M'Crie.

Liefchild.

462

Vanity reproved
Verity of divine predictions

419

405

GENERAL INDEX TO SUBJECTS.

16
Watchfulness, necessity of

Wisdom, nature

of.

Worship, variety of motives in attending

Youth a

favourable time for religious improvement

an important period
exposed

to

Liefchild.

406

Beaumont.

78

Dale.

307

Nayhr .. 156
Hunter.

bad example

Hunter.

seductive representations

Hunter.

"aSS
.

386
387

THE

BRITISH PULPIT.
SERMON

I.

THE POWER OF WICKEDNESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS TO RE-PRODUCE


THEMSELVES.

BY THE REV.
LATE FELLOW AND TUTOR OF

H.

ST. PETEr's

MELVILL, M.A.
COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, AND MINISTER OF

CAMDEN CHAPEL, CAMBERWELL.

'For whatsoever a

man

soweth, that shall he also reap."

You may be all aware that what is


termed the argument from analogy has
been carried out to great length by thinking men, and that much of the strongest
witness for Christianity has been won
on this field of investigation. It is altogether a most curious and profitable inquiry, which sets itself to the tracing out
resemblances between natural things and
and which thus proposes to
spiritual
;

establish, at the least, a probability that

creation and

the

same

Christianity have one and

author.

And we

think that

we

by

to

this earth

go

at length into

coincidence.

assuming
argument

its
is

there run the

God of

lieve that he

We

be-

who, with a devout mind,

searches most diligently into the beauties

all

perceive,

existence, that the furnished


clear

and convincing.

same

principle through na-

If

prove, with an almost geometric preci-

we

for the illustration of the Bible.

demonstration of this

But you may

tural things and spiritual, through the


book of nature and the Bible, we vindicate the same authorship to both, and

sion, that the

ance of having been actually designed

vi. 7.

whilst conversely the laws obeyed


and its productions may be
traced as pervading the appointments of
It were beside our purpose
revelation.
ture

shall not overstep the limits of truth, if

declare that nature wears the appear-

Gal.

God

of creation

Christianity.

is

also the

look on the natu-

firmament with its glorious inlay of


and it is unto me as the breast;
plate of the great high priest, " ardent
with gems oracular," from which, as
from the urim and thummim on Aaron's

ral

stars

and mysteries of the material world, will


himself metconstantly by exhibitions ephod, come messages full of divinity.
which seem to him the pages of scripture And when I turn to the page of Scripture,
written in the stars, and the forests, and and perceive the nicest resemblance bethe waters of this creation.
There is tween the characters in which this page
such a sameness of dealing characteristic is written, and those which glitter before
of the natural and the spiritual, that the me in the crowded concave, I feel that,
Bible may be read in the outspread of the in trusting myself to the declarations of
landscape, and the operations of agricul- the Bible, I cling to Him who speaks to
17
VoL. II.
b2
find

THE BRITISH

18

me

from every point, and by every splendour of the visible universe, whose voice
is in the marchings of planets, and the
rushing of whose melodies is in the

PULPIT.

into a glorious heritage.

We

are thus

aware that there runs through the Creawith our race the principle
or sameness, between

tor's dealings

of

an

identity,

which man sows and those


which he reaps. But we think it possiinquiry, we take one great principle, the ble that we may have contented ourselves
principle of a resurrection, and we affirm, with too superficial a view of this princiin illustration of what has been advanced, ple ; and that, tiirough not searching into
that it runs alike through God's natural what may be termed its philosophy, we
and spiritual dealings. Just as God hath allow much that is important to elude
appointed that man's body, after moulder- observation. The seed sown in the earth
ing away, shall come forth quickened and goes on, as it were, by a sort of natural
renewed, so has he ordained that the process, and without direct interference
6eed, after corrupting in the ground, shall from God, to yield seed of the same deAnd we wish it
Vield a harvest of the like kind with scription with itself.
.'tself.
It is, moreover, God's ordinary well observed, whether there be not in
course to allow an apparent destruction spiritual things an analogy the most peras preparatory, or introductory to, com- fect to what thus takes place in natural.
He does We think that upon a careful examinaplete success or renovation.
not permit the springing up, until there tion, you will find groundwork of belief
has been, on human calculation, a tho- that the simile holds good in every posrough withering away. So that the maxim sible respect so that what a man sows,
might be shown to hold universally good, if left to its own vegetating powers, will
*' that which thou sowest is not quickenyield, naturally, a harvest of its own kind
wings of the daylight.
But, though

we go

the things

not into the general

We

may observe
it first die."
yet further that, as with the husbandman,
if he sow the corn, he shall reap the
ed, except

and description.
shall study

We

to establish this point

in regard, first of all, to

the present scene

sow the weed, he shall of probation; and, secondly, to the future


reap the weed. Thus with myself as a re- scene of recompense.
sponsible agent, if I sow the corruptible,
We begin with the present scene of
I shall reap the corruptible; and if I sow probation, and will put you in possession
the imperishable, I shall reap the impe- of the exact point to be made out, by rerishable. The seed reproduces itself. This ferring you to the instance of Pharaoh.
is the fact, in reference to spiritual things, We know that whilst God was acting on
on which we would fasten your attention
the Egyptians by the awful apparatus of
corn, and if he

whatsoever a
shall he reap."

'

Now, we

man soweth,

that also

are all, to a certain extent,

familiar with this principle

for

it

is

forced on our notice by every-day occur-

We

observe that a dissolute and


reckless youth is ordinarily followed by

rences.

plague and prodigy, he is often said to


have hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that
the

monarch refused

to let Israel go.

And

it is

a great question to decide, whether

God

actually interfered to strengthen and

confirm the obstinacy of Pharaoh, or only

left the king to the workings of his own


a premature and miserable old age. We heart, as knowing that one degree of
see that honesty and industry win com- unbelief would generate another and a
monly, comfort and respect, and that, on stauncher. It seems to us at variance
the contrary, levity and a want of care- with all that is revealed of the Creator,
fulness produce pauperism and disrepute. to suppose him urging on the wicked in
And yet further, unless we go over to his wickedness, or bringing any engine to
the ranks of infidelity, we cannot question bear on the ungodly which shall make
God
that a course of disobedience to God is them more desperate in rebellion.
earning man's eternal destruction, whilst, willeth not the death of any sinner. And
through submission to the revealed will thoug', after long striving with an indiof his Maker, there is secured admittance vidual, after plying him with the various

THE POWER OF

SIN

TO RE PRODUCE

ITSELF.

19

Now that which took place in the case


excitements which are best calculated to
stir a rational, and agitate an immortal of the Egyptian is, we argue, precisely
being, he may withdraw all the aids of what occurs in regard generally to the
the Spirit, and so give him over to that im.peiiitent. God destroys no man. Every
worst of all tyrants, himself; yet this, man who is destroyed must destroy himwe contend, must be the extreme thing self. When a man stifles an admonitioa
ever done by the Almighty to man, the of conscience, he may fairly be said to
leaving him, but not the constraining sow the stiflings of conscience. And
him, to do evil. And when, therefore, it when conscience admonishes him the
is
said that God hardened Pharaoh's next time, it will be more feebly and
heart, and when the expression is repeat- faintly.
There v/ill be a less felt diffied, so as to mark a continued and on-go- culty in overpowering the admonition.
ing hardening, we have no other idea of And the feebleness of remonstrance, and
the meaning than that God,

moved by

the facility of resistance, these will in-

the obstinacy of Pharaoh, withdrew from

crease on every repetition

him, gradually, all the restraints of his


grace and that as these restraints were
more and more removed, the heart of the
king was more and more hardened. We
look upon the instance as a precise illustration of the truth that " whatsoever a
man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Pharaoh sowed obstinacy, and Pharaoh
reaped obstinacy. The seed was put
into the soil ; and there was no need, any
more than with the grain of corn, that
God should interfere with any new power.

God

Nothing more was required than


seed should be
its

own

left to

nature.

that the

vegetate, to act out

And though God, had

he pleased, might have counteracted this


nature, yet, when he resolved to give up
Pharaoh to his unbelief, he had nothing
to do but to let alone this nature.
The
seed of infidelity, which Pharaoh had
sown when he rejected the first miracles,
was left to itself, and to its own vegetation.

It sent up,

of

own

accordingly, a harvest

make

interferes to

but because the thing


of

the

not because

man

callous,

sown was

stifling

conscience, and therefore the thing

reaped

Holy

is

stifling

of conscience.

The

every man.
Conscience is but the voice of Deity
heard above the din of human passions.
But let conscience be resisted, and the
Spirit

with

strives

Spirit is grieved.

Then, as with Pha-

raoh, there is an abstraction of that in-

fluence by

which

thus there

is

to the

evil is

kept under.

And

a less and less counteraction

vegetating power of the seed, and,

more and more abundant upSo


that, though there must be a direct and
mighty interference of Deity for the salvation of a man, there is no such interference for his destruction.
God must
sow the seed of regeneration, and enable
a man, according to the phraseology of
the verse succeeding our text, to sow " to
the spirit."
But man sows for himself
therefore a

springing of that which was sown.

the seed of impenitence, and of himself,


and Pharaoh was not to be persuaded by " he soweth to his flesh." And what he
any of the subsequent miracles. So that, sows, he reaps. If, as he grows older,
when the monarch went on from one de- he grow more confirmed in his wickedgree of hardness to another, till at length, ness ; if warnings come upon him with
advancing through the cold ranks of the less and less energy if the solemnities
prostrated first-born, he pursued across a of the judgment lose more and more their
blackened and devastated territory, the power of alarming him, and the terrors
people for whose emancipation there had of hell their power of aff"righting him
been the visible making bare of the arm why, the man is nothing else but an exof Omnipotence, he was not an instance hibition of the thickening of the harvest
perish the thought of a man com- of which himself sowed the seed ; and he
pelled by his Maker to offend and be puts forth in this his confirmed and settled
lost, but simply a witness to the truth of impenitence, a demonstration, legible by
the principle, that " whatsoever a man every careful observer, that there needs
oweth, that also shall he reap."
no apparatus for the turning a man graduits

kind, a harvest of infidelitj',

THE BRITISH

20

PULPIT.

God; and

ally from the clay to the adamant, over

indifference to

and above the apparatus of his own heart,


left to itself and let alone to harden.
greatly desire that you should
rightly understand what the agency is

and recklessness,

We

through which the soul is destroyed. It


is not that God hath sent out a decree
against a man. It is not that he throws
a darkness before his eyes which cannot

mower

is

fool-hardiness,

nothing else but the

of the fruits of his

own husbandry

and thus witnesses, with a power which


outdoes all the power of language, that
" whatsoever a man soweth, that also
shall he reap ?"
It is in this

we

mannerthat wegointo what

term the philosophy of our text

when

be penetrated, and a chilness into his applied to the present scene of probation.
blood which cannot be thawed, and a We take the seed in the soil. We show
torpor into his limbs which cannot be you that, by a natural process, without
Harvest-time bringing an the interference of God, and simply
overcome.
abundant produce of what was sown in through his ceasing to counteract the
the seed-time, this, we contend, is the sum tendencies, there is produced a wide crop
God interferes not, of the same grain as was sown. And
total of the mystery.
as it were, with the processes of nature. thus, all kinds of opposition to God proHe opposes not, or, to speak more cor- pagating themselves, he who becomes
rectly, he withdraws gradually his oppo- wrought up into an infidel hardihood, or
sition to, the vegetation of the seed. And hilled into a sepulchral apathy, i-s nothing
this is all. There is nothing more needed. but the sower living on to be the reaper,

You

resist a

motion of the

Spirit.

Well

the

husbandman

in the

successive stages

resistance.

of an agriculture wherein the ploughing,

has resisted once will have less


the second time,
and less than that the third time, and less
So that there
than that the fourth time.
comes a harvest of resistance, and all

and the planting, and the gathering, are


all his own achievement, and all his own

then, this facilitates

further

He who

difficulty in resisting

destruction.

Now we have

confined ourselves to the

supposition that the thing

sown

is

wick-

But you will see at once that,


You indulge yourself once in a with a mere verbal alteration, whatever
ance.
known sin. W^hy, you will be more has been advanced illustrates our text
easily overpowered by the second tempta- when the thing sown is righteousness.
tion, and again more easily by the third, If a man resist temptation, there will be
and again more easily by the fourth. And a facility of resisting ever augmenting as
what is this but a harvest of sinful indul- he goes on with self-denial. Every new
gences, and all from the one grain of the achievement of principle will smooth the
way to future achievements of the like
first indulgence] You omit some portion

from the single grain of the

first resist-

edness.

kind; and the fruit of each moral victory


for we may consider the victory as a
study of the word. The omission will
grow upon you. You will omit more to- seed that is sown is to place us on loftier
morrow, and more the next day, and still vantage-ground for the triumphs of rightcanmore the next. And thus there will be a eousness in days yet to come.
harvest of omissions, and all from the not perform a virtuous act without gaining
solitary grain of the first omission. And fresh sinew for the service of virtue, just
as we cannot perform a vicious, without
if, through the germinating power of that
which man sows, he proceed naturally riveting faster to ourselves the fetters of
from bad to worse if resistance produce vice. And, assuredly, if there be thus
resistance, and indulgence indulgence, such a growing strength in habit that
and omission omission, shall it be denied every action makes way for its repetition,
that the sinner, throughout the whole his- we may declare of virtue and righteoustory of his experience, throughout his ness that they reproduce themselves
progress across the waste of worldliness and is not this the same thing as proving
and obduracy and impenitence, passing that what we sow, that also do we reap 1
would yet further remark, under
on, as he does, to successive stages of
of spiritual exercises, of prayer, or of the

We

We

THE POWER OF
this

SIN

TO RE-PRODUCE

head of discourse, that the principle

of reaping what
be traced through

We

lanthropy.

eminently

we sow
all

is specially to

the workings of phi-

are persuaded that if an

man

charitable

experience

great reverse of circumstances, so that

from having been the affluent and the


become the needy and dependant, he would attract towards himself, in his distress, all the sympathies
benefactor, he

of a neighbourliood.

And

whilst the great

man, who had had nothing but iiis greatness to recommend him, would be unpitied or uncared for in disaster;

ITSELF.

2i

apprehensions of truth be derived often


from the effort to press it home on the in-

and conscience of the ignorant,


shall pronounce the cottage of
the untaught peasant your best schoolhouse, and the questions even of a child
your most searching catechisings on the
majestic things and the mysteries of our
And as you tell over to the poor
faith.
cottager the story of the incarnation and
crucifixion, and inform him of the nature
and effects of Adam's apostacy; or even
find yourself required to adduce more
elementary truths, pressing on the neglected man the being of a God, and the
it shall
immortality of the soul ; O
constantly occur that you will feel a
keener sense than ever of the preciousness
of Christ, or a greater awe at the majesty of Jehovah, or a loftier bounding of
spirit at the thought of your own deathlessness ; and if you feel tempted to
count it strange that in teaching another
you teach also yourself, and that you
carry away from your intercourse with
the mechanic, or the child, such an accession to your own knowledge, or your
tellect

that

you

and the
had grasped tightly
his wealth, would meet only ridicule
when it had escaped from his hold the
philanthropic man, who had used his
riches as a steward, would form, in his
penury, a sort of focus for the kindliness
of a thousand hearts, and multitudes
would press forward to tender him the
succour which he had once given to
others ; and thus there would be a mighty
reaping into his own granaries of that
very seed which he had been assiduous
in sowing.
go on to observe, that it is the own love, as shall seem to make you the
marvellous property of spiritual things, indebted party, and not the obliging;
though we can scarcely affirm it of natu- then you have only to remember, and the
avaricious man,

who

We

ral,

the

that

others

gives

effort

to

teach them

enlargement

to

our

to

own

We

sphere of information.
are persuaded,
most experienced Christian cannot sit down with the neglected and
grossly ignorant labourer; nay, not with
the child in a Sunday or infant school,
that the

and strive

to

explain

and enforce

the

great truths of the Bible, without finding

own views of the gospel amplified


and cleared through this engagement in
the business of tuition. The mere trying
his

to

make

a point plain to another, will

oftentimes

make

to ourselves.

it far plainer than ever


In illustrating a doctrine

of Scripture, in endeavouring to bring it


down to the level of a weak or undisciplined understanding, you will find that
doctrine presenting itself to your own
minds with a new power and unimagined

and though you may have read


writers on theology, and
mastered the essays of the most learned
divines, yet shall such fresh and vigorous

beauty

the standard

remembrance
that

it

is

will

sweep away

surprise,

a fixed appointment of the Al-

mighty, that " whatsoever a

man soweth,

that also shall he reap."

In respect, moreover, to alms-giving,

we may

assert that

there

is

evidently

such a present advantage in communicating of our temporal good things, that


the giver becomes the receiver, and thus
the principle under review finds a fresh
illustration.
The general comfort and security of society depends so greatly on
the well-being of the lower orders, that
the rich consult most for themselves when
they consult most for the poor. There
must be restlessness and anxiety in the
palace whilst misery oppresses the great
mass of a population. And every effort
to increase the happiness, and heighten
the character of the poor, will tell powerfully on the condition of those by whom
it is made
seeing that the contentment
;

and good order of the peasantry of a


country give value to the revenues of

its

THE BRITISH

22

and merchants.
For our own
never look on a public hospital
or infirmary, we never behold the almshouses into which old ag'e may be received, and the asylums which have been
thrown up on all sides for the widow and
the orphan, without feeling that, however
generously tlie rich come forward to the
relief of the poor, they advantage themnobles

we

part,

PULPIT.

of the living God, delivered in earnest-

have

almost

ness

and

made

a breach in the strongholds of Sa-

tan

affection,

shall

Ay, we believe

that often,

when

himself up in the
strength of his Master, launches the thunderbolt of truth against vice and unrightminister,

gathering

eousness, there

is

a vast stirring of heart

through the listening assembly and that


selves whilst providing for the suffering as he reasons of " righteousness, temand destitute. These buildings, which perance, and judgment to come," though
are the best diadem of our country, not tlie natural ear catch no sounds of anxiety
;

only bring blessings on the land by serv- and alarm, attendant angels, who watch
it may be, as electrical conductors,
the workings of the gospel, hear the deep

ing,

which turn from us many

flashes of the

many souls, and almost start


bounding throb of aroused and

beatings of

lightning of wrath, but, being as centres

at

whence succours

agitated spirits.

sent through dis-

are

community, they

tressed portions of our

are

fostering-places

for his

If Satan ever tremble

ascendancy,

it is

when

the preach-

kindly disposi- er has riveted the attention of the uncon-

of

tions towards the wealthier

may

the

ranks, and

verted

individual,

and, after describing

shall be parent to a line of misdoings.

and denouncing the covetous, or pouring


out the torrent of his speech on an exhibition of the voluptuary, or exposing the
madness and misery of the proud, comes
down on that individual with the startling
announcement, "thou art the man." And
the individual will go away from the
sanctuary, convinced of the necessity of
subduing the master passion; and he
will form, and for a while act upon, the
resolution of wrestling against pride, or
of mortifying lust, or of renouncing avaBut he will proceed in his own
rice.
strength, and, having no consciousness

We

of the inabilities of his nature, will not

therefore be so considered as struc-

which

tures in

kingdom's prosperity

nursed, that the

gateways would be

their

man soweth,

ever a

is

inscription over

fittest

this,

" whatso-

that also shall he

reap."

Now
topic

before

we

turn

close application of

statements.

You

to

the

second

we would make

of discourse,

some of our foregoing

perceive the likelihood,

or rather the certainty, to be, that, in all

cases,

there will be

power

in evil,

a self-propagating

so that the

have shown you,

stifle

a conviction

for

is

pathway which leads


faction of conscience.

wrong done

example, that

the

first

directly to stupe-

And we

desire to

fasten on this fact, and so to exhibit


that all

may

to

step in a

it,

discern their near concern-

seek to God's Spirit


little

for assistance.

In a

time, therefore, all the impression

wears away. He saw only the danger


of sin he went not on to see its vileness.
;

And

the mind soon habituates itself, or

ment therewith. We remark that men soon grows indifferent, to the contemplawill flock in crowds to the public preach- tion of danger, and, above all, when pering of the word, though the master natural haps distant. Hence the man will return
passion, whatsoever

it

be, retains undis-

puted the lordship of their spirits.

And

may be avarice, or it may be


voluptuousness, or ambition, or envy, or
pride.
But, however characterized, the
this passion

dominant lust is brought into the sanctuary, and exposed, so to speak, to the exorcisms of the preacher. And who shall
say what a disturbing force the sermon

quickly

to his old

haunts.

And whether

be to money-making that he again


gives himself, or to sensuality, or to ambition, he will enter on the pursuit with
an eagerness heightened by abstinence;
and thus the result shall be practically
the same, as though, having sown moral
it

stupor, he were reaping in a harvest tremendously luxuriant.


And, 0, if the
will oftentimes put forth against the mas- man, after this renouncement, and restorater passion, and how frequently the word tion, of the master passion, come again

THE POWER OF
to the sanctuary;

and

if

SIN TO RE-PRODUCE ITSELF.

again the preach-

er denounce, with a rig-hteous vehemence,


every working of ungodliness; and the
fire

be in his eye, and the thunder on his


makes a stand for God, and

tongue, as he

and semi-in-

for truth, against a reckless


fidel
felt

generation

alas, the

convictions, and

will be

sown

man who

their stiflings,

more inaccessible than

He

more impervious.

has

will

ever, and

have been

23

our text, to suppose that what

reaped
in the future shall be identical with what
is sown in the present.
It cannot be
questioned that this is a fair representation.
The seed re-produces itself. It is
the

is

same grain which the sower scatters,


We may, there-

and the reaper collects.


fore, lay it

text, that

down

what

as the statement of our

is

reaped in the next

shall be literally of the

life

same kind with


But if this be

hardened through the vegetating process what is sown in this life.


which has gone on in his soul. A far correct, it must follow that a man's sinmightier apparatus than before will be fulness shall be a man's punishment.
required to make the lightest impression. And there is no lack of scriptural evidence
And when you think that there the man on the side of the opinion, that the leaving
is now sitting, unmoved by the terrors of the wicked, throughout eternity, to their
the word, that he can listen with indiffer- mutual recriminations, to the workings
ence to the very truths which once agitat- and boilings of over-wrought passions, to
ed him, and that, as a consequence on the the scorpion sting of an undying remorse,
reproduction of the seed, there is more of and all the native and inborn agonies of
the marble in his composition than before, vice; that this, without the interference
and more of the ice, and more of the iron, of a divinely sent ministry of vengeance,
so that the likelihood of salvation

is fear-

may make

that

pandemonium which

is

ye can need no other


warning against trifling with convictions,
and so making light of the appointment,
that " whatsoever a man soweth, that

sketched to us by all that is terrible and


ghastly in imagery and that tormenting,
only through giving up the sinner to be

also shall he reap."

ends of a retributive economy, awarding


to wickedness its merited condemnation,
and displaying to the universe the dread-

fully diminished

his

own

tormentor,

God may

fulfil all

the

But we proposed to examine, in the


second place, the application of the principle of our text to the future scene of fulness of rebellion.
It may be, we say, that there shall be
recompense. There can be no question
that the reference of the apostle is, spe- required no direct interferences on the
cially, to the retributions of another state part of God. It may be that the Almighty
of being. The present life is emphati- shall not commission an avenging train
cally the seed-time the next life the har- to goad and lacerate the lost.
The sinvest time. And the matter we now have ner is hardened by being left to himself;
in hand is the ascertaining, whether it be and may it not be that the sinner shall be
by the natural process of the thing sown punished by being left to himself 1 We
yielding the thing reaped that sinfulness think assuredly that the passage before
us leads straightways to such a concluhere shall give torment hereafter.
may have habituated ourselves
You will observe that, in showing the sion.
application of the principle under review to the idea that God, as it were, shall
to the present scene of probation, we take into his own hands the punishment
proved that the utmost which God does of the condemned, and that, standing over
towards confirming a man in impenitence them as the executioner of the sentence,
is the leaving him to himself, the with- he will visit body and soul with the indrawing from him gradually the remon- flictions of wrath. But it consists far
strances of his Spirit. The man is lite- better with the character of God, that
rally his own hardener; and, therefore, judgments should be viewed as the natuliterally his own destroyer. And we now ral produce of sinfulness, so that, without
inquire, whether or no he will be his own any divine interference, the sinfulness
seem required, if we will generate the judgments. Let sinful
punisher?
TTould maintain rigidly the principle of ness alone, and it will become punish
;

We

We

THE BRITISH

24

ment. Such is, probably, the true account of this awful matter. The thing
reaped is the thing sown. And if the
thing sown be sinfulness, and if the
thing reaped be punishment, then the
punishment, after all, must be the sinfulness and that fearful apparatus of torture which is spoken of in Scripture, the
apparatus of a worm that dieth not, and
of a fire that is not quenched, this may be
just a man's own guilt, the things sown
'n this mortal life sprung up and waving
n an immortal harvest. We think this a
point of great moment. It were comparatively little to say of an individual who
sells himself to work evil, and carries it
with a high hand and a brazen front
against the Lord of the whole earth, that
he shuts himself up to a certain and defi;

PULPIT.

serve, that

it

may

not be needful that a

material rack should be prepared for the

body, and fiery spirits gnaw upon


soul.
It may not be needful that
Creator should appoint distinct and
traneous arrangements for torture.

the
the

ex-

Let
what we call the husbandry of wickedness go forward ; let the sinner reap what
the sinner has sown; and there is a harvest of anguish for ever to be gathered.
Who discerns not that punishment may
thus be sinfulness, and that, therefore,
the principle of our text

tion
is

may

hold good,

the very letter, in a scene of retribu-

to

A man

" sows

to the flesh ;" this

the apostle's description of sinfulness.

He

is

" of the

flesh to reap corruption ;"

this is his description of

" sows

punishment.

He

by pampering the
nite destruction.
The thrilling truth is, lusts of the flesh; and he "reaps of the
that, in working iniquity, he sows for flesh," when these pampered lusts fall on
himself anguish. He gives not way to him with fresh cravings, and demand of
a new desire, he allows not a fresh victory him fresh gratifications.
But suppose
to lust, without multiplying the amount this reaping continued in the next life,
to the flesh,"

By

every excursion of and is not the man mowing down the


harvest of agony ? Let all those passions
unhallowed craving, and by all the mis- and desires, which it has been the man's
doings of a hardened or dissolute life, he business upon earth to indulge, hunger
may be literally said to pour into the gra- and thirst for gratification hereafter, and
nary of his future destinies the goads and will ye seek elsewhere for the parched
of final torment.

passion, and by every indulgence of an

stings

which

shall

madden

his spirit.

lays up more food for self-reproach.

He
He

widens the

field over which thought will


pass in bitterness, and mow down remorse. He teaches the worm to be ingenious in excruciating, by tasking his
wit that he may be ingenious in sinning
for some men, as the prophet saith, and
it is a wonderful expression
" are wise
to do evil."
And thus, his iniquities
opening, as it were, fresh inlets for the
approaches of vengeance, with the growth
of wickedness will be the growth of

punishment
that his

and

at last

resistance

to

it

will appear

convictions,

his

neglect of opportunities, and his deter-

mined enslavement to evil, have literally


worked for him a " far more exceeding
and eternal weight" of despair.
But even this expresses not clearly and
fully what seems taught by our text.

We are searching for an identity or sameness between what


reaped.

We,

is

sown and what

is

therefore, yet further ob-j

tongue beseeching fruitlessly one drop of


water] Let the envious man keep his
envy, and the jealous man his jealousy,
and the revengeful man his revengefulness ; and each has a worm which will
eat out everlastingly the very core of his
soul. Let the miser have still his thoughts
upon gold, and the drunkard his upon the
wine-cup, and the sensualist his upon voluptuousness; and a fire-sheet is round
each which shall never be extinguished
We know not whether it be possible to
conjure up a more terrific image of a lost
man than by supposing him everlastingly
preyed upon by the master lust which
has here held him in bondage. W'e think
that you have before you the spectacle of
a being hunted, as it were, by a neverwearied fiend, when you imagine that
there rages in the licentious and profligate, only wrought into a fury which has
no parallel upon earth, that very passion
which it was the concern of a lifetime to
indulge, but which it must now be the

THE POWER OF
employment of an

SIN

eternity to deny.

TO RE-PRODUCE

We

you reach the summit


of all that is tremendous in conception,
when you suppose a man consigned to
the tyranny of a lust which cannot be
conquered, and which cannot be gratified.
are persuaded that

ITSELF.

25

dom marks out/in terrible language the


doom of the scorners. "I also will
laugh at your calamity, and mock when
your fear cometh." And then, when he

would describe their exact punishment,


he says, " they shall eat of the fruit of
It is, literally, surrendering him to a their own way, and be filled with their
worm which dies not, to a fire which is own devices." They reap, you see,
quenched not. And whilst the last does what they sowed. Their torments are
W'e have a simithe part of a ceaseless tormentor, the " their own devices."
man, unable longer to indulge it, will lar expression in the book of Job, " even
writhe in remorse at having endowed it as I have seen, they that plough iniquity
with sovereignty ; and thus there will go and sow wickedness reap the same."
on (though not in our power to conceive, Thus again in the book of Proverbs,
and, O God, grant it may never be our " the backslider in heart shall be filled
may add that
lot to experience) the cravings of passion with his own ways."
with the self reproachings of the soul; solemn verse in the last chapter of the
and the torn and tossed creature shall for book of Revelations, which seems to us
ever long to Ratify lust, and for ever be- exactly to the point. It is spoken in the
prospect of Christ's immediate appearing.
wail his madness in gratifying it.
Now you must perceive that in thus "He that is unjust, let him be unjust
sketching the possible nature of future still ; and he which is filthy, let him be
retribution, we only show that " whatso- filthy still ; and he that is righteous, let
ever a man soweth, that also shall he him be righteous still ; and he that is
prove that sinfulness may holy, let him be holy still." The master
reap."
be punishment, so that the things reaped property is here represented as remaining
The unjust conshall be identical with the things sown, ac- the master property.
cording to the words of the prophet Hosea, tinues for ever the unjust; the filthy for
"they have sown the wind, and they shall ever the filthy. So that the indulged
reap the whirlwind." We reckon that the principle keeps fast its ascendency, as
rigid application of the principle of our though, according to our foregoing suptext requires us to suppose the retribution position, it is to become the tormenting
of the ungodly the natural produce of principle. The distinguishing characternever departs. When it can no
their actions.
It shall not, perhaps, be istic
that God will interpose with an apparatus longer be served and gratified by its
of judgments, any more than he now in- slave, it wreaks its disappointment tre-

We

We

terposes with an apparatus for hardening,


or confirming in impenitence.

Indiffer-

ence, if let alone, will produce obduracy

produce
torment.
Obduracy is indifference multiplied ; and thus it is the harvest from
the grain. Torment is obduracy perpetuand this again is
ated and bemoaned
harvest the grain reproduced, but with
thorns round the ear. Thus from first to
last " whatsoever a man soweth, that
also does he reap."
We would add that our text is not the
only scriptural passage which intimates
that sinfulness shall spring up into pu-

and obduracy,

if let alone, will

nishment, exactly as the seed sown produces the harvest. In the first chapter
of the book of Proverbs, the eternal wis-

VoL. II.

mendously on its victim.


There is thus a precise agreement between our text, as now expounded, and
other portions of the Bible which refer
to the same topic.
We have indeed, as
you will observe, dealt chiefly with the
sowing and reaping of the wicked, and
but just alluded to those of the righteous.
It

would

not,

however, be

difficult

to

prove to you that, inasmuch as holiness


is happiness, godliness shall be reward,
even as sinfulness shall be punishment-

And

it is clear that the apostle designed to include both cases under his state-

ment, for he subjoins as


" he that soweth to the
the flesh reap corruption

soweth

its illustration,

flesh, shall
;

of

but he thai

to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit

THE BRITISH

26
reap

PULPIT.

everlasting." We cannot indeed them

life

to the toils of tillage

plead, in the second case, for as rigid an

of reaping.

application of the principle as in the

much

We

cannot argue, that

call

the

first.

what we

We

know

by the hopes

that

it

is

with

opposition from indwelling corrup-

with many thwartings from Satan


and your own evil hearts, that ye proseThere must be constant interferences on cute the work of breaking up your fallowthe part of Deity.
God himself, rather ground, and sowing to yourselves in rightthan man, is the sower. And unless God eousness. Ye have to deal with a stubThe prophet Amos asks,
were continually busy with the seed, it born soil.
could never germinate, and send up a " shall horses run upon the rock, will
harvest of glory.
We think that this one plough there with oxenr' Yet this
It is
<listinction of the cases is intimated by is precisely what you have to do.
"St. Paul.
The one Sows " to the flesh ;" the rock, " the heart of stone," which
natural

is, for

tion,

process of vegetation.

you must bring into cultivation. Yet be


Above all things, pause
not dismayed.
not as though doubtful whether to prosecute a labour which seems to grow as it
" No man, having put his
is performed.
each case, precisely the same, hand to the plough, and locking back, is
Rather
sufficient rigour of application to fit for the kingdom of heaven."

husbandman, himself the


other sows " to the Spirit," to the Holy Ghost; and here there
is a superinduced soil which differs altogether from the natural.
But if there be
himself the
territory.

not, in

there

is

The

bear out the assertion of our text.

remember

that

it

was "

We

a crown of right-

eousness" which sparkled before St.


Paul
and we may, therefore, believe
that the righteousness, which God's grace
has nourished in the heart, will grow
into recompense, just as the wickedness,
in which the transgressor has indulged,
will shoot into torment. So that, although
it were easy to speak at greater length on
;

we may

comfort yourselves with that beautiful


declaration of the Psalmist, "they tha)
sow in tears shall reap in joy." Rathe;
call to mind that saying of the apostle

"ye are God's husbandry." It is Goo


who by his Spirit ploughs the ground
and sows the seed, and imparts the in
" My Fafluences of sun and shower.
ther," said Jesus, " is the husbandman ;"
and can ye not

feel

assured that he will

Look ye on to the
whether harvest-time. What though the winter
respect be had to the ungodly or the dis- be dreary and long, and there seem no
obedient of the earth, that " whatsoever a shooting of the fig tree to tell you that
man soweth, that also shall he reap."
summer is nigh ] Christ shall yet speak
And now, what mean ye to reap in that to his church in that loveliest of poetry,
grand harvest-day, the day of judgment? " Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over
Every one of you is sowing either to and gone, the flowers appear on the earth,
the flesh or to the Spirit ; and every one the time of the singing of birds is come,
of you must, hereafter, take the sickle in and the voice of the turtle is heard in the
the case of true believers,

down

lay

it

give the increase

as a demonstrated truth,

his hand, and

mow down

Then

the produce of land."

We will speak no longer


on things of terror. We have said enough

his husbandry.

cannot

tell

which ye

And we pray you


amongst you may But

shall be the harvest.

We

you the glory of the things


shall reap.

We

cannot show

wavings of the golden corn.


God that the careless
this we know, that " the sufferings of
find these words of the prophet ringing this present time are not worthy to be
m their ears, when they lie down to rest compared with the glory that shall be
this night, " the harvest is past, the sum- revealed in us;" and, therefore, brethren,
mer is ended, and we are not saved." beloved in the Lord, "be ye not weary
But, ere we conclude, we would address in well doing, for in due season we shall
a word to the men of God, and animate reap if we faint not."
to

alarm the indifferent.

the

SERMON

II.

CHRISTIAN PERFECTION EXPLAINED AND ENFORCED.

BY THE REV. JOHN LOMAS.

" Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us

Heb.

The

apostle, in this chapter, exposes

the danorer of apostacy, and guards ao^ainst


it.

desire after perpetual progress is

go on unto

perfection."-

vi. 1.

To

stood.

leave principles before they

are thoroughly

mastered,

is

expose

to

ourselves to constant error in our future

one of the most effectual antidotes to a course.


Every person who has been
spirit of declension and St. Paul, having employed in public instruction knows
;

the verity of the Christian

that false or inadequate notions of first

system, and thus laid a safe foundation


for practical admonitions, exhorts the He-

principles propagate themselves, and pro-

brew converts,

steps

estahlished

in the

words of the

text,

seeking after a perfect


acquaintance with the wliole Christian
scheme. Without any formal introduction to the passage before us, I shall endeavour, first, to explain, and, secondly,
to enforce the exhortation of the text.
First : What are " the principles of
THE DOCTRINE OF ChRIST," AND IN WHAT
sense are THEY TO BE LEFT? HOW AND
WHY SHOULD WE LEAVE THEM, AND GO ON
to diligence

in

UNTO PERFECTION?

"The

principles of

the doctrine of Christ" are those ele-

mentary truths which

lie at

tion of Christian experience

the founda-

and Chris-

duce multiplied errors


our

of

in all

progress.

subsequent

communi-

In

cating a knowledge of any system, you


first

require that the elements should be

You

mastered.

will never introduce a

pupil into the art of spelling before the

alphabet
sential

acquired

is

to

this

step

is

So,

future attainments.

es-

in

mathematical science, certain axioms,


admitted to be true, must first be mas-

them to
more abstruse and

tered, before the application of

the demonstration of

complex propositions can

ever be ad-

mitted.

Many

mistakes, with regard to

nature of experimental religion,

the

would

Paul specifies the chief be avoided, if men would only adopt the
of these in the verses which follow the same maxims in the study of religion

tian practice.

the duty and necessity of repentance enforced by the solemnity and certext

tainty of the

judgment

cessity of the

Holy

to

come

the ne-

Spirit's influences,

and of his reception by all Christian believers


with the joys produced by a
sense of pardon, and the hope of future
;

glory.

These

truths St. Paul denomi-

nates "the principles of the doctrine of


Christ," because they constitute the fun-

which they admit

to

other studies, and if


to decide, to

be important in

men

did not

all

presume

dogmatize upon the matters

of experimental religion, and to sound

its

depths, before they had put themselves


into possession of the line

fathom them.

which should

an important part,
therefore, of the duty of every public
teacher, frequently to inculcate " the principles of the doctrine of Christ," and to
It is

damental parts of the Christian system


insist upon them often and with great
they are, so to speak, the alphabet of emphasis, especially in the case of those
Christian doctrine. Now, these " prin- who, " ever learning, are never able to
ciples" are not to be left, in any sense of come to the knowledge of the truth."
the term, till they are thoroughly under- Ignorance of these principles sometimes
:

27

THE BRITISH

28
reflects discredit

always

upon the teacher, and


upon the pupil.

reflects disgrace

PULPIT.

principles are

to

of a science are

left as

the axiom*

when understood,

purpose of making application of

Till first principles, then, are mastered,


they are not, in any sense, to be left. A
principle is mastered when satisfactory

for the

evidence is possessed by the student.


Truth has its own kind of evidence.

which has

them

be

left,

to larger propositions

principles

are to be left, as a conquered

country,

hands of a successful general, is left, after he has garWith regard to truth which may be sub- risoned it with his own troops, that he
mitted to the test of experience, we have may bring under his dominion that porsatisfactory evidence of it when we feel tion of the enemy's territory which yet
its experimental effects
he understands stands out against his arms.
the doctrine of repentance who has felt its
In this sense principles are to be left;
sorrows he understands the doctrine of and we oppose this part of the exhortation
pardon who has tasted the peace which of the text to errors which it appears to
flows from it he knows the principles of provide against.
First, we oppose the
the gospel, with regard to the influence spirit and maxim of the text to the error
of the Spirit, who has been " sealed" by of those who are continually suffering
that Spirit, as a Spirit of adoption, and their faith in first principles to be shaken
'vho has " the witness in himself." Now,
men who indulge a doubtful and skepwhen principles are mastered by a know- tical temper who know not when to be
ledge of their experimental results, then satisfied with evidence who are conwe are to " leave" them.
stantly examining questions touching the
But, again, as principles are not to be principles of religion, as though they
left, in any sense, till they are thoroughly
never had been settled, and as though
understood, so neither are they to he they never were to be settled. The conabandoned. To abandon principles is to duct of such persons, St. Paul describes
apostatize fatally.
This appears to con- as resembling the conduct of a man who,
stitute the character and danger of those after having laid with care the foundation
numerous professors, whose condition St. of his building, should be perpetually
Paul describes, in such vivid language, removing the stones that constituted it,
in the verses that follow the text. They, distrusting the stability of the ground
it appears, had reached a state of hopeless
beneath.
by, a man should take care
and irrecoverable apostacy how 1 by that the ground on which his foundation
renouncing first principles. How is a stands is good that is to be his first
man to be recovered from speculative or business but after he has satisfied himpractical error?
You must attempt his self, by careful inspection, that he has
recovery by making your appeal to some good ground to rest upon, and his foundatruth which he yet admits; but suppose tion is once laid, of course it ought to be
he admits none
suppose he has re- laid once for all. Now, with regard to
nounced the whole body of Christian the leading truths of religion, and our
truth, and you and he have no one reli- personal interest in them, no man, as I
gious principle in common how is the have said just now, should satisfy himself
recovery of such a man to accuracy of till he has sufficient warrant for his faith,
thought, or propriety of conduct, to be and scriptural reason for concluding himeffected 1 The thing is practically impos- self to be an accepted child of God
but
sible.
First principles, then, are not to after he has satisfied himself on that point,
be renounced. When St. Paul, therefore, he is to take the matter for granted, and
exhorts us to " leave" them, it is of course not to be perpetually and doubtfully askimplied that these principles are to be ing for fresh evidence in order to make
left for the purpose of applying them to that clear which has already been estasubsequent discoveries and attainments blished to his own satisfaction he is not
in religion.
Principles are to be left as to be perpetually calling up again from
the alphabet of a language is left when their graves the ghosts of objections which
the pupil proceeds to put letters together
have repeatedly been exorcised by the
fallen into the

CHRISTIAN PERFECTIOxX ENFORCED.


light and

power of

truth
he
beginning anew

continually

is

not to be

the

great

though
doubt were always to hang on this important subject. To indulge a temper of

work of

religious

inquiry, as

this kind is to foster the unbelief of our

hearts
it

to

is

to create a skeptical spirit

it is

expose ourselves

of doctrine

of temptation

it

ourselves from

to invite

it

is

all

maxim

every wind
the assaults

effectually to debar

progress in religion.

Principles are to be

the

to

is

left,

and

we oppose

of the text, secondly, to the

conduct, to the indolence of those who


regard principles as though they consti-

29

were already perfect; but I follow after,


if that I may apprehend that for which
also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."
We are, then, to " leave the principles
of the doctrine of Christ"
we are to " go
on unto perfection." .Must I, then, &condly, spend a few moments in explaining THE EXHORTATION, AND THEN
PRESS THE WHOLE ON YOUR SERIOUS ATTENTION? "Let US go on unto perfection."
What is this perfection towards
which we are continually to make progress \ The term here refers, perhaps,

rather to

doctrine

ledge, than to

Christian

to

Christian

know-

experience or

There are practice; but then, of course, knowledge


be feared, of this character. is only of importance as it is connected
They can ascertain with great precision with holiness, and as it is connected with
they can practice ; and we may take the term,
the date of their spiritual birth
describe most minutely all the circum- therefore, without committing any error,
stances which accompanied and which, in its common and largest acceptation.
to their own satisfaction, verify the change; What, then, is this perfection towards
they are continually recurring to the which we are to be continually making
fact of their conversion, sometimes with advances'? Suppose I could not describe
self-complacency and sometimes, it is to it, or suppose I were to decline doing so
what then ] Suppose one acquainted
be feared, in a spirit of indolence and
satisfaction inconsistent with all religious with the alphabet of religion only were
improvement. Now, my friends, though to decline attempting any explicit reprethe principles of religion are of importance sentation of the perfection of the scheme
what then'? We prefer taking some
because they are fundamental, yet the
principles of religion are but the alphabet scriptural statements which will be found
The doctrine of justifica- to place the subject the most unobjecof the system.
tion by faith is important rather from the tionably before us, and then to offer a few
grand truths with which it stands con- remarks by way of guarding the doctrine.
nected, than when viewed in its own in- Would you, then, have a scriptural reThe great design of the presentation of that perfection towards
sulated state.
New Testament of the epistles that were which we are to go on then take it in
written for our instruction and admoni- the prayer of the apostle for the Ephe" For this cause I bow
tion, and of the promises which are given sian churches
to excite Christian diligence, is to make my knees unto the Father of our Lord
the man of God perfect, and thoroughly Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family
to furnish or qualify him for every good in heaven and earth is named, that he
word and for every good work. What is would grant you according to the riches
the value of what we know in religion, of his glory, to be strengthened with
except in as far as it is preparatory to might by his Spirit in the inner man;
what remains to be learned 1 What is the that Christ may dwell in your hearts by
value of the attainments already secured faith ; that ye, being rooted and grounded
in religion, except in as far as they may in love, may be able to comprehend with
be stepping-stones to future attainments'? all saints what is the breadth, and length,
" Not as though I had already attained," and depth, and height; and to know the
was the spirit of the apostle, such his love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
tuted the whole of religion.

some,

it is

to

'?

solicitude to make future and that ye might be filled with all the fuladvances in religion " Not as ness of God."
Go on till you underthough I had already attained, either stand all the parts of that comprehensive

ardent
larger

c3

THE BRITISH PULPIT

30
and sublime prayer

till

you have

climbing, while

spi-

pressions in

it,

state represent

There

them.
there

is

we

are endeavouring to

reach the summit above us, to be able,

ideas corresponding to all the ex-

ritual

and till your religious till we reach it, clearly to command the
and imbody the whole of whole of that prospect which the sunmiit

is

the perfection of faith

Ihe perfection of love

there

is

itself will give to us.

given to us of

If the descriptions

scenery are, in some

its

described the fulness of the Christian

respects, difficult to be understood

character.

if

we would have

and

clear views, let us use

Would you take a more brief and sum- all diligence in the ascent, and the higher
mary view of the same state ] then you we reach the clearer will be our views,
you shall have it in the words of the and the more extensive the prospect we
apostle John
that simple and yet sub- command.
Let us " go on unto perfection." Do
lime writer " God is love, and he that
dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and you ask how ? By fidelity to the light
God in him !" Or will you take a view and the grace we possess, and by the
of the same state from another expression prayerful submission of our hearts to the
What is the evi- teaching of the Holy Ghost. Let us " go
of the same apostle 1
dence are you asking by which we may on unto perfection !" How? diligently,

know

that our love, the leading and car-

dinal grace of

daily, continually

Let us " go on unto


we do not,

perfection," and beware, that

the Christian character,

has attained to its maturity what is the with regard to this great doctrine of our
evidence by which its maturity is dis- holy religion, take our standard of it from
we
tinguished ? " There is no fear in love
the experience and views of others
but perfect love casteth out fear because must take our standard of it, exclusively,
fear hath torment. He that feareth is not from the representations of holy Scripture.
made perfect in love." " Herein is our In the methods by which God the Holy

that we may have Ghost conducts Christians to the knowday of judgment: because ledge of his will, and to the enjoyment of
as he is so are we in this world."
Bre- conformity to him, there is an almost
thren, I confess, unhesitatingly, tliat if I endless diversity ; and though religious
abstain from making any comment upon biography is extremely serviceable, from

love

made

boldness

perfect,

in the

expressions like these,


satisfied

it

is

because

that no terms I could

the general principleswhich

I feel

employ

it

could render them

more clear in their


meaning, and that to substitute any others
in their place would be only to " darken
counsel by words without knowledge."
Will you allow me to say a word or
two by way of caution here and of direction there ?
Are you then ready to say
that

many

to us

it

establishes,

when we

pro-

pose the experience of others, as the certain standard by which our own progress
and attainments are to be regulated. It
is an evil which has a tendency to generate

an

artificial

character in religion,

inconsistent with that beautiful variety

which obtains

alike in the productions of

grace and in the works of nature. And


we are sometimes disposed to think that,

of these expressions describe a

state of which it is extremely difficult to


form an adequate conception ] Let me
make one remark. In going on " unto
perfection," we are not to be solicitous
that doctrinal clearness should precede,
and be independent upon, an experimental
acquaintance with the truth. Religion is
a subject, from beginning to end, to be
experimentally understood. Clear views
depend much more on fidelity to the
grace and knowledge we profess than
they do upon any thing else; and we
must not always expect, while we are

becomes injurious

in this

way, some sincere inquirers

after

holiness prescribe to the Almighty a path


shall conduct them, which
does not leave the Holy Spirit to work as
he will ; forgetting, that as " the wind

by which he

bloweth where

it

listeth," so the

Holy

working upon the human mind,


acts by laws of which he does not give
any account unto us, and which are not,
in respect of their applications, always
Spirit, in

uniform.
|

Let us " go on unto perfection ;" and

CHRISTIAN PERFECTION ENFORCED.


let

us take care not to confound a part of attach precise ideas to the expression.

religion with the whole, nor to substitute

What

one Christian grace for the whole Chris-

of a man, as distinguished from the un-

the characters of the understanding

We sometimes think this derstanding of a child are, is not difficult


mistake which we are in danger of for us to ascertain; and though the macommitting.
In describing Christian turity of manhood does not preclude imperfection, the sacred writers do, indeed, provement, yet it does designate a precise
sometimes select one special grace to il- and explicit state. Now, so it is with
tian character.
is a

They

lustrate the character of the saint.

select often the grace of love

and they

regard to the Christian

on unto perfection"

describe Christian perfection by the ma-

of our faith

turity of love; and they tell us, as the

purified

proof that love is mature, that " it casteth


But then, the maturity of love
out fear."
supposes and depends upon the maturity
of other graces besides love; and if
confine our views exclusively to this,

may
and

be liable to mistake

sentiment

in

In order to Chris-

in practice too.

tian perfection, maturity in

well as maturity in love


It

we
we

be sought.

implies the perfection of our faith

the

perfection of our hope as well as the perfection of our charity.

Once more, let us remember, in going


on unto Christian perfection, that the
terms employed here and by other sacred
writers have a definite meaning, and describe a state to be attained in the present

world.

Do

the sacred writers exhort us

to mortify the

deeds of the body

They

assure us, also, that the flesh, with


affections
slain.

and

They

its

may

be crucified and
do not exhort us to a warlusts,

fare of the successful issue of

which there

no prospect. Do they exhort us to " go


on unto perfection ]" They use the term

" perfection"

in a definite

and

in

an ex-

attainable in the present life

reference to which,

and with

we may have

as clear

views and as satisfactory experience as we


have in regard to the principles of the doctrine of Christ.

We understand

what we

mean, when we apply the term " perfection" to vegetable productions.


Vegetable productions are perfect

have reached
possess

their proper size

As

ing.

we

also,
to

go on

perfect

to the faculty of

understanding,

are to seek to be

men.

to perfection of love

when

it

absorbs

soul, fixing

all

We

are

and love

is

the powers of

them upon God

when

excludes everj' contrary propensity, and


when we love the Lord our God with all
our heart and soul and mind and strength,
and our neighbour as ourselves.
But
with regard to all those subjects, it is the
it

and there we
seek and to have the
constant teaching of the Holy .Spirit^
that " unction from the Holy One" which
privilege of the Christian

leave the matter

will

to

make every matter

plain to him, as
duty renders it desirable;
and therefore, above all things, a spirit
of docility and prayer should be inculcated upon us in all our religious purfar as present

suits.

is

plicit sense, to describe a state actually

are to " go

until the eye of our faith is


from every darkening and obscuring film, is vigorous and clear in its
perceptions, and the discoveries made to
it are constantly and incessantly enlarg-

knowledge as the

is to

we

unto the perfection

I
to

proceed, lastly, in a very few words,

enforce upon you the exhortation of

the text

" Leaving the principles of the

doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection."


And how shall I enforce the

exhortation

I will

enforce

it, first,

by

reminding you that your safety depends


upon your obedience to the admonition of
the text.
If you would not be forsaken
by first principles, you must leave them;

if you would
not make a retrograde
when they movement in religion, you must seek to
when they advance. The only term upon which

pass.

you retain the possession of that which


you now enjoy, is, that you profit by the
talents intrusted to you, and set them out

we

to

there

all their

is

qualities in a perfect state

a law beyond

which

it

cannot

We know what we mean, when


speak of the perfection of the human
nature.
When we speak of the maturity
and manhood of a rational being, we

proper use. Indolence is the first step


towards declension spiritual declension
;

will

be followed by apostacy, provided

THE BRITISH

32

PULPIT.

Son of God on what does the value of


depend 1 It depends on the interest
abandonment o-f our religious creed, and which it gives you in the sacrifice and
the entire loss of our enjoyments, is in intercession of Christ it depends on the
Christian diligence. The history of every union which it establishes between you
And upon what
backslider will illustrate this remark, and the Son of God.
and the awful possibility of backsliding, does the value of that interest depend ?
finally and fatally, should impress it and why is that union with the Son of
upon us. It is awfully possible, not God to be prized] Why, because that
only that an individual may lose the relation to the Son of God will conduct
cheering sense of the Divine favour, but you to the possession of divine nature
that he may doubt the reality of his past and into the enjoyment of conformity to
experience; that, from doubting the reality the Son of God. Now, to detach faith

we

persevere in

against

final

it

and the only security

apostacy, against the total

faith

of his past experience, he

question the truth of

may go

on to

all spiritual religion,

may treat the whole as visionary


and enthusiastic
and that, to use the
strong language of the apostle Peter, he
may "forget that he was purged from
his former sins"
that the sense which
memory retains, or might retain, of past
enjoyments, is so totally obliterated, that
no trace remains, no intellectual perception of spiritual things; and in the utter
void and darkness of a spirit, thus abandoned by the light and comforts of the
Holy Ghost, skepticism, unbelief, take
up their abode, and the last estate of that
man will often become much worse than
that he

the first!
things,

of

it

With regard
has in

it

very

a moral virtue.

Christianity requires

to faith in divine

much

That
is

the quality

faith

which

not necessarily

produced by the force of evidence addressed to the understanding; it depends


very much upon the state of the affections, and resides in the heart, viewed on
the whole, as much as it does, or perhaps
more than it does, in the understanding
and unfaithfulness to religious light and
enjoyments will very frequently conduct
us to speculative infidelity. Now, our
safety depends on our Christian diligence ; and if we do not desire, if we do
rot wish to lose entirely the mental perception and the satisfying conviction of
first principles, let us leave them, and
" go on unto perfection."
Must I enforce upon you the exhortation of the textl
Then I will do it, secondly, by reminding you that the value
of all your past aftai7vnents depends upon
the application which you make of them
;

to

future possessions.

You

believe in the

from the great end of it to separate the


knowledge we have acquired of principles from the important truths to which
they are intended to conduct, is to de-

them altogether of

prive

their value.

admit the importance of prayer

which

often felt the consolations

parts

in trouble

it

You

you have

has been

to

place of refuge, and in weakness

it

im-

you a
it

has

you know a way to


the throne of grace.
On what does the
value of that knowledge depend 1 You
have put into yourliands a privilege which,
if rightly exercised and improved, may
been your strength

command

all

the blessings of the

new

You

have learned to pray that


you may " pray without ceasing ;" you
have had the mental eye of faith opened,
that there may be spread before it all the
wonders of spiritual sight here, and,
covenant.

finally, all the

surpassing glories of the

beatific vision hereafter

the sweets of

you have tasted

communion with God

that

you may be excited to aspire after more


intimate and uninterrupted fellowship
with him ; you have felt the powers of
the world to come, that you may be encouraged to go on till you are made perfectly meet for the inheritance of the
saints in light
Of what value is an
acquaintance with the alphabet of Chris!

tianity unless w^e


this

knowledge

make an
to

application of

further

attainments

in it?

Must

enforce upon

you the exThen, thirdly, I


will remind you, that a regard to the
credit of religion and your own consistI still

hortation of the text?

ency of character, should induce you to


attend to it.
Is religion valuable in any
degree 1 Then it must certainly be valua-

CHRISTIAN PERFECTION ENFORCED.

33

which it can another argument, and that is drawn from


There is nothing noxious the injluence which Christian diligence
religious knowledge
it is impossible
will have on the character of your closing

ble in the highest degree in

be attained.
in

that our desires after holiness can be ex-

hours. If

we

desire that our death should

to the religion we profess


conformity to Christ
if we wish to make a triumphant as
can be too absorbing and ardent. Here well as a peaceful exit a joyful as well
the largest desires are laudable
here the as a safe one, then let us remember that,
most vigorous exertions are to be com- generally speaking, the character of death-

cessive, and that our ambition to be dis-

tinguished by a

full

be honourable

mended

we

consult the credit of bed scenes is determined by the diligence,


which we profess, we by the fidelity of our previous lives.
ought to be desirous of making a fair re- Many conflicts which disturb the repose
presentation of it to the world around us. of the dying saint would be spared, if he
And how can we do so unless we have were, in his earlier stages, more conourselves attained to " the measure of the scientiously faithful in the duties of the
;

and as

the Christianity

We

stature of the fulness of Christ T'


are to " let our light so shine before

"

Christian warfare

men" many

painful

much self-reproach
many distressing

fears

good doubts, wjiich too often cast a gloom


works, may be led to glorify our Father over the closing scene of his earthly pilwho is in heaven." But yon know very grimage, would have many of them
well, that with regard to spiritual pro- been avoided, had he attended to this exductions, as with regard to natural pro- hortation of the apostle.
Do you desire
ductions, generally speaking, their beauty to have " an entrance ministered to you
is not reached till their maturity is reach- abundantly into the everlasting kingdom
ed. The bloom, the beauty of the tree, is of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ?"
not perfect till the fruit is ripe
the beauty Then, remember the direction which preand symmetry of the man is not exhibited, cedes that passage ' Giving all dilitill his full stature and proportions have
gence, add to your faith, virtue
and to
been reached. So it is with the Chris- virtue, knowledge
and to knowledge,
tian
the f\iir exhibition to the world of temperance and to temperance, patience ;
the beauty of holiness, of the loveliness and to patience, godliness; and to godliof the Christian character, is not to be ness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly
expected but in the case of those who kindness, charity. For if these things
have attained its perfection. " Whatso- be in you, and abound, they make you
ever things are pure, whatsoever things that ye shall neither be barren nor unare lovely, whatsoever things are of good fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord
report; if there be any virtue, and if there Jesus Christ."
What a fine exposition
" Wherefore the
be any praise, think on these things" and of the text before us
do them.
Let all these, beautifully rather, brethren, give diligence to make
blended together, be the ornament of your calling and election sure for if ye
your character, that others may glorify do these things, ye shall never fall for
your Father who is in heaven. Let your so an entrance shall be ministered unto
humility be freed from all meanness of you abundantly into the everlasting kingspirit
let your benevolence be purified dom of our Lord
and Saviour Jesus
from all selfishness seek for that dignity Christ." Your exit shall be the exit of
said

it is

that they, seeing our

of the Christian character, which


tirely

removed from

member

all

pride

is

en-

a conqueror, your last expressions shall

and

re-

be notes of triumph.
Shall I still enforce the exhortation of
the text?
Then I will do it by reminding you, finally, that Christian diligence
will have a favourable influence on our

that the mixture of selfish

and

corrupt affections with spiritual graces,

has a tendency

them, as

it

to debase the quality of


prevents their growth and full

expression.

Must

tion of the text

Vol.

IL 5

upon our present


sometimes give death

future state as well as

enforce
1

still

further the exhorta-

Then

I will

do

it

by

condition.

We

credit for effecting a greater alteration in

THE BRITISH

34

the intellectual and spiritual state of a


I say this is
Christian, than it deserves.
possible.
ture glory

At any

rate, the

degree of fu-

ture attainments

according

and go on unto perfec" And this will we do, if God


permit." Let ours not be the state of
tion."

those described in the verses following


" For it is impossible for those
the text

made

evidences of Christianity are of


nature.
They address themselves neither to the feelings nor passions
of men.
Had not this been the case, the

minds of men would have been over-awed


and their belief extorted by terror. Moral
evidence

is

answer as a

of

others the best fitted to

all

test

by which

cerity of our faith.

The

to try the sin-

clear light of

demonstration, or any kind of evidence

which men might be disposed

raised from the dead in order to attest the

Let us,

" leave the principles of the doc-

once enlightened, and have


gift, and were

of the heavenly

The

a rational

Spirit, re-

trine of Christ,

tasted

ON MORAL EVIDENCE

will be the

ceive in the time of the harvest.

who were

assurance of hope unto the end !"


grant us this grace

to regard
adapted for
the trial of our understandings on practical questions, because it would lead to
right conduct in opposition to the greatest
insincerity of mind.
Were a man to be

to the zeal

you manifest in the seed-time,


returns you shall, under the
then,

full

And may God


Amen.

the splendour of our future

the weight and magnitude of our


recompense, will be determined by the
degree of our fidelity and of our Christian
diligence. Borrowing, then, the allusion
from the words of the text, I ask you, on
what form in the heavenly school, do you
intend, when you enter it, to take your
eeati Do you mean there to go into the
alphabet class T you begin there where
you leave off here. Where do you intend
to begin ] with what class of the celestial
inhabitants do you desire hereafter to be
Will you always be in the
associated 1
rear] or do you desire to take the foremost rank among the inhabitants of the
According to your dilicelestial world 1
gence and fidelity now, will be your fu-

crown

PULFIT.

as irresistible, would be

ill

were he to opeimmediate conviction on the mind of


the person to whom he made his appearance, where would there be a permanent
test of the sincerity of his belief? Assent
would be extorted by fear, the faculties
of the mind would be put to no tti&l.
Hence it appears that moral evidence is
truth of Christianity, and

rate

best suited to our circumstances, as

it

Holy Ghost, and puts our faith to a constant trial. Of this


good word of God and kind is the evidence actually furnished in

partakers of the

have tasted the


It is addressed
the powers of the world to come, if they support of Christianity.
shall fall away, to renew them again unto to the intellectual faculties; it calls for
repentance ; seeing they crucify to them- the full exercise of the judgment and
and it is fitted
selves the Son of God afresh, and put whole reasoning powers
him to an open shame." " But, beloved, to produce a rational and permanent conwe are persuaded better things of you, viction so powerful as to triumph over
and things that accompany salvation, the suggestions of carnal reason, and the
though we thus speak." Let us, there- sudden bursts of irregular passions or of
Burns.
fore, all use " the same diligence to the animal feeling.
;

SERMON

III.

THE EMPLOYMENT OF ANGELS.

BY THE REV. JAMES MACFARLANE, A.M


MINISTER OF STOCKBRIDGE CHAPEL, EDINBURGH.

Which things

We
richly

scarcely remind

need

the temple

frau^t with

the angels desire to look

service

you how view

into"

Pet.

i.

12.

this figure as intimating the fact,

was that the angels in heaven are no indiffercoming ent spectators of the development of the

of old

the intimations of a

Messiah; nor need we remark how every plan of mercy, but that their eyes are
department of the temple itself, construct- fixed upon it, as though there were
ed as it was on a divine model, bore some nothing else in the whole circle of crea-

which could,

pointed reference to the great blessings

tion

of redemption. Into no portion of its precincts can we enter which is not filled
with the holiest inspirations to no cor-

forth their regards.

live

in

in

To

comparison, call
us, at least,

who

a clearer and more perfect dis-

pensation, there is no mystery or doubt


whether of its outer court or of its in- as to the studies and employments of the
most recess, can we turn, v.'hich does not celestial throng. It is our privilege to
speak of a higher and more spiritual eco- know that the sufferings of Christ, and
ner,

nomy

than what the bleeding victim, or the glory which should follow, are the
smoking incense, might at first seem common ground of meditation on which
You know, for instance, for saint and angel meet, and that the loudest
to indicate.
Scripture informs you, that the holy of song of the redeemed on earth is but the
holies was a type of heaven, whither the faint echo of that anthem in heaven,
great Forerunner has now gone with the which seraphs, and the spirits of the just
the

blood of sprinkling to offer up the praj'ers

You know,

made

perfect, conspire in singing to

Him

on the throne, and to the


mercy-seat which covered the ark where- Lamb, for ever and ever. It is our priviin lay the book of the law, was a type of lege to discover, in the covenant of grace,
Jesus, whom God has set forth as a true a chain of sympathy which binds heaven
mercy-seat, and who covers and shelters to earth, a centre of union around which
his people from the curse of the law, be- the holiest thoughts of men, and the highing made a curse for them. Now, you est exercises of angels, ever circulate
will observe, that over this mercy-seat for though the message of its unsearchawere placed two cherubim overshadowing ble riches is falling here with but little
it with their wings, looking down upon
impression on the ears of a listless and
the ark with bended head, the posture of alienated world, the finger of inspiration
deep contemplation, as if there was that points us to a scene where those lofty inof

all

saints.

too, that the

that

sittelh

which called forth their most pow- telligences who live in the light of the
sympathy, and exercised their most upper sanctuary, whose faculties are defixed attention.
Hence, it could not but veloped most widely, and whose aflfechappen that the devout Jew, whose mind tions glow most intensely, are expending
rose from the shadow to the substance, their deepest regards on the great mysteand from the type to the reality, would ries of redemption. This is the one sub
35

there
erful

.36

THE BRITISH

PULPIT.

which thrills heaven vicissitude of seasons, the superintendand lays angels and arch- ence of a faithful friend, and the bounty
angels prostrate hefore the throne of the of an unwearied benefactor, or meet the
This is that field of glory footsteps of a parent in the worlds he had
Eternal.
whose height no manifestation ean dis- formed, and the arm of a Creator workplay, and whose depth no created being, ing visibly on the right hand and the left?
however exalted, can fully comprehend. they have but to turn from earth to heaThis is the golden treasury of mercy on ven, and from heaven to earth; they have
which the fixed gaze of the cherubim has but to survey the new .Jerusalem, the capifor ages been turned, and from the fulness tal of all creation, or contemplate those
of which they draw such fresh supplies wandering worlds which are balanced on
of knowledge as are adequate to the ut- the emptiness of space; they have but to
most measure of their still expanding ca- gaze on the solid earth, or the rolling seas,
pacities.
They feel no weariness they and everywhere will they behold the skirts
know no decay. Infinity is the only range, of that robe of glory with which the Deity
and eternity the only period, of their in- is clothed ; everywhere will they behold
vestigations.
They have long basked in wisdom, and goodness, and power, porthe effulgence of the beatific vision, and trayed in characters too bright to be mistaken.
Yes the foundation of the temstill as time revolves do they desire to
look into these things, without danger of ple of knowledge is laid deep, and wide,
exhausting their powers, and without the and lasting, on the face of the universe.
possibility of terminating their inquiries. All creatnres, whether animate or inaniAt the threshold of such a subject the mate, demonstrate the being and perfecand it
question at once occurs, How is it that tions of Him who formed them
the heavenly host contemplate the work cannot be supposed that those sons of God
of man's salvation with so much interest T who raised the song of triumph as they
And in answer, we remark, _;?r.s/, that it saw Omnipotence calling this world into
IS BECAUSE THEY OBTAIN HERE THEIR MOST existence, should ever forget that shout of
joy with which they hailed the birth of
EXTENSIVE VIEW OF THE GLORY OF GoD.
mean not from this to say, that time, or cease to admire the wonders of
angels are not awake to the glories which creation throughout the endless progress
But nature, with all its
are so profusely scattered over all exist- of their being.
ence, as to be observed by men of every lessons of wisdom, must now yield to
country, and kindred, and clime. Dwell- grace ; and the era, when this fair system
ing in the heaven of heavens, and as the arose at the divine command, must not
messengers of God, in which capacity we vie with that, when, from condemnation
have reason from Scripture to believe that and misery, it emerged into happiness and
they visit not only this world, but the peace. Every other theme of study must
innumerable planets which steal along the fade away before it, and acknowledge the
face of the sky, they have the most ample supremacy of an enterprise, the very oband perfect opportunity of understanding ject of which is "glory to God in the
the endless multitude and the astonishing highest, on earth peace, and good-will to
character of the works of creation and men." This constitutes the bright centre
providence. Nature, in all its diversified to which all the divine attributes converge,
operations, lies stretched out before them, and from which they are again reflected
and from the throne of their Creator, they over the intelligent universe. This forms
behold a golden chain of bounty which the choicest spot on which, amid much
leaves no world beyond its embrace, and that is great and glorious, the eye of
no creature beyond its control. Would angels most instructively dwells.
they trace wisdom in the minute, or power
It must not, however, be supposed that
in the magnificent ?
Would they scan this superiority consists in any thing of
Jehovah's ways in the movements of the outward grandeur or external magnifimaterial universe, or in the even tenor of cence.
There is little in the manger of
his providence 1
Would they see, in the Bethlehem, or in the company of fisherject of all others

with rapture,

We

THE EMPLOYMENT OF ANGELS.


men

the

little in

judgment

hall of Pilate

other region

37
on the

darkness

and the

bosom of Deity,

poverty of this? Does it not offer more


than all the riches of this globe could
purchase, or the services of all the seraphim in heaven could earnl What more

that is calculated to attract the carnal eye,

than a crucified Saviour could angels wish

or in the hill of Calvary

the

commencement

little

either in

or in the evolution of

that plan of grace, which, from eternity,

had been folded up

in the

to behold
to what theme but salvation
with no external majesty, the cross of could the regards of time, or the studies
Christ was to the Jews a stumbling-block, of immortality, most instructively turn?
and to the Greeks foolishness, and it per- Every divine attribute has here its dehaps might have been imagined that an- mands satisfied, its claims vindicated,
gels would have cqncurred in the estimate, and its essential dignity displayed and
and that the heavenly throng would have exalted.
All harmoniously unite, and
turned away from such an uninviting each lends its aid and co-operation in enscene to seek for occupation in other nobling the other; wisdom dignified by
spheres and in other studies. But we power, and power regulated by wisdom
look, and the calculation is reversed. As mercy sustained and invigorated by jusa scheme of grace in which the glory of tice, and justice tempered b}' the meltings
God is manifested, through the medium of love grace establishing its throne on
of every thing that is awful and striking, the basis of Jehovah's truth, and the warm
the gospel is replete with much on which tide of mercy's beams mingling with, and
the soul of the believer feeds as its rich- pervading all.
what an exhibition of
est repast, and in that man of sorrows, in every divine perfection is unfolded here
that weeping babe and dying victim, the Who can expatiate over this field of diprincipalities of heaven beheld the most vine goodness and compassion, and not
glorious object in the whole created uni- call upon his soul, and all that is within
verse, because in him the perfections of him, to bless the Lord 1
Take the highDeity shine forth in their most stupendous est creature in the universe, darken the
exhibition.
The veil of flesh and the light of creation around him, give him all
guise of a servant, hide not from them the the powers which earth or heaven can
majesty of God, nor in the indignities of supply, and let him bend those powers to
Calvary can they forget a finished work this one eflfort the knowledge of a salvaa perfect redemption.
Their under- tion wrought out for ruined man and
standing is riveted on those unsearchable how much will he learn? As much as

or to arrest the carnal attention.

Attended

riches

whereby the guilty

fugitive is call-

ed back from his apostasy, and invited to


an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled,

and that fadeth not away.


tions

bow

Their

affec-

before that sovereign liispensa-

to lay

him

prostrate before the throne in

the heavens

as

much

as to convince

him

measure thereof is longer than


the earth, and broader than the sea. Ages,

that the

as they pass over him, still find

him

at

which overlooked their fallen bre- the task, breathing the fervent prayer,
thren, and brought the fellow of Jehovah "Lord, show me thy glory;" and eter-

tion

from his throne, and stretched forth the


golden sceptre and established a spiritual

kingdom

in the

witness him
gazing on an ocean whose depth no line
may fathom, and whose bounds no eye

misery.

On

may

glory

very recesses of guilt and


every feature of the work

described, and from every point

nity, as it rolls on, will still

reach.

Nor

will the interest with which angels


the majesty of power and the rectitude of survey the great mystery of redemption,
justice, the immutability of truth, and the as displaying the perfections of Deity,
beauty of holiness beam forth in lines of lose any thing in its intensity when we
is

undying

Does

growing character,
depending on the gradual development of
the majesty of offended Godhead ! Does the plan of mercy. The mind of man
it not unfold the depth of human wretchcan seldom rest for any period of time on
edness, and let in the brightness of an- a study, however elevated, which is not
light.

it

not preserve un-

reflect that it is of a

tainted the dignity of a violated law, and

THE BRITISH FULHT.


increasing the boundaries of his
ledge, or rewarding

him with fresh

knowinfor-

tion, that the

woman

seed of the

bruise the serpent's head

It

should

was now

that a field of knowledge, as yet untrodGod's pur- den, was opened up before them, a field
poses, to tlie human race, been as familiar over whose shadowy outline the dimness
to the angels at their beginning as at their of futurity still partially rested. It might
close, they would long ere now have tired be, that with patriarchs and prophets of
in the contemplation of a subject which old, they looked to the day of Christ
was ever presenting the same unvarying when yet afar off, and that, like the early
aspect. But, believing as we do from our travellers, they were cheered by some
text, especially when compared with the few streaks of the rising sun; yet was it
context, and with other passages of Scrip- to them but the faint presage of the openIt might be, that with Noah,
ture, that this knowledge is of a growing ing day.
nature, and that they, as well as we, only and Abraham, and Moses, they desired to
learn the several parts of this design of see; yet were they not able clearly to disgrace in their successive accomplishment, cern the face of Jehovah's mercy, shroudroation;

and

it

perhaps might be supposed,

that had the intimations of

it is

at once manifest that the celestial

company are perpetually alive to a subject


which is gradually disclosing, with broader and

more defined

features, its purposes

The church on

was, beneath the covering of a


It might be, that with
the very followers of the Lamb, they
traced the footsteps of their own King on
earth, and watched over him at Bethlehem, and ministered to him in the wilderness, and comforted him in the garden of
Gethsemane yet still, in the fulness of
ed, as

earth was the


groundwork on which were inscribed the
praises of the living God, in order, as the
apostle informs us, that by that church
his manifold wisdom might be made the

of mercy.

known

heavenly places. The wells


of salvation from which the saints below
ever drew their supplies of knowledge and
of strength, were the common resort of
angels, and amid type and ceremony, from
a bleeding victim and smoking incense,
from the ark and the mercy-seat, from the
prophet's school and the high priest's
temple; they too, we may well conclude,
were gathering up those bright intimations which strung their harps to a higher
melody, and tuned their songs to a loftier
praise.
What, with them, is knowledge
now, was thus perhaps at one period but
mystery and gloom. Who can tell what
silence reigned in heaven when, by the
fall

of

in

Adam,

the

harmony of

all

creation

had been broken, and God himself, in the


awful majesty of holiness, stood ready to
pronounce his threatened award] What
could angels expect for man in that hour
of apostacy, but the full measure of insulted wrath, and the miseries of an irreversible decree ]
And, O
when the
uplifted arm was stayed, and no voice bui
that of rnercy was heard, saying, " Deliver from going down to the pit, for I
have found a ransom," who can say with
what holy joy they weleomed the iatima!

it

typical

economy.

consummation had
knew how Judas
should betray, and Pilate condemn, and
latter day, ere the

arrived,

God

Jews
Not yet is
the

alone

crucify, the Prince of peace.

the vision full

harvest reaped.

The

not yet

years, as they

is

the

sweep

over our world, and bring to pass the purposes of Jehovah, are extending the boun-

wisdom, and though surrounded with a blaze of glory, visibly


gathered from every point of a finished
redemption, the loftiest spirit who surrounds the throne is still travelling in the
great circle of knowledge, like the planets
daries of angelic

in

their course, unfettered in his

move-

ments, and unsullied in his progress. His


zeal dreads not the languor of weariness,
nor his pursuits the inroads of decay.

Every new view

is

yielding

God

a fresh

revenue of praise, and still does he desire


to look into it, that he may show forth
the greatness of
to

Him who

stepped forth

our aid unsolicited and uncalled, except

by the tender accents of

his

own unme-

rited grace.

Secondly. We remark, that it is not


MERELY IN A SPECULATIVE POINT OF VIEW
THAT ANGELS CONTEMPLATE THE GREAT
WORK OF REDEMPTION, BUT THAT THET
DESIRE TO LOOK IMTO THESE THINGS, BE-

THE EMPLOYMENT OF ANGELS.

39

CAUSE OF THE GOOD WHICH THEREBY distinct knowledge of the perfections of


RESULTS TO THE HUMAN RACE. Men and Deity than creation yields, they should
angels once belonged to the same peace- not rejoice the less in these discoveries of
ful family, and had no tempter interfered Godhead, because they have changed the
to mar the harmony of their union, they moral aspect of our world, and again
had still lived in the bonds of a holy and opened up a channel, through which the
happy fellowship. At the birth of time, sympathies of heaven may flow out over
no impediment existed to the spontaneous the habitations of earth. If angels weep,
flow of social affection, or to the inter- they must have wept over that act of
course of heaven and of earth.
The apostacy which drove man an exile from
voice of the Lord God was hailed with paradise
and if they rejoice, it must be
delight ; and as there was no disposition to behold him no longer presenting that
in man to hide himself from his presence, image of sin, with which their holy spiso was there nothing to arrest the foot- rits can hold no alliance. The miracles
;

steps of angels, or destroy the


niality

of kindred

feeling.

conge- of grace are

Our world ing

to thern

no mean or uninvit-

That reconciliation cannot be neglected which satisfied divine

was

spectacle.

not yet degenerate, but reflecting in


every scene the beauty and the holi- justice, and from the smitten rock pourii
ness of the upper sphere, the very angels forth those healing streams which a
its

smiled upon it as the home of brethren


Vvhose souls burned with a common love
to the great Parent of all.
But when man
revolted from his lawful Sovereign

broken law- had dried at their source.


That salvation cannot be overlooked,
which is working a radical cure in the
when very centre and seat of the malady,

conscious guilt abashed Adam in the pre- cleansing the fountain of corruption, resence of a pure Being, and made him de- novating the very constituent faculties
sirous of hiding himself from his view,

not only did sin separate between

of

the

man them

human mind, and

to a

constraining
pure and holy service. Be-

and God, but shut up the very gates of cause visited by its influence, the lust of
heaven to the egress of the celestial host. the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the
Henceforward the chain w'hich bound to- pride of life all lose their charms when
gether the intelligent creation, was snap- contrasted with the requirements of the
ped asunder, and, dissevered from the moral law. Because touched by its reharmony of the moral universe, our globe viving energy, the believer springs from
became a prodigal in the family of God. the cell of condemnation and the embrace
Henceforward happiness gave place to of death, into all the holy activity, and livmisery, holiness to sin, and far from the ing beauty, and usefulness of the regeneabode of his innocence, our great proge- rate man. The veil is removed which
nitor saw the flaming sword of the once eclipsed the glories of the world to come ;
friendly cherubim, guarding the place the fetters of passion are burst asunder,
where he had talked with God, even as iniquity is abandoned, the love of God
one friend talketh with another. We can- cherished, and with the joy of Christ in
not, therefore, but suppose, that as the his heart, and his praise on his lips, the
friends and lovers of mankind, who take once abandoned transgressor sinks to the
an emphatical pleasure in all that advances grave, rich in all those spiritual endowour happiness, the angels should desire to ments which can support the soul in the
contemplate a scheme which has again re- hour of death or prepare it for the comunited us to their company, and by destroy- munion and happiness of heaven.
"Old
ing the works of the devil, holds out the things have passed away, behold, all
blessedness of Eden, under circumstances things have become new."
Over the
of still greater serenity and peace.
We whole inner man, the influences of
cannot but suppose, that, next to the glory heaven breathe once more, displaying
of God, they should be mindful of the themselves in their loveliest forms, aid
salvation of man; and that while they in their highest glory.
Once more does
seek in the mysteries of grace, a more the flame of devotion burn, and prayer

THE BRITISH

40
deligrht to

make known

praise to offer up

giving,

and

welcome

faith,

its

request, and

incense of thanks-

its

though not sight,

the presence of

Him whose

to

face

he shall yet behold in righteousness, and


be s-atisfied with his likeness.
Once
more does the disencumbered spirit rise
upwards to its proper good, and, amid the
remembrance of miseries escaped, and
the anticipation of mercies in reserve,
pant for the hour when, freed from all

PULPIT.

ing sinfulness of sin, and, on the other,


their very loyalty must serve to augment

when Satan

their joy,

man
too

restored

so that

much importance

the blessings with

is

defeated, and

we cannot
to the

assign

idea,

that

which redemption

is

incitement to their study


The gospel is the
in the celestial world.
seed which, lodged in the heart, gradufraught, is an

produces a new creature a seal


which, stamped on the soul, leaves the
corruption, it shall be raised in its attach- deep and abiding impression of the divine
ments to a congeniality with a holier and image a light chasing away the shadow
happier sphere. This is the glory ; these of darkness the rod of Christ's strength
are the triumphs of the gospel ; and, im- and the sceptre of his might, by which he
pressed with their greatness, they who bends the nations before him, and subonce watched the earthly paradise, the dues unto himself a peculiar people in
ally

wo, now celebrate the the day of his power. The ministry of
benevolence of gratu- reconciliation is the moral lever, which is
lation and joy, and desire to contemplate raising our world from the depth of mia scheme which, like the ladder of Jacob, sery into which it had sunk
the great
is binding the throne to the footstool by resurrection which is gathering into one
raessengers of

change with

all the

imparting to both the harmony of one


great and peaceful throng.
In adopting such an argument, it must
not be thought that we are travelling be-

yond the range of Scripture, and indulging in the mere wanderings of fancy,
which may, or may not, have their origin
in truth.
in

We

know

that there " is

joy"

heaven over one sinner that repenteth,

thus

intimating that

the very

seraphs

notice and rejoice at the success of that

process on character which conforms

man

image of Christ, and that this,


more than any other cause, conspires to
to

the

scatter

blessedness

Bound

over

the

celestial

the dispersed

the

members

of Christ's

body

stream which, issuing from the


throne, is running through the dry places
of this earth, reflecting from its peaceful
bosom many a smiling village and ChrisInstead of holding forth a sin-

tian shrine.

gle cup of water to the fainting pilgrim,

it

has opened up a fountain in the desert, to


which nations repair; instead of sheltering itself amid the ruins of Jehovah's
sanctuary,

it

recognises no other limits

but those of the globe

it

scorns a nar-

rower temple than the earth and the skies.


United in the sympathy of a common
faith, and touched by the inspiration of

holy obedience by the same Spirit, the sons of the stranger


the distinct apprehension which they are bowing down before it, and from their
have of the supreme excellence of that numberless habitations, are sending forth
Bein^ in whose presence they dwell, they the high praises of God and of the Lamb.
know 4he peace which flows out upon Here the dark understanding has been
them who are admitted to his fellow- illumined; there the rebellious will has
ship; and this knowledge must doubt- been softened
here the troubled conless be accompanied with the convic- science has been tranquillized ; there the
tion of the extreme wretchedness of depraved affections have been sanctified.
those who rebel against the majesty of The prejudices of the idolater have fallen
Living in the purity of the before the wisdom of the just; the pride
heaven.
upper sanctuarVf they drink pleasure at of the philosopher has humbled itself bethe fountain head, and belonging to the fore the Spirit of truth ; the profligate
government of .Jehovah, they owe and Gentile and the bigoted Jew have bepay to him an unlimited love and obe- come the willing subjects of the Prince
dience.
Their minds, then, on the one of peace. Yet a little while, and all
plains.

to a

hand, must be fully awake to the exceed-

flesh shall

come

before the Lord

yet a

THE EMPLOYMENT OF ANGELS.


little,

and the human heart shall become an


and this earth one great temple,

41

Are these
In conclusion.
and employments of angels?

the

studies

Then, my
which the children of men are made friends, we would turn this day from
meet to join in the new song, and to mingle heaven to earth, and remind you, that, if
with the innumerable company of angels destined to become their companions
Even now has the hereafter, you must be associated with
in the Zion above.
This
decree gone forth, and this central fire, them in spirit and in character now.
this mighty reservoir of spiritual light, is world is a nursery, in the distant soil of
but awaiting the divine command, to burst which the spiritual plant is reared, until
up in splendour, to disperse the gloom, removed to adorn the paradise of God,
and consume the impurities of a degene- and it is impossible that they should have
any meetnessfor its pure pleasures and its
rate world.
holy

altar,

in

It is

who
may

not to be wondered, then, that they

rejoiced
be,

wept

over man's birth, and,


at his fall

who

it

exalted society,
all

sung the demands.

descent of peace on earth, and are still


the heralds of the good news of repent-

who

are total strangers to

those ardent affections which religion

think

how

And

yet

little this

is

it

melancholy

world, amid

its

to

bus-

tling pursuits, is reflecting the exercises of


ance to their fellow spirits in the heaven- heaven how to a wicked generation the
ly kingdom, should desire to contemplate empty vanities of time and sense have a
an object thus full of mercy to the human more exquisite relish than that bread of
race.
It were unnatural to conclude, that life with which angels are replenished
amid all the joys of their father's house through eternal ages. It is mournful to
the inhabitants of heaven should not de- hear the scoffing of the ungodly, while

the highest intelligences wonder and


end such a change of cha- adore to behold the lofty attitude of unracter, and such a transformation of will concern with which men listen to that
as assimilate man to God, and the wor- which is the study and the delight of
Why this
ship of the footstool to the nobler services principalities and powers.
which encircle the throne. Deeply im- great dissimilarity of moral taste between
bued with seraphic love, there is no delu- seraphs who bow before the throne and
sion in the idea that thej' enjoy all the creatures who dwell upon the footstool 1
luxury of philanthropic affection as time \Yhy should the man whose soul burns
discloses the fresh trophies of redeeming at the contemplation of nature going forth
grace.
Accustomed to look upon the in her majesty, feel no holy love as he
whole human family with a benign aspect, traces the living footsteps of heavenly
Why should the philanthropist,
there is no presumption in the thought grace 1
that they turn their attention to that trea- whose eye kindles at the mention of an
sure house of mercy which is scattering enterprise which has touched the chains
so many blessings on our path, that they of the captive and bid the slave go free,
bend an attentive eye on the progress of turn away with aversion from that sublime
the gospel
that they sympathize with undertaking which, more than all the 'bounthe toils of those holy men who have ties of creation, is fraught with m^rcy to
borne the ark of the true God into the the human race T And, bove all, why is it
lonely wilderness, and that they are wait- that the philosopher and the sensualist, the
ing for the era when the kingdoms of worldling and the profane, start from their

sire to

have

look into those mysteries which

for their

this earth shall

our

God and

become the kingdoms of appropriate occupation to fling the sneer


Nor as eter- of ridicule against him who dares to break

of his Christ.

nity runs on, can it be imagined that the


highest archangel should forget that love
which is gathering up all that is fair and

the frivolous current of ordinary converse,

'dings of salvahope and


holy out from the ruins of the tomb, and joyl If angels tremble, 'tis at such a
the deeper ruins of the fall, ^d in the sight.
This sad neglect of every thing
new Jerusalem is more than realizing the which ought to occupy the attention, is
harmony and the peace of Eden.
as clear as it is tremendous. This disVol. II.
d2

by adverting

to the glad

tion as the main-spring of his

THE BRITISH

42

cordance between the employments


heaven and the pursuits of earth, is disqualifying man for the pure services of
the upper temple, where the triumphs of
the cross are felt as the most animating
Nay, to you they are
subject of delight.
not only important as a matter of study,
but as a matter of deep and serious inteIt is on your account that angels
rest.
desire to look into these things, and if
you seek to neglect them on your own,
nothing can be expected for you but a
"certain fearful looking for of judgment
and of fiery indignation to devour the ad-

PULPIT.
becomes the power of God to his
" Beloved, if God so loved

of faith,

As

versaries."

then you would not pe-

rish in the vision of light the

most

clear,

us,

we ought

To

this gracious principle

also to love one another."

religious

the

which

blessed, and

land

may

are

now

have

blessing, our

Christian light and

of

be traced

which

institutions

Yet the increase of these


have been received with

privilege.
institutions

distrust,

as

though they must, of necessity, exert


an injurious influence upon the modes
of charity, long established and unques-

Now this

tionably useful.

not be valid, unless the

employed

objection can-

means already
wants of men,

to supply the
and especially the wants of their perishing

ample for the purBut the wants of society, like the


of the upper numbers of which it is composed, are

and advantages the most distinguishing


as you would enjoy

salvation.

somewhat of

the

souls, are sufficiently

pose.

glories and the felicities


sphere in this the house of your pilgrim- continually increasing, and like its feaage, we would call upon you to make tures, continually varying. If, indeed,

the blessings of redemption


vation and

all

your desire.

all

To

your

sal-

sit in faith

beneath the shadow of the cross

to de-

the

means of Christian mercy could not

be extended, however enlarged

its spirit,

the multiplication of societies, claiming

by the ministration of the Spirit all its exercise, would necessarily produce a
our hope and happiness from the inesti- diminution of assistance to those already
mable merits of the Lamb that is in the in operation. But when the kingdom of

rive

midst of the throne to cast anchor on the


covenant favour and covenant faithfulness
of Father, Son, and Spirit, are the grand
and only sources of holiness and joy.
Without these you cannot enter the kingdom of God without these you have no
meetness for the inheritance of the saints
in light.
The lust of the flesh, and the
lust of the eye, and the pride of life, must
stand eclipsed by the riches of th' cross,
or in the midst of rejoicing hosts, you
would still be wretched and sigh again
for the scenes you had left.
The snng
of salvation must be learned now, or the

Spirits of the just

made

perfect, shrink-

ing from your presence, would seek some


purer spot in the realms of space, where

heaven

by divine grace in
means of a holy liberality

is established

the heart, the

are invariably extended

temporal possession

is

because every

then regarded as a

lent by the Most High, for the


promotion of his own glory, and for the
good of his creatures. " A new commandment," said the Redeemer, " I give
talent

unto you, that ye love one another; as I


have loved you, that ye also love one
another."
Now the aflfection of the Son
of

God towards

universal.

He

lost

transgressors

was

did not refuse to cleanse

the leper, because he had raised the dead

nor did he

turn

away from

the impor-

tunate cry of the blind, because he had un-

stopped the ears of the deaf, or had made


no jarring voice would mar the melody the lame to walk. In like manner, while
of their heavenly anthem.
Wherefore the ingenuity of Christian benevolence
"how shall you escape, if you neglect delights to invent new schemes of mercy,
its expansiveness includes those alreadyAmen.
this great salvation ?"
appealing to its protection. Indeed, such
diff'usive liberality is the

ON THE PRINCIPLE OF BENEVOLENCE.

necessary result
God hath said,

of divine appointment: for

PRINCIPLE of heavenly benevolence " The poor shall never cease out of the
produced in the heart of a land therefore thou shall open thy hand
Christian, when the gospel, received by wide to thy brother."
Buddicom.

is invariably

SERMON

IV.

ON THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS TO THEIR OWN LAND, AND


VERSION TO THE FAITH OF CHRIST.

CON"-

BY THE REV. JOHN GORDON LORIMER,


MINISTER OF ST. DAVId's CHURCH, GLASGOW.

come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time,
remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from
Fathros, and from Cnsh, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamalh, and from the
islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts

"And

it

shall

to recover the

The
of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall
13.
not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vlx Ephraim." Isaiah xi. 11

You

aware of the object of our to enlarge our acquaintance with ScripI have been requested ture ; and, I trust, it will be found not
and prevailed upon, though surrounded inappropriate to the benevolent object of
by many much better qualified, to preach this meeting, but fruitful in motives and
the annual sermon in behalf of the Glas- encouragements to induce us to contribute
gow Society for promoting Christianity to the christianization of so remarkable a
among the Jews. In fulfilling this en- people.
gagement, it seems natural and desirable
None, I presume, need to be told who
to make choice of a subject which is the Jews are all, even the least informed,
directly connected with the Jews.
The are pretty well aware of their origin and
are all

present meeting.

claims of other societies may be advocated without much special reference to


but the arguments

their object;

in

be-

half of this society are, like the people

themselves,
requires

peculiar,

and

the

a peculiar treatment.

this the less called for, that there

faithful students of the Scriptures, they

is

are continually brought before us in

some

seems

aspect of their character or history.

We

would

at present restrict

subject

be no little indifference felt, and misapprehension entertained, as to the Jewish


cause, considered as a whole.
There is
much connected with the Jews which
would supply us with an important and
interesting theme of contemplation
there
is little, indeed, connected with their
history and prospects which might not
be so improved ; but the theme to which
is, their

Scriptures,

Nor

to

By

the early reading of the


they are introduced to our
knowledge at a tender age we frequently
read of them in maturer years; nay, as
history.

your attention

future conversion to the faith of

them from travellers and


and sometimes we behold a few

often hear of

others

of this people with our

own

hi'tory.

The

consideration of

it

will tend

Many

and history ; and, through the medium of


In
these, impart that interest to others.
this way, there are iew, I believe, who
have not a better general idea of the past
history and present character of the Jews,
than perhaps of any other people. The

Christ, and restoration to their own land.


This theme is a very pleasing one much
more pleasing than many parts of their very singularity of the Jews

eyes.

men, who care nothing about religion, and


would do little to change the religious
state of the Jews, are interested in them
as suitable and affecting subjects of poetry

ing out, in

all

their stand-

important respects, from

43

THE BRITISH

44

PULPIT.

every other nation under heaven, renders


the knowledge of them deeper and more
memorable. On these grounds it may not

anon rebelling against God, in spite of


warning, and expostulation, and judgment. Their history is the history of the

seem necessary, nor

richest blessings conferred

is it so, to enter into

partially en-

any enlarged accounts of them. We take joyed speedily abused. It is the history
for granted, that you are acquainted with of obedience, disobedience, and deliverthe past and present state of the Jews. ance, in successive and most varied forms.
We shall only give such a brief and gene- At length, when many difficulties and
ral sketch as may recall your previous many wars had passed away, and the
knowledge, and better fit you to contem- national prosperity reached its height, ten
of the Jewish tribes, in punishment of
plate their future prospects.
You will remember, then, that, after sin, are carried captive to Assyria ; and
God had made trial of the dispensation of from that captivity they have never reproclaiming,
diffusing the knowledge of divine truth turned to the present hour
generally among all the families of the in their doom, God's hatred of sin, and
The two
earth, though the wickedness of man determination to punish it.
proved the inefRcacy of this plan, he, remaining tribes, after a various experi-

fter the deluge, to

show

the sovereignty

ence

now

repentant,

now

rebellious

long making proof of the power and


mercy and forbearance of God, and proamily, and constituted him and his pos- claiming these attributes abroad to others,
erity the objects of his favour, and the are visited with a similar captivity. They
lepositors of his truth. Abraham and his are carried to Babylon, and for seventy

ind freedom of his grace, selected a single


ndividual from the heart of an idolatrous

after

descendants, through Isaac, are the favoured individuals. While all the world
is left for ages in spiritual darkness, to

years retained there.

At the

expiration' of

the appointed time, they are


derfully restored

their

temple

most wonis

rebuilt;

prove the universal depravity of human their religious character is improved.


nature, and the need of redemption, these They successfully contend with their
and, in righteous retribution,
individuals are blessed with special pro- enemies
tection, and promises, and revelations, these enemies are themselves punished
and institutions, and are enriched with for afflicting God's ancient people.
The day of the long-promised Messiah
blessings temporal and spiritual. In order
The prophecies, often reto try their faith, and exercise their graces, draws near.
and elevate their characters, and make peated, become clearer and more nuthem indirectly the authors of spiritual merous as their fulfilment approaches.
good to others, their earthly lot is a very There is a pause in the book of prophecy,
checkered one ; in punishment of their and a pause throughout the world and,
sin and disobedience, it is now and then a amid universal and excited expectation,
suffering one. At one time, they are nearly the Son of God, the Mediator of manEvery prediction is
consumed with famine ; then they are kind, descends.
every type meets its antitype;
slaves next they wander as outcasts in a fulfilled
wilderness; ere long they enter the land but, strange to tell, the Jews receive and
which has been prepared for them, as tri- acknowledge not the claims of their King.
umphant conquerors, the envy and the In bitter disappointment and malignant
terror of the surrounding nations. Fresh envy, they, with the exception of a small,
communications are received from hea- but sufficient, class of witnesses from
ven ; more stable institutions are founded ; their number, reject him. They hate,
direct intercourse with God is upheld the and scorn, and persecute, and calumniate
prophetic word respecting the great Re- him, from his cradle to his grave; they
deemer of the world is enlarged and actually crucify him, and pray that his
brightened. Still does this favoured fami- blood may be upon them and their childTheir prayer is heard. They contily, now swelled into a nation, prove the ren.
power of the same depravity which reigns nue to oppress and persecute the servants
in the Gentile world around, by ever and and church, as they (Tppressed and perse;

THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF THE

JEWS.

45

cuted the Master and the Head; and, in but the Jews have never been so worn out.
forty years, agreeably to the prophetic In spite of all the fires of persecution, they
warnincrs, Jerusalem, their beloved city, are probably at this moment as numerous

destroyed

is

the dust

institutions

all

temple levelled with as ever

their

their

distinctive religious

and privileges swept away

they have adhered to their pecuThough, consulting

liarities in all ages.

their safety,

it

would have been

politic to

multitudes of them slain and crucified, drop their distinctions, and be absorbed in
though
after the manner of Him whom they the surrounding mass of nations
multitudes enslaved, and all they often seemed to be on the point of
crucified
;

dispersed and scattered


of heaven sometimes

winds losing

to the four

their separate

^istence

though

they had the strongest temptations to


though they
coalesce with others ;
weep among its ruins. Ever since the gained nothing by their religion but
period referred to, down to the present suffering, and might have exchanged it
moment, the Jews have been exiles and for one that would have brought them

denied even the


privilege to visit their native land, and

though, at one
wanderers. They have had no political honour and wealth
existence among the kingdoms of the period, they might easily, and with little
earth
they have been scattered in all sacrifice, have united with the Mahomthey medan power, and not only saved themcountries, even the most distant
are to be found in all climates and states selves from oppression, but gratified their
though the abrevenge upon others;
of society.
;

which sorption of the ten tribes shows that there


they have received has been substantially was nothing in their natural character to
the same.
In righteous punishment of prevent them mingling with others, and
yet, in spite of
their awful crime, they have been made a being lost among them
proverb and a by-word, till their very all these things, the Jews have preserved

And

in all lands the treatment

name

a reproach.

is

They have been

spoiled, and oppressed, and massacred,

by

Heathen, and Mahommedan, and Roman


they
Catholic, and nominal Christian
have been ground to the dust for ages,
and that often by nations who knew not
their sin.
Their history is one uniform
history of suffering, and oppression, and
despisal, unrelieved by one solitary excep-

their separation,

and gloried

distinction, rather than been


it,

in

it

as a

ashamed of

as a disgrace. Scattered, yet preserved,


this respect, stood

they have, in

quite

through the lapse of centuries.


There is no similar case amid Assyrians,
or Greeks, or Romans, or Goths, or Europeans.
There is no similar case in
the history of the world and there is no
tion, softened only somewhat in these explaining what has happened on human
latter days by the progress of society, and or ordinary means.
And what is the state and character of
the humanizing influences of the gospel

and

in a great

yet,

measure, this

ment has been unprovoked on the


the Jews.

treat-

part of

False pretexts have often been

got up to shelter the aggressors.

alone

the

With

Jews now %

a few exceptions,

too inconsiderable to be mentioned, they

same treatwhich they have been subjected

are suffering at present the

The ment

to

Jews have often been accused of crimes for the last 1800 years.
which they never committed, and of which oppressed and persecuted
their

persecutors

innocent;

but

knew

this

that

they were

only proves

is

still

more proached

clearly and impressively that the judg-

ment

tries

from God.

are

in

they

all.

affected

them]

purified,

and

are they

many

coun-

and rehow has this


softened, and

despised

And
Has it

refined

Still

in

their

character?

And
convinced them of their sin
scattered and persecuted, they have con- have they, by experience, been driven to
tinued to preserve themselves separate repentance and obedience, and to the

And while

from
of

all

the

Jews have been thus Has

other people.

men being worn

There

are instances

out by persecution,

and of their sentiments dying with them;

it

"?

of that truth which


they have so long disowned ] No. Per-

acknowledgment

secution has often

may

say always

THE BRITISH

46

improved and elevated the moral and

reli-

gious character of Christians. The primitive church flourished through the


blood of martyrs. But the persecution
of the Jews has only served to rivet their

PULPlT.

ing for truth

than before.

Not

suffer-

mercy

thus

living,

..

I
^

the divine character.

But we

are

anticipating

what more

properly belongs to another part of the

We have seen the past and

having no ennobling object discourse.

making a

and
visible, and most impressive demonstra*
tion of the most prominent perfections of
his

prejudices, to degrade their character, and

make them worse

promises, and the exuberance of

to his

the

and character of the Jews;


God, without his blessing, their bitter and now a very interesting question arises,
What is to become of these men for the
experience has done them no good.
before

them; bearing the judgment of present

Intellectually considered, the

Jews

are

miserably low, and can boast neither of


literature nor science.
They are grossly
ignorant even of their own Scriptures;
hardened in infidelity and the worst errors
most puerile and superstitious in their
notoriously enreligious observances
slaved to the world
addicted to many
immoralities,
yet, withal, boasting of
the proudest self-righteousness.
Such
has been, and such continues to be, the
general character of the Jews.
Having
lost all reasonable hope of the world to
come, they have abandoned themselves
wholly to the pursuit of this; and it has
moulded their character accordingly. But,
with all this, though their history has been
so perverse, and worldly, and rebellious;
so hostile to the will of God ; they have
not frustrated him in his purposes. They
have not lived, and sinned, and suffered,
for no end.
might be apt to think so,
and that God had been disappointed but
no.
In every age, they have been his
;

We

They

witnesses.
illustrated

state

have, in their history,

and proclaimed the providence


They have all along declared,

of God.
and continue
prepared the

to declare, his unity.

way

for the

They

coming of the

Son of God, and contributed

essentially

to the evidence of that event.

They were

the depositaries, the guardians, the authenticators of the Old

Testament Scrip-

They proved and proclaimed the


shocking depravity of human nature, and

tures.

the method of salvation through an atone-

ment. They are the type of God's people


In their rejection, they
in every age.
have been the means of exhibiting God's
insufferable hatred to sin, and his awful
justice; and, in their restoration, they
will be the means of proclaiming universally the faithfulness of God, his fidelity

future

They

are neither so inconsidera-

ble in numbers, nor so

circumstances, that
ferent as to

we

what the

commonplace
should

result

may

in

feel indif*

Are

be.

they to continue the same in the future

have been

in the past, and as


Are they to descend
the day of judgment, the same scattered,

that they

they are at present?


to

despised, oppressed, ungodly, rebellious,

worldly, incorrigible people,

that they
have hitherto been ] Is there to be no
favourable change, either upon their tem*

poral or spiritual condition?

Are body

without hope one


generation following another in misery
and degradation? Doubtless, this is what
the Jews, and all sinners, deserve. Their
abuse of privilege is such, that no punishment is too severe for them ; but is this
what is destined for them 1 Can we only
commiserate their irretrievable fall ?
Supposing that the men of the world
had the destiny of the Jews at their command, and could accomplish for them
whatever they willed, what would they
do 1 They would probably think it enough
to lighten and improve their earthly condition
they would (if it did not seem
unfavourable to the commerce of the
world) seek to amalgamate them with
other nations; perhaps they would even
think it desirable that they should be
collected together into one country, and
speak one language. But, though something for their good might be accomplished
in this way, Scripture contemplates much
more. God has revealed it as his purpose,
that the Jews shall be preserved as a
distinct people; shall be restored to their
own land ; shall embrace the faith of the
gospel
and shall be signally blessed
and honoured, both as regards their temporal and spiritual estate. This is a very
and soul

to

perish

THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF THE JEWS.


Helightful prospect; and
blish

its realitj'

how do we

esta-

47

him and by no events, humanly speaking, would that glory be more


beautifully displayed, than by their resto-

yet brought

There are various considerations which


would lead us to anticipate this event; ration to their own land, and to the faith
much which seems to prepare for it; and and obedience of Christ. In accomplishthere are, besides, the distinct announce- ing these events, there would be a mighty
ments of the word of God upon the sub- manifestation of power and wisdom, forject.
We have to remember, then, that bearance and compassion, not to speak of
the past history of

t!ie

Jews has been very

truth.

The

very length of time that the

more so than that of any Jews have lain under the curse of God,
other nation which has been. They have and the severity of their punishment, and
been remarkable in their origin in the the mystery which overhangs their condimiraculous events which befell them in tion and prospects, would render their
deliverance, and consequently the manitheir separation
in their preservation
and in their punishment. Every part of festation of divine glory, more illustrious
their history is wonderful.
This would when it came. The greater the previous
lead us to expect that their future history darkness, the brighter and more grateful
should be remarkable also. We generally the coming light. Thus does there seem
find this to be the rule of Providence. to be good reason, so far as God himself
There is a correspondence and consistency is concerned, why he should interpose in
in God's dealings with any one subject. behalf of Israel.
Now, the restoration and christianizalion
Think, again, how much God has alWith God, and,
of the Jews would be thus remarkable, ready done for them.
remarkable

and of a piece with his other dispensations


towards them. It would not be so wonderful that they should continue to be
punished as they are at present; that
would be an ordinary case of moral retribution
but that they should be restored
and converted in spite of so many obsta;

way

how

indeed, with wise

men

also, the past is a

pledge of the future and how large is the


honour and the goodness of which he has
made the Jews partakers in former times
;

How

did he single

them out from the

nations, and dignify their ancestors with

the

name

of his friends, and

make

special

them, and work special


that they should be honoured in those miracles for them; deliver them from
respects in which they have been most Egypt; put them in possession of Cadishonoured, how remarkable and how naan
uphold a succession of prophets
worthy of the other wonderful events of among them; send his own Son, and, as
the Jewish history
to his human nature, make him one of
Again we have to remember, and it their nation and number! And can it be
cles in the

of both,

singular

revelations

to

strengthens the foregoing consideration,


that the Jews are capable, by the events

believed that, after


short, and

much to the illustra- he allow them to


tion of God's glory.
The grand design wretchedness and
of all that has been created, and which is treat them now as
supposed, of adding

brought

to pass, is to

glory.

By God's

manifest the divine

dispensations towards

all this,

do no more

for the

live

God will stop


Jews
Will

and die

alienation]

"?

in their

Will he

he never cared for


them before \ When all the Gentile world
is to be christianized, are the Jews alone
if

Jews, that glory has been already to remain unbelievers'?


When all is
There is not an moving forward to a happy change, are
attribute which has not come in for a they alone to stand still
are they to be
measure of praise ; but the capacity of an exception of wo amid universal reillustrating the divine perfections by the joicing?
To say the least, it would be
Jews is not exhausted by what has already very strange, considering God's revealed
taken place. It is easy to see that they character, were he to allow the Jews to
are susceptible of bringing God a much remain for ever in their present condition.
larger revenue cf glory than they have It would be against all analogy ; it would

the

strikingly illustrated.

THE BRITISH PULPIT.

48

be leavingf his work incomplete. In Cod's


works there is generally a large measure
of compensation. This applies to grace
as well as to providence.

The

Gentiles,

being long excluded, have been


admitted to the privileges of the Christian
The western quarters of the
church.
world, after having long been enveloped
in spiritual darkness, have been enlightened w'ith the gospel
while the east,
once highly favoured, has been abandoned
to darkness and so of many similar cases.
Now, the Jews have been so long alienated from the church of God, tliat, on the
principle of providential compensation,
we might expect them to be ultimately
brought in. Their suiFering has been no
after

common

suffering, either in

severity or

has been wonderful in both


respects. They are not like poor neglected
slaves, who never knew any better treatduration.

It

bones within the borders of Canaan, in


the full expectation that one day that
land is to be inhabited by, and to form
the sepulchre of, their children.
Then we have to consider that the Jew'S
are visibly separated from all other nations.
This was predicted of them, and
it has been strikingly realized.
However
mixed up with others, they have always
been a distinct people ; even more so now
than when they dwelt apart in their own
land.
It is of no moment to inquire how
this has been brought about ; whether by
the nature of their religious institutions,
or

by the peculiar

The

fact is certain

fact.

The Jew

he possess

is

interposition of
;

it is

God.

also a continued

not reckoned, nor does

full political privileges in

countries in

which he sojourns.

the

He

is

Often he lives

treated as a stranger in all.

in a separate district in large

towns

ment. They were once very diff'erently district appropriated to Jews. In character
regarded and honoured
the most favour- and habits, and even outward appearance,
ed of God's children. And surely, then, he is readily distinguished; associating and
we would expect that they were not to intermarrying only with his own nation.
continue always what they are; that, in Now, what is the object and use of this
There must be
the future, some balance, some compensa- remarkable separation 1
Possibly to make the
tion, awaits them for their present depres- some design in it.
sion
nay, that the compensation will be punishment fall more heavily upon the
glorious and large, as the depression has sin of the Jews ; but this will not explain
been deep and protracted.
the whole.
It will not explain the contiThen we must remember that the actual nued distinction, now that the punishment
circumstances of the Jews at present be- is becoming less severe. There seems to
token a propitious change.
Dark and be no way of explaining it, but by
hopeless as their case seems to be, there believing that some great and wonderful
are circumstances in their feelings and event awaits them in the future ; and
condition, which intimate that at least what can that be but their restoration and
conversion? It cannot be their amalgatheir temporal state shall be improved
that they shall be restored to their own mation with other nations for this would
land.
The Jews themselves expect that not be very wonderful. It would not be
one day they shall be restored and this worthy of so singular and protracted a
and, besides, were this what
expectation is not the vague idea of a few separation
individuals, got up as a refuge from pre- was contemplated, we would expect that
there should be some approach to amalgasent pain
it is the prevailing idea of the
Jewish nation in every age, and it is mation now. On the other hand, if the
persevered in, in spite of the hardest Jews are to be restored to their own land,
experience which should damp and de- there must be a separation, and that conSo strong is the impression, tinued from age to age ; otherwise they
stroy it.
that many Jews, when dying, make pro- could not be known to be Jews, when
vision that their bodies, and those of their they return. And for the same reason, if
friends, shall be buried in the land of their they are to be converted, and so made the
fathers; and some repair thither in the instruments of spiritual good to others, a
decline of life, that they may lay their separation is desirable, nay, necessary,
;

THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF THE JEWS.


because

it

make

will

their conversion the

more striking and proclaimed, and so the


more useful.
These things all point to the restoration
and tlien they are heightof the Jews

Scriptures,

and

49

what they declare

see

upon the subject under consideration


and, on entering this field, the first thing

consider, that in

which strikes one is, that there is no


passage of Scripture w hich declares the
final rejection and abandonment of the

and mode of life, the Jews


They
are eminently a moveable people.
are the most moveable people on the face
of the world. They count no country
It is their business to travel
their home.
from country to country. They are not
tied down to fixed pursuits such as those
of agriculture, which cannot be readily

Jewish nation. Amid all the severity of


the language which is applied to the
Jews and that is not small there is no
pronouncing their case hopeless. There
is always, whatever the interpretation
may be whicL we put upon the language,
some softening, and qualification, and
intimation of a change. Now% supposing

ened

in force

when we

their pursuits

with.
Even in Poland, where
they are most numerous and stationary,
they are chiefly engaged in trade and

parted

it

to

be an established part of the plan of

Heaven, that the Jews, as a people, were


finally to perish in unbelief, is

it

possible

commerce, and cannot be prevailed upon


to engage in any thing else. As a whole,
they are most remarkable as dealers and
exchangers in money. Their property is
convertible in the easiest manner.
They
are, so to speak, upon the wing; they
could change their abode at a moment's

imagine that, among the many threatenings and curses, there would have been
no distinct announcement to this effect?
Assuredly not.
But we have much
stronger evidence than this w^hich, at

warning.

overflow with allusions, and prophecies,


declarations respecting the future

And

if,

from the Jews themselves,

to

the best, is but negative.

both of the Old and

The

New

Scriptures,

Testaments,

we and

we find restoration of the Jews. There is scarcely


above all others, most an Old Testament prophet who is not
change masters. It is full upon the subject and the ten tribes,

turn to the land of their fathers,


it

in a condition,

apt and likely to

very partially inhabited inhabited, where as well as the two, are represented as
there are a people, only by the wandering being destined to be restored, though the
Arab, almost as migratory as the Jew. event, to human apprehension, would
The government is fast hastening to dis- seem much more arduous and unlikely.
:

solution.

the

is

It

interest,

humanly

speaking, of no great or powerful nation


to hinder the establishment of the Jews
in Palestine.

It is rather for their

tage to promote

it.

The Jews

are sufii-

this the stipulation.

Scripture revelation on this subject

so enlarged, that

it

is

impossible to do

more than select a very few passages and


advan- the same remarks which apply to them will

ciently able to purchase the land with

money, were

The
is

There

be found to apply to
the first things

many

which

perusing the Scriptures with a view to


passages
where the land of Canaan is promised and
given to Abraham and his posterity for
this question, is the multitude of

period at which these aspects of

are

and

So

it is

more

striking than at

much

for

fact.

They

sufficient

it

of

in

no country which has more the appearance of waiting for an inhabitant; no


country which it would be easier to
appropriate
and perhaps there is no
is

One

others.

arrests our attention

ever, and for an everlasting inheritance,


for

Now,

an everlasting possession.

known

two tribes did


the presumption of reason and not actually inhabit Canaan more than
to

tlie

present.

are pretty strong.

They

are

give force and courage to

many schemes

of

human

enterprise; but,

well

fifteen

not

that the

hundred years, and the ten

more than half

then,

it

that period.

tribes

Unless,

be intended that both should

however plausible, they are not sufficient inhabit the land for some lengthened
on which to rest religious faith and period in the future, the promise and
practice.

We

must now betake ourselves


Vol. II 7

God have failed and who


moment credit this 1 It is no

declaration of
to the

can for a

THE

50
answer

to

sa}',

such language is
no intinaalion, where

that

There

figurative.

is

the passages occur, that this

The assumption
language

is

the case.

is

gratuitous; nay, the

which we

to

BRITISH PUI>HT.

occurs in

refer

passages, which give no counte-

plain

nance to figure; where figure seems to


be out of place. At least, this remark
applies to many of them.
Then there are a multitude of passages

which

distinctly declare

shall be restored to their


for

instance,

Moses

that the

own

the promises

God by

of

in the 26th of Leviticus; where,

after declaring in the strongest

the dispersion of the

mans,

Jews

land. Take,

Jews by

manner
the Ro-

above thy fathers."

Here both

a spiritual

conversion and a temporal restoration are

most distinctly marked and neither were


accomplished by the restoration from
Babylon; for this embraced, compara:

tively,

but a

small

nun)ber;

these possess the whole land

were they
It

is

many

all

nor did
far

less

turned in heart to the Lord

impossible to understand

this,

other passages, figuratively

and

a figu-

rative restoration to a particular country

seems almost unintelligible.


Passing from Moses to Isaiah, what
clear and striking passage

tained in our text.


that the people here

is

that con-

There is no doubt
spoken of are the

Jewish people, for they are expressly


distinguished from the Gentiles in the
will I remember my covenant with Jacob
prophecy ; and it is not less clear that the
and also my covenant with Isaac, and also period spoken of is the period of Messiah,
my covenant with Abraham, I will re- for the chapter contains one of the most
member, and I will remember the land;" illustrious predictions of the coming of
evidently alluding to the promise of the Messiah and the deliverance from Babylon cannot, with any propriety, be denoland of Canaan given to the patriarchs
and, in the same chapter, it is declared, minattid by God setting his hand the
' And for all that, notwithstanding all second time to recover his people; and
it is

added, "that,

they confess

if

their iniquity, and turn to the Lord, then

many names are given of the countries


them where they are scattered, which is much
away neither will I allow them to more descriptive of the second captivity
destroy them utterly, and to break them than of the first. Indeed, no language
utterly, and to break my covenant with could be more clearly descriptive of a
them for I am the Lord their God." national restoration to their own land. It
This is introduced subsequent to the seems expressly intended to exclude
destruction of the Jewish nation by the every other interpretation. It will not do
Romans, and must be regarded as point- to say that their conversion to the faith
that
ing to a happy change, both in their of Christ is all that is intended

their sins,

when they be

enemies,

their

will

in

not

the land of

cast

doctrine is clearly taught in other pastemporal and spiritual condition.


So again, in the 30th of Deuteronomy, sages, and it may be in the last clause of
our text, in this passage ; but this is
it is declared to the Jews, " When all
these things have come upon thee, the manifestly not the great doctrine.
Spiblessing and the curse which I have set ritual conversion is not confined to one
before thee, and thou shalt call to mind, place, which is the idea attributed to
among all the nations whither the Lord restoration in the passage it is common
thy God hath driven thee, and shalt re- to all countries and climates. And in the
turn to the Lord thy God, and obey his 33d of Jeremiah, God expressly speaking
voice with all thy heart, and with all thy of his people, says, " Behold, I will bring
;

then the Lord

God

health and cure, and I will cure them,


and will reveal unto them the abundance
on thee, and will return and gather thee of peace and truth ; and I will cause the
from all the nations whither the Lord thy captivity of Judah, and the captivity of
God hath scattered thee, and will bring Israel to return (here even the ten tribes
thee into the land which thy fathers are spoken of;) and I will build them as
possessed, and thou shalt possess it and at first." And then, in the same chapter,
he will do thee good, and multiply thee speaking of the days of the Branch of
soul, that

thy

will

turn thy captivity, and have compassion

THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF THE


righteousness,

days

shall

it

is

declared, " In those

Judah be saved, and

shall dwell safely ;" thus

we combine
and

ration

Israel

marking, when

the verses, the national resto-

conversion of

spiritual

the

Jewish people.
There is no passage, however, more
striking upon this subject than the vision
of Ezekiel, contained

of his prophecy

in

the 37th chapter

the vision of the


We

rection of dry bones.

ought

the whole of the chapter^ but

am

afraid

Though

that year time will not suffice.

not at all improbable that the restora-

it is

tion here

spoken of primarily referred

the restoration from Babylon

God

of the works of

there

analogy, so that one


the picture of another
it is

resur-

to read

as

is

to

children of Israel were

to

51
abide

many

days without a king, and without a prince,


and without sacrifice
which has been
most strikinglj' verified for eighteen hundred years; and not only so, but they
were to be without image, or ephod, or
teraphim ; that, though surrounded with
idolatrous nations, and strongly tempted
to join in their worship, they should continue to maintain the unity of God, which
has been not less strikingly realized and
that afterwards they should return and
seek the Lord their God, and David their
king, and fear the Lord and his goodness
;

in the latter

days.

And

if the first

two

many

parts of the prediction have been so truly

a beautiful

established, shall the last part prove falla-

in

the earnest and

is

JEWS.

yet, with

all this,

abundantly clear that nothing less than

cious

We

might

refer

but

we

are obliged to hasten to

New

the ultimate restoration and conversion of brated passages in the

We

all the tribes is contemplated.


are
expressly told, that the whole house of
Israel is intended to he described by the
vision
and the terms of the prophecy

ycu, also, to

various passages in the minor prophets;

In the 21st of Luke,

we

two

cele-

Testament.

are told,

"That

Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the


Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles
be fulfilled." This is said by way of
will not suit a more restricted application
comfort to the christianized Jews. Now,
for the return of the Jews from Babylon it is clear, from these words, that when the
was comparatively small; and those who times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, whatreturned were not all converted in soul, ever these may be, Israel shall be no
and their prince could not be said to reign longer trodden down. No word could
over them for ever; and the opposite of better express the degradation and desothese things is contemplated in the vision. lation to which the Jewish cause is
And then the imagery employed is subjected ; but, as truly as it has been trodmost admirably descriptive of the state den down, so truly shall it one day cease to
and character of the Jews. Once they ha<l be trodden down. The moment that the
been alive to God; but now they were times of the Gentiles are completed,
dead; they were bones, and dry bones; Israel shall arise. The one event shall be
not only without the life of religion, but the signal for the other
and when shall
hostile and averse to it.
They were this be 1 There may be diversity of
scattered bones; no longer a nation, but judgment in the interpretation of the lanlimb separated from limb scattered about guage of the passage; but, both from the
like bones in a churchj-ard, or on a field words themselves, and from the reference
of battle. So opposed are the Jews to a which the passage bears to the prophecies
spiritual change
so unlikely are they to of Daniel, there seems reason to conclude
;

become

Can
it

is

the subject of

it,

these bones live?

that

it is

asked,

intimating,

exceedingly improbable

that

and,

to

that the times of the Gentiles are the


times of the Gentile apostacy the twelve
hundred and sixty years of Daniel and of
John on the expiry of which Jerusalem

mere human apprehension, what could be


But they are to live; the shall be rebuilt. However this may be,
more so]
breath of the Lord is to breathe upon the fact is certain, that when the times of
them, and they are to become living the Gentiles are completed, the Jews shall
souls.
no longer be trodden down.
So we might refer you to the prophecy
And these views are confirmed and
ii( Hosea, in the Sd chapter, that the enlarged
by the announcement of the

THE BRITISH

52

PtTLPIT.

the aspect of events seems to warrant j


broken off and, more than this, we prevent the restobranches of an olive tree, but at the same ration of the Jews proving such an illustritime declares, that one day they shall be ous example of the power and faithfulness
grafted in; and who proceeds still farther of God as it is fitted and intended to
in telling us that blindness, in part, has be.
It would not be so wonderful that
happened to Israel until the fulness of the the Jews, in a converted state, should
Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel, return to Palestine, as that they should
according to the prophecy, shall be saved. return in the character of enemies, opFrom this it is clear, that the Jews are posed to God, and opposed to the
one day to be converted; and the period prophecy, yet still overruled in will to
is assigned, "When the fulness of the accomplish God's designs ; and when we
Gentiles is come in ;" which, agreeably think that the whole intention of God's
to the original, may be interpreted to mean dealings with the Jews is to manifest the

apostle Paul,

in the

who compares

the

"

the

same with

11th of the Romans,

Jews

to the

the declaration of Luke,

When

the days of the Gentile apostacy


are fulfilled ;" or, what is probably still
better,

when

the fulness of the conversion

perfections

of his character,

supposed

the

in the

is

the

vision of Ezekiel, before

communicated

order

more probable. And then,


to the dry

life

\s

bones, there are

various preparatory movements of consiis come in, or is in the


course of coming in. The blindness is to derable importance described as taking
There is a shaking and uniting
rest upon Israel only until the christiani- place.
zation of the Gentiles. Whatever may be of bone with bone, and a coming up of
the interpretation which is adopted, there flesh and sinews, and a covering with

of the Gentiles

can be no doubt that the Jews are not to


remain forever in spiritual darkness ; that
one day their blindness is to be done
away, and that they are universally to
rejoice in the light of the gospel.

Having established

the

doctrine that

the Jews, as a nation, shall one day be


restored to their

own

land, and converted

to the faith of Christ,

we

must, before

any breath is imparted;


which would well describe a national

skin, all before

restoration in an unconverted state.

same idea seems

And

be conveyed in
the 12th of Zechariah, where Jerusalem
is said to be inhabited in her own place
even in Jerusalem, and to be the object
of God's providence and protection against
enemies, before the Sjiirit of grace and
the

to

supplication, making the inhabitants new


which arise out of this doctrine, and creatures, is represented as descending.
which may be considered as subservient But, though the national restoration
to the right knowledge of it. Though we should precede the general conversion of
cannot pretend to the same certainty re- the Jews, that is no reason to relax our

concluding, advert to one or two points

specting these, as respecting the doctrine


itself, still they are highly important, and

diligence about the latter; for our great

duty of labour r: mains the same, whatever


worthy of our consideration. Believing may be God's purposes; and, though the
that the Jews are both to be restored and nation may not be converted, there is no
reason to believe that many individuals
it is an interesting point to inWhat will be the order of these may not be converted ere the restoration
events'?
Which will come first? Of takes place.
Another interesting point, connected
course we do not, nor would we, desire
to speak strongly on this point; but, fol- with the subject which we have been

converted,
quire.

lowing the

intimations

we would

of reason

and

considering,

is

the time

when

the restora-

and conversion of the Jews is to be


The order is interesting
tion of the Jews to their own land will accomplished.
precede their conversion. If it be other- still more so is the time but here also
wise ; if the conversion is to take we must confess our ignorance, and speak
place first, we, humanly speaking, post- with diflidence.
There is reason to bepone the restoration to a very great lieve that the time is near. The amount
Scripture,

say that the restora-

tion

distance

to a

much

greater distance than

of interest and labour

which has beeo

THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF THE


among

Christians, during the

JEWS.

53

last

over the destruction of Babylon, or the


antichristian church, is a Hebrew doxo-

is

log)'',

called forth

twenty years, in behalf of the Jews,


unprecedented in their history. More
has been done, and is doing, than has been
attempted since the days of the apostles.
Within these few years, the gospel has
been preached at Jerusalem, where it has
not been preached for centuries.

Jews

If the

are destined to return to their

land as Jews, and not as Christians, tliere


to be a necessity that they should
;

from the operation of


and the

as,

specially distinguished from the twentyfour elders and four living creatures, the

representatives of the converted Gentile

church.

own and

seems

return soon

sung by Jews. The doxology is


nowhere else found, and the Jews are

various causes, the softenings

changes which are taking place among


them, there would be danger, if long per-

The

scene

is

laid in

heaven;

the chorus of the song. Hallelujah, is

Hebrew

An

examination
doubt that
the great rejoicing company are Jews,
and that the Hebrew doxology has been
the

in

tongue.

of the prophecy leaves

employed

to

mark

little

their restoration to the

church of Christ. It may be added, that


sisted in, of their losing their distinctive the prophecy has never yet received its
character, and being assimilated to sur- full accomplishment; in which the reprerounding nations in which case, neither sentatives of various nations are described
their restoration nor conversion would be as taking hold of the skirt of a Jew, and
so visible, nor the fulfilment of the pro- saying. We will go with you, for we
have heard that God is with you; and
phecy so conspicuous.
;

Then

there

seems reason

the restoration of the

connected

in

to believe that

Jews

is

intimately

Scripture with the

fall

of

Antichrist, and shall immediately follow

Popery has, through her

and
savage

this intimates that the

Jews

are to bear a

part in the instruction and conversion of

the

Gentiles

restoration

consequently,

must precede

their

own

this; and, as the

conversion of the world

all

is represented as
being contemporaneous with, and immediately subsequent to, the overthrow of

ages, one of the most formidable obstacles

Antichrist, so the evidence is the stronger

conversion or restoration of the


Jewish people. vShe has been their worst
enemy, both for body and soul. Now, as

that the restoration and conversion of the

it.

idolatries

corruptions of Christianity, and

persecutions of the Jews, been, in


to the

we know

are numbered;
two hundred and
sixty years of her darkness must be drawthat her days

that the one thousand

Jews

is at

hand

at least is not afar off, or

discouraging distance.
The next point which merits our notice
and we can speak of it with greater
certainty than the others, though necessaat a

is the
so we may expect that, in rily in a very hurried manner
same proportion, the restoration of the great advantage, the blessed consequences,
Jews is near. The fall of popery will not which will flow from the restoration and
only remove a great obstacle out of their conversion of the Jews. These conseway; it will supply the Jews with the quences are far more glorious than we

ing to a close

the

most striking proof of the divine truth of


Christianity.
It will show them the
admirable connexion between the prophecy and the fulfilment; between the
threatening and the punishment.
And it
will, at the same time, be the means of
showing them what true Christianity is,
separated from every error.
These views accord with the distinct
intimations of prophecy. Jerusalem is to
be trodden down until the times of the
Gentile apostacy are fulfilled, and no

can conceive,

or

than

have ever been

realized in the history of the church of

Never has the time been when


Gentile were members of the
Redeemer's church at the same moment;
Christ.

Jew and

did not exceed thirty years.


Hitherto there has been division, but then

or, at best, it

there shall be union.

To

the

Jews themselves, the change


happy one. It will

will be a great and a

be a termination to their dispersions and


wanderings; their reproach, and

their

It will be
In the book of Revelation, the sufferings, and persecutions.
song of joy and triumph which is sung an end to their ignorance and prejudices;

longer.

e2

THE BRITISH

54
and

their irreligion

liness,

their

infidelity

their world-

immorality, and

Christ and to Christians.

hatred

to

PULPIT.

the

Jews

become

will

the most admirable

missionaries of Christianity.

They were

is no
most delight- reason why they should not be so again.
ful prophecies.
It will be the season of Their very character as wanderers
the
pardon and holiness, and spiritual wor- hardships and oppressions which they
ship, and spiritual illumination.
It will have endured; a sense of the amazing
be the season of gratitude, and strength, mercy which has been vouchsafed to them,
and vigour, and hope all in their warmest will all, with God's blessing, form them
and brightest forms. It will be the season into the noblest missionaries ; will raise

It will

be a

so in primitive times, and there

fulfilment of the earliest and

mean

of heavenly affections and ancient espou-

up a nation of St. Pauls.

sals; the joy of the

prodigal

lime, the Gentiles, already christianized,

restored; a reversion to the blessedness

will, from God's dealings towards the


Jews, be led to stronger faith, and warmer
love, and more adoring gratitude ; to
brighter hope, and redoubled prayers, and
a more devoted obedience. And this state
of things will come in admirable time to
strengthen the zeal of the Jews. A lioly
rivalry, in the good work of diffusing the
knowledge of the gospel, will be provoked between the two parties, and kept
up; they will stir each other up to jealousy, like runners in a race ; and the
glory of the millennial days will be

of

of

Canaan;

a brief preparatory foretaste

blessedness

the

long-lost

The

heaven.

of

change shall be glorious, to compensate


for past dishonour.
According to the
depth of the degradation, so shall be the
largeness of the mercy and the joy. The
Jews shall not only be happy and blessed
in their restoration and conversion
they
shall walk first among the christianized
;

nations of the earth

they shall be looked

upon as the elder born

they shall be

which they
enjoyed before, and none shall be offended.
All shall rejoice in their exaltation "And
thou,
tower of the flock the stronghold of the daughter of Zion unto thee
shall it come, even the first dominion, the
restored to the pre-eminence

In the

hastened.

Nor

mere expectations or
however natural and probathey are borne out by the views of
are

these

speculations,
ble

Various are the passages


daughter of which intimate, in no doubtful language,
Jerusalem."
that the conversion of the Jews holds an
Nor shall the restoration and conversion important connexion with the conversion
of Israel be of advantage only to them- of the Gentiles, and that they are to bear
selves; it shall be of the utmost advan- a part in carrying it forward
that until

kingdom

shall

come

Scripture.

to the

tage to the Gentile nations; to the world


at large.

In every age, the Jews have

been of use

others; they have been


and instructers
nations
have been benefited just as they have
held intercourse with them.
What they
have been in the past, they are destined
to

their pioneers

the

Jews

are christianized, there is to

comparatively

among

little

the Gentiles.

be

spiritual conversion

The most

striking

passage to this effect, is the celebrated


one in the Ilth of the Romans: "Now,
if the fall of the Jews be the riches of the
world, and the diminishing of them the

There are many ways riches of the Gentiles, how much more
which we would expect them to be of their fulness? for if the casting away of
their restoration to their them be the reconciling of the world,
use to others
own land, and conversion to the faith of what shall the reconciling of them be,
Christ, will be a most illustrious proof of but life from the dead ]"

to be in the future.
in

the divinity of the Gospel.

It will spread
abroad universally the evidence of its

From
of the

this

we

Jews was

learn, that the rejection

the occasion of the call-

Mahometans, and ing of the Gentiles

to the church of
argues the apostle, the
astonishment; it will silence every objec- rejection of them be accompanied with so
tion, and put to shame all the scorn of much good, how much greater will be
infidelity.
And then we may expect that the good which will attend the conversion

truth

it

will

strike

heathens, and nominal Christians, with

Christ; and

if,

THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF THE JEWS.


of the Jews

The reasoning

is

blood

beautiful

and strong-. The apcstle does not tell


us how great the spiritual advantage to
the Gentiles will prove.

much more; implying


declare

aright; that

it

us,

We

we must bear in mind what is the


good which has accrued to the Gentile
world from the rejection of the Jews. We
must remember all the thousand indescribable blessings, direct and indirect, which
have flowed forth upon the world from
Christianity, for the last eighteen hundred
years; the countries which it has civilized, the souls which it has saved ; and
apostle,

this is but the

fruit of the fall of the

Jews, and from

endeavour

What must

to estimate.

fruit of the fulness of the Gentiles

it

be the

how

immense and inconceivable


There

is

yet another advantage which

will attend the restoration and conversion

of the Jews, it will promote. the glory of


God, and that in a most w-onderful manner.
This is so evident, from what has
just been said, that it needs no farther
illustration.
Just think what an illustration of power, and providence, and fidelity, and goodness, there w'ill be, in safely
gathering together and establishing the

Jews

in their

own

land,

in spite of all

difficulties

and opposition in the way!

What

illustration

an

Christianity;

of

What an illustration of the mystery


God's providence and sovereignty

fier!

saving the worst; making the longest


continued rebellion a step to the highest
honours; converting the most aged and

all

of

the Sancti-

too vast to be

that the

then remember that

the efficacy of his intercession

of

and so he concludes by telling


change itself, and the joy
which it will awaken in the world, will
be like that which would be produced by
one being raised from the dead.
can
conceive no change to be greater, or more
What joy would be
joyful than this.
called forth, were a dead city, a dead
nation, to arise to life 1
What would be
the feelings of spectators and relations]
And what, then, will be tlie joy called
forth over the resurrection of a world of
dead souls 1 To enable us to enter in the
least degree into the noble views of the
estimated

power and compassion of

He

asks how
that he cannot

it is

the

55

the

truth

of

the faithfulness of God's

providence; his patience and forbearance


in his treatment of sinners
What an
illustration of his condescension, and
mercy, and omnipotence, in the conversion
of the hardened and unbelievingr Jews
!

Whataproof of the virtue of the Saviour's

incorrigible apostates into the very instru-

ments of christianizing others; and decking the crown, which they would fain
trample in the dust, in new and unheardof splendours. By no supposable history
of men, or nations, could God manifest

more of

The

his glory, or to greater advantage.

we have
by which the

important point which

last

to consider,

the vieans

is

and conversion of the Jews


We have seen
the order, and the time, and the blessed
consequences, and now we are anxious to
know the means. The very interest of
restoration

are to be accomplished.

the

former points makes us the

anxious about

this.

It is a point

more
which

comes home

peculiarly concerns and

to

we

can speak
with considerable certainty regarding it;
ourselves

and

happily

with more certainty than, in the present


state of our knowledge, we can speak of
many other points. It is not improbable
that, in carrying into effect the restoration
and conversion of the Jews, God may see
meet to employ supernatural agency. The
case of the Jews is so very peculiar, and
so many of the great events in their history
have been indebted to special interpo-

such as the deliverance from


;
Egypt, the entrance into Canaan ; the
deliverance from Babylon, and destruction
of Jerusalem, that we would not wonder

sitions

that this should be the case in the future.

The shaking among

the dry bones, pre-

paratory to the imparting of spiritual

life

may intimate as
and perhaps this may explain va-

in the vallej' of vision,

much

Scripture

rious

hints

history of the Jews,

would not be easy

as

to

to explain.

agency, too, will solve

tural

which
and which

the future

which otherwise

it

Superna-

many of the
may be

difficulties

at first sight

started,

are started against the

literal

Jews

restoration to, and abode of the


in their

own land.
we must

this is admitted,
it is

an important truth

But, while all

not forget

for

that the restora-

THE BRITISH

56

PULPIT.

tion and conversion of Israel is to be


brought about, under God, chiefly by

sent remain in a state of unbelief; that,

human

the Gentiles, they also

instrumentality.

through your mercy, that

is,

may

mercy of

the

obtain mercy.

what might, so far, have been And what is the meaning of this? What
what is confirmed by the is the meaning of the mercy of the Genexpress announcement of Scripture. Even tiles, but the money and the resources
where God most visibly interposed in an- which, out of a principle of holy compasThis

is

anticipated, and

times in behalf of the Jews, he


always made use of human agency. The
deliverance from Egypt was miraculous;
but still, through the medium of Moses,
human agency was employed, so far as it
could extend ; and what has been in the
cient

past
It

we may

believe will be in the future.

would not be

safe or desiriible that

raan should be released from his duty to

man and

so even where

conspicuously,

God works most

our duty to work also.

it is

sion, the Gentiles put into operation for

the spiritual welfare of the Jews'?

the

is no room, apart from sin, for remissness and inactivity in the Jewish

day ]
But

cause.

the society,

But

there is

more than

Scripture

this.

human agency

must now very shortly advert to


whose claims have brought

us together this evening.

is to

that society,

you

be the greatest instrument in the converThe prophet Jeremiah


sion of the Jews.
is commanded by God to go to the north,
where the ten tribes lay scattered, and to
proclaim to them these words " Return,
thou backsliding Israel, and I will not
cause my anger to fall upon you," and so
And in doing this, what was he
forth.

Christianity

among

required to do, but to act the part of a

And in the vision of Ezekiel,


is commanded to pray to the
God under the emblem of breath,

missionary 1
the prophet
Spirit of
or

wind

"

Come

from the four winds,

breath, and breathe upon these slain, that

they

may

live !"

command,

It

was

in

obeying

this

in the exercise of prayer, that

the bones arose and lived.

And what was

this but prayer for the outpouring of the


Spirit"?

The

apostle Paul, again, in his

second epistle to the Corinthians, declares


that there is a thick veil hung over the
minds of his unbelieving countrymen,

when

they

read

Moses and

the

law;

he assures us, shall be taken


does this imply, but
that the word of God, through the teaching of the Spirit, is to be a great means of
their conversion, and therefore must be

which
away.

veil,

And what

carefully circulated
lastly, the

same

amongst them

And,

apostle, in the 11th of the

Romans, informs us

that the

Jews

at pre-

point to

Scriptures

There

clearly teaches, that

Thus

missionary
labour, and prayer for the Spirit, and the
circulation of the word of God, and pecuniary contributions, as forming the chief
part of the agency which is to be employed
And what
for the conversion of Israel.
are these but the means which faithful
men have employed, and are emplc^'ing,
in this great and good cause at the present

do

The

know,

all

object of

is to

promote

And

the Jews.

after

what has been said as to the means by


which this is to be accomplished, namely,
by the instrumentality of men, under the
blessing of God, it is not necessary for
me to detain you with any lengthened
observations.
One would think that so
clear a case would preclude the need of
any observations at all but the truth is,
that there is a very great amount of misapprehension and error, and consequently
indifference, entertained upon the Jewish
and, from
cause, especially in Scotland
;

small ness of

the

the

subscriptions

in

Glasgow, I fear that this great city cannot


be exempted from the charge of languor
too.

The reasons of this are manifold. The


comparatively small number of Jews;
their peculiar position, standing out from
all

other men, and so disturbing the flow

of natural sympathy

the worldliness, and


wickedness, and obstinacy of their character; the strong prejudice and suspicion

of

insincerity

profession

of

which

attach

Christianity

to

the

their

small

comparative amount of what has been


accomplished for them ; the frequent disappointment and failure of the Jewish
converts
tion

the diversity of the interpreta-

which has been given

to the prophe-

THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF THE JEWS.


Jews, and the little
study which is given to them at all ; the
apparently hopeless loss of the ten tribes
mistaken notions of what are the Divine
purposes respecting Israel, and the dread
the
of interfering with these purposes
difficulty of seeing how the Jews can be
collected from all countries, and restored
cies belonging to the

the

medium

in these

of our

latter

57

own language

days, no

little

that,

has been

for them ; that there is


change in the public feeling
towards them, and that tliey are treated
with much more kindness; that, on the
other hand, they have met and encouraged
the kind and Christian exertions which
have been called forth in their behalf;
to their own land.
These and similar considerations have that there have been, and are, as many
all tended to create an indifference and pleasing symptoms of progress and sucinsensibility to the spiritual interests of cess among them as in the circumstances
that their
the Jews. It were not difficult to answer might have been expected
them separately, and to show how unwar- conversion is clearly predicted, and shall
that it will
rantable is the feeling and the conduct certainly be accomplished
which they have called forth but we prove peculiarly honouring and glorifying
shall rather, by way of balance, remind to God, when it comes ; and that there is
you of many considerations on the other every reason to hope that it may be near,
side, which, in addition to those motives and that the present shakings and convulwhich should always influence us in sions among the nations may be designed
christianizing the soul, whether that soul to hasten it.
We should consider, too, that, as we
belong to a Jew or a Gentile, should
peculiarly interest us in the christianiza- value self-interest, it becomes us to exert

done, and

is

doing

a considerable

ourselves in behalf of the spiritual welfare

tion of the children of Israel.

We

should consider that the Jews are


God's ancient people; that in themselves
they are considerable in numbers; that
we owe a vast deal to them that they
have been the authors and guardians of
;

the Scriptures, the depositaries of

many

of the great truths of revelation, the bene-

Jews ; that, as no people or nation


have ever oppressed them without sufferof the

ing for

it,

so there

is

reason to believe

who

comfort and christianize


them shall be peculiarly honoured and
blessed
and that it is specially befitting
and most desirable that Great Britain,
that those

the world
that they have which, in point of religious privilege,
most severely, and for a very may be regarded as the successor, in
protracted period, and that we have borne modern days, of the ancient Israel, should
factors

of

suffered

our share in the infliction

that they are

the objects of the deepest compassion,

be eminently distinguished

for her labours

in this glorious field.

Let me, then, earnestly exhort you to


and degraded, and their lend your prayers and pecuniary contribufuture punishment must be so much the tions, and general interest and assistance
more severe tliat they hold an important to the Glasgow Society for promoting
connexion, as instruments, with the sal- Christianity among the Jews. We do not
The object contemvation of the Gentiles, and that little can ask without reason.
be expected in this field until they them- plated is one of peculiar interest, and
selves are christianized
that Christ and importance, and glory. It is not the mere
his apostles were much interested in their restoration of the Jewish people to their

inasmuch as
and

their character is so worldly,

deceitful,

salvation, previous to their declared apos-

own

tacy, and that less cannot be expected

might be, and however pleasing to the


benevolent mind, we could not, amid the
manifold and more pressing spiritual
claims of mankind, urge this plea very
strongly.
It would be comparatively a
small matter that the Jews went back to
Canaan, and were established within its
borders to-morrow, if their minds were to

apostacy has taken place, and


been so long persisted in; that we enjoy
peculiar advantages in reasoning with the
Jews on the subject of Christianity, inasmuch as they acknowledge the divine
authority of the Old Testament Scriptures,
and are pretty easily accessible through
after the

OL.

II.

land.

However

patriotic that object

THE BRITISH

58

remain in their present state of alienation


from the faith and love of Christ. Poets
and philanthropists might rejoice, but
Christians would continue to mourn.
Their national restoration, however, is
not our chief object, nor is it so much
within our province. Our great desire,

and labour, and prayer, is to christianize


minds ; to make them new creatures
to restore them to the favour and image
of God, and carry them in triumph to the
heavenly Canaan.
No object can be more noble than this:
and, in the use of appointed means, it is
within our reach, and will not retard the
temporal restoration of Israel by an hour;
and the channels of labour are already
provided, and there are pleasing signs
which strengthen and encourage us in the
proper application of them.
There is
every thing to warm and excite there is
nothing to damp or discourage; and,
thougli there were, there is enough, and
more than enough, on the otlier side, to
compensate for and master every discouragement.
Awake, then, to interest and zeal in
the cause of Israel.
Give your minds to
the study of their case.
Investigate the
their

PULPIT.

totally void of all true

harmony, that

it is

impossible for the congregation to take


a part with them ; who, therefore, sit
absorbed in silent admiration, or total
inattention, without considering themin any degree concerned in
going forward. In London, it is
generally a contest between the charity
children and the organ, which shall be
the loudest, and give most pain to the
ear.
By this means, the chief end and
design of psalm singing is completely
defeated
for, whatever may have been
advanced to the contrary, it is most

selves

what

as

is

certain

that

parochial

psalmody

was

originally intended to be a j)art of divine


worship, an offering of praise, adoration,

and thanksgiving to the Almighty ; in


which, of course, the whole congregation,
as being all equally interested, were to
take an equal share.
" Directions should be given to the
organist not to drown and overpower the
singers by the unremitted loudness and
violent intonations of the full organ; but
merely to conduct, and regulate, and
sustain their voice, in a low and soft
accompaniment on what is called the
choir-organ. The congregation would then
prophecies regarding them ; investigate soon be tempted and enabled to join it."
their present condition
Among other advantages resulting from
cast away all
indifference; pray, and labour, and con- the improvements in psalmody, which he
tribute for their spiritual good.
Treat recommends to his clergy, the bishop
them as fellow immortals treat them as adds
" Whenever you had occasion to solicit
friends
treat them as benefactors ; repay
;

the benefits which they have conferred

the benevolence of your parishioners for

upon you and upon the church of Christ; your charity schools, you would have no
approve yourselves the true children of need to call in the aid of any other
Abraham, the true brethren of Paul men musical performers; for there is no other
of the same spirit with those whom you kind of musical composition so well calclaim as your patterns and glory.
culated to touch and affect the heart, and
melt it into tenderness, kindness, and

compassion, as well constructed and well


regulated psalmody.
" I have no hesitation in saying that it
The following remarks of Bishop Porteus, in a primary charge, delivered in the would be highly improper to substitute
diocese of London in the year 1790, are choral and cathedral music in our parish
partly applicable to various congregations, churches, in the room of that plain, natuand are therefore recommended to the at- ral, soothing melody, of our best old
psalm tunes; which speaks more forcibly
tention of all whom they concern.
" In country parishes, psalmody is gene- to the hearts, and gives more warmth to
rally engrossed by a select band, who sing the devotions of a Christian congregation
a most wretched set of tunes in three or than all the ingenious and learned confour parts, so complex, so difficult, and so trivances of complex counterpoint."
OBSERVATIONS ON PSALMODY.

SERMON

V.

MYSTERIES IN RELIGION.

BY THE REV.

M'NEILE,

H.

A.M.

PERCY CHAPEL, FITZROY SQUARE.

a God

'Verily thmi art

that hidest thyself,

God of Israel,

the Saviour."

Isa. xlv. 15.

" Be still," saith the Lord of heaven unfathomable depth of the Fountain of
and earth, "and know that I am the Light itself. INIore light hath fallen upon
Lord." "I will be exalted among the us, and, with the New Testament in our
heathen ; I will be exalted in the earth." hands, we might truly say, " Verily thou
"O taste, and see," saith the Psalmist, art a God that revealest thyself, Father
inviting the people of God to the enjoy- of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour."
ment of their privileges, " taste and see, And yet, when that revelation is examined,
And again: and examined, if possible, with apostolithat the Lord is good."
"To know thee," saith the Saviour, in cal skill, we must exclaim, in unaffected
apostolical humility, in ignorance, conhis prayer to the Father, " is eternal life
to know thee, the only true God, and scious and confessed, " O the depth of
;

Jesus

whom

Christ

Among

the

all

thou

hast

sent."

the riches, both of the

by which the ledge of God

objects

human understanding can be exercised,


or the human affections engaged, the

out

Who

wisdom and know-

His ways

hath

known

all

who

believe that there

beyond dispute,

is

God himself

God
God in
a

is

mysteriousness of his person and


existence, God in the sovereignty of his

things

and

providence,

God

in

the

Jesus
Christ, God in the energy of his saving
power by the Holy Ghost.
My dear Christian brethren, I gladly

riches

of

his

atoning

love

in

myself of this renewed opportunity


of calling your attention in this place, to
this the highest of all themes which can
occupy the tongue or the attention of human beings. " Verily, thou art a God

avail

that hidest thyself,

Saviour."

O God

of Israel, the

whom

to

him, are

to

be glory

for ever

all

and

ever."

the

creation

mind ] Who
" Of him,

hath been his counsellor"?"

most important beyond comparison, and, and through him, and


with

are past finding

his

am

persuaded,

my

brethren, that one

of the most important features in the


subject which I desire now to bring before

J'ou,

that

exists

is

the

for a

indispensable neccssHy

mystery.

The

pensable necessity of a mystery

human mind

is

indisfor the

so constituted, that either

abuses the mystery into superstition,


or it rejects the whole truth because of
the mystery, and plunges, however unit

consciously, into infidelity.

To

without abusing, a mystery,

nise,

attitude to

Such was the exclamation of brought,

which a

finite

recogis

the

mind must be

in rightly receiving a revelation

under the
weight of the revelation that had been
given to him. Something of God was
made known to him ; but much remained
unknown. A beam of light had fallen
upon him, but it was only sufficient to

from the living God. For observe suppose God to make a full and adequate

make him

finite

the

prophet,

when

sinking

intelligently conscious of the

revelation of himself; there is a point in


the

examination of that revelation, at

which man's understanding must fail


for man's understanding, at the best, is
;

God

is infinite.

The

finite

59

cannot

THE BRITISH

60

grasp the infinite; and, therefore, there


must needs be a point, at which the
power of the finite understanding that
can take in that infinite communication,

would cease and at a particular point,


there would be an horizon to man's perceptions of truth. That is, to us there
would be a point at which the revelation
would cease to be explanation, and a
man's view would be bounded, and a
mystery would commence. For what is
;

PULPIT.

truth

but the cause

is

in the infirmity

of the creature, and not in the infirmity

of the truth

The

itself.

of the proposition

subject matter

too high

is

it

is

be-

We cannot demonstrate

yond our reach.

we

cannot enter into


If such a
statement were made concerning three
men being one man, the subject matter
of the proposition being within the bound-

a contradiction, for

the matter of the statement.

we can
one should be capaunexplained
a truth told, told dis- ble of proving the contradiction; but
tinctly, but not reasoned upon and ex- when such a statement is made of God,
plained
a truth so told that we can the subject matter of the proposition is
boldly say what it is, but not so explain- beyond our reach and though this statea mystery

mystery

is

a revelation

aries of our cognizance, so that

reason concerning

it,

ed as to enable us to say how it is. The ment may seem contradictory, the fault
personal existence of God, as declared is here
in man's understanding, not in
in Holy Scripture, is a mystery ; it is a the truth.
Is not this the same in other things, as
revelation unexplained, a statement unreasoned
and it presents a horizon to well as in religion 1 Do we understand
The metaphythe human understanding, which fades ourselves, my brethren ]
into mystery
and I wish to show you sician inquires into the human mind and
how unreasonable the man is who will the anatomist searches into the veins, and
reject the objects in the foreground, and arteries, and joints of the human body;
in the centre of the landscape, because he and they each make many discoveries
cannot, with equal precision, discern the but there is a point at which they are
objects in the horizon.
both baffled
the union of mind and matGod Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ter, and the power of the one over the
one God distinct, yet not divided sepa- other. It is a mysterious region, the fact
rate, yet still one.
The Son; coequal of which cannot be denied, but the exand coeternal with the Father yet be- planation of which cannot be given.

gotten of the Father.

The Holy

Spirit

proceeding from the Father and the Son,


The Son sent by the Father, and filled
with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit
received from the Father, and sent by
the Son.
The Father God
the Son
God ; the Holy Spirit God ; and yet
" Hear,
there is but one God.
Israel, the Lord our God is one God."
God saying of himself, "I am, and
there is none else ; I know not any."
God saying to himself, " Let us make
man in our image, after our likeness."
What human understanding can grasp
this?
There is a revelation unexplained ; the Trinity is an imperfect discovery,
;

They guess about

it

and some, fasten-

structure, deny
mind altogether, and would confine the
man to organized matter. What I wish
to show is, that in the science which connects itself with the existence of a man,
there is a region of mystery
there is a

ing upon the material

fact:

and in philosophjr, facts hold the

place which revelation holds in religion.


This Book contains our facts. Expe-

rience gives the philosopher his facts


and facts bring him to a point where he
must confess mystery.
Where is the
metaphysician that hath ever explained
the action of mind upon matter, and the
ready movements of flesh and bone, at
There is a great dif- the secret bidding of the mysterious
not a contradiction.
The visitant within ? And where is the anaference between these two things.
intellect, to which nothing is mysterious, tomist who hath discovered its origin,
must be infinite but a finite intellect can with his searching knife ? No there is
take cognizance of a contradiction. There a mystery in it.
Now, where would be
may seem to be a contradiction in the the philosophy, where would be the
:

MYSTERIES IN RELIGION.
reason of the man,

who would deny

the

proximate facts which are discovered by


the anatomist, and the proximate statements which are made, truly, by the metaphysician, because,

you press them

if

both a tittle further, you come to a mysWould there be reason, would


tery?
there be philosophy, in rejecting both of
these branches of human learning, because they bring you, when legitimately

pursued, into a region where you must


confess yourself a little child, and receive
the fact unexplained ?
For a mystery in

philosophy is a fact unexplained ; as a


mystery in religion is a revelation unex-

61

and explain gravitation, would take upon


them to reject the Newtonian system of
philosophy in the heavens?
Now let us return to our sublimer
theme. Here is a mystery concerning
the existence of God
he is a " God that
hideth himself;" he has given some information, but he has maintained a reserve,
and there is a darkness. Suppose that
the Trinity of persons in the Godhead
were made plain to us; it would onlv be
;

by the revelation of some farther-off point


in the truth, which would throw forward
the Trinity into the landscape, and enable

us to look through

it;

and then the point

would occupy the place of the


Much has horizon, and we would have transferred
so revealed

plained.

Take another

instance.

been discovered, and much has been demonstrated, in the science of astronomy.
The motions of the heavenly bodies have
been made matter of calculation amongst
men ; and true calculation ; the results
proving themselves true, by periodical

the mystery from one part of truth to an-

and we w^ould still have a mystery


we are finite, and God is infinite.
Now, where is the sense, the reason, the
other

for

philosophy, the superior discernment

where is the more reasonable religion, of


But rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity, bethere is a point at which we reach a mys- cause there is a mystery in it, and rejecttery here.
Upon what do all those cal- ing the proximate statements of redempculations depend upon what do all these tion, which all hang upon the Trinity,
motions rest? Upon a quality, which because, that when pressed home, they
Sir Isaac Newton baptized
he gave the involve the human mind in a mystery,
mystery a name he called it " gravita- and make man feel, what he ought to feel
returns

of

observation.

infallible

tion."
Grant gravitation, and we can
reason about the solar system. But what
Who can explain that]
is gravitation ?

Why should
Yes

why

Why

matter have gravity

we know

It has.

that he

is

little

ignorant child, at his

highest attainments, in the presence of


his

No;

Maker?

this boasted reason is

This rational religion

pride.

but

fusal of the mystery.

should hi There is here a mystery.


should the tendency of matter be to

a determination to be

it

has

that is a fact

the centre of the earth

Wliy

is

it

man should
ing as a

It

is

the re-

looks very like

what the

devil said

" as God," instead of bechild. And, verily, I say to

be,

little

you could bore through the you, dear brethren, except a man receive
centre of the earth, if you had a hollow God's truth as a little child, willing to
diameter through the earth, and drop- understand what his Father explains, he
ped a ball through it, it would vibrate at shall not enter into the kingdom of God.
My object in this much, has been to
the centre, and having fallen down, it
would fall up again, back to the centre, reconcile you to the existence of a mysand would never, and could never fall tery as regards the Godhead revealed,
fact, that if

through

No

one can

tell

why

it

is.

but not explained, in the Bible.

The

mystery grant this, which is Trinity is in the horizon, the Trinity in


it is the horizon of revelation to
in the horizon, and you prove your nearer Unity
But this must be granted as the us upon this point; it is the gravitation.
object.
mystery in the matter. And where would Granting it, the whole statements of rebe the reason, I ask, where the philoso- demption are capable of demonstration
phy, where the sound sense, where would rejecting it, the whole scheme of redempbe the supreme discernment of the men, tion is a nonentity ; for there is no Mewho, because they cannot reason through, diator, there is no atonement, there is no

Here

is

THE BRITISH

62

Reject the Trinity, and the

Sanctifier.

gap which

man

made between God and

sin has

finds no one that can

it

fill

All

up.

PULPIT.

can excite the smallest hesitation about


ascribing still unto God in glory, holi-

The

ness, unsullied holiness.

elect an-

upon Christianity leave this gels see and know this they perceive
gap unfilled up. Admit the mystery; and that their original numbers are thinned,
by the assistance of it, and resting upon that thousands who at one time joined
with them in singing the praises of their
it, we are in possession of the fundamental element of truth which invests God have been cast down into darkness
false glosses

importance, and with demonstrative clearness, the mediation, the

with

infinite

and

They know

ruin.

well,

full

that

company,
atonement, the recovery of the fallen possessed a single power but what God
or were tempted by a single
creature back into the very bosom of gave them
opportunity but what God made for them
God, which is salvation.
" Verily God hideth himself;" not as and yet instead of reasoning upon that
regards his personal existence only, but fact, as we are sometimes tempted to reaas regards the sovereignty ok all his son, and thereupon calling in question the
WORKS IN CREATION AND PROVIDENCE, holiness of their Maker, we know that
" Of him, and through him, and to him the language of the elect angels before
neither Satan, nor any of his

He

are all things."

is

the origin, he

is

the throne, with that history before their

eyes, and the torments of their former


no creature can come into existence at companions clear in their intelligence
any time, can continue in existence for a that their language is, " Holy, holy, holy,
moment, or can perform one single act, Lord God of Hosts." Here is a mystery;
mental or bodily, but in conformity to, in we have intelligence enough to grapple
compliance with, and in subserviency to, with this mystery in its difficult parts,
An- but we have not information enough to
the eternal will of the living God,
Here again we
gels, principalities, and powers in hea- overcome this difficulty.
ven angels, principalities, and powers are brought into a horizon. Where now
the support, he

fallen to hell

the end of all creation

is

the visible creation of

all

suns and planets, with their satellites


innumerable, their atmospheres around
them, and their millions of multitudinous
beings upon them, all at every moment of
existence hang upon the absolute will of

God,
all

motion, for

for life, for breath, for

things.

He

spake the word, " Let

is

the sense, the reason

superior discernment,

solitude of eternity.

This

lesson for us to learn,

my

we may know our place, and


know something of our God

a glorious

is

friends, that

hideth himself, indeed, but a

Holiness, as well as power,

God

is

it

is

not a further explanation of

the mystery, but

it is

a very significant in-

struction to us, that the apparent difficulty

ma}'
that

swer

that

that repliest

against

illustration is,

"Hath

insepara-

has the power


to do what he will without control, he
has also the right to do what he will
without injustice. There is nothing in

ble from our

for as he

the history of the fallen angels,

which

the

we

revealeth himself in part.

is

greater

in reply, an appeal to our igno-

God
God

that
;

the

exercise of soundness of discretion and


judgment, in rejecting the sovereignty of
God, in the absolute doing of all things,
because that in following it out we are
involved in a mystery as regards his
moral government] If a man is to say,
"If God do all these things absolutely,
who hath resisted his will 1 who can resist his will 1 why, or how, can he then
the language of the Scripfind fault]"

them be," and the solitude of eternity


was peopled with the wonders of creaand were he to speak the word
tion
" Let them cease to be," annihilation
would be instantaneous and universal, ture is,
and God would be left again alone in the rance
:

where

and

lies

on us, and not on him


is,

" Nay, but

for the an-

man, who

God

art

thou

And

the

not the potter

power

over the same clay, to make one vessel


unto honour,and another unto dishonour]"
Is there

brethren

any explanation
;

it

the mystery, and leaves


It is

in

that

Nay,

reasserts the very depth of


it

unexplained.

a revelation unexplained

nothing

MYSTERIES IN RELIGION.

63

can be more clearly stated yet there is God hath revealed himself; not unto the
clearing up of the difficulty, but unto the
no explanation of it whatever.
There is, then, moral government with intelligent view of it so far that we have
our God who hideth himself, at the same become intelligently ignorant. Is that a
contradiction in terms'?
time that there is absolute sovereignty
Inielli gently
and the principles of his moral govern- ignorant.'''' No man will say so, but the
ment are the principles of equity, and man who is so ignorant as not to be con" God cannot scious of his own ignorance. The wise
righteousness, and truth.
be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he man will acknowledge, that the height of
any man: but every man is tempted, his wisdom consists in having become
;

''

when he

is

drawn away of

Then when

and enticed.

his

own

lust,

lust hath con-

intelligently ignorant.

It is of the nature
of an intelligent creature to decide upon

and sin

the evidence before it ; and to decide freely


upon that evidence, and it is in the nature
This is the pedigree of damnation man's of things, that God, in his supreme proviBut if a dence, should minister whatever quantity
unto death.
lust
unto sin
man shall reason thereupon, and say, of evidence, upon every subject, he seeth
" Well, if it be so, that man's sin is his fit to every person. Such person, then,
own, and the evil he does originates in decides freely, in the exercise of his freehimself; then, by parity of reasoning, will, upon the evidence submitted to him ;
the good that he does must originate in but the amount of evidence, the measure,
Hearken to the next the time, the place of the evidence, all
himself also."
words of the apostle " Do not err, my these are in the sovereign disposal of

ceived,

when

it

it is

bringeth

sin:

forth

finished, bringeth forth death."


:

gift and God in his providence.


So that, by mifrom above, and nistering a certain quantity of evidence to
Cometh down from the Father of lights, a man upon a point, the decision of the
with whom is no variableness, neither man's mind, according to the action of
Here again the free-will, is secured, without any violence
shadow of turning."
mystery is repeated sin is ascribed to done to the constitution of the moral creaHe acts freely upon the evidence
the sinner's own act and deed, according ture.
and all that is good he has ; the evidence, the quantity of it,
to his own free-will
is ascribed to the sovereign grace of God. the measure, the time, the place, all the
Verily God hideth himself whilst he re- outward circumstances connected with it,
vealeth himself. Mercy and truth go be- are in the sovereign disposal of God. Has
fore his face, as a Saviour; justice and any man the whole case before him, in all
judgment are the habitation of his throne. its bearing, direct and indirect, present
Now, dear brethren, observe how one and future, of any question upon which
class of persons, in order to get rid of he is called to decide?
No such thing;
this mystery, as they vainly think, mag- the man must needs look through futurity

beloved brethren.

every perfect

gift

Every good
is

human

nify

as to
his

make

turning

into eternity, to see all the bearings of

in this great subject, so

his conduct: but upon what he does see,


he acts freely. O verily God is a God
that hideth himself while he revealeth

free-will

power

point of

the

into

the omnipotent

God pause

in

designs for super-omnipotent man.

And mark how another

party, to get rid

of the mystery, as they vainly think, on


the

other side, deny

human

the

free-

agency, and make man a piece of matter,


as a machine.
Neither of these two
things,

when pressed

so as to infringe

himself.

My

dear brethren, one of my objects at


time is, to implore you not to be
turned back from the simplicity of faith,
by plausible talk about the unreasonableness of admitting mysteries. It is a time
this

yet the truth when the foundations of our faith are


admission of both these state- sifted it is a time when we, who are the
ments, as a revelation from God unex- authorized teachers of the faith, ought to
plained.
It is a mystery.
may in- grapple with these siftings, and go to the
deed say more upon this point. Here foundations themselves. It is a time

upon the

other, can be true

lies in the

We

THE BRITISH

64

when we

should be prepared to stand in


our places, and meet the diversity of attacks that are made upon our faith; not

by railing
ing

for railing, but

that the

PULPIT.

the

man

commanding

struck be his

his punishment is enhanced

ficer,

if

of-

the

man struck were the king, his offence is


by sound teach- high-treason, the punishment is death.

minds of our people, being

may

be fortified, not to retort against error, but to


reject the error, and to be quiet.
Now let us take another point in which
God verily hideth himself while he revealeth himself, and in wliich we must
again find a mystery it is in the riches
OF his atoning love in Jesus Christ.
now come to use expressions with
which you are more familiar but if you
will examine the expressions, you will
find that they involve you in a mystery,
in possession of the subject,

Now

mark

throughout;

the offence
it

was

was

striking a

the

same

man; but

the punishment varies with the position

and dignity of the man struck so that


from a petty fine, or a short imprisonment,
for striking one man, the punishment is
magnified into death for striking another
:

man.

Apply

this to an offence against the


God, and see what sort of a punishment such an offence calls for and
who shall bear that punishment ] Lay it
upon a finite creature it will take him
as dark and as inexplicable as either of through all eternity to endure, and he
will never have finished it
for, the puthe two we have hitherto touched upon
either the Trinity of the persons, or the nishment being infinite, it must either be

We

Infinite

absolute sovereignty of disposal in the

infinite in quantity or infinite in time.

Godhead. " God so loved the world that finite creature can have but a finite quanhe gave his only begotten Son, that who- tity, and therefore he must have an inWho shall endure that pusoever believeth in him should not perish, finite time.
but have everlasting life :" " In this was nishment so as to make an end of it?
manifested the love of God, that he gave Whoever does it must have infinite powhis Son to be the propitiation for our er; and yet the punishment to be endured
sins:" "He hath made him to be sin which a man deserves for breaking the
for us who knew no sin, that we might be law of God, must be such a punishment
made the righteousness of God in him." as a man can feel, such punishment as
He hath laid our sins upon him, and his can attach itself to the constitution of a
and yet we have seen that it must
blood " cleanseth from all sin." What man
statements are these 1 For " sin is the be such as can appeal with infinity to
Who shall entransgression of the law :" the law is the claim merit before God.
expression of God's eternal mind and dure it, if there is not a person to endure
truth
not one jot or one tittle of the law it, who, while he has a divine nature to
give infinity to every pang, has a human
can be made void
it must all be fulnature to give infinity to every pang; so
it must all be magnified as the
filled
expression of the righteous character of that every suffering shall apply to us, and
God. An offence against that high and have merit with our God 1 If there be
glorious declaration of God's character not such a sufferer, there is no salvation.
;

is

an offence against himself, the Infinite


The demerit of the offence must
bear proportion to the dignity of the per-

And how can

God.

Here

son offended.

proximate mystery of redemption. Who


God and man one percan explain it?
son as soul and body compose one man,
God and man composing one Christ; so
that the lash of the broken law shall take
effect on human flesh, and the reproaches
deserved by fallen men shall break a human heart ; and yet the person who has
human flesh to be lacerated, and a human
heart to be broken, shall have merit wi

Look how this may be simply illushuman things. Suppose a man


were to commit an offence consisting of
trated in

the act of striking another

man

the pu-

nishment justly awarded to that offender


will vary with the dignity of the person
struck. If the man struck were an equal,
his punishment is comparatively light.
Suppose the offender were a soldier; if

is

there be such a sufferer

the mystery

holy incarnation.

the mysterjr of the

The

incarnation

is

the

MYSTERIES IN RELIGION.

65

God, and shall, instead of being exposed ears so to hear, in human matters, let him
to the punishment throughout eternity, exert those moral powers in this greater
be able to concentrate and to exhaust the matter, and let him hear the love of God
punishment at once.
manifested in his Son. Thus all who hear
Here is a mystery. Now, I am well the gospel are put upon a fresh trial they
persuaded, that it is because of being are transferred from the comparatively
involved in this very mystery, that so untried state of Tyre and Sidon, into the
many of our reasoning and educated fel- deeper trial of Chorazin and Bethsaida.
low countrymen and fellow sinners are, in The result of that truth, owing to the
mind, if not avowedly in creed, rejecting corrupiion of human nature, is, according
But to the Word of Truth, that men love darkthe peculiarities of the atonement.
where is the reason, where is the judg- ness rather than light, because their deeds
ment, where is the superior discernment, are evil ; and that they all, with one conof refusing the proximate lesson, because sent, begin to make excuse. Then what
of being involved in an ultimate mystery 1 must be the consequence 1
If all, with
Let me appeal again to the astronomer one consent, begin to make excuse, if it
and to the anatomist; and let me send be the universal characteristic that they
:

these reasoning Socinians, or others,

who

atonement because of the mystery


let me send them back to school, to
learn where there is any science without a
mystery. Let us turn them to their own

reject the

how

hearts, to see

the

love darkness rather than light, then is


the light cast out.

reasonable being

mysterious visitant within shall enable


to move the fingers and hands without; and when they have explained all

and made it perfectly clear, then let


us hear their reasoning (but not before)
this,

who

way
God

pivot, on

or other,

so

trial,

it

would

be,

when every

hears the words of

the gospel, is put, as

movement of some moral

them

And

but that, in that moral

it

which he

were, upon a
one

is to turn

and incline to the love of

or the love of sin

when

the love

overcome him, brings him


down, and he is making excuses, when
of sin has

they are all, with one consent, making


excuses then comes the grace of God,
And )'et again when the glorious the effectual energy of salvation, by the
statements connected with the work and power of the Holy Ghost, turning the
person of Jesus Christ, God and man in sinner on the right side of this pivot, and
one person, are made in the hearing of securing him to God for ever.
This is the way of salvation ; if it
men, they proclaim such a manifestation
of God's love towards man, as is calcu- were not for this, there would be no sallated to put every reasonable being upon vation at all, after all that Christ has
enough is done for every done. This is the transcribing into the
a moral trial
man that has the reason of a man, and book of the church, the names that are
that hears the Word of God, to put him written in the book of life.
upon a moral trial a trial between the
This is God, in the energy of hi9
love of sin and the love of God the love SAVING POWER, BV THE HoLY GkOST.
of God manifested in Christ, and claim- Now here there is a mystery
for if man
ing the sinner's love in return, and the be so fallen, that the moral trial he is put
love of sin, experienced in the heart and upon by the statements of redemption
flesh, holding the sinner a willing cap- in Jesus Christ, would invariably turn
To this the Saviour appeals when against him, and if God knows this, then
tive.
he says, " He that hath ears to hear, let it seems to our reasoning mind very like
him hear." He that hath natural capaci- a mockery of our misery and indeed it
ties to hearken to other subjects, to be is so denounced by many.
Here the real
influenced by what he hears, to be in- reason is, that they will not have a mysduced to undertake self-denying labours tery they will judge God to be a God
upon the authority of evidence given, that does not hide himself; but that
and the practical power of that evidence while he proclaims himself a Saviour,
over his moral composition he that hath he should leave nothing still hidden.

against a mystery in religion.


:

Vol.

n.

f2

THE BRITISH

66

PULPIT.

"Whereas, thong-h known as a Saviour,


is yet a God that hideth himself in
many particulars, and in this among- the
rest. There is honesty in his invitations,
" Look unto me, and be ye saved." There

the subject matter of the dispute is alto-

honesty in the statement, " As 1 live,


I have no pleasure in the death of him
Why will ye die !" There
that dieth.
is honesty in the command, " Repent and
believe the gospel, and ye shall be s^ved."
There is honesty in the promise, " Ask,

The evidence for the fact of the revelation


is let down to the men
it stands en histo-

and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall


knock, and it shall be opened unto
find
you ;" and there is truth in the statement,
that, "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." And here is
a mysterious connexion between the possession of the outward means and the
reception of the inward power. It is in
the means, and yet not invariably in the
means. "Faith cometh by hearing;" yet
How is this? God,
not to all that hear.
verily thou dost hide thyself from us.
And shall we refuse these facts upon the
face of revelation, because the admission
Let
of them involves us in a mystery

a moral

he

is

"?

me

ask again, where is the superior discernment of this, where is the judgment
in this case to blot out these pages from
the Bible, because they involve us in a
mystery by their admission or again to
admit that we are as little children, and
:

to receive the facts of our divine philoso-

phy? The

facts of our divine

philosophy

are the verses and the chapters of this

book;
would

and he

is

no philosopher

reject a single fact, because

who
it

in-

volved him in a difficulty, or opposed


some previous theory. Nay, how is all
sound philosophy followed, and prosecuted unto truth, but by holding men's
theories in abeyance, under the command
of fresh facts, so that fresh facts shall
rectify theories, and theories shall be
prostrated before facts

And

so should

gether changed immediately.

should

only say of such persons, or of such a


state of things, at present, that the evi-

dence

for the revelation is not

mysterious.

rical

testimony;

it

stands in

its

miracu-

lous authority before the eyes of men, cor-

roborated by facts, and handed


authentic testimony.

demonstration, connected with

the character of the

first

promulgators of

the truth, as involves the


the revelation

in

greater

credulousness, than those

But

men who deny


absurdity of

who

receive

that is not our present subject;

a separate

own

down by

stands in such

It

place.

about

it

and important
All

am

at present is,

si

bject in its

concerned to say
that the evidence

for the origin of the revelation is not

terious

it

is

let

it.

it is

down

mys-

within the reach

human science and human inquiry,


and any man who refuses to inquire about
it, and denies it in ignorance, deserves
the consequences.
Here, then, my brethren, I have invited
you to contemplate God in these four aspects in which he is set before us
some
statements in each made clear, brought
forward into the front ground of the picture; and in each a mystery hanging, in
the dimness of the horizon, upon us.
And what would we have as creatures!
Would we stand upon such a pinnacle,
" Vain
that there shall be no horizon ?
man would be wise, though he be born
like the ass's colt :" and because he has
intelligence enough to perceive that there
is a mystery, and pride enough to refuse
to submit to it, he abuses the reason and
of

intelligence in the pride of refusing

what

he might know, because he cannot know


what God still keeps secret. Be ye reconciled to mysteries ; and be ye satisfied
with revelation. These are the statements, my brethren, this is the view of

men's judgment be before verses of the


Bible; for these are facts from God.
Now one expression more, one topic things, this is the combination of truth,
briefly touched upon, is necessary here, for which our forefathers bled in this
without attempting to explain thfe
for the force of the moral land
I perceive
demonstration I am offering you step by mysteries, they asserted and reasserted
You find them in
step, evidently rests on the reception of the facts of the case.
If a man the formularies of the church
the perthis book as God's revelation.
jsay, " I deny these verses are revelation," son of God, declared with simplicity and
:

MYSTERIES IN REUGION.
plainness, and

You

not attempted to be ex-

67

are aware of the sentiments

it

has

God to allow me to utter in this


claimed with equal simplicity and plain- place, to many of you who were present
Now, my dear
ness, in the evident purpose which he on the late occasions.
God

pro-

plea^ed

purposed in Christ Jesus; the all-sufficiency of the atonement in the blood of


Jesus, proclaimed distinctly; and the

friends,

mysterious combination of God and man


in one person, declared, but not explained
and the invincible energy of the

were

plained

the sovereignty of

winning the

power of the Holy

Spirit in

will of the sinner.

And being made

will-

ing

in

the day of God's power, he shall

run

in

the

way

commandment,
knowledge of God

of God's

and delight in the


himself; and so go on

in

good works,

desire exceedingly to bear in

mind myself, and


fellow

our

it

in

to call the attention

men throughout

my power

out

making a vigorous
preach

which our fatiiers bled in this land


these are the boundary marks which they
have set up for us to exclude " philosophy falsely so called," and to exclude, on
the other side, the abuses of the mystery
to which I briefly alluded at first, by
heaping up more mysteries, and more
mediators, which the Romish system

various

in

his

for

had so largely introduced.

we are in
church, we h^ve,

Armed

on

both sides

the formularies of

the

in

so to do, to the

alarm that is spread, and the danger that


hovers over the church in the sister kingdom. How frightfully she has neglected
With what awful apathy hath
her duty
she sat by while millions of her fellow
creatures were ignorant of the language,
the only language they could speak, withto

God

heart,

of

land,

retribution of Divine Providence in the

and dictated by the glory of his


heavenly Father in this life, unto eternal
salvation
I say these are the statements

arising out of the love of

this

their

ecclesiastical effort

people in

the gospel to the

own tongue

How hath

she reposed

quietness within her


mansions, while hundreds and
thousands of the people have been like
sheep going astray without a shepherd,
or left to the prowling wolves w^ho would

in

her ease and

And now, when


devour and rend them
the retribution comes, when the hand of
!

God

is

turned to chastise the negleclod

daughter,
cry

now an alarm, and next an


And truly, my dear

raised.

is

out-

bre-

thren, the negligence deserves chastise-

in the formularies of the church.

ment: but negligence in a child, and a


own, a child of the same
family, of the same sentiments, based on
the same foundation, belonging to the
same Father with ourselves negligence
does not call for destruction. For amendment chastisement unto amendment is

them

a righteous thing.

truth,

been but

exhibiting in a more enlarged form, and

rendering with more distinctness to your


understandings, as

God hath

permitted

me, the statements which are compressed


into an attitude of defence against heresy

Hold
meddle not with them who
love to change such truths. My brethren,
it is most deplorable to think how the
best things become abominable, when
abused by man's mismanagement; and
there is no instance of this more deplorable than the way in which these very
formularies of the church have been
abused the way in which the church
itself has been abu ed
the way in which
that which ought to have been for the salfast:

vation of the united en:pire, has, through

child that is our

We

see in the pro-

he is a God that
" hideth himself" from those that will
not see ; but in his ways there is a reve-

gress

how God works

lation to those

who

will see.

We

see the

righteous retribution of Providence, tl

coming where negligence has


been long practised. You find it in your
own affairs, in your relative and domestic
condition, throughout all your business:
if in any particular you have l>een negligent, if, after repeated warnings, you
trouble

pride, through unbelief, through worldly-

have continued negligent, be sure thy sin


will find thee out; domestic trouble, rela-

minded ness, become the cause of conten-

tive

negligence, through slotcfulness, through

tion,
strife

and is likely to be th^ cause of


and even danger in the laad.

losses, failures

in

business, disap-

pointment among friends these will be


the inevitable consequences of continued

THE BIUTISH

68

negligence in business, or inattention to


the practical duties

ot'

PULPIT.

talk about

what

And endowments

friendship.

to

is

be done with the

our forefathers gave,

that

body is no exception to the age of endowments seems to be gone


negligence be practised entirely. What! shall the shade of
more and more, let warnings be rejected, popery rise up, and say with scorn and
let neglect be persevered in, in despite contempt at our better creed, " We were
the church as a
rule

this

let

of warning, and the secret reproaches of the endowers chiefly; we were they tha*
conscience ; and I say, God forbid that gave thousands to build places of worIf we ship ; and you find it difficult to gather ?
should be hundred pounds to clear a debt." Takf
ruined.
I believe it is in the righteous away the reproach, as far as lies in you.
chastisements of a wise and watchful as regards this place at least; and let the
Father that the preservation of the child collection now made, be made from libe-

our Father should not chastise.

were

left

ourselves

to

we

ral hearts

consists.

and loving hearts, to the honour


is worshipped here in spirit

aware of the peculiar object of Him who


connected with our present meeting to- and in truth.

You

are

gether in this place, as regards the conease of your assembling

tinuance and

My

dear friends,

renewed, and (as

I thank God for this


have already hinted)

yourselves together here, and the relief for the present, the last opportunity of
of this place of worship from a debt that declaring these truths in your ears.
I

hangs over it. It is connected with


If the truth I
I have been saying.
have been telling you is the truth preachif this be (as we beed from this place
lieve it is) a member of the church we
belong to, the formularies of the church
honoured here, the truth of God proclaim-

believe
and not from mere fancy, but
from very satisfactory and delightful evidence from time to time conveyed to me
that he hath not suflfered me to speak
altogether in vain from this place. Hearts
there are which have been touched and
melted under the truth, and which have
ed within these walls then, brethren, thanked God in secret, and who have
by all the value you set upon this truth, from time to time given expression of
I would again avail myself of this last their sentiments to myself also, of what
lingering opportunity of addressing you the Lord has done for them under the
(it may be) for a considerable period, to ministry of the Word from my unworthy
ask your liberality to free this place from lips. Blessed be the Lord God Almighty,
The days of large the Saviour, for these things I shall bear
this encumbrance.
endowments seem to be at an end. Men an aflfectionate remembrance towards the
talk of despoiling the church of her en- flock assembling in this place: and I would
dowments, but we hear of few who endow aflTectionately entreat you to bear me upon
her afresh as some of our forefathers en- the sacrifice and service of your faith bedowed her. There have been men of fore God that, in the large and populous
large possessions in this world, who have sphere where I am now called to labour,*
built such places as this, and larger places God would help me with great power
than this,from their own private resources. and teaching of his Holy Spirit to speak
Sacrifices they must needs have made; the truth in the love of it, with singleness
but they had a Master who recompensed of heart, to honour God, and to desire the

still

what

them
loss.

for the loss, if

Alas,

how

it

could be called a

closely calculating have

our pecuniary sacrifices become for the


sake of the gospel, and with what rigid
econontiy do

we

dole out help for such

occasions as the present!


Bear this reproach, my brethren it is
not said in unkindness to you personally
:

salvation of all

my
that

God,

it

who

shall be intrusted to

Dear Christian

charge.

may

be so

and

friends, pray

beseech our

in the tender love of his dear

Son
your

Jesus Christ, to minister to

all

hearts in

anxieties

all

the

affectionate

that you feel in private about your friends

and relations ; in all the trembling apprebut from a feeling in which hensions that you experience for your
While we so
St. Mary's Church, Liverpool.
I participate with shame.

far

from

it;

MYSTERIES IN RELIGION.
own

60

your doubtfulness re- situations of life even in the midst of


specting his truth, and labouring study necessary business, let your hearts stir
of his word
praying for divine teaching, up with ejaculatory prayer, catching a
in all the difficulties of your relative situ- blessing from God every hour of the day.
ations, in all the turmoil of necessary Walk with God.
business, and the frequent interruptions
And what shall I say more ? The time
of those meditations which compose your would fail me to give utterance to what
chiefest joy that in all these things, and my heart contains to my Christian friends.
the variety of the plague of the experi- Dear brethren, the peace of God, with all
ence of the inner man in evpry believing that that contains, of the great God
souls

in all

soul, the unction of the Holy One may Father, Son, and Holy c'host
the blessbe full, and rich, and powerful, preserv- ing which is richly laden in Christ Jesus
ing you from all evil, making you dili- in our nature, which is conveyed in faith,
gent in business, fervent in spirit, serving which is applied and experienced in and
the Lord, with all prayer and supplication by the Holy Ghost, the blessing of God
for all saints
with prayer for all that are which brings his love down, which draws
in authority, for our king, for those who your love upwards, which assimilates
rule under him, for all ministers of reli- you to him, which conforms your characgion
that we may be godly and quietly ter to his, and gives the mind that was
governed, and in all possess a patience in Jesus to the members of Jesus ; the
under the various provocations of domes- blessing of God which bringeth heaven
tic life ; that you may have self-posses- upon earth, that it may take you and
sion, self-command, self-denial, that the make you heirs of heaven
the blessing
various little difficulties which thwart of God be amongst you
and distress from day to da}^ may be
And if there be a man or woman here
warded off by a willingness to yield, as present who is yet a stranger to these

far as

truth will permit you, for peace'

sake.

As

far as lieth in

you,

my

beloved

things, and

grace,

knows

may God,

not the
in his

power of

infinite

this

mercy,

I have now been permitted


say a blessing to such one. Let a
mystery be recognised let objections be
formity is not necessar)' to unity.
O given up; let the vain strugglings of a
bear with one another.
There are diver- proud understanding be prostrated ; O
sities far more than in men's hearts who let your hearts be touched.
Fellow sinlove the truth.
You are nearer one an- ner, believe in God, believe also in Jesus
other than you think, in conversation yield to your own conscience
seek the
after
the proof is, when you kneel Holy Ghost ask, and ye shall receive,

brethren, be at peace

amongst yourselves, render what

be at unity amongst yourselves. Bear


with one another, remembering that uni-

to

down
are

to pray,

you held

conversation

how much more closely


together than when your
controversial.

is

of

holiness

among

yourselves.

is true.

MEXTAL DISCIPLINE FOR DIVIXES AND

re-

from all sin, refrain from all falsehood, from all misrepresentation in society, from all exaggeration of reports,
from all slandering, from all traducing of
a neighbour behind his back.
I beseech you, brethren, be ye holy,
Walk closely with
for God is holy.
God, be much in private, secret prayer
as much as lieth in you in your various

STU-

DENTS IN THEOLOGY.

among

you, and less of willingness to discover differences.


There is
strength in unity
be strong in the unity
frain

God

let

there be more, then, of the unity of the


Spirit

for

L Reflect much

on the indispensa-

ble and transcendent importance of per-

sonal religion.

H. Aim, with the most conscientious


solicitude, at purity of motive in all your

ministerial engagements.

HL

Repress, to the utmost, the feelings of vanity and pride, and the undue
desire of popular applause.

IV. Let the grand points in religion


have their due prominence in your discourses.

THE BRITISH

70

PULPIT.

utmost
XXI. Do full justice to the talents and
V. Aim,
excellencies of other ministers, without
eeriousness and earnestness of manner.
VI. Let a deep sense of responsibility the spirit of rivalry or jealousy.
in preaching, at the

at the divine tribunal secure ministerial


fidelity.

VII. Let there be

in

your discourses

the utmost clearness of discrimination


between ths two great classes of charac-

XXII. Deem it not justifiable for a


Christian pastor to indulge, beyond certain limits, in the pursuits of literature

and science,

XXIII. Suffer not the pressure of


which your hearers must necessa- public engagements to contract unduly

ters of

the exercises of private devotion.

rily consist.

Vlli. Let pointed appeals

to the heart,

XXIV. Guard

against levity of spirit

and direct applications to the conscience, and demeanour.


XXV. Cherish the
form a prominent feature in your disIX.

Do

ality to

which

strictest purity of

thought, of sentiment, and of demeanour.

courses.
not aim at a degree of originwhich you are not equal, or of

the subject under consideration


does not admit.
X. Study assiduously the best way of
access to the human mind.

XXVI.

Cultivate and display the most

delicate sense of honour, in all the inter-

courses of

life.

XXVII. Remember

the pre-eminent
importance of prudence and discretion.
XXVIII. Study and display that courtesy, which is the essence of true polite-

XI. In your preparations for the pulendeavour to derive from the subject ness.
XXIX. Observe punctuality in all your
on which you are about to preach, that
spiritual benefit which you wish your engagements.
XXX. Do not hastily abandon a stahearers to receive.
XII. Attach due importance to the tion of usefulness, in which you have

pit,

devotional parts of public worship, and acquired a moral influence.


Rev. H. F. Burder.
be solicitous to conduct them in a spirit
of evangelical fervour.
XIII. Cherish earnest desires, and enSCRIFTURZ! II<.USTRi\.TIOX78.
couraging expectations of success.
XIV. Exercise an humble and entire
NO. I.
dependence on the promised influences
The sun shall not smite thee hy day, nor the
of the Holy Spirit.
XV. Endeavour to adopt the most moon by night. Ps. cxxi. 6.
Mr. Carne, in his "Letters from the
interesting and efficient methods of coninstruction
to
the East," has observed, "the eflFect of the
veying religious
moonlight on the eyes in this country
young.
XVI. Endeavour to regulate, on prin- (Egypt) is singularly injurious. The
ciples which an enlightened conscience natives tell you, as I found afterwards
will approve, the time devoted to pastoral they also did in Arabia, always to cover
your eyes when you sleep in the open
visits and friendly intercourse.
XVII. Cultivate, with daily solicitude, air. It is rather strange that the above
passage in the Psalms should not have
spirituality of mind.
XVIII. Cultivate, and display. Chris- been thus illustrated, as the allusion
The moon here really
tian zeal for the general interests of true seems direct.
strikes and affects the sight when you
religion, both at home and abroad.
XIX. Propose to yourself as a model sleep exposed to it, much more than the
sun a fact of which I had a very unthe character of the apostle Paul.
XX. Guard against every approach to a pleasant proof one night, and took care
Indeed,
sectarian and party spirit; and cherish to guard against it afterwards.
the feeling of Christian love to all who the sight of a person who should sleep
embrace the faith and " adorn the doc- with his face exposed at night, would
soon be utterly impaired, or destroyed."
trine" of the gospel.

SERMON

VI.

THE SOUL AN OBJECT OF BENEVOLENT SYMPATHY AND REGARD.

BY THE REV.

'

The

He

J.

that winneth souls is wise."

men form of spivery different from that


which they form of temporal tnings. A
estimate which

ritual things

is

much

our alara is temporal evil


is

the object of

spiritual

evil

excites our pity dad kindles

our compassion

but an individual pe-

rishing in ignorance and dyiii^j in

sin,

Now, this is
no compassion.
what might have been expected to have
been the case, as to those who are avowedly infidels, who profess no sort of solicitude whatever, beyond that which terminates in the body and in time; but
what, I say, is the case as to multitudes
excites

of those

who make

a profession of a belief

in the inspiration of the Bible'?

many

xi. 30.

up the substance of the land

eat

and

that there will be nothing left to clothe

the orphan, to feed the hungry, to sustain

widow

And

yet,

of those are quite indifferent to the

spiritual wretchedness which is multiplied


around them ; and not only are they indifferent to it themselves, but they frown
upon others who are endeavouring to meet
it, and, in some measure to diminish it.

According

to

them we

are,

the

erful

ambition and pursuit as temporal good.


An individual who is the victim of temporal

Prov.

and they affect to feel a powsympathy with the temporal ilV; of


with tlie physical wretchednot so much the object of our mankind

spiritual evil is not so

good

BEAUMONT.

E.

by our

folly,

ness of

human

of

it,

sent,

most philosophical individual pre-

that Christianity, and Christianity

alone, has done

temporal

ills

who

thus

not only do

nothing towards them, but who scorn and


sneer at those whose object it is to turn
the sinner from the error of his ways.
I know that the objection which they
bring forward, often shrouds itself under
that, what with our
this accusation
Sabbath Schools, and what with one

thing and another,

we

shall absolutely

for the relief of the

was

done by philosophy, human reason, hu-

man

policy,

human

sagacity, or

humanity

from the beginning of the world


down to this hour. There never was a
grosser fallacy than that which would
teach and represent, that the influence of
Sabbath-school institutions, and kindred
institutions, will dry up the sources of
relief for the temporal ills of mankind.
itself,

But

I will

venture to say this

much

that

as to those societies and institutions, the

anotiier set of

who

more

of mankind, than ever

must be a great

underrate our efforts

multiplied

the most learned, the most histori-

cal, the

object of which

faith or in the feelings of those

it is

our enthusiasm, and our fanaticism, turning the world upside down. Now, there
error in this, either in the

nature, as

around them and yet I will venture to


say
for we cannot stop now to go into
the matter, but I throw it off as an assertion and I challenge any one to the proof

ills

is

the relief of the physical

of mankind, you will find

names

it

is

not

occupy the reports of these institutions, from the names


of those who fill the reports of your Sabbath Schools, your Bible Societies, your
Mission Institutions, and your other conthat

federacies for the diminution of spiritual


evil ; the fact is, they are the same indi-

and since
Sabbath Schools and
other kindred institutions, there has been
far more done for the relief of the tem71

viduals that contribute to both


the

formation

of

THE BRITISH

72
poral

ills

of

mankind than ever was done

before.

And however much we may

feel affect-

ed and distressed at the thought of the


abounding of human wretchedness around
us, there never was a tii if when 90 many
feet were at'tually moving to the abodes
of wretchedness, so meny hands actually
dealing out bounty for the relief of the
needy, as at this time and, therefore, I
could not this evening, if my object was
to plead for one of these institutions
;

which aim

at the relief of the physical

mankind, render such

distress of
tions

more

institu-

effectual service, than b}' turn-

PULPIT.
I

To direct

propose this evening. First,

YOUR ATTENTION TO THE OBJECT WHICH


IS HERE PROPOSED TO OUR BENEVOLENT
SYMPATHIES AND REGARD THE SOULS OP
Secondly, To the duty which is
MEN
HERE ENJOINED UPON US, IN REFERENCE
And
TO THIS OBJECT TO WIN THEM.
ThirdJy, We shall notice the commendation THAT IS pronounced UPON
THE MAN THAT WINNETH SOULS " He

THAT WINNETH SOULS

IS

WISE."

In selecting this subject, as being directly Jippropriate to the interesting occa-

sion

which has gathered us together at


have at once in view the ulti-

this time, 1

your attention to the spiritual evils of mate object of all Sabbath-school instibecause 1 am quite sure of tutions; for although there are certain
;
one thing that the charity that shall ad- social and civil and domestic and inteldress itself to that, will so warm and lectual advantages, which infallibly must
glow and dilate and expand itself there, grow out of Sabbath- school institutions,
that it will spread to the relief of all the their main, their cardinal, their ultimate
ills of human nature.
object, is the welfare of the souls of those
" He," then, saith Solomon, " that who are their objects. This is what we
winneth souls is wise." Perhaps you have in view. And therefore I proceed

ing,'

mankind

will say to

me,

why

take such a text as

this to address us with"?

Why, u

is

to direct

First,

your attention to.


object here

The

proposed

which marks out the duty of minis- TO our benevolent sympathy and reI grant, indeed, that it GART)
the SOUL OF MAN. Where shall
ters of religion.
is our office and prerogative, and that it I begin, or what words shall I employ,
for
ought to be our daily and nijfhtly an
in discoursing to you of the soul

text

up this
the text found

hourly study and labour to

fill

But where is
announce it to you as a part of the
Did I read it out of
epistle to Timothy ]
the epistle of Paul to Titus ] Did I read it
out of any one of the seven letters which
are contained in the last book of the Bible,
and which were addressed to the ministers
of the seven Asiatic churches ] No I told
you, that the text was in the book of the
Proverbs and that is the people's book

character.

Did

"?

more than the preacher's. And the text


being found in the book of Proverbs,
shows us that every man ought to address

"?

philosophy and theology and


poetry and oratory and history and ethics
have written and said and sung about the

after all that

what a mystery

human

soul,

soul of

man!

Who

In thinking on

it,

it is

The

of us understands it?

let

us endeavour, for a

moment, to fix your attenticn on


nature and frame nf the human soul.

single
the

In nature, then,

it

is

not material

it is

and immaterial. Especially in


addressing such an assembly as this, it
would be improper to show, by any train
of argument, how it is that the soul is
spiritual; I will therefore adopt the only
popular method of showing it, and that
spiritual

himself to this noble enterprise, and that


it should not be considered as appropriate is, by showing that tlie body is divisible,
that it is an aggregate of
to ministers only ; that it should not be or separable
considered as the peculiar and exclusive parts, a congeries of innumerable parduty or prerogative of the ministers of ticles cemented together and, therefore,
religion, or those who fill certain offices when death ensues, the body crumbles to

endeavour to win souls, pieces and that mass which we now call
but that every man is summoned to arouse the body becomes disjointed, and goea
himself to this noble enterprise for the into a million fragments, and these are
text saith, "he that winneth souls is wise." blown and wafted hither and thither ; but

in the church, to

THE SOUL AN OBJECT OF SYMPATHY.


homogeneous substance

the soul is a
it

inseparable.

indivisible, insoluble,

is

And,

when

therefore,

philosophers

accidents happen

knew

tuous enough to

make up the mass which we call tbe


human body, has any effect or influence

soul, in its nature

to

whatever on the composition of the human soul, because the soul is not matter; if it were matter, it would be soluble, it would be divisible, and its parts
would go to pieces. If it were matter,
it would be resolvable
if it were matter,
its parts and particles would be separable; but the soul is not separable, and

therefore

it

not matter,

we know

is

And

not matter.

it is

and must be

if it is

spirit

for

of no other substances but these

is,

is

mysterious

that the soul

is,

and

all

that

presump-

The subwe know

or other, con-

and that

soul leaves the body, the


all

know.

somehow

nected with the body

then there ensues

am

that any philoso-

sa)',

ject

nor

phers, even at this day,

body, with which the soul has now


an affinity, or when a limb shall be taken
away, or more limbs than one, or a considerable portion of the animal economy,
the integrity of the soul remains untouched, indivisible, inseparable.
The
soul remains entire.
No dissociation of
the several parts and particles which go
to the

73

body

when

the

dies,

and

those great physical

changes on the body which make death


so

unwelcome

But

to us.

ficient at present,

and

may

it

just to

be suf-

say, that the

in its frame, is infi-

superior to the body

;
and that
while the body is nothing but an accumulation of parts and particles, the soul
is, in itself, a complete substance, and
undergoes no change, as to its essence,
amid all the contingences to which the
body may be subject. The soul is spiritual, and not material ; and although it
dwells in matter, it is perfectly and entirely distinct from it.
The soul of man Shall we endeavour
to form some estimate of it, by noticing
its Maker, its origin?
Think of the human soul, then, as formed for eternity as
occupying all the attributes of Jehovah in

nitely

two matter and spirit, flesh and mind,


body and soul these make up the whole
of what we know to have any existence
in the universe of God.
its formation
as made in the true image
Now, philosophers have speculated of God as made next in rank and degree,
much about the locality of the soul in though equal in blessedness, to the angethe bod)'.
It was the opinion of Aris- lic multitude.
But how has the gold betotle,
whose philosophy held such a po- come dim how has the most fine gold
tent sway over all Europe, and that for been changed
how has the crown of our
many centuries that the soul of man original dignity fallen from our head
had its local residence in the brain and And yet, this jewel is left, though it is
not, as the popular philosophy teaches, now incrusted only with sin
though it is
in the whole volume of the two hemis- not in the condition it was when it came
pheres of the brain, attached to the whole from the hands of its Maker, still there is
mass of it in the skull but that the soul that about it that tells us something of
dwelt in a small gland in the brain, which what it was. Just as the glory on the
is called the pineal gland
that it abode clouds of the western horizon, after the
there as a bird in a cage
and gave forth, sun has set, tells us that the sun has been

from that very, very small glandular body,

there, although

it

has

set,

so are there

volitions to the nerves, the nerves

seen in the soul of man, in the wreck to

muscles, and the muscles acted on


and so he accounted for the
;
ordinary functions of life.
Whether the
soul is attached to any particular portion
of the brain, or whether it is connected
with the whole volume of the brain, or is

which it has been subjected, traces and


marks of its primeval glory and dignity.
Such is the faculty of reason and the
power of conscience and the compunc-

associated with the whole nervous struc-

man

all its

to the

the bones

it is over the whole body,


nor do I think Aristotle

ture, ramified as

know not
knew nor do

Vol. II. 10

know

that

any of the old

tions of remorse that attend the footsteps

of the sinner, record the

power of

the hu-

conscience still.
Shall we endeavour to think of the
human soul, by forming a notion of its
capacities

and facuUies and properties

THE BRITISH

74

of the
of
of the
the heart of the creations of genius
of
the glow of enterprise the
proving
son the voice of conscience

Think of

its

poWfer of thought

re-

memory

cording pen of

tablet

light
;

man

rea-

all

PULPIT.

voice

It is the soul that is

within

it is

the flood of thought and feeling that gives


to the

human

powwhich it possesses. Think,


power over matter It can convoice that million fold

er and variety
too, of its

and
and thus after the spirit shall
may sublimate matter even to infinity
have fluttered away from the world, it
you may throw it from crucible to cruci- will still be acting on minds, generations
you may make it perform a million off; and though it shall have left the
ble
of transitions as to its form and condition ; world, yet, by having memorialized its
but you can never produce the power of own discoveries, and having committed

to us that the soul of


tellectual,

is spiritual, in-

You

immortal.

immaterial,

vey the
tablets

spirit of discoveries to notes

thought from matter.


it

No

modification of them

will ever give rise to a single thought

but the soul has the power of thought.


Think, too, of its power of knowledge.
Rivers have their limits, the ocean has its
bounds, but the soul of man wanders on
and on, exploring invisible and distant
objects.
It plunges into the abysses of
creation, past and present
it ascends to
the very footsteps of the eternal throne,
to which it has been invited by the Saviour, and is stayed there only by the
glory of him who sits upon it; and if,

like the child of ambition, of

to^ has

whom

his-

he had conquered the world he sat down and wept,


because there were no more worlds to
told us, that w^^lien

so, if the human soul ever


conquer,
could acquire so much knowledge as that

suppose there was no more


knowledge to gain, it, too, would weep,
because it could acquire no more. If
Sir Isaac Newton had been alive at this
day, from the day in which he flourished,
he would have been learning still. What
a wonder is the human mind and this
power of knowledge, which is the prerogative of it, will be found throughout
eternity to be one source of our happiness
i^one spring of our enjoyment.
Then, think of its power of pleating !
How it can charm by description dazzle
by comparison enliven by wit convince

it

should

by argument. thrill, captivate, and carry


Think of its power
away by eloquence
of acting on matter in the glow of painting in the symmetry of architecture in
!

the beauty of sculpture

ing tones of music, and

all

riety of intonations of the

For, what

is

less variety to

in the

enchant-

the vast va-

human

voice

to something or other that shall


hand them downward to posterity, man
may be said to live onward, as it were,
through an indefinite series.

But, in thinking of the soul, let


take

scriptural

the

me

way, and the way


of you will immedi-

which I am sure all


ately sympathize with, in endavouring to
prove its value, and that is, by observing
that the soul must be of inestimable

value, for its redemption has been effected

by Jesus

have intimated

Christ.

ready, that the soul of

man has

fallen

what must be

man

is lost

al-

that

from his high estate.

O,

the value of the soul in the

estimation of Almighty God, when he did


not think it too much to give his own Son
in order to

ransom

it

God

so loved the

world yes, God so loved the soul now


you shall estimate its value, if you can

God so loved the


deem it and save

soul, that in order to re-

it, he gave up his only


O, go in devout contemplation to Gethsemane, and see the Son
of God covered over with sweat and
blood, and hear the plaintive accents
which burst from his lips when he said,
" My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even

begotten Son

Follow him to mount Calvary ; to the bowing of the head and the
giving up of the ghost yon sun hid its
unto death."

face

the

the earth wrapt itself in

rocks burst asunder

very centre shook, and

mourning

nature

felt that

to its

her Lord

was suffering and dying


O, if you can
fathom the depth if you can span the
length
if you can soar to the height of
!

Son of God if you


can weigh the tears and the blood which
he shed
if you can measure the sighs
the sufferings of the

which gives such end- and the sobs that he heaved, then, but
the intonations of the human not till then, will you be able to learn the

that

THE SOUL AN OBJECT OF SYMPATHY.

God

Son of

75

as to the past part of his


soul, however, is not eter-

value of the human soul


God gave up his life to ransom the soul of existence. The
man. When v/e are, from certain circum- nal in that sense it was created coeval
stances, incapable of estimating; the value with the body: but a ^ar/e^os/, that is,
of any given object that may be presented as to the futrj-e part of its existence, the
to our notice or contemplation, from our duration of the human soul to come, will
incapacity or the limited nature of our run on in parallel lines with the duration
understanding and other mental faculties, of the throne of God. And as to the
for the

16 eternal

speculations which have been entered into


by philosophers and divines, as to whether
the soul is naturally immortal or not, I,
may
though the human soul mocks our efforts for my part, can see no weight in the
and eludes our touch and though neither question ; it is no matter whether it is so
poetry, nor theology, nor philosophy, nor naturally, as a special donation from heaif

can only find out, from some source


what the object cost, then we
and
form an idea of its value

we

or other,

history have ever done

we may know its


when we find out

justice

it

some

value, in

it,

man,
his

if

own

he gain the whole world and lose


soul ]"

moment

soul, let us think for a

the gift of

be applied to the duration of the human


soul, and that is a w^ord which you underwhich the
stand just as well as 1 do
peasant comprehends the meaning of as
well as the philosopher that is, the word
ETERNITY. Eternity thou word of solemn and mysterious import, thou art the
only word that can be applied to the du-

can trace

eternity

man

And what

is

That question has been asked

again and again, and wise

have answered

must confess

me

it

in

men and

sages

ways.

different

that the

answer

that

has

most appropriate, is the


answer furnished by a boy in a Sunday-

struck

school.
nity

as the

He was

asked,

After a pause, the

What

little

is eter-

boy

said

not, indeed, a very little boy, but he

Almighty

It is appli-

cable to the lifetime of the Almighty


as

it is

said a parte ante,

that

it

and a parte post,

wood

to death, but you can go no


your own observations. But

it

furtlier in

that death does not terminate


that
that it is immortal

we know

existence

its

existence runs on through endless


O, how valuable then is the huages.
its

man

soul

Perhaps

this

may

part of the subject


itself

which

is

suffice,

namely,

proposed

to

on the

first

the object

your bene-

volent sympathies and exertions. I find


that I am to advocate the cause, this

evening, of some nine hundred of these


There are some nine hundred insouls.
dividuals
the

who

are receiving instruction in


are making their

two schools, who

annual appeal to your benevolence this


and every one of these nine
hundred souls is thus valuable, as I have
stated to you, and far more valuable than

was evening

one attending a Sunday-school


Eternity
I defy
is the lifetime of the Almighty.
a divine to give a better answer. I defy
any man on earth to furnish a more satisEternity, indeed, is the
factory answer.
lifetime of the

for us to

is so thick, the forest


so dense, you cannot go after it, but you
hear it dashing on by the furiousness of its
So it is with the human soul ; you
roar.

the

is

ration of the soul of

enough

Like a mighty river,


the track of which you can follow from
region to region and from soil to soil,
but which, at last, bewildered, you lose,
by the river entering into a deep and imbowered wood, you can follow it no
further

this is a

It is

never, never dies.

bewildering subject on
the endless duration of the souPs existence.
There is only one word that can

though

God.

that the soul is immortal

know

In forming an estimate of the

Again.

human

is, tliat it is so,

or other, either naturally or as

somehow

that God, in order to


gave up Jesus Christ, his onlybegotten Son ; and we do not wonder,
therefore, that Jesus Christ should exclaim, as he did, " What shall it profit a

save

we know

All that

ven.

yet,

sort,

any language of mine, or that of any


other, can by any possibility represent:
and therefore, if, before we close the subwe should assume something like an
earnestness of appeal, you will bear along

ject,

with us when

we come

to that appeal,

THE BRITISH

76

PULPIT.

because it is an appeal on behalf of two edges of the sword ; and you know
nearly a thousand souls; and I ask, the mother of harlots has endeavoured
whether it is not an appeal which calls to ride over the world, to enslave the in-

something like earnestness on behalf tellect, and bend down the human soul,
of the individual intrusted with such an and bring souls to God in that way; but
for

advocacy as

this,

and

for

something

liberality on the part of those to


is

made

like

whom

it

souls are not so to be got


they must be
sweetly drawn, not dragged, not driven.

You know,

must be very

especially as

far as the

being well aware children of Sunday-schools are concerned,


how many may be inconvenienced and and all other children, that a sweetness
oppressed, from the extremely crowded of manner is preferable to power of argustate of this audience, and I pass on to ment; and though the p^ower of arguconsider,
ment may do something with some of the
Secondly,
The conduct described in more philosophical and stoical members
THE TEXT, IN REFERENCE TO THIS OBJECT, of the human family, yet that which is
AND RECOMMENDED TO OUR ADOPTION BY to win and fascinate and touch the heart
THE WISE MAN. " He that winneth souls of a child, is the sweetness and softness
of love.
And in fact, it is that which
is wise."
He that
I hardly need detain you for one mo- touches the heart of any man.
ment in the way of a word of caution. knows well the mechanism of the human
By winning of souls, in the text, as ap- heart, has told us, that the cords of love
plied to men, we are not to understand and the bands of man are what must be
that we can win them as principals.
No used and if you want to bind a man,
it is only as instruments and accessories.
you must not attempt to bind him down
Christ is the ransomer of the soul
that by the cable rope of philosophical arguwe have seen already, and that you will ment, but by throwing around him the
He it is who hath soft and silken cords of love. That, and
bear in your minds.
won them that hath bought them that that alone, will bind a man down.
hath ransomed them
that hath purchased
As instruments we are to labour to win
them that hath done the great thing souls. How, then, is it to be done ?
which we never could have done for them.
First,
are to endeavour to win
But though we cannot win them as prin- them by instruction The soul of man is
cipals, we may win them as instruments naturally ignorant.
Knowledge is wantand accessories. This is what you are ed knowledge is delightful to the mind
summoned to labour and to attempt to do.
knowledge is agreeable to the soul as
" He that winneth souls is wise." This light is to the eye or honey to the palate.
has been rendered by a French commen- The soul of man when first created was
tator,
" He that sweetly draweth souls created in the image of God in the
Now, I know
to God, rnaketh a holy conquest of them :" image of his knowledge.
and of all the versions of the golden that it is possible that knowledge might
but I have
sentence which I have taken for my text, be communicated by miracle
there is none that seems to me to fall in no right to expect that it will be so comI

brief,

We

with the meaning so fully, as that of


Diodoret,
" He that sweetly draweth
souls to God, maketh a holy conquest of
them." Souls are not to be got by compulsion
souls are not to be driven.
You may apply your instruments of torture to every inch of the surface of the
body, and the body may be within sight
and within feeling of death, but the soul
will not be a slave, and spurns the
thought of slavery. You know Mahomet
pushed his conquest with the point and

God

might communicate
mind of man directly,
as he did to the minds of the prophets and
There was a direct communiapostles.
cation of knowledge, of the material, the
element of knowledge a direct inspiration into the minds of the prophets and
apostles but we have no reason whatever
to suppose, that in that way knowledge
will ever be communicated again. Knowledge is to be communicated, now, from
mind to mind from one to another.
municated.

knowledge

to the

THE SOUL AN OBJECT OF SYMPATHY.


Thus

the very prophets were to

nicate

what they had

commn-

to the people

and
j

thus the apostles were to go into

all

the

77

dle, Christ the beginning, Christ the end.

Nothing will touch the heart of a child so


soon, or so deeply, as to hear the story

Babe of Bethlehem

of

Man

world, to communicate their knowledge

of the

every creature. Thus, then, the man


who has knowledge is bound to communicate it to the man who has not.

of Sorrows on the hill of Calvary, in the

to

And

as to

Thus,
tomb of Joseph of Arimathea
then, let us communicate instruction, and
the method of communicating by knowledge labour to win the souls of

instruction, especially in a Sabbath-school

am

the

not talking about other schools

the language should be plain, familiar,

the children.

Secondly, W^e must do


sion

it

by persua-

for the soul is not only ignorant,

and simple. Illustrations may be brought but perverse. Its ignorance calls for illufrom science and nature; but this we mination, and its perverseness and obmust take care to do in such a way as to stinacy call for entreaty and persuasion.
make all these, as instruments, subser- Therefore, we are to employ, as the means
In the month of of persuasion, every argument and motive
vient to spiritual good.
July or August, if you saw a corn field that can be drawn from the soul, in all its
covered with flowers of every hue and value the love of God in giving his Son
the solemnities of
size and colour, the spectator might be in order to save it
the glory of
a day of judgment
gratified with the sight, and the mere death
traveller might be amused with the spec- heaven, and the terrors of hell. You must
the proprie- take the unconvinced up to mount Sinai,
tacle ; but not so the owner
tor, the farmer
he would have every that he may gaze on the mountain burnflower torn up by the root, and thrown ing with fire ; but you must take the
over the hedge
he does not want his humble and meek and penitent, to mount
field covered with poppies,but with wheat. Calvary; and let the thunders of Sinai
Plainness of speech, then, is necessary. be quenched by the sweet accents of CalDo not represent Sinai and CalIt is remarked by Job Orton, in his Me- vary.
moirs of Dr. Doddridge, that, having once vary as two hostile forts, but as two impreached about the primitive Christians, pregnable foi tresses, to break down ignowhen one day, walking, a person came up rance, depravity, and sin. An air of
to him and asked, what sort of Christians seriousness finely softened down with
"I told alFectionate tenderness, is that which we
the primitive Christians were ]
him," said the biographer, " they were the ought to endeavour to cultivate. Never
and I took care, ever court a grin when you should win a soul.
first Christians
after, to use the phrase, first Christians, Seriousness of manner, combined with
and not the primitive Christians." And affectionateness of spirit, are the charms
we should use we are to employ the artillery we are
so it is as to children
easy and not hard words words easily to command. We are to clothe our words
cut on the tablet of the memory, not with plainness, seriousness, and affection ;
those which are so tortuous as that they that an impresson may be made on the
cannot be engraven in the youthful mind. minds of those to whom we direct our
We should teach them the knowledge of instructions.
Once more. It is our duty to endeaJesus Christ. Parents, fathers, mothers,
Sunday-school teachers, masters, alto- vour to win souls bi/ admonition. It is
gether, should adopt the resolution of the said of the venerable Eli, who in many
respects was an excellent character and a
apostle, who thus expresses himself,
' God forbid that I should glory, save in
good man, that he did not admonish his
It is necessary, sometimes, to
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." children.
" We preach Christ," in the dignity of rebuke with all authority and all earnesthis person, in the fulness of his love, in ness ; and Eli whispered when he should
the excellence, in the perfection of his have thundered, and was all blandness
and softness when he should have been
sacrifice, and in the power of his Spirit
There are
Christ first, Christ last, Christ the mid- all authority and majesty.

03

THE BRITISH

78
times

when we should use

all

the autho-

which Cod and providence and grace


have intrusted to us. Thus by solemn
admonition, as well as by gentle persuasion and the words of instruction and
wisdom, we should endeavour to be in-'
strumental in winning the souls of our

rity

fellow creatures.
to

relative value of one substance to all other

substances around

it;

that is the

man

the

philosopher supposes to be the wise man.


Again the moralist considers the know:

wisdom that is, the


him to understand

ledge of ethics as

knowledge

that leads

his own nature, and the laws which are


binding on society in general and his
duties and obligations towards God, hi?
fellow creatures, and all rational and in;

But, Ihirdly, and lastly,

mulate you

PULPIT.

this

go on

to sti-

by the

WHICH THE WISE MAN

IN

eulogium
THE TEXT PRO-

NOUNCES ON THE CONDUCT OF THOSE WHO


WIN SOULS " He that winneth souls is

Now,

telligent beings.

who

then,

the Bible pronounce to be the wise

does

man

'\

your politician versed in historic


wise."
lore, competent to determine the fate of
Now, wisdom has very great reputation empires ? Is it the naturalist or philosoamong mankind it has so high a reputa- pher or chemist the man who undertion, that you cannot pay a man a higher stands every thing in nature 1
Is it the
compliment than to say that he is a wise moralist ? Is it your ethical man ? Is it
man. Mankind have that feeling about your man who understands the laws of
the matter, and all are exceedingly sensi- the different relations binding the different
tive about their reputation for wisdom and orders of society ? No, my frit nd. Who,
knowledge; and hence, you cannot offer then, does the Scripture pronounce to be
a fouler reproach, a more poignant or the wise man ]
I will tell yon
first,
cutting stigma to a man, than to say of the man who saves his own soul
and,
him, that he is a fool every man feels secondly, the man who labours to save
that the indignity is an intolerable one
the souls of others.
First, The Scriptures pronounce that
one that cannot and will not be put up
with. Such, then is the reputation of man to be wise, who saves his own soul.
wisdom so hii^h so universal. Now, That was a benevolent expression of the
Solomon says, " He that winneth souls is man, Moses, which he uttered with regard
wise." I know very well that men differ to the Israelites when, after having led
very much about what makes up wisdom. them for forty years during their peregriFor instance the politician considers that nations in the wilderness, he said, "0,
the knowledge of the art of government that they were wise."
In what sense ?
constitutes wisdom
that the man who is " O, that they understood this
that they
well versed in liistorical research in the would consider their latter end !" The
history of nations, and understands the man who is wise for time, but not for
best mode of governing states and dis- eternity
wise for business, but not for
tricts and empires, is the wise man.
The salvation wise for the body, but not for
philosopher considers the naturalist the the soul, is not a wise man. A man may
wise man he who knows all the sub- be highly gifted a man of talent: well,
stances of the three great kingdoms of call him so, and have done with it; but
nature, animal, vegetable, and mineral, call him not a wise man if he has not
who understands all their sympathies religion. A man may be rich and opuand antipathies, all their uses, all their lent; but if he neglects his soul and rel"
gion, call him not a wise man
good qualities and all their bad ones
call hiin
who has taken the gauge of every sub- a rich man, and have done with it. A
the
stance in nature, from the sun down to man may have the gift of eloquence
the meanest atom that floats in the air, power of persuasion and of moving others
from the smallest insect that dances in around him may be hid under his tongue ;
the sunbeam to the gigantic elephant that very well, say he is anteloquent man, and
who have done with it; but if a man has not
stalks oi" the surface of the earth
has studii^d nature and her laws, the chain religion, he is not a wise man. No man
of cause and effect, and can determine the is wise but the man who saves his sou]
Is

it

THE SOUL AN OBJECT OF SYMPATHY.


and prepares

eternity.

for

will

It

be

Engraving

ren.

is

79

going on upon these

nine hundred souls.


A moral, religious,
most monstrous, the most and Bible education is being communiatrocious folly in the universe, for a man cated to them, by the instrumentality of
and we must not be too
to have neglected the interest of his soul this institution
to have been absorbed in the claims of impatient as to the results that will
his body, the claims of commerce, the follow.
I might advocate the cause, on the
claims of business, or any other claims
whatever, whilst he has neglected those of ground of its tending to the due observfound, hereafter, to have been the most

earregious, the

his soul.

Secondly, The text pronounces that


man to be wise, that is instrumental in

winning

the

souh of

his fellow creatures.

ance of the Sabbath. How many of these


children would be profaning the day of the

Lord

would be blaspheming the name


would be corrupting the

of the Lord

air

with their breath

now

they are

have not time to go into this ; but there


are three views which I meant to have

ting at

taken, to follow*iip this doctrine in the

in

on that account may fairly be pronounced


a wise man.
Secondly, that such a man
connects himself with the coming in of the
mediatorial reign of our Immanuel, and on
that account is to be termed a wise man.
And, lastly, that the man who wins the

saving them.
Again. These schools are of considerable value in producing habits of social
order and the worship of God, in many

but

sit-

wisdom's doors, and are drinking


knowledge and instruction, communitext.
First, I meant to have shown you, cated to them by men of like passions to
that such a man, in his conduct, is pro- ourselves, who, from love to their souls,
moting the honour and glory of God, and are endeavouring to be instrumental in

families

who were

strangers to

it

before.

was once at a meeting at Nottingham,


souls of his fellow creatures, is the best when a man stood up to give the account of
Laying his hand
friend of the human race, and most effec- his conversion to God.
tually promotes the welfare of mankind on the head of a boy who was by the side
around him. Wherever souls are over- of him, he said, " This boy is my son,
looked, there

is

a limit put to intellectual

and social improvement, and ignorance

becomes perpetuated.
Perhaps you may ask, what
vantage that results from
school instruction

are too impatient.

of husbandry

farmer has
bour.

to

The

the ad-

Sabbath-

fact is, that

we

In husbandry and be-

nevolence, matters are the same.


ters

In mat-

and agriculture, the

wait for the return of his

fact is, that the process

la-

of

Bible education is going on in these nine


hundred children, and this Bible education is very much like the process of en-

Engraving is a slow process


the engraver works upon the metal, and
graving.

perhaps

it is

many days

or

weeks before

the effects are visible on the surface, and


not even after months of

toil, unless you


hold the surface in some particular direction, so that the light may fall on it in a

particular

way.

and

this,

my

He went

But the engraver goes on

son, is

my

spiritual father.

your Sunday-school some

to

One

years ago.
is

all this

The

Stibbath evening,

when

he came home, he said, Father, if I die


before you and go to heaven, I am afraid
I cannot stretch out my hand to welcome
you there.' 'Why not V " said the father,
struck with the observation. " Because,'
said the boy, ' the teachers at the Sundayschool, and the Bible, and the preacher,
all tell me, that swearers and Sabbathbreakers and drunkards, living and dying
such, must, in the next world, be in a
place of torment.' "
Conviction seized
the mind of this man, as he told us ; he
found his own way to the chapel ; and
the impressions that were made upon him
there, together with what his little boy
had said, were the means, under God, of
'

'

his conversion.
I

believe a great deal of this

on now.

know

that

it

is

is

going

the order of

working at his task, and by-and-by, after nature for parents to teach their children ;
weeks and months, it starts up at last like but I know it is an order that the God of
a thing of life. So it is with these child- nature and grace often smiles upon and

THE BRITISH

80

PULPIT.

Testament she read, felt, and underOne day the priest came into the
house, and saw the book on the table he
immediately laid his hands upon it, and

blesses for the children to teach their pa-

that

do not mind how the matter


goes on, so that it does go on. It is with
this as it is with the dew.
Some say that
that it comes from
the dew falls down
the sky ; but according to the most abstract and recondite philosophers, dew
rises up from the earth
it ascends and
does not descend. I do not care whether
it is down or up, or up or down, or down
and up, or up and down, or both, so that
it does but come, and enough of it, to
refresh all the waste places of the earth.
So with regard to knowledge I do not
care which way it is, whether it goes from
the parents to the children, or from the
children to the parents, or both ways any

stood.

rents.

way, every way

the

I trust the friends

more the

better.

of this school will

have no feeling towards other institutions

"What is that?" "That," said


mother, " is a book that has been
given to my little girl by somebody."

said,

the

The

priest found out

proceeded
and stood

what the book was

to the fire

by

put
the

it

into the

element of
destruction had completed its work. The
little girl then burst into tears, because
her Testament was burned ; and the mother wept, because she sympathized with
her daughter ; and while mother and
daughter were both in teats, that minister
of mercy walked away.
Well, the little
girl felt so much for her mother, that she
turned to her, and said, "Do not be so
much distressed for although the priest
has burned the Testament, I have got the
fire

it till

same kind, except that of a kindly


one.
There are many other Sunday- first nine chapters of the gospel of St.
schools besides our own, in the neigh- Matthew by heart, and they cannot burn
bourhood, and there is a great necessity them I" Give the children that which
and for the friends and teachers cannot be burned. Amen.
for them
of this school to have any other feelin^tT
of the

towards the teachers of other schools,


than a most friendly one, would be just
as foolish as for the

family to

fall

'l"Tre

all

complexion,
fact is,

of the

out with one

cause they do not


size,

members

we

all

happen

fruits

the seed
piety

NO.

to

be of one

intonation of voice.

belong to one human

Let 1dm take hold of my strength, that he may


; and he shall make peace

make peace with me


with me.
I

you want

The
;

to

fact is,

know what are the


we are only sowing

and the principles of virtue and

which

are cast into the

minds (f

these nine hundred children, remain there,

concealed for a while

II.

nother be-

family.
Still,

SCRIPTURZ: II.I.USTI12LTICXTS.

same

but they will

Isa. xxvii. 5.

when preachcan convey the mean-

think, (said Mr. Toller,

ing from this text,)

ing of this passage, so that every one

may

understand it, by what took place in my


own family within these few days. One
of my little children had committed a
fault, for which 1 thought it my duty to
I called him to me, exchastise him.

awaken, in some, new associations of life,


and then there will be all the harvest you plained to him the evil of what he had
done, and told him how grieved I was that
I remember some time ago,
anticipate.
conversing with an individual who had I must punish him for it. He heard me
been in Ireland, and who related the fol- in silence, and then rushed into my arms,
lowing fact to me. A little girl of Ca- and burst into tears. I could sooner have
tholic parents found her way to the Pro- cut oiT my arm than have then struck
there she made him for his fault he had taken hold of
testant Sunday-school
considerable progress, and she obtained my strength, and he had Tnade peace ivith
a copy of the Testament as a present
:

SERMON

VII.

NECESSITY OF WATCHFULNESS.

BY THE REV.

BLACKBURN.

J.

OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF A SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER, WEO DIED SUDDENLY AT THE


?Ui\DAY-SCHOOL, ON THE PRECEDING LORD'S DAY MORNING.

" Watch ye, tTierefore

for ye know not when

the

midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning

Mark

master of the house cometh, at even, or at


lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping."

35, 36.

xiii.

In the Holy Bible, which we acknowledge to be a revelation from God, there

the sinner, but that the wicked turn from

wicked way, and live. Turn ye, turn


why will ye die, house of Israel]"
affecting addresses, tending to prepare our And, prompted by this benevolence, he
minds for the good pleasure of our God, departs sometimes from the ordinary proand for those eternal realities which sooner cedures of his providence, and permits
or later shall open to our view. " Prepare some splendid illustration of our own
to meet thy God, O Israel !" is an admo- mortality to befall us. We foolishly imanition that has again and again been gine that the old, the diseased, and victims
sounded in our ears; and that preparation of premature decay, will first pass from
has been called for upon the evidence of the stage of life to the gloomy sepulchre:
our frailty for " the voice said, cry and and we look upon the healthful, and the
All robust, and the young, with feelings of
the prophet said, What shall I cry ?
flesh is grass, and all the goodliness extraordinary interest, imagining that they
are found,

my brethren, many solemn

is

his

ye;

thereof

and

as the flower of the field.

The

grass withereth, the flower fadeth, be-

are

to

continue

when

their

forefathers

But God comes out


say, sirs, he comes out of

have passed away.

cause the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon of his place ; I


But we his place, and commands the dart from
it: surely the people is grass."
are so familiar with exhortations of this his unerring hand to smite the young and
sort, that they pass by us as idle words, the healthy, and the mostblooming among
and we regard them not: they seem to us us, while his word addresses every specas tales that have been again and again tator of the tragic event. " Because there
told, which command not even our atten- is wrath, beware lest he take thee away
tion, and glide over our rninds as the arrow with a stroke ; for then a great ransom
cuts through the atmosphere, without cannot deliver thee."
leaving a trace behind. God might leave
My brethren, this is the view that I
us with the testimony of his word he take of the solemn providence which has
might say, " I have called, but they have brought so many of you together this
:

let them alone


You have heard from this desk,
I will give night.
them up to the desire of their own hearts." again and again, the faithful warning of
But no while he is a just God, he is also God's blessed word; you have heard,
a Saviour; he is not willing that any again and again, the admonition of his
should perish, but that all should come to ministers, entreating you for Christ's sake
the knowledge of the truth. "As I live," to be reconciled unto God and you have

not heard

saith the Lord,

Vol. II. 11

"

I desire

not the death of heard without emotion and without re-

81

THE BRITISH

82

PULPIT.

God has now shown yoii, in a verge of perdition. I shall first attempt
manner, how frail yon are, and to show how this ltth<trgy is produced.
that there is but a step between you and
As there is a two-fold method of prodeath. You have seen that benevolent oc- ducing slumber for the body, so also for
cupation, even within the precincts of the the mind. The former is the natural effect
sanctuary, cannot preserve you from the of ahundani toil and lalniur : and the
shaft of death; and that one who came to second is by the infiuencc of deadly opiates.
the house of God to impart knowledoe to Man gains sleep either by the fatigue of
others, whose feet stood on tlie threshold of nature, which demands it, or by the
the sanctuary, just ready to approach to the narcotic influence of drugs, which conaltar of God, was not secure, even there, strain it.
Let me speak, then, of those abundant
from that stroke which shall ere long
level in the dust every one that now hears labours that wrap you in spiritual slumme. Who may be next summoned at the bers. The labours and cares of the world
bidding of Jehovah, God only knows: occupy you from hour to hour: you rise
whether he who speaks, or those who are in the morning, and hurry to your famicongregated to hear. But this we know, lies, your warehouses, and your oflices;
that admonitions, such as are contained in there the cares and claims of business
our text, become doubly necessary under occupy the day ; and after the excitement
such a providence; and if we seek not and the anxieties of worldly business,
instruction from such an event, we shall you are ready to say. Well, I have no
pentance.
etrikinof

be guilty of strange neglect; indeed, of time for religion. The Bible is neglected,
and if the word of God, prayer is restrained, the sanctuary is forcriminal apathy
and, even on the Sabbath day, it
illustrating his providence, and his provi- saken
dence giving weight and solemnity to his may be, that some of you forsake the
word, do not impress us 0, my hearers, house of Gotl with this apology, " I work
hard all the week, and I want a little
say what more can be done
Allow me, then, faithfully to address pleasure on the Sabbath day." Yes
you this evening, in connexion with this thus your abundant labours bring on a
solemn subject. 1 shall' notice frim the spiritual lethargy, and cause your soul to
text, first, THAT IT IMPLIES A DANGEROUS sleep. You so fatigue yourself by rising
HABIT THAT OF SLUMBERING. Secondly, up early and late taking rest; ye mothers
THAT IT ANTICIPATES AN AWFUL EVENT
and mistresses, by asking yourselves,
THE COMING OF THE MaSTER UPON THOSE What shall we eat, and what shall we
WHO SLUMBER. And, ihirdly, it commands drink, and wherewithal shall we be
AN immediate duty "Watch and pray, clothed ? ye masters, by asking yourlest the Master, coming suddenly, find selves how you shall get wealth, how
you shall prosper in your lawful calling;
you sleeping."
In the first place, I observe, that our that ye drown the consciousness of etertext supposes a dangerous habit of nity in the things of time and,
slumbering.
" Let Christ, and grace, and glory go,
"If he sleep, he shall do well," said
To make your lands and money sure."
:

the disciples to Jesus, concerning their


friend Lazarus. David said, " God giveth
to his
that,

beloved sleep."

"The

sleep of the

sweet." How, then, can we speak of it


as a dangerous habit] My brethren, you
perceive at once that it is not of bodily
repose, but of spiritual slumber, that our
Jesus refers to that mental
text speaks.
lethargy by which so many of our fellow
creatures are lulled; and in which, I fear,

some of you

Is not this a

solemn, but a faithful repre-

And we know sentation ] Do you not thus yield to a


labouring man is slumbering lethargy, and forget God, and

are slumbering on the very

heaven, and hell, amidst the bustle and


turmoil of earthly things?
will tell

me

know you

that I cannot understand the

know

claims of business, and that

what

fearful whirl

it is

to

pool that

is

metropolis,

embark on the

do not

rushing round this mighty


and which makes all who

embark upon

it

dizzy and unconscious

NECESSITY OF WATCHFULNESS.

83

do know, that it shall profit a] dangerous delusion. Let me, therefore,


mail nothin;? if he sfain the whole world entreat you to avoid all unscriptural
and lose his own soul. \V hat can a man opinions concerning God, and not to be
Let me lulled into false security by any popular
give in exchangje for his soul 1
rather live in obscurity and privation; let nostrums concerning his mercy. O, there

But

this I

me rather die neglected in a workhouse, are fancied specifics m morals as well as


and have the smile of God upon my in medicines, which are recommended to
brow, when the sweats of death glitter mankind as the things that cure an unthere, and enjoy the ministrations of an- easy conscience, but which drown it in
gels to waft my spirit from the transient unconsciousness. Let me charge you not
scenes of this life loa blessed immortality,
rather than grasp all the world can give,
and die without the friendship and ihe
benediction of

But

God!

another mode by which


slumber, and that is by the use

there

men seek

is

of deadly opiates.

believe narcotics are

supposed to diminish the animal sensibility, and to suspend the nervous influence,
and so to superinduce sleep. Now, it is
very certain that there are moral opiates
which lull the minds of men under a religious stupor; which allay their susceptibility of impression and feeling; which, in
fact, if we could give them words, would
say, " Peace, peace," when there is no

to

be led astray. Read the Bible

selves, and take heed that

for

your-

you cry

not,

" Peace, peace," if there be no peace


"for there is no peace, saith my God, to
the wicked."
There is another class of moral opiates,
which consists nf false opinions of ourselves.
Individuals argue from their circumstances they say, " God threatens
evil upon the wicked, but I have gjne
on ; I am not plagued as other rr-en, I am
:

not in

trouble

like

other

healthy, prosperous, and rich

am

surely

God

men
;

would not bless me, if he were indeed so


angry with me he would not prosper me
if his indignation was raised against me
peace; which sa}', "Peace and safety," from day to day." But this is arguing
when sudden destruction cometh upon altogether on one side the statement of
them. Let me speak of a few of these the divine word. The Christian dispen;

sation has never exhibited temporal pros-

things.

There are the false noiinns of God perity as an evidence of the divine favourwhich men entertain. They think that Temporal piosperity is designed as a test
as the stewards of the
of your fidelity,
he is altogether such a one as themselves

that he is as short-sighted as they are;


that he
is

as careless as they are; that he

is

as changeable as they are; that he

as indolent as they are.

think of

God

they do

but they say, "

thus, they

is

who is
prosperity, may

that individual

poral

and, therefore,

blessed with tem-

be ulling up the

uttermost by the
would not act as use of that very prosperity which he
If they did not

Tush

God

will

he will not punish ; he will


change his mind he is very merciful he
will not pour wrath to the uttermost on
Thus they cherish false
the guilty,"
notions of God, and dream that he will act
inconsistently with that character which
was, and is, and will ever continue to be,
not regard

manifold grace of God

measure of wrath

thinks

Let

is

me

in the

a token of the divine favour.

entreat you, then, not to indulge

God has
God regards

imagination that, because

prospered
you.

to the

righteous
riches of

you, therefore,

" The little that a


sirs
man hath is better than the
many wicked." When Jesus,

no,

the Son of God, the darling of Jehovah's


you to heart, sojourned amongst men, his cirremember, that however much you may cumstances were humble, his appearance
Could
flatter yourselves that your favourite no- mean, and his condition lowly.
tion of God is the correct one
yet, if it you have seen him, on your principles,
be not derived from this inspired book, you could not have supposed that he was
No; he
the only fountain of true knowledge con- the beloved Son of the Father.
was a poor, persecuted, afflicted man;
cerning God, you are awfully mistaken
aad that, to think thus of God, is a most but he was the heir of all things still.

the same.

Now,

let

me

entreat

TIIE BRITISH PULPIT.

84

Do

not imagine that God prospers you


because you are good, but rather inquire
whether he is not trying you by the prosperity that he gives. Remember that the
goodness, and forbearance, and long suf-

days have passed, they may fall beThere are some of


you, no doubt, who have been led to speor

neath their influence.

culate about the physical cause of the

and ask thyself, " Shall

death of our young friend but let me entreat you not to be led ofi'from the admonitions which the providence addresses to

God

you, by speculations respecting the physi-

fering of

against a

God

leadeth thee to repentance,


I continue to sin
so merciful and gracious ?"

The issues of death


and science often stands
they form of their own merit, and are abashed and confounded when she perdisposed to think that their moral quali- ceives that the vital spark has fled, and
Let me entreat
ties are such as must commend them at cannot assign the cause.
This is an evil which is you, therefore, not to indulge in imagined
once to God.
charged on one of the Asiatic churches: security, but to feel that between you and
"Thou sayest I am rich, and increased death there is but a step. We sometimes,
on board a vessel at sea, have heard the
with goods, and have need of nothing
and knowest not that thou art wretched, waters, as it were, rushing against our
and miserable, and poor, and blind, and pillow and the thought, that there were
naked." O, my friends, do not think you but a few inches of oak between us and
ait rich, but as you have the true gold ; eternity, has pressed upon us. But, sirs,
that you are increased in goods, but as you let me remind you that, whether on sea
have the treasures of divine grace ; or that or land, there are but a few delicate memyou need nothing, but as you have the branes between you and eternity the vital
friendship of God, and all the stores fluid, which pursues its course through
which his omnipotent grace supplies. our veins, is kept there by a substance so
Latter not yourselves with such mis- thin and delicate, that even our emotions
and then our spirits are
taken opmions; they will soothe your may break it
souls into a fatal security, from which launched into eternity.
O, then, let me
you may only wake amid the dread reali- entreat you not to yield to the imagined
ties of the eternal state.
yecurity by which these slumbers are
Thus have I spoken to you of this dan- characterized
gerous habit of moral slumber, and shown
Then this slumber is also distinguished
you how it is produced. Let us notice, in by delusive dreams. Sleep is the time for
the second place, how it is characterized. dreams. You find you have often waking
There must be an imagined security. dreams, produced by the moral lethargy
For who would compose himself to sleep which oppresses your souls. Do you not
Who would fancy joys that you never realize] imaif he really felt in danger]
yield himself to repose, if he knew that gine pleasures that you never obtain ] Do
in his house there were burning ele- you not pursue idle fancies, and delusive
ments, ready to burst into a flame]
or, speculations ] My friends, let me entreat
that its foundations were tottering, and you to hear the voice of God
It is high
that the building would soon be in ruins ] time that you awake out of your sleep,
or, that an assassin was lurking near that these visions of your fancy should
his bed, and at a secret hour would burst pass away, and that you should realize
And so, my brethren, the man your condition, and see where and what
forth ]
that yields himself to this moral slumber you are.
This spiritual slumbering is characdoes not think himself in danger. As Dr.
Young emphatically says, " Men think all terized also by a. death-like inserisibility.
men mortal but themselves." They speak Individuals are buried, as it were, in a
of diseases and dangers, but they feel not deep sleep. It was by such a sleep as
that the seeds of death are putting forth this that Saul was enwrapped, when he
It was
their poisonous fibres within their own lost the skirts of his royal robe.
vitals ; and that, perhaps, ere a few weeks by such a sleep as this that Samson was
Individuals are disposed to lull their

consciences also, by the notions which

cal

cause of death.

are from

God

NECESSITY OF WATCHFULNESS.
held in Delilah's lap, when the fatal
shears were applied to his locks. It was
in

such a sleep as this that Sisera lost his


when the treacherous nail entered

life,

into his temples.

my

And how can you

say,

85

approach of Christ by death. For, though


it may he said that Christ does not come
he comes

to us literally at death, yet

us by his messenger

to

and, as the magis-

trate is the representative of the king, so

you are in- death comes to us as a messenger from


moral sleep, you also our God and Saviour. He kills, and

friends, but that, while

dulging in this
may be betrayed. ^ly dear friends, it is
the duty of Christian ministers thus to
speak to you; though you sleep; though
you turn on your couch, and say, "A little
more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more folding of the hands to sleep
Why do you disturb us 1 Why do you
call us thus early to the consideration of
When the angel
the duties of the day ?"
I

makes

alive ; he command? death to


and with him are the ssues of
life ; and at his girdle are the keys of the
invisible world, and of death.
And this
general use I am making of the passage

he

arrest us

IS

further justified to

my own

by the thirty-seventh verse

conscience

" And what

his visitation of individuals and communities by calamities ; as we find, in the

!"
I say unto all. Watch
concerning this matter, we have
to say, 1st, that its season is most uncertain. Our text tells us that we know not
when the Master comes ; a^ oven, from six
o'clock till nine; or at midnight, the second watch, from nine to twelve; or at
the cock-crowing, from twelve to three
or in the morning, from three to six.
There is no knowing at what hour he
may come for you obseive there are four
periods spoken of in one night, to impress
us with this conviction, that the season
may not be very distant, though the hour
is most uncertain. Now, do not speculate
I entreat you not to speculate about the
probability of an old age that you may
never see; about the stable nature of your
constitution, which you may never realize.
have often seen the strong man most
unexpectedly bowing himself; and therefore I entreat you, my friends, with all
affection, to remember that the season of
your dissolution is most uncertain. Your
sun may go down, young man, ere it has
arrived at its meridian height.
Your
sun may set, busy and active man, while
and the darkness
it is yet meridian day
of eternal death may succeed all the
brightness and glory of your summer's
noon. Remember that Jesus has said,
" Be ye also ready for in such an hour
as ye think not the Son of Man cometh."

third chapter of Revelations, he said to


the church at Sardis, " Remember, there-

2dly,

went

to the prison of Peter,

wrapt

apostle there,

in

he saw the
and he
;

sleep

smote him with his rod, and the apostle


arose and followed the angel forth to dayBut how often have
light and liberty.
the ministers of God smitten you, with
the rod of his word, and cried to you,
" Awake thou that sleepest Arise, and
!

upon thy God!"


But you have
slumbered on, and the slumber may
peradventure continue, till you awake in

call

perdition.

Let me, in the second place, entreat you


TO ANTICIPATE THE AWFUL EVENT TO
WHICH OUR TEXT REFERS THE COMING
OF THE Master to those who are
ASLEEP.

This parable was addressed by our


Lord primarily to his disciples; intimating that he was going to heaven, and
that he left to them, and to the ministers
that might succeed them, the government
and that he entreated all
of the church
;

his servants to be diligent and watchful,

coming. The
used in a three-fold
sense.
It refers to his own appearance at
the judgment, when he shall come a
second time without sin to salvation to

and to be prepared
coming of the Lord

for his
is

how

say unto you,

Now,

We

As

the season is most uncertain, so,


its

suddenness

is

very probable.

we

Our

watch at all
and hold fast, and repent. If, therefore, times, lest, coming suddenly, the Master
thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as find us sleeping. I wish it most distinctly
a thief, and thou shalt not know what to be understood, that I do not regard
hoar I will come upon thee :" and to the sudden death, in itself, as a mark of the

fore,

thou hast received and heard,

text intimates that

are to

THE BRITISH

86
olivine displeasnrt.

Aesirable

lliat

all

It

PULPIT.

would not be very be answered with the

Christians should die

suddenly, btcauac the world would then


be deprived of a most edifying scene, the
close of the Christian's life, and his calm
and joyous anticipation of the coming of
But sudden death, as it regards
Christ.

stern reply,

an account of thy stewardship

" Give

thou may-

My dear
be said to you to-night.
Ere the
O, realize such a surprise
morning comes ; no Christian friend near

est

longer steward."

be no

friends, this

may

you
no opportunity of calm reflection
0, given you; but one convulsive deadly
rushes to your
at once to be absent from the body, and pang seizes your heart
to be present with the Lord to escape all head; the cords of life are broken; and
the languishing of sickness; all the wea- your spirit, naked and unprepared, is
O,
risome nights that are endured through the found in the presence of your God
successiv? stages of a protracted disease; my friends, realize the solemnity of such
all the humiliating circumstances attendant an event! be admonished by a voice from
upon growing infirmity ; all the sorrows the tomb of our departed young friend,
which accompany the parting scene; all " Prepare O, prepare to meet thy God !"
My
Then let me, in the third place, notice,
the terrors incident to dissolution
brethren, it would be a blessed thing for that OUR TEXT COMMANDS AN IMMEDIATE
us to go, if prepared, as our young friend duty: '' IVutch for ye know not when
" Men
did, and on a Sabbath morning too; to the Master of the house cometh."
the Christian,

is

doubtless a blessing.

from th3 church on earth to the


church in heaven. But let it be rememstep

bered, that

solemn

we

if

are not prepared,

Was

visitation indeed

to Lot's wife,

when

her soul

it

it is

not so

felt its petri-

will praise thee,

when thou doest well

to

W'e commend the man who

thyself."

anticipates the time of trial, and provides

against

We

it.

admire

the

prophetic

prescience of Joseph, which led him to


prepare a store of seven years, against the

body f Was it not so to Nadab and


Abihu, when mortal fire anticipated the famine that was coming on all the people.
Was it not so to Ana- We go forth in the summer, and look on
fire of perdition]
nias and Sapphira, when their lie to the the little ants that are busy laying up
Holy Ghost brought on them a display stores for the winter; and we think it
Was it not so to supplies a lesson full of moral instruction.
of his divine power?
Herod, when, amidst all his royal pomp, But while we see that it is a very good
the angel smote him that he died ? thing to provide against the time of trial,
Remember, my friends, that death may we allow ourselves to be unprepared.
It found Abel " W' atch, therefore, lest the Master coming
surprise you unawares.
amidst the pasture scenes of the open suddenly, he find you sleeping." Now,
field; the royal Eglon, when seated the idea of a servant's watchfulness for
in his stately parlour to receive an em- the coming of his master, conveys two
Herod amidst the tri- thoughts: theirs/ is, that oi efficient preit found
bassy

fied

umphant pageantry

of a court

it

found paration

Sisera and Eutychus, wrapt in the un-

consciousness of repose and how it will


Look to it,
find you God only knows.
The
then, that it find you prepared.
Master comes suddenly. He who has
provided you with support who has given
;

the second

is,

that of constant

expectation.

me

you

to regard

an

preparation for the coming of

'he

First, let
efficient

entreat

Lord. A message was sent to the busy


king of Israel " Set thy house in order,
Let that
for thou shalt die and not live."
message come to you, and ask if you are
:

you your wages; who has afforded you


Do you inquire what
the means of improvement; he will come prepared to die.
perhaps suddenly, and say, " Give an preparation I regard as necessary ? No-

The wicked thing short of true religion repentance


and slothful servant will then be confused towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus
and alarmed " My accounts are not made Christ, with all the attendant graces
up, my balances are not struck ; I am not which God imparts with them, are essenprepared for his coming:" but he shall tial to our preparation for the coming of
account of thy stewardship."

NECESSITY OF WATCHFULNESS.
Let me press these upon you, my
" The times," said Paul, when
hearers.

God.

addressing a learned and interested audience,


" the times of this ignorance, God
winked at: but now he commandeth all
men everywhere to repent because he
hath appointed a day, in the which he
will judge the world by that man whom
he hath ordained; whereof he hath given
full assurance unto all men, in that he
hath raised him from the dead." Surely,

brethren, this

command

of

God

to

all

87

while it is called to-day; the


Cometh, when no man can work."
wise king of Israel long before
" whatsoever thy hand findeth thee
do it with thy might; for there
rne,

niirht

The
said,
to do,
is

wisdom, nor device, nor knowledge,


the grave whither thou

there are

some of you,

are in no

way

usefully

goest."

my

no
in

Now,

brethren, that

employed

for

God

and his church; you are not occupyinof


your time, talents, and influence for Gd
and your country as you ought; and you

must include say, " Well, when

have settled my
competency, and
to that repentance which is unto life; to have released myself from the burdens
that repentance which needeth not to be which now oppress me, then I intend to
repented of] I mean not that cold assent do this or that for the Lord :" and, lonuto a general confession, with which many before that period arrives, you may be in
are satisfied, acknowledging that they eternity
Let me, then, impress upon
have sinned and done wickedly; but go you the importance of serving God, and
no further. No; but I ask. Have you redeeming some portion of time for the
so felt your sinfulness, as earnestly to glory of Him who gave his Son to die
importune for pardon, and to crave for for you. And be not afraid of doing too
the mercy of God through the Lord .lesus much ; there are multitudes of people
Christ]
The apostle of the Gentiles who do far too little. When the laborious
exhibited that mercy in Christ to the Calvin was most energetic in the pulpit,
" All things are of in the study, and in the consistory, some
Corinthians, thus
God, who hath reconciled us to himself brother said to him, " Calvin, you work
by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the too hard." "What," said he, "would
ministry of reconciliation." And what is you have the Master come and find me
the subject of that ministry]
"To wit, idle ]" O, my friends, let it be our great

men, everywhere

yourselves.

to repent,

Have you,

then, been brought

business,

realized

that God was in Christ, reconciling the anxiety to be so busily employed for
world unto himself, not imputing their God, that, should the Master come sudtrespasses unto them ; and hath commit- denly, we might say, " Lord, at thy
ted unto us the word of reconciliation. bidding we leave the work we love, to
Now, then, we are ambassadors for live with thee for ever." Happy that
Christ, as though God did beseech you servant, who, when his Master cometh,
by us, we pray you, in Christ's stead, be shall be found so doing!
ye reconciled unto God." This, brethren,
Our text, when it exhorts to watchfulis the great business to which we, as the ness, implies, secondly, constant expectaministers of Christ, have to address our- tion.
We know not when the Master
selves, "beseeching you, in Christ's cometh.
You say to your servant, " On
stead, to be reconciled unto God ;" to such a night I exp^ei to return from my
seek for pardon through his atoning journey; do not go to rest, for the hour
sacrifice; to ask for grace through his of my arrival is uncertain." The servant
effective intercession.
Nor can we omit watches; coach after coach arrives; he
to name, as another part of an efficient knows not how soon you may come, and
preparation, that devotedness to our Mas- therefore he has the house ready, the
ter's service and cause, which the New usual comforts prepared, and vigilantly
Testament plainly enjoins upon all his awaits your return. This is the idea of
Our divine Master himself the text, and it calls for constant expectafollowers.
has set an example to his followers of tion of the coming of the Lord. O, my
this self-consecration ; for he said, " I brethren, I pray God that this feeling
must work the work of him that sent may be more present with us all, and

THE BRITISH

88

we may be willing to die at our


Master's summons
Thus Aaron was
that

told to o;o up to

mount Hor, take

sacerdotal robes, and die

off his

and he went

up without a murmur. Thus Moses ascended Pisgah's height, and breathed out
his spirit there, at the command of God.
Thus Job waited all the daj's of his
appointed time, till his change came.
Thus the aged Simeon said, " Lord, now
lettest thou thy servant depart in
for

peace

mine eyes have seen thy salvation."

Thus

the youthful Stephen cried, " Lord

Jesus, into thy hands

Thus

commit my

spirit."

the devoted Paul could say, "

now

am

ready to be offered, and the time of


my departure is at hand" " I am willing
not only to suffer, but to die for his name's
sake."
This constant preparation for

death,

mind

my

brethren,

is

a blessed state of

PULPIT.

their loss
to

you,

if

heaven
apprehension that they have gone down
to perdition, would be an affliction under
which nothing but extraordinary grace
could sustain you. I, therefore, solemnly
entreat you to care for the spiritual welfare of your children.
Remember that it
should ever lie near your heart. You
have nurtured them from infancy educated them in childhood and youth; have
introduced them into business; and now
you anticipate their connexions, and talk
!

ful

of their settlement in life


their mortality

" If sin be pardon'd, I'm secure

familiar wilh our

was

but

realize

All these things were

young

friend

a business, prospects, and

she had

a lover, and

anticipating her settlement, dreaming

of long years of pleasure

went down

but in an in-

chambers of
0, then, my friends, do not
make that a secondary which ought to be
the first concern
Do not say, " When my
children grow older, they will be more
steady; they will be more prepared to
stant she

would be comparatively nothing


you knew that they had gained
But to lose them with the fear-

to the

the dead.

Death has no sting beside


sin its damning power,
But Christ the ransom died."
.

The law gave

Thus, my dear friends, have I opened listen." You know not what a night may
you the thoughts which this solemn bring forth ; this night their souls may be
providence, and this impressive subjwt, required of them.
Appeal, then, to your
have suggested to my mind. But before children ; say to them, "You know that I
I sit down I must distinctly address my- love you, that I have sought your best
self to different classes in this assembly. interests, and have supplied you with all
First, I must address the numerous pa- that parental affection could grant consistrents of rising fcnuilies that are now in ently with parental obligations
as you
the presence of God, Our bereaved friends love me, then, take my advice, and seek
know too well that 1 deeply sympathize first the kingdom of God and his rightwith them in the solemn providence eousness." Charge them, while they are
which has taken away the delight of yet young, to seek the Lord God of their
their eyes at a stroke, to suppose that fathers, that the angel of the covenant
what I address to other parents is intended who hath guided and blessed you all
to afflict their ersonal feelings.
Let me, your life long, may also bless them.
therefore, enrreat you to remember that it Thus may this solemn providence create
is your first duty to seek after the spiritual a concern in the minds of parents for the
welfare of your own children.
Nothing young people of their households, and let
can cause a greater anxiety to godly them become the interpreters of God's
parents, when a child has been suddenly will in this awful providence speaking
removed, than the inquiry, Was he pre- home to the heart.
pared to go ? And as the lives of our
To the young people of this congregation
children are as frail as the life of our de- I most affectionately address myself. My
parted young friend, and may be removed dear young friends, it is obvious that a
as suddenly, I charge you, before God, youthful healthy frame, sprightliness of
that you make it a prayerful duty to talk disposition, and buoyancy of natural temto

form no security against the attacks

individually and alone with your children,

per,

about their preparation for eternity.

of death.

0,

Our young

friend attired her-

NECESSITY OF WATCHFULNESS.
self last

tomed

Sunday morning with her accus- break off our sins by righteousness, and
came down to the breakfast consecrate all our powers to his service.

care,

My strength is exhausted, and I fear


table with her accustomed cheerfulness,
charged her sister to make haste, hurried your patience may be wellnigh spent.
to the post of duty in the adjoining school- Let, however, my text abide in all your
room, took her place at the head of her hearts: if nothing else is remembered,
" Lest the Master, coming
class, found herself a little faint, went to recollect this
May He,
the door, and there fell, and, as 1 believe, suddenly, find you sleeping."
immediately expired. O, how little did who can address not only the ear, but the
she think, when in her chamber dressing heart, arouse your minds to duty, and
that morning for the sanctuary, that she speak to you in accents of peace ; lest, ere
Let me long, }'ou hear his voice, as in accents of
should return to it again no more
entreat you, my dear friends, not to leave thunder, saying, " Depart from me, ye
your chamber any morning without bow- workers of iniquity !" INIay God com
ing the knee before God, lest peradventure mand his blessing! Amen and amen.

you go not there again.


Let

me

speak

Sabbath-schools,

of your

care.

to

you, ye teachers in the


to the dear children

THE IMMORTALITY OF TUE

and

This

is

SOUL.

Christianity affirms our future

a most admonitory

exist-

providence to you. God, by this awful ence its postulate. It is not the revelation
visitation, has come into the midst of of the fact, but a description of its nature,
you, and exhorted you, with renewed and a provision for its beatification. And
emphasis, to work while it is called it is for him who impugns "the word of
to-day.
Do not, then, allow any subject life," still to bear the burden of his own
The only differto preclude from your attention the great immortality as he can
the sal- cnce'between him and his fellow travelobject you should keep in view
towards eternity is, that he has
It lers
vation of the souls of these children.
!

thrown away the torch and the staff,


which the others acknowledge to encatechisms, and texts of Scripture; but lighten and help them. The argument
they must have a spiritual understanding, must rest with the infidel he must prove

is

that
well that they read the Bible
minds are stored with hymns, and
;

their

them. that man is not immortal for this is the


Let them, then, be impressed by your obligation on any one who sets himself in
earnestness, your importunity, your tender defiance of general consent.
Now, whatever is, may still be a body
and affectionate appeals constrain them
to feel that their teachers are in earnest impelled into motion continues in motion
about religion, and are determined, by the and the presumption is, that man, who at
blessing of God, that they shall love reli- present exists, will always exist, unless
gion. You, my dear children, who are in the strongest reasons can be opposed. Is
to

make

these truly beneficial

t<>

the class over which our departed


friend

young

presided, are especially addressed

I hope she was


you; that she directed you
to many solemn passages of Scripture,
and entreated you to love the Lord while
you were young. Remember that she
has gone to her account, and that soon
you may have to follow her. How awful
will be the meeting of teachers and scholars, pastors and people, at the bar of
We have reason to pray that God
God
would forgive our iniquities ; that he
would give us grace to serve him with
newness of life that henceforth we may
Vol. IL 13

by

this

faithful

providence.

to

such a contrivance likely to perish 1 And


he continue to exist, should not his
being, as it advances, become more grave 1
Extricated from its littleness of pursuit,
and disciplined of its frivolity in taste,
is not his immortality the pledge of a
more solemn state of things'? Can the
grub of time be the butterfly of eternity ]
Death will, however, be urged as the
if

palpable extinction of the being.

man

But no
atom

will assert that then a single

of the body is destroyed.

The

organic

structure is altered; fibre and fluid are

decomposed

the whole enters into

combinations, but not a particle

h3

new

is lost.

THE BRITISH

90

Why

may

soul?

It

PULPIT.

not the same be true of the immortality for man, let the skeptic atwas held by the body; the tempt to vindicate the character of his
body has been affected by mechanical God. It cannot be denied that it is the

causes which could not reach the soul


fervid aspiration of our nature, that the
the soul has become disengaged.
Many cessation of being is regarded by us as
changes took place in that body through the greatest possible infliction, and that
life, and yet the soul was the same.
And each yearning of our bosom disposes us to
to the last, amidst the wreck of its corpo- "give all that we have for our life."
real vehicle, how often does it triumph! Something of this feeling, we admit, may
I speak not of the hero, the martyr, the have been benevolently given, though
patriot who kisses the block, the chief death were the last scene of all, as a
who chants the death-song but of one precautionary instinct, that we might
;

whose springs of

life

vigours spent.

are shivered, and

prize and guard so important a deposit.

There a lambent

But this is a nobler tending of our being.


and damp of It cannot bear that its garner of affections,
death can extinguish. There a might and its treasure of purest delights, shall,
puts forth itself, victorious in that grasp, in a moment, be crushed.
It cannot
beneath which all things wither. And endure that its high studies, and wonderhave we not witnessed the holy spectacle ] ful acquirements, shall be instantaneously
the mind rising in majesty, while all its blotted into night.
It cannot brook the
barriers were falling from around it!
It sudden transition from the intellectual
And yet
is then greatest when it might be ex- soul into the sleepless clod.
then freest when it the theist must conceive that the Deity
pected to yield
might be expected to waver; then boldest has raised tliese hopes to crush them, and
when it might be expected to shrink! taught men to ascend a mount, whence
" Death is thus a spontaneous act, a they might descry the boundless prospect,
more ardent prayer of the mind."* Are that they might die on that mount. And
not, then, the probabilities strongly in thus represented cruel to man, he is defavour of the soul's independence and scribed as equally unjust to himself.
indestructibleness ] And should a desire His creatures, made capable of underbe felt to confuse the properties of matter standing him, are perplexed with his
and spirit, of which the hnman being, in conduct, but confide in its destined explahis present state, is compounded, we nation.
They have only seen "a part of
shall again remit the disputant to the Him." They have heard but a passage of
common sense of mankind. All allow an infinite history, and beheld but a scene
them to be as different things, as differing of the eternal drama. They " wait the
and inconvertible properties can prove great teacher Death, and God adore."
them. And whatever physiological hardi- But while their spirits are wrapt in
hood has dared, we wait with perfect anxiety, they perish in the suspense!
composure for it to prove that man is a Ready to burst into the song of wonder,
mere machine; that intellect is the result love, and praise, their lips are sealed in
of organization and a modification of mat- endless silence
that
Let, then, the unbeliever consider his
ter, most subtilized and alternated
thought is an effect of refined substance case. He is hastening to judgment
He
and arrangement, even though it will will soon enter into eternity. His reallow, that no more of grossness enters jection of Christianity does not, in the
into its nature than into the effluvium of slightest degree, alter these laws of his
a rose, and the tone of a vibration. And being. For him there is no pause, no
if soul and body be such foreign essences, choice. He is borne resistlessly forward
how can it can be supposed that they are however his spirit may recoil, his step
subject in themselves to the same acci- cannot. Each moment, each pulse, testifies his progress.
He is always accountdents, or perish by the same fates'?
And on the supposition that there is no able, and shall live always. Rev. R.
Hamilton.
* De Stael.
all his

fire

plays,

which no

chill

SERMON

VIII.

THE INFLUENCE OF CHRIST'S RESURRECTION.*

BY THE

RT. REV.

JOHN JEBB,

LATE BISHOP OF LIMERICK.

Know
death

ye

vp from

Rom.

not, that so

therefore,

many

of

rts

as were baptized unto Jesus Christ, were baptized into his

we are buried with him by baptism,

the dead,

into death

that like as Cftrist

vms raised

by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of

life.

vi. 3, 4.

"If we have been

planted together in

the likeness of Christ's death," says the

"

apostle,

we

shall be also in the likeness

of his resurrection.
Christ,

we

we be dead with
we sliall also live

If

believe that

with him. Let not sin, therefore, reign


your mortal body ; but yield yourselves unto God, as them that are alive
from the dead. Reckon yourselves to be
dead, indeed, unto sin, but alive unto
God, throuorh .Tesus Christ our Lord.
For then, being made free from sin, and
become servants to God, ye shall have
your fruit unto holiness, and the end
in

which the church


has adopted from Saint Paul and, by the
lips of her ministers, has this day solemnly delivered to her children. Language peculiarly accordant with the spirit
and design of this great commemorative
festival.
For, it were in vain to celeis

Christ.
the
first

If,

power of

therefore,

experience

sufferings

the language

not,

we would know
we must

his resurrection,

and

the
if,

fellowship

of

his

we would
kingdom, we must

at the last,

inherit his victorious

everlasting life."

Such

day at least have dawned,


and the day-spring have arisen in our
Christ, indeed, has died for our
hearts 1
offences, and risen for our justification.
But to us, it will be only aggravated condemnation that Christ has died, except
we be made conformable to his death.
To us, it will be no more than accumulated wo that Christ has risen, except in
spirit and affection we also be risen with

less to us the

merely through the chinks and crelife, amuse our fancy

vices of a worldly

with the dim perspective of a reversionary heaven. It must, on the contrary, be


our great aim and purpose, by the imitation, and through the grace of our blessed
Lord, in self-denial, in self-conquest, in

brate the death and resurrection of our

self-possession, in the love of high and

be our serious

heavenly objects, and in the attainment


of pure and holy dispositions, to possess
an inward, and a present heaven ; the

blessed

Lord, unless

purpose

to

imitate

show

it

forth that death, and to

that resurrection, in

the whole

tenor of our lives and conversation.


It

is

usual indeed, on

this

day,

to

pledge, at once, and foretaste of that eternal rest which remaineth to the people

expatiate on the blessed hope of immor-

of God.
This doctrine is abundantly confirmed
more immediate concern, which demands our more by the sound and venerable words of our
immediate thought and care ] For how church liturgy. In the collect for the
could the most absolute assurance of im- vigil of this holy day, we are taught to
mortality be a source of real comfort, un- implore, " that, as we were baptized into
the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, so,
* Preached on Easter Sunday.
tality.

But

is

there not a

91

THE BRITISH

92
by

continual mortifying our evil and cor-

rupt affections,

him."

we may be

buried with

In the ordinance of baptism,

"immbly beseech

we

our most merciful Fa-

we, being dead unto


and living unto righteousness; and
being buried with Christ in his death,
may crucify the old man, and utterly

ther, to grant, that


sin,

abolish the whole body of sin."


exhortation, at the close of the

In the

same

of-

fice we are reminded, " that baptism


doth represent unto us our profession,

which

is, to follow the example of our


Saviour Christ, and to be made like unto
him that, as he died, and rose again for
us, so should we, who have been baptized,
die from sin, and rise again unto righteousness, continually mortifying every
evil and corrupt affection, and daily proceeding, in all virtue and godliness of liv;

ing."
truth,

And, as the summary of this great

we

are

briefly instructed,

in

the

church catechism, that " the inward and


spiritual grace of baptism, is a death unto
sin,

and a new birth unto righteousness."

But why do

thus revert to the

first

PULPIT.

and length, and depth, and height of that


solemn vow, promise, and profession,
which we have all made in our baptism ; which most of us have repeatedly
sealed and ratilled, in the presence of
men and angels every past infringement
of which, we are this day called upon to
acknowledge and bewail at the foot of
our Redeemer's altar and every requisition of which we are this day invited,
through the divine grace, and heavenly
benediction, henceforth and for ever to
fulfil
by the solemn dedication of ourselves, our souls, and bodies, to be a
reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto
;

God.
" Know ye not," says the apostle,
" that so many of us as were baptized
into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his
death ]" This engagement, it must not
be concealed, requires many things,
which, in this world, are habitually disregarded, if not systematically opposed ;
crucifixion of the flesh, mortification of
the body, discipline of the mind, subjugation of inordinate affections, extinction

principles of the doctrine of Christ, to

of vain desires, calm forbearance under

those obvious and familiar truths, wiiich

provocation, patient endurance of contra-

from earliest infancy have, been imprinted diction, and a constant watchfulness
on our memory, and which, in all reason, against excess, even in the most innoshould be no less deeply imprinted on our cent propensities of our nature. These
conscience and our hearts 1 To your- are truly difficulties. But it is not by
selves, my brethren, I would freely ap- shrinking from difficulties, that we shall
peal, in full assurance of a candid and become proficients in any valuable attainingenuous reply. Are these first princi- ment ; and least of all, in the attainment,
ples, these obvious and familiar truths, beyond exception or competition, the
thus deeply imprinted in your memory, most valuable and important, that service
thus indelibly engraven on your con- of God, which is perfect freedom. Never,
science, thus vitally operative in your in any one of his most gracious and atIf they be, no apology is need- tractive words, did our blessed Lord exhearts 1
The repetition tenuate or evade the first impediments of
ful for their introduction.
Poverof what we love and value is never pain- a Christian life and conversation.
But if, indeed, by the cares of this ty of spirit, penitential sorrow, spiritual
ful.
world, and by the deceitfulness of riches, hunger and thirst, a strait gate, a narrow
and by the desire of other things, the way, a yoke, a burden, a cross, a warimpression of these great truths be ob- fare, the amputation of a right hand, the
literated or impaired, (and whether they excision of a right eye, these he conbe not so obliterated or impaired, let tinually enjoined upon his disciples, as

your own consciousness bear testimony,)

indispensable prerequisites to purity of

then assuredly, my brethren, it is neither


it is, on
superfluous nor unseasonable
the contrary, our indispensable and im-

heart, to peacefulness of spirit, to the safe

enjoyment of

this present world,

and to

the final blessedness of that inheritance,

mediate duty in this holy place, and at incorruptible, undefiled, which fadeth not
this holy season, to consider the breadth, away ; now, indeed, reserved in heaven,

THE INFLUENCE OF

CHRIST'S RESURRECTION.

but gloriously to be revealed in the last prejudices,

if

principles, if propensities, if

tastes, if habits unfriendly to seriousness,

time.

and and uncongenial to religion, were not interwoven with the very fibres of society.
gion, we must unreservedly acknowledge. And thus interwoven, who does not feel,
Christ himself has announced them, has that compared with their disentangleAnd who shall presume ment and eradication, the intrinsic hardenjoined them.
to contravene his declarations, to abrogate ships of a Christian course are light and
Difficulties therefore, in religion,

especially in the

commencement

his laws'?

Let not, therefore, the


however, an important insignificant]
which men ex- crimes and follies of mankind be visited
the most part, and in upon the holy cause of Christianity. Let

It is,

of

reli-

truth, that the difficulties

perience are,

for

surmountable height, difficul- not the diseases of the patient be assumed


Nature is as an argument against obedience to the
ties of human manufacture.
How physic'an. Let not the wanderings of
rarely left to her own process.
frequently are the movements of Provi- the sheep be alleged to prove the cruelty
dence counteracted, and the Spirit of God of the great Shepherd, who, by all means,
resisted, by the conventional usages, the would restore them to his pasture and his
their least

unexamined maxims, and the unsuspected

fold.

pleasures of a thoughtless and contamiI speak not of the notorinating world ?

to

The

difficulty of religion

something

ourselves.

in

must be traced
It must espe-

ously profligate and openly profane. But cially be traced to the neglect or the mishow commonly, in families devoted nei- management of early religious instituIf the divine grace of baptism were
ther to extravagance nor dissipation, are tion.
the first affecting inquiries of children duly cherished and protected on the part
parents, then assuredly
silenced, and their earliest feelings of of Christian
devotion chilled, by the cold, repulsive,
intimidating answers of parents,

who

ab-

stain from all appearance of enthusiasm,


with far more trembling solicitude than
they abstain from all appearance of evil ?
And by the grave and prudent of this
world how carefully in after-life are all
graces, all accomplishments, all attainments of knowledge, all mysteries of wisdom instilled, infused, inculcated, with
the sole exception of the one supreme
imperishable grace, and accomplishment,
and knowledge, and wisdom, of an immortal and accountable being 1 Thus it is,
that with respect to the greatest of all

concerns, the ductile season of childhood,

Christ's yoke would be easy, and his burden light, to many of the rising generation.

Self-denial,

self-discipline,

self-

conquest, would then be habitually cherished, and cheerfully embraced, as the

means, not only of future blessedness,


And in keeping the
but of present peace.
very hardest of Christ's sayings, then
would there be reaped a rich reward ; the
reward of an approving conscience, of
home-felt serenity, of a free and filial ac-

God. Yes, my brethren, if


your children were formed by mild parental discipline, and nurtured by religious
education, and invigorated by the influence of steady, consistent, undeviating
good example if your domestic circles
were made what God and nature intended
them to be, domestic sanctuaries consecrated by cheerful unaffected piety, by
solid and substantial goodness, by generous and manly sentiment, by peace, and

cess unto

and the impressible period of youth, are


suffered to pass away unemployed and
unimproved.
For merely human purposes indeed, inferior faculties are cultiBut the greatest
vated and cherished.
faculty of all is utterly neglected and
abandoned that faculty, to which all the harmony, and mutual good will if, in
rest should be instrumental and subser- the natural and easy flow of conversation,
vient ; that faculty, which stamps immor- the deep truths of Christianity were
not magistality upon our nature; the faculty of familiarized and endeared
loving and imitating our Saviour and our torially imposed as a task, not controverGod. In such a world, so trained, and so sially debated as a system, but introduced
disciplined, it would be miraculous, if with unstudied gracefulness, and recom;

THE BRITISH

94

PILPIT.

at once to the taste, the judgment, and the affections, by a happy temperament of elegance, good sense, and
cordiality; if youth were thus early and
imperceptibly instituted in the principles
of happiness and virtue, drawn rather by
example than by precept, rather by experience than reflection, to regard our holy

who have

religion, not as a theory, but as a senti-

white robe of innocence,

ment, not as the austere and gloomy prohibitress of pleasure, but as a salient
well-spring of the most diversified, the

gation of the faithful.

mended

long been established

in

the

ways of holiness and virtue 1 God forbid ? For then how few could comfortably

approach

Such was not

of

table

the

Lord

the

the spirit or the practice of

the ancient church, in times even of her

At Easter, the newly

strictest discipline.

baptized, indeed, were presented, in the

also

were

forfeited

at

Easter

station

in

to the

congre-

But the penitent


restored

to

their

the church, and re-

most intellectual, the admitted to the communion of the sacred


enjoyment; then, mysteries. And, at this day, what is the
You
truly, many hardships would be mitigated, cheering invitation of the church 1
many obstacles surmounted, many impe- will hear it presently from the altar ; hear
diments removed. Then to crucify the it also, now from the pulpit. " Ye that
flrsh with its affections and desires, to be do trulj' and earnestly repent you of your
dead to all the vanities of this wicked sins, and are in love and charity with
world, to imitate the self-denying, suffer- your neighbours; and intend to lead a
ing Son of God, would be accounted, not new life, following the commandments of
a wearisome burden, but an inestimable (lod, and walking from henceforth in his
privilege.
Then would your children holy ways, draw near with faith, and
preserve the grace of baptism pure and take this holy sacrament to your comfort,
undefiled, increasing in wisdom as in and make your humble confession to
stature, and in favour with God and man. Almighty God."
This is our encouragement, a sober,
Then would your sons grow up as the
young plants; your daughters as the practical encouragement, to approach the
Let us not, howpolished corners of the temple. Then, mercy-seat of heaven.
No superin the deepest and most spiritual sense of ever, deceive our own souls.
the word, there would be no decay, no ficial sorrow for the past, no half-hearted

most
most

refined, the

inexhaustible

leading into captivity, and no complain-

ing in our streets.

Happy

are the people

resolutions for the future, can enable us

worthily to

approach

that

holy table.

Yea, blessed are The penitence which God requires, and


the people who have the Lord for their which alone he will scknowledge and
receive, must be deep, earnest, universal,
God!
Truly blessed are the people thus de- and morally eflncacious. It must be the
commencement of holy desires, good
livered from the bondage of corruption
whose advancement in religion is thus counsels, and just works. It must be folwho are lowed and attested, by a thirst after spidaily and hourly progressive
thus dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto ritual improvement, by a -pursuit of high
God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. and heavenly objects, and by a proficiency
To them, this day is, in reality, a joyful in all those Christian graces, which confestival ; uniting the calm remembrance stitute, and which adorn the Christian
of the past with the most glorious antici- character and spirit.
But who, it may be said, is sufficient
pations of the future; and affording the

who

are in such a case

comfortable assurance, that as their life


is now hid with Christ in God, so when
Christ,

who

is

our

life,

shall appear, then

shall they also appear with


I3ut shall

we

him

in glory.

confine the salutary influ-

for these things

Truly,

my

brethren, if

Scripture were silent on the subject, rea-

and conscience, and experience,


would loudly testify, that we are altogether insufficient of ourselves.
But Chrisson,

ence of this great festival to those who tianity enables us to add, that our suffihave inviolably kept their baptismal co- ciency is of God. From the diversified
venant 1 Shall we confine it, even to those and most instructive annals cf human

THE INFLUENCE OF CHRIST'S RESURRECTION.


nature, in

all

times, and under

all

dispen-

it is, indeed, unquestionable, that


should vainly attempt, by our own

sations,

we

mere strength,

to

sway

resist the

of a

bad habit, the force of a single

singrle

in-

ordinate desire, the incursion of a single

wrong

we

As

passion.

well, in truth,

might

plant our foot upon the shore, and say

unto

the

whelming ocean,

" Hitherto

shalt thou come, but no further

and here

waves be stayed."

shall thy proud

the raging of the sea,

still

human

For to
and the mad-

sion for us,

95

abundantly able and will-

is

ing to apply.
Therefore,
and earnestly desire to be

we

if

truly

made con-

formable to his life, and death, and resurand if from this desire we contemplate with the mental eye of faith,

rection

whole adorable character; in thus


we shall become what we

his

contemplating,

We

behold.

shall acquire, not a likebut a community of nature.

We

ness,

become partakers

shall
is

of that

mind which

in Christ Jesus, as really as the branch-

sap and nutriment


incommunicable prerogative of God alone. from the parent vine. Then we shall
With man, indeed, these things are im- dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we
possible; but with God, all things are shall be one with Christ, and Christ with

ness of the

possible.
evil

He

can enable us to resist all


to fulfil all good.

he can enable us

By the working
may be planted
of Christ's
the

heart, are alike the

same

of his mighty Spirit,

we

together in the likeness

death.
Spirit,

By the working of
we may be planted

together in the likeness of his resurrection.

" Planted together

in

the likeness of

es derive their vital

With him we shall crucify the flesh.


With him we shall overcome the world.
us.

We

shall be planted together in the like-

ness of his death.

We

shall be planted

together in the likeness of his resurrec-

And

like as Christ was raised from


by the glory of the Father,
even so we also shall walk in newness of
tion.

the dead,

life.

This is the great practical object of


remarkable our holy faith. " In Christ Jesus, neither
words derive their best and only adequate circumcision availeth any thing, nor uninterpretation, from the language of our circumcision availeth any thing, but a
" I am the vine, new creature." " If any man be in Christ
blessed Lord himself.
ye are the branches. Abide in me, and I Jesus, he is a new creature ; old things
in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit are passed away ; behold, all things are
But what is this newness
of itself, except it abide in the vine, no become new."
more can ye, except ye abide in me. He of life? What is this new creature]
that abideth in me, and I in him, the same Saint Paul acquaints us, that " the new
Christ's death

his

planted in the likeness of

resurrection."

bringeth forth

much

These

fruit.

me, ye can do nothing."

For without
This is the

distinctive feature of Christianity.

God's workmanship, created in


works ;" and
"after God, he is created in rightis

Christ Jesus unto good


that,

are to imitate our Saviour Christ, indeed,

eousness, and true holiness."

be made like
imitation of Christ
from the imitation
Would we resemble

the

is

intrinsically differs

"

and

to

unto him.
of

a mere

But

mortal.

a wise and virtuous

He cannot alter our


and minds ; we must labour to
produce the resemblance for ourselves.
Would we resemble our Lord Jesus
Christ T Without him we can do nothing.
But by his own omnipotent energy, he
will accomplish our desire.
In the nature, the words, the actions, the demeanour and deportment of incarnate Godhead, there dwells an assimilative power,
which he who ever li veth to make interces-

fellow creature"?
.

We

man

hearts

And what

the source of this blessed renovation

We

are not under the law," says the

"but under grace." That


which not
merely conveys the knowledge of our
duty, but which graciously imparts the
power of performance. As many as receive the eternal and incarnate Word, to
them giveth he power to become the
sons of God
even to them who believe
same

is,

apostle,

we

are under a dispensation

on his name.

And how may we ascerBy obey?

tain our title to this character

ing, from the heart, that form of doctrine

which hath been delivered

to

us

by

feeling a cordial and affectionate persua-

THE BRITISH

96

PULPIT.

may

sion of Christ's nature and office, as our

hearts, in order that

friend, our benefactor, our instructer, our

whole of your external conduct.

our prophet, our king, and our

it

influence the

And

it

only so far as Christianity does actually


God ; and from that persuasion, by ha- live in your hearts, and pervade and anibitually resorting to him, on every emer- mate your whole lives and conversation,
priest,

is

gency, great and small, for guidance, for that you can either have comfort in the
strength, for support, for confirmation, in hour of death, or capacity for a blessed
the ways of God's laws, and in the works eternity.

Thus proceed-

of his commandments.

Apply your

and the fault will be entirely our own


if we do not thus proceed, we shall be
enabled to soar beyond the pitch of our
natural powers.
We shall prohibit sin
from reigning in our mortal body. We
shall no longer yield our members instruments of unrighteousness unto sin ; of

hearts then,

my

brethren,

and only wisdom.


And before you leave the house of God,
ask of him'who worketh in you, of his
own good pleasure, both to will and to do,
that even those among you who have
hitherto been least mindful of your true
happiness, may, from henceforth, be wise
We shall yield unto salvation. God, who heareth the
iniquity unto iniquity.
ourselves unto God, as them which are young ravens that cry, delighteth to be
We shall yield our implored for such substantial blessings.
alive from the dead.

ing,

members instruments

We

unto God.
sin.

We

shall

He

righteousness

of

shall be

this day, to this truest

made

free

become servants of

from

for

awaken

right-

eousness.

fore,

And now, my

brethren,

suflFer, I

entreat

you, a few parting words of exhortation.


By assembling here this day, you declare
and man)' of you
yourselves Christians
;

intend to seal this profession by the most

solemn attestation

power of man

which

to give.

it

is

in

the

In this discourse,

has been my earnest wish to imbody,


and present before you the vital principle
of that Christianity which you believe
and profess; a principle, without which
the most correct belief, and the most
plausible profession, is but as sounding
And I
brass, or as a tinkling cymbal.
would now beseech you unreservedly to
give your whole hearts and minds to that
inward spirit of religion, which, in our
blessed Saviour's own sense, is beyond
imaginable comparison, the one
all
THING NEEDFUL. If you liavc, to this day,
lived content with outward acts, and oc-

hath instituted this holy solemnity,


express purpose that it might

the

it

Feel, there-

this very solicitude.

my

brethren, as you ought to feel

and give vent to your feelings at the footWho,


stool of your Redeemer's table.
that is here present, can promise himself
This
another return of this festival ]
thought may well strike terror into every
But to him who from
negligent mind.
this day shall begin to live for God and
for eternity, what loss can it imply, what
terror can it bring'? Let our life be righteous, and death will be our gain. Let the
grace of God reign in our hearts, and we
shall be equally fitted for both worlds ;
fitted on earth to enjoy the blessings, and
to do the will of our heavenly Father;
but especially fitted for that great change,
which nothing can render supportable
but a spiritual conformity to the death,
and a spiritual participation

in the resur-

This con-

rection, of our blessed Lord.


I

formity, and this participation,

not here in vain,

we

are here

if

we

are

assembled

And if we implore it faithto implore.


Chris- fully, we may entertain a hope, not less
tianity must live in your hearts, before it rational than fervid, that "Almighty
can be efficacious in your lives. You God, who, by his special grace prevent-

casional observances, let there be, hence-

forward, an end of your delusion.

your ing us, doth put into cur minds good desires, will, by his continual help, enable
you shall appear to honour religion in the us to bring the same to good eflfect,
churches. Christianity must live in your through Jesus Christ our Lord."

mustdelight

to cultivate religion in

closets, or

will be to little purpose that

it

SERMON

IX.

PAUL'S REASONING BEFORE FELIX.

BY THE REV. WILLIAM AULD.


"

And

when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jeioess, he
and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteoustemperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered. Go thy way for this time;
after certain days,

sent for Paul,


ness,

when I have a convenient

season,

I will

call

for

thee."

Acts xxiv. 24,

25.

The office of the Christian ministry he " reasoned of righteousness, tempercannot be magnified too highly. It excels ance, and judgment to come;" and such
was the impression produced by all this,
every other pursuit of this busy world
in honour as far as heaven rises above the that, it is added, "Felix trembled, and
in importance as far as eternity said, Go thy way for this time; when I
earth
and in the awfill- have a convenient season, I will call for
stretches beyond time
ness of lis responsibility hey ouA the tongue thee."
There are three things suggested by
of man to tell, or the heart of man to
conceive. If, therefore, we, the ministers these words, which we shall endeavour
of religion, speak to you with authority, to bring before you. First, The manner
proclaiming with all faithfulness the IN WHICH Paul preached second, Thb
blessings of the gospel, or thundering forth TOPICS ON WHICH HE pp.EACHED ; and third.
all the terrors of the law, we entreat you The effect which his preaching om
to bear with us ; for to act otherwise, THE present OCCASION PRODUCED.
I.
Let us consider the manner or
would be dangerous to you, dishonouring
to God, and fatal to ourselves ; and wo the style of Paul's preaching on the
be unto us if we speak not the truth, the present occasion.
whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
He did not utter dogmatic assertions ;
And, in such a style of preaching, we what he advanced he supported by arguHe did not deal in vague declaare but imitating the example of Christ, ment.
of all the pro- mation he did not indulge in airy specuthe head of the church
phets that went before him, and of all the lations which might please, but not proLook to fit; he did not call to his aid the artifices
apostles that followed after.
the apostle in the case before us
his of rhetoric, in order to produce eifect;
body was in chains, but his spirit was nor did he labour to adorn his discourse
free ; though he stood at the bar of a with the embellishments of a gaudy elotyrant that could dispense life or death at quence, which, like the meteor's flash,
pleasure, yet he did not flatter, or fawn, might dazzle for a moment, but leave beor seek his favour, but, rising above the hind not a ray of light or of heat; he did
smiles or the frowns of man, he boldly not work up some pathetic story, or
pointed out his sins, warning him of his breathe forth the glowing descriptions of
danger; and, as an humble advocate of fancy, to touch the tender passions of the
the cross of Christ, he directed him along heart. No. His was a nobler aim than

which the that of the actor, merely to please the


mightiest prince, as well as the meanest ear, or draw tears from the eye. " He
beggar, alike must take. " He spake," reasoned," he addressed man as a rational
it is said, "of the faith in Christ," and
being; and his great object was to en-

that road to the city of refuge,

Vol. II. 13

97

THE BRITISH

98

PULPlT.

mind and carry conviction to Christ, it is just because the lessons of


True it is that until the the gospel are too simple, and its precept?
heart be moved, no good can be done
too pure for tlie pride of their unrenewed
and we grant that the feelings and affec- hearts. And on what occasion, we would
lighten the

the judgment.

man do occupy a prominent place in the religion that is from


above. But as in nature, so also it is in
grace
light must first be created.
It
would be like tracing figures on the sand,
to be effaced by the returning wave, if

ask. did ever our holy Christianity shrink

we

Every other

tions of the inner

excited the feelings of the heart with-

imparted knowledge to the head. That devotion which


is founded on ignorance will be superstition, and may answer well enough the
out having beforehand

back from the scrutinizing glance of thig


philosophy'? Every page of history can attest how it has always courted
inquiry: it asks nothing but justice; it
seeks no indulgence it craves no mercy.

worWs

religion

retires at

the ap-

proach of light
but just as the day of
science and of art draws nearer its meridian effulgence, the ("luistian temple ap;

pears the stronger in its foundations, and


purposes of priestcraft; but it the more majestic in its structure. And
can never be called a " reasonable ser- the farther you enter into its interior, and
vice," nor will it be accepted by Him the more closely, by the torch of reason,
selfish

who

forbiddeth " the halt, the maimed,

and the blii-id, to be offered in sacrifice."


Accordingly, the apostle laboured to
bring forward the principles of Christianity
its

to establish

doctrines

its

facts

to explain

its

to

defend

truths, and

up its evidences, whilst all his


"reasonings" on theso topics he made to
bear on the judgment. Knowing that if
the judgment were once convinced, then,
but not till then, the conscience might
be aroused, and the heart taken possesto clear

eion

you examine
and

its

will

the infidel king, exert

powers of his
might he call

all

the reasoning

highlj' gifted

mind

well

and
Greek and Jewish learn-

into exercise his rich

varied stores of

ing; the occasion befitted archangel better

than man.

He

of.

its altar, its divinity, its sa-

worship, the more clearly


you discover inscribed on all around
you, " The hand that made us is divine !"
Well, then, might the apostle, as he went
about Sion, and showed its bulwarks to

crifice,

reasoned.

This teaches us that he

the meavs. He did not,


some, leave the individual, as the
to reason about?
It is the religion of saying is, "in the hands of God," and
babes, not of men. It fits the dark ages look on as if he had nothing more to do
that are bygone, but not the present." In till "the period of divine visitation."
reply to such an accuser, we would say. On the contrary he bent his whole soul
Have you the presumption thus to decide to produce conviction and conversion in
on a religion that you have never exa- the mind of Felix, with as much earnestmined, or examined, like the spy, solely ness as if all depended on himself fully
with a view to find out faults'! True our aware that, as in nature, so also in grace,
religion is fitted for babes; and it is its nothing can be done without labour; and
greatest glory that a "wayfaring man, the more labour we bestow, the more reathough a fool, shall not err therein." But son will we have to hope for the divine
If then, my hearers, there is
this is also as true, that it affords scope blessing.
for the exercise of the loftiest intellect, any over whose wanderings you mourn,
and among its disciples it tells of a it will not be enough merely to wish their
Locke, a Newton, and a Bacon, who peace; it will not be sufficient merely to
paused in the midst of their inquiries to prny, even night and day, for the divine
exclaim, " O, the depth of the riches both mercy on their behalf; to your prayers
of the wisdom and the knowledge of you must add your exertions, and your
God !" And if but comparatively few of duty will but be half done till you meet
the great and the learned of this world them face to face, and ^^ reason" with
iiave hitherto bowed before the cross of them on those things that concern their

He

reasoned.

infidel,

"

is

But "what," asks the did not lay aside

there in the Christian religion

like

PAUL'S REASONING BEFORE FELIX.

You must

lernal peace.

them
the tender mercy
set before

99

world's guilt, and infinite digntiy to give


to his sufferings a requisite value and ef-

ihe value of the soul


of the Father the all-importance of the ficacy ; unless, w'e say, such a substitute
Redeemer's salvation ; you must press can be found, there is no alternative but
on their minds the evil of sin the vani- that man must bear the doom his guilt
ties of time
the unsatisfactoriness of has merited.
But where can such a sub-

the

world the awfulness

of a judgment-

stitute

]
Search among the fallAdam, but none such is there;
among the sons of the mighty

be found

day, and the dread realities of a coming

en race of

in short, you must use all the


arguments that Scripture and reason can
suggest, and with all the love, and all the
faithfulness, and all the prudence in your
power, urge these arguments on them, as
motives to seek the Lord ere it be too
late.
It is only by acting thus that your
prayers for your friends will be heard
and in no other way will you be able to
shake your garments free from their
blood.
So acted Paul when he stood

search

eternity

Such was the

before Felix.

around the throne above, but none such


there; search the wide universe, but

is

you

will find no created being in heaven, or

under the earth, able to open


" the book of salvation with the seven
seals."
But " weep not," says the gosin earth, or

pel,

"the Lion of

prevailed I" "

the tribe of .Tudah has

God

so loved the world, as


send his only begotten Son, that in his
life we might have an example, by hie
style of death a sacrifice for sin, and by his ascento

sion all power might be obtained to ben. Let us now consider what were stow blessings on our head." And, now
THE TOPICS ox WHICH HE THUS PREACHED. that our Redeemer liveth, there is in his
These topics are two -faith and prac- fulness a rich supply of all things necestice ; and what God hath joined together, sary for our welfare in this world, and in
Faith is here that which is to come and the blessings
let no man put asunder.

Paul's preaching.

men of every age,


only basis on which true and character, and condition even to the
practice can stand ; it is the only spring chief of sinners; and, in order to their
from which pure, heavenly, spiritual mo- enjoyment, we are called only to believe
put

first,

and practice

last,

and justly,

for

the

faith

is

rality

can flow.

in his

First, " he spake concerning ihefailli in

Chrisf

of his grace are free to

that

is,

the Christian faith, or

name

only

for the fulfilment

to trust in his

of his promise

word,

only

to

look up to him, with reliance on his power

which Christ is at and faithfulness, for mercy to pardon, and


once both the author and the subject. grace to help us, in every time of need.
Man, he would tell him, is guilty of Such is an outline of " the faiih in Christ,"
having violated the law. In consequence concerning which the apostle spake; and
the gospel scheme, of

down

of this violation, he has brought

upon himself the sentence of death

the

death of the body, the death of the soul,

and the death of both

would

it

Vain

for ever.

be (he would remind him) to

rely for deliverance on the general

of God, and vainer

still

mercy
hope

to build a

of pardon on his repentance for the past,


or

his

amendment

for the future.

The

the
large the

security of the divine government

if

we

are anxious about the welfare of a

single soul, let us

remember

that nothing

but this blessed gospel can ever prove

"the power of God unto salvation."

It

an important fact too important to be


here passed over that, for many long
years, the Moravian missionaries had laboured in Greenland, but all to no puris

pose.

They began by

instructing

the

ignorant natives in the principles of natn-

the
happiness of the world at
ral religion
the existence of God
the government
faithfulness, justice, and even goodness creation of the world
of God, call aloud for the punishment of of all things by a providence; but no

the transgressor.

neces- success attended their efforts. All was


can be found vain till they came to speak of Jesus:
of his own to offer, al- then their attention was arrested, and the

So great

is this

sity, that unless a substitute

possessing a

life

siighty power to sustain the burden of a

first tear

was seen

to trickle

down

their

THE BRITISH

100
cheeks; and then,

for the first time, their

PULPIT.

ror to those that do evil"

which before were cold as the ings


snows on whicli they trod, were warmed will
hearts,

or the

that the bless-

deep-drawn curses of a nation

fall on its ruler's liead, according as


with the rays of divine love ; and, at the he acts the father or the tyrant of his peosight of a crucified Redeemer, there then ple ; and, in fine, he would warn him,
arose, amidst the icy mountains of Green- that though a nation's curse should never
land, to the throne of the eternal, the visit him on the earth
though he should
song of " Moses and the Lamb." Yes, live and die amid the praises of his fiat
Christ crucified is the power of God tering courtiers yet, when he came ti
resign his crown to God, who gave it
unto salvation
But as the sick man will never send then there would be a reckoning accord
for the physician till he is aware of his ing to his deeds.
But were Paul in the midst of us
danger, so the sinner will never betake
himself to the covert of redeeming blood, though he would find no kings, yet there
are many with whom, and in like manner,
till he become sensible of his lost and
sinful condition.
The apostle, therefore, he would "reason of righteousness."
not only preached the gospel ; he also Most of us are engaged in the commercial
proclaimed the law. He conducted Fe- pursuits of life, and in all our bargains
lix, if I may so speak, along the foot of we are called to be just
in all our enSinai, that after having heard the thun- gagements to be faithful
and in all our
ders of a broken law, he might welcome dealings to do toothers as we would have
with greater gladness the peace-speaking them to do to us. Now, is there any who
voice of Calvary.
cannot open his account-books
who can"/Te reasoned,'''' it is said, "of right- not meet in the face those with whom he
eousness, temperance, and judgment to is connected in business
who cannot
" Righteousness," you know, lay his hand on his conscience, without
come.''^
consists in the observance of what man being reminded that he acts otherwise?
owes to man. No topic could be more Then to such we would say. You call
appropriate on the present occasion, for yourself a Christian, but to this name
Felix was notoriously cruel, and unjust, you have no title ; for he that taketh un
and oppressive in his government to due advantage over his neighbour is des
such a degree, that, at the complaint of titute of love; and it is written, " Who-

the Jewish

nation, he

Rome, where, with

was

recalled

to

soever loveth not his brother

is

not of

he escaped God." Nor will it in the least lessen


a sentence of perpetual banishment. No your guilt, to plead that these practices
doubt the apostle would lay before him are common in the course of trade, and
those duties that are incumbent on rulers. that without them it would be impossible
A lofty station in society, he would tell for business to be carried on ; for, howhim, does not tolerate those vices that ever lightly they may be thought of by
religion condemns, nor does it dispense men, they are all loudly condemned in
with those duties that religion requires the Word of God which commands us
in the hunriblest sphere of life
that, to " do justly, and love mercy."
And
though raised above his fellow men, yet aware of this, as you must be, how can
he that wears a crown, is but the servant you dare to supplicate the divine blessing
of the Lord of Hosts, whose laws he is on your unjust gains 1 or what peace of
bound to obey, and whose character, as mind can you expect in their enjoyment]
the world's governor, he is bound to imi- Perhaps on this point, however, you are
that the prince is not exalted to a easy, and think that all is safe, because
tate
throne, nor does he get his exchequer no human eye is upon you but have you
filled by the hard-wrought industry of his forgotten that all your ways are manifest
subjects, merely for the gratification of before that God with whom you have to
his ambition, or vanity, or lust, but for do, and in the presence of that conscience
And
the welfare of the community, that he that, ere long, will speak out]
may be a " praise to the good, and a ter- though here you may live a life of envied
difliculty,

PAUL'S REASONING BEFORE FELIX.


prosperity, yet hereafter

cape what

is

you cannot

written against those

who

" shekel great and the ephah


small, and falsify balances by deceit."

make

the

But, in reasoning of "righteousness,"


take a wider range than this.

we may

We are all
of

man

bound

members of the great family


and our poor brethren we are

to relieve, the ignorant to instruct,

the wretched to comfort, the benighted to


save.

And

is

there any

who, from

101

would address^ar?j/s, who of all the


rest have the most solemn duties to perParents, you have brought into
form.
the world beings that w'ill be happy or
miserable for ever; and, whilst you educate them for this world, affection, religion, and your baptismal vow, call on
you not to forget their education for the
next.
And do we address any who are
deaf to this calH We do not mean those
who, by their idleness and intemperance,

es-j ly, I

his

nothing for the leave their children unfed, unclad, and


starving family in his neighbourhood ] Is uneducated ; alas
these are seldom to
there any who can be arrayed in all the be found within the reach of a preacher's

abundant

table, can spare

and yet have voice it is those we mean who are careno compassion on the poor old man that fully training up their children in those
passes the window shivering in the blast ? habits of diligence, and regularity, and
Is there any who can sit by the blazing economy, which are necessary to fit them
fireside, and rest on a bed of down, and for the life which now is, but who never
yet drive from his gate, in the dark and once direct their attention to the life
stormy night, the houseless wanderer 1 which is to come ; in whose dwellings
Is there any who can come up to the the voice of prayer and the melody of
house of God on the peaceful Sabbath psalms are never heard, and who suffer
morning, and yet, when reminded of their children to grow up as if they had
those on whom no Sabbath dawns, and no God to serve, and no soul to save. With
to whom no sanctuary opens its gates, such, and we fear their number is by no
refuse to send the Bible and the mission- means small inour Sabbath assemblies, we
ary to cheer, and to instruct, and to save 1 are loudly called to reason of righteousWith such we would reason ; and we ness. Your offspring, let it never be forwould say to them, You are deaf to the gotten, are committed to your care to be
voice of humanity, as well as to the voice educated for God, and trained up for imof God. You show no mercy to your mortality.
You condemn the poor being
fellow men, and how can you expect, that neglects the temporal well-being of
since Scripture forbids it, mercy at the his family: he has, indeed, "denied the
You seem, too, faith, and is worse than an infidel ;" but
hands of your Maker
to have forgotten that all your goods, what name, appropriate enough, do you
fineries of fashionable dress,

temporal or spiritual, are but a loan intrusted to you, not for your benefit merely, but for the benefit of the human race.
And though this truth may be neglected,
nay, though it may be despised on the
earth, yet it will be acted on at the day
of judgment; and then it will be found,
that he only who has " visited the sick,
clad the naked, taken the stranger to his
house, given his bread to the hungry, and
a cup of water to the thirsty," shall receive the welcome, " Well done, good
and faithful servant!"
There are, however, closer and more
life, to which in
manner we may apply the rule of
righteousness I mean the domestic
and,
passing over all other members of a fami-

sacred relationships of

like

reserve for yourselves

The poor man

you thus reprobate what has he done?


Why, he has only starved the body of
his child he has only murdered the body
of his child, and perhaps brought that
body to an untimely grave. But what
have you done ? You have starved the
immortal part, you have murdered the
;

precious soul

nothing

and,

the

first

death

is

comparison of the second,


where all is weeping and wailing, and
" no more any sacrifice for sin for ever !"
O I beseech you to reflect! How will
you be able to leave behind you in the
hour of death your unrenewed and unsanctified charge 1 how will you be able
to gaze on their despair, when you meet
them at the place of judgment? and of
i3
!

in

THE BRITISH

102
wo, you will

flee farthest

from

the c rses of your children, you

will

all in outer

PULPIT.

would tell them, that of all the vices in


this wicked world there is none so small

seek the darkest corner of hell, and ther. in its beginning, so gradual and unperwill drink the deepest agony; and ceived in its progress, yet so destructive
as the cursed pass b}- they will point the in its consi (juences.
Not only does it
fingLT, and say, " Yonder is a murderer ruin the health, ruin the industry, ruin
a parent who murdered his child
a the fortune, ruin the character, ruin our
murderer of its soul .'"
peace, ruin our family, but what is far
But the second class of duties concern- worse, it weakens the memory, it darkens
ing which the apostle reasoned, was the mind, it hardens the heart, it stupifies
^^ temperance,'''' or
the right government the conscience, it unfits for religious duof the passions and the appetites
and ties, it makes its poor victim regardless
whilst righteousness respects those duties about the law of God and the opinion of
we owe to others, temperance has refer- men, it makes him unconcerned how he
ence to those duties we owe to ourselves. lives, and reckless how he dies. Say
Nor was this topic less appropriate than not, if we are speaking to any such, that
the former; for Felix not only was unjust it is but on rare occasions you go to exin his government, but also addicted to cess.
So said many whose prospects
sensuality and lust; and the woman call- were once fair as yours.
Once we reed " his wife" was one whose husband garded them as travellers to Zion
but
was still living, and whom Felix had now we weep to see how, step by step,
seduced from her conjugal allegiance. they have thrown aside all religion and
No doubt the apostle would remind him all decency, and now go about forsaken
that the " pure in heart alone can see of men, and, as it were, accursed of God ;
God," that nothing that defileth or work- go about like fallen angels that once
eth abomination shall stand in the pre- were glorious, and are left as beacons
sence of the Eternal.
Like John the amid the desolation of the waters, to
Baptist, when before Herod on a similar warn us of those rocks on which they
occasion, he would warn him that it was have made shipwreck.
Little may this
not lawful to have another's wife; and vice be condemned among men, and the
that " because of these things came the poor wretch as he staggers along the
wrath of God upon the children of dis- street may excite the laughter rather than
obedience."
the pity of the passers by ; but it is rankBut though, in the present audience, ed amid the vilest vices that darken the
there be none chargeable with offences page of Scripture ; and on the last page
of this sort, yet there are many other of revelation, among the last sayings of
crimes common amongst us, respecting the last prophet, just as he was leaving
which the preacher is often called to rea- the earth, he turned round and said, " The
son of " temperance." Is it not a fact, drunkard shall not inherit the kingdom

you

some that can come up to


God on the peaceful Sabbath

God."

Yes! he

that there are

of

the house of

heritance, hut

morning, scarcely recovered from the debauchery of the Saturday evening, and
who have the courage to take into their
lips that holy name which a few hours
before they profaned in their songs of
midnight revelry
Yes; these are still,
!

many instances, called Christians


they find little difficulty in getting their
children baptized, and, awful profanation
in

they are allowed to take into their hands


the bread and the wine of the holy sa-

it

though he thirst
wine as it stirreth

is

shall have an

in that place

for the

in-

where

wine, the red

itself in the cup, not a

drop of water shall be given to quench


his thirst.

There are many other characters with


in like manner we may reason of
"temperance;" but at present we have
only a few words to say to the worldling,
who, perhaps, in his character, comprises

whom

all

the rest.

lives in the

The worldling is one who


world as if he never were to

"With such we would reason, leave it. Amidst the bounties of Proviand with a kindly but warning voice we dence he never thinks of the giver ; amidst

crament.

PAUL'S REASONING BEFORE FEUX.

103

the fluctuations of time he gives himself shall be extinguished, and all nature be
dissolved ] Whitner has that spirit gone?
no concern about the approach of eternity
:

he lives as if he had no soul to


save, as if God and religion were all a
fable, as if there were no heaven above
and no hell beneath. Stopping such a
in short,

It

departed with the last breath; it has


above the horizon of things seen

risen

and temporal; naked and disembodied, it


has been ushered into the presence of the
one in his career of folly, we would say, Eternal, there to give in its account!
Here a law was given it, there it will be
be temperate in earth-born pursuits
make not tlie immortal soul the drudge asked how that law has been obeyed
of your body ; and, for the pleasures of a talents were here committed to its care,
short passing hour, barter not your eter- there it will be inquired what use wa3
made of them in this world a vineyard
nal peace.
Remember what you are
you are a being that shall never die. And was given it to cultivate, and in the next
whither are you going? to eternity! And the fruit will be sought for. And though
what preparation are you making for that the sinner here may escape the visitation
long journey] none absolutely none! of wrath though he may be praised by
True, you are never idle you are ever an unthinking world vhen he lives, and
" pulling down your barns and building be honoured by it when he dies, yet on
greater."
But what will this avail thee that day appointed for winding up the
in the hour that thy soul shall be required affairs of this earth ths sentence of men
of thee
Will it do away the terrors of shall be reversed, and th individual shall
the last enemy, or appease the wrath of receive according to his deeds. It is selHim that silteth on the throne, or open dom we think of that day that last day
that day of days.
for thee the gates of immortality 1
that day of the Lord
Ah
no.
As Johnson once said to Garrick, Yet on that day when the sinner's eyes
when the latter was showing him a fine shall be opened to behold the judgment:

"?

estate

"It

Yes

which he had lately purchased,


which renders death terrible."

is this
!

these

things will only aggravate

your doom, and increase your eternal


misery. Once more we beseech such to
be temperate in earth-born pursuits. Remember what you are you are a sinner
lost; and what, if you continue as you
are, you must shortly become
a sinner

lost, lost, lost

for ever

But the last topic, and which he employed as an argument to enforce his reasonings on righteousness and temperance,
was, " the judgment to come." It is obvious, from many considerations, that this
is but the infancy of our being.
Soon the
youngest in this assembly shall breathe

seat and

Him

that sits thereon, then con-

science, no longer asleep, shall speak in

thunders louder than the crash of falling


worlds, and more awful than the blast of
Then, it will
the archangel's trumpet!
recall to his mind the sabbaths, the sermons, and the sacraments on earth he hag
despised

and,

m.thinks,

things his thoughts will

among
revert

other
to

the

we are now met. And as


remembers how the preacher this day

wrapped

in

he
reasoned of " righteousness, temperance,
and judgment" to come, the voice of conscience will thunder in his ear, " You

knew your
And when

duty, but you did

it

not

!"

away from the judgment-seat, and when passing through the


his wide open gates of wo, and when lying
be down amidst the weeping, and cursing,

shroud
A day after that he shall
covered up in the dark coffin a few days
more and he shall be carried to the sepulchre of his fathers. But where all the
while has the spirit gone T it is the body
only that was wrapped in the shroud,
that was covered up in the coffin, that
was laid in the grave whither has that
;

place where

his last; then he shall be

and

wo

driven

that are there,

again, louder and

still

still

the

same voice

louder, shall pro-

claim in his ears, "

Y^u knew your duty,


not!" And when he sees
across the gulf Lazarus in Abraham's
bosom, and hears the songs of the ransomed multitude coming down from the
but you did

it

which defies the stroke of gates of heaven, then the voice of his
death, which shall live when the sun sleepless conscience, agfaia and again,
spirit

fled

THE BRITISH

104

shall for ever proclaim, " You might


have been saved, but you would not
You might have stood in yonder throng,
you might have joined in yonder anthem
You knew your duty, but you did it not !"
III. The effect which this sermon
PRODUCED.
That sermon is worthless which does
not reach the heart ; and that heart must
have been hard, indeed, that could have
!

PULPIT.

was changed,

his thoughts troubled him,


smote against each other like
Belshazzar, when he saw the handwriting
on the wall that proclaimed his days to
be numbered, and his kingdom to be departed from him; "he trembled"
but
who can describe the fears of a guilty
conscience brooding over its woes
his knees

Unfit foreartli, undoom'd for heaven.

Darkness above, despair beneath,


it flame, within it death ?

withstood the reasoning of an inspired


apostle, and on such important subjects.
He felt but was it grief for his past
sins? was it hope in the divine mercy 1

Around

These impressions on the mind of Felix

were the result of God's Spirit; and if


was it reliance on the power and faith- Felix had acted right, lie ought to have
fulness of Him who is able to save humbled himself under the mighty h^d
unto the uttermost?
No! It was not of God, and sought for pardon and mercy
grief for sin, but terror on account of its through faith in that Christ of whom the
punishment; it was not that godly sor- apostle spake to him. But these salutary
row which calm? and purifies the heart, impressions were but of short duration :
but the foretaste of despair which rages like one suddenly awakened out of his
in outer wo. " He trembled." The apos- sleep, he felt a moment's alarm
but,
tle had entered with the candle of the with that infatuation common to fallen
Lord into the recesses of his bosom, and humanity, he again folded his arms to
disclosed all those images of wickedness slumber.
Could the apostle have told
which, with all the cowardice of conscious him how he could be happy without reguilt, Felix had striven to conceal from quiring to be holy
how he might escape
himself; and so vividly did Paul portray iiell and enjoy earth how he might be dethe doings of that day when the books livered from the curse denounced against
shall be opened and the judgment set, his sins, but left in the enjoyment of the
that Felix was made to feel as if it had sins themselves, gladly would Felix have
already arrived
as if he had seen the listened to his message.
But since the
Judge make bare his holy arm, and heard apostle could preach no gospel but that
that sentence proi.ounced which should which proclaimed salvation, not in sin, but
doom him to eternal despair. And, neither from sin since the apostle could promise
the sophistry of a deceitful heart, nor the a happiness only flowing from and parallel
suggestions of the wicked one, nor the with holiness, what did the poor infatuated
fatal influence of Drusilla, nor the flatter- Felix resolve to do ?
He dismisses the
ing speeches of Tertullus, nor the pomp preacher, but retains his Drusilla; he
and splendour of his office as the viceroy clings to the pleasures of sin which are
of the Roman emperor
not one nor all but for a moment, but he parts with his
of these things could pacify the fears of eternal salvation
to the message, to the
" He messenger of God, to God himself, he
his guilty awakened conscience.
trembled," like the meanest criminal that says, " Go thy way for this time; when
ever stood at his own tribunal; " he 1 have a convenient season, I will call for
;

trembled," like the benighted traveller, thee !" But we never read that that conwhen all on a sudden the lightning dis- venient season ever came he never, as
closes the awful precipice on whose brink far as we learn, sent for Paul again, at
he is approaching; "he trembled," like least to hear the gosppl preached
and
the man under sentence of death, when the next time that Felix trembled was,
in his cell at the midnight hour he hears we have reason to fear, in that place
j

the knocking of the


scaffold on

row

which he

hammer
is to

" he trembled"

erecting the

die on the mor-

his

where there is weeping, and "trembling,"


and wo, without ceasing and without rest

countenance for ever.

Amen.

SERMON

X.

THE SACRIFICE AND EXALTATION OF

CHRIST.

BY THE REV. W. ATHERTON.

*'

But

this

man, after he had

God ; from

The

offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat

henceforth expecting

apostle

showing,

is

till

his enemits be

in this chapter,

'

the superiority of the sacrifice and priest-

hood of Jesus Christ, when compared


with those sacrifices which were offered,
and those priests that gave attendance, at
the Jewish altar; and on which things
the Hebrew Christians had trusted for
acceptance with God.
He shows their great superiority by a
variety of arguments. The first argument
is drawn from the priesthood of the people :
"Every high priest taken from among

men

is

ordained for

men

taining to God, that he


gifts

and sacrifices

for

in things

may
sin :"

offer

made

down on

his footstool."

hand of

the right

Heb.

x. 12, 13.

make

the comers thereunto perfect.


man, because he continueth
ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood."

never
'

But

It

this

was

so full of dignity, so full of merit,

so teeming with virtue

it

was stamped

with such an infinite desert, that such a


Tho
sacrifice once offered was enough.
Jewish high priests, in humble reverence
and in readiness to serve, stood within
the veil offering the

" But

same

sacrifices

he had offered one


sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on
This one sacrithe right hand of God."
fice of Christ stands opposed to the mul-

per-

both

but the

this

tiplicity

man,

after

of sacrifices that were

High Priest is the Lord from under the law.


Sacrifice, you know, was a
heaven, " God over all, blessed for ever."
The Jewish high priests, in their official ordinance, in which a minister

offered

Christian's

ministrations, had

first to offer

religious
set apart

an animal as a victim to endure the pain

sacrifices

which was a tacit and the death which had been incurred by
confession that they were sinners. The the transgression of the guilty sinner; or
Christian's High Priest, however, was it was presented to God in order to prowithout sin he knew no sin, had no sin cure some special favour, or to propitiate
This mode of worship
of his own to atone for, and was more divine justice.
for

their

own

sins,

perfectly fitted to

make atonement

We

are not to
certainly very ancient.
look for the origin of sacrifice to Sinai,

for the

is

sins of others.

Another argument he draws from the


themselves
they offered the
blood of bulls, and of goats, and of
lambs, which could not take away sin.
Our High Priest offered himself, a Lamb
without blemish ; he poured out the price
of our redemption for us, which is empha-

nor even to

Abraham and Noah

sacrifices the

sacrifices

smelling savour

views back as

And

whose

Lord received as a sweet

but we

far as the

as the practice

was

are to carry our

days of Adam.
ancient, there is

no doubt the appointment was divine


certainly the light of nature

would never

have sought, nor could the power of


He draws another argument from the human reason discover, such a strange
multiplicity of their sacrifices, which mode of approaching God as that of
were repeated, and offered year by year offeiing an innocent victim in the place
continually; proving that they "eould of the guilty. Besides, how could persons
105
Vol. H.

tically called the blood of Christ.

THE BRITISH

106

PULPIT.

tliat God would have accepted


The offering of our Redeemer's body,
which he had never required 1 If though certainly acute, and tragical, and

expect
that

God had never required, how could it be torturing, has been considerably exagexpected he would have received 1
Or gerated at the hands of some injudicious
wherein could they have exercised that persons. He was bound with cords in
faith

which was indispensable, unless an uneasy

God had made some promise


to it?

When we

in reference

find that sacrifice

was

immediately from the time


when sin entered the world ; immediately
about the time when the great Deliverer
was promised, in what other light can
we view it, than as intended to point out
appointed

position

the face, both with a

he was smitten on
mock sceptre and

the rude hand of the wicked ; he was


scourged, or whipped, which, in his state

of body, after his agony in the garden,

must have been exquisitely painful his


sacred limbs were unnaturally extended,
nails were driven through the sinews of
this gresacrifice that should be oflered his hands and feet, and the whole weight
for the siiiS of the world 1
of his body was sustained by those nails.
We are not, however, to understand The prophet says, he " gave his back to
this Deliverer as being man only.
If we the smiters, and his cheeks to them that
lo k into this epistle, we shall find the plucked off the hair: they gave him gall
apostle representing him as greater than for his meat, and vinegar for his drink;
the prophets:
ne more perfectly reveal- so that his visage was marred more than
ing to men the mind and will of God, any man, and his form more than the sons
more clearly opening to them the path of of men." These were sufferings of no
;

.t

salvation, and as being the partaker of a


higher life. He is described as greater
than Moses; as more intimate with God

than Moses; the author of a more excellent dispensation; the bringer in of a

more distinguished
people of God.
He is

common

kind.

But, in suffering, he offered his mind.

The

sufferings of our Redeemer's soul


must be considered as the soul of his
sufferings.
These he anticipated at a

when he

better covenant, and a

distance,

leader of the

tism to be baptized with

greater than

Aaron as a

said,

"

and

have a bap-

how am

We

being straitened till it be accomplished !"


a priest of a heavenly, a divine, and an must, however, go into the garden of
unchanging kind he is a priest, not after Gelhsemane, to witness this sacrifice ofthe order of Aaron, but "a priest for ever fered.
Being there, with those of his
priest,

Melchisedec."

after the order of

He

who had

witnessed his
he became exceedingly
heavy and sorrowful ; that is, he bare
such an oppressive weight of sorrow and
anguish, as threatened to dissolve the
union of the body and soul. At length
he gave vent to his feelings in words,
saying, " My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death ;" that is, if some
help be not sent, if some support be not
than the angels thfmselves, and of whom afforded from heaven, this night, in this
it was said at the beginning of creation,
garden, death must ensue; for the body
" Let all the angels of God worship him." cannot sustain the mind under such a
All this goes to prove the proper divinity weight of anguish as I now experience.
of Him who was the brightness of the He falls on his face, and cries, " Father,
Father's glory, the express image of his if it be possible"
to display and to harperson, and the heir of all things.
monize thy perfections if it be possible
This God-man offered one sacrifice to save a world of sinners in any other
FOR SIN, and that was the sacrifice of way than this, " let this cup pass from
himself, which we may consider as im- me :" and when he had thus prayed, he
plying surrender
he offered his body. broke into a perspiration, and that was a
is

disciples alone

David as a
king: "Thy throne, O God, is Lc ever
and ever." His "dominion is an everlasting dominion;" and of the increase
of his kingdom and of his government,
thank God, there shall be no end. He is
greater than Abraham, .s the father of a
more numerous and s[ iritual race, and as
bringing more sons unto glory
greater

transfiguration,

described

as

greater

than

THE SACRIFICE AND EXALTATION OF

CHRIST.

107

sweat of blood. Now, brethren, what surely this must have been exquisitely
must have been the agony of his mind, trying. His glory and his honour must
when, in the bloom and prime of health, have been swallowed up in shame but for
supported by conscious innocence, raised " the joy that was set before him." And
above the natural fear of death, with the
prospect of an abundant entrance into the
what must have
kingdom of heaven
been the agony of his mind when even
;

the vital fluid, interrupted in

its

natural

course of circulation, was forced through


the coats of the veins, the vessels, and

integuments, and bathed his body in a


Surely the cause and
sweat of blood
I

the design of those sufferings were not of

what was that?

The

joy of bringing

many

sons to glory.

Why,

to rescue thee, sinner,

What was

thati

from depravity and misery; to snatch thee from the


death of sin, and to bring thee to blessed" For the joy that was set before
ness.
him, he endured the cross, despising the
shame, and is set down at the right hand
of

tlie

throne of God."

He

offered, in sacrifice, the consolations

an ordinary character. But, said the prophet, " He shall see of the travail of his

of heaveiis protection, when he cried,


" .My God, my God, why hast thou for-

soul, and shall be satisfied'" in


and everlasting consequences.

saken

its

present

mel"

There has been some theo-

logical discussion respecting the sense in

He offered, in sacrifice, his glory ; by which the eternal God forsook the man
which we understand how glory will fol- Christ Jesus; and various solutions have
low up the shame. Every good man has been offered to meet the difficulty. Suffice
a proper sense with regard to dignity of it to say, that there was a mysterious
character and propriety of conduct, and union of nature between the eternal God
must be sensibly alive to his own reputa- and the man Christ Jesus. This, I'rom
tion
so that when he is wounded in his incarnation, was, and to eternity must
these, he is deprived of that which is be, indissoluble.
To divide these two
most valuable to his feelings, and most would be to deprive the Saviour's blood
important in a worldly point of view. of its efficacy, and undermine the great
Now, our Redeemer's feelings were not doctrine of the atonement. There was a
blunted and stoical; he was alive to his union of favour, a display of grace, such
reputation; his sense of indignity, and as subsists between the blessed God and
shame, and dishonour, were exquisite; his adopted children; the same in nature,
nay, they were delicately fine; and when but in Christ superior in degree.
Now,
they called him an enemy to civil govern- this cannot be lost without sin and Jesus
ment, and deceiver of the people; when Christ would not fall into this, for with
they said, " He is mad, a glutton, and a him, and in him, the Father was ever
wine bibber;" when they said he had pleased.
he
a devil, that he was not fit to live
But there is a union ef protection. God
must have felt the indignity with great has said to his people that he is a wall of
acuteness.
But when his private grief fire round about the righteous; that he
is invaded by the mob, with lanterns, as
will encompass them s with a shield.
if they came to apprehend a person who This protection, however, he can withhad recently coqfiaiitted some horrid mur- draw on certain occasions, for wise reader
when he is to be dragged from one sons, as he did in the case of Job. So
;

magistrate's house to another, in the dead

of the night, to be arraigned on charges


of high crimes and misdemeanours; to be

long as this union of protection remained


to our Lord, the Jews might take up
stones to stone him; they might lead him

mock majesty, compelled to bear his


own cross, executed between two notori-

brow of the hill to cast him down,


but they could not touch a hair of his
head.
But now the dogs of hell opened
their mouths on him; the strong bulls of

ous cut-throat thieves; betrayed, denied,


and forsaken by those who knew him

hell are

tried,

condemned, smitten on the

spit upon, scourged, arrayed in

face,

emblems

of

to the

; now earth and


allowed to do their worst; and

Bashan beset him around

THE BRITISH

108

such is that worst, as to lead him to cry


God, " Why hast thou abandoned mel

to

why hast thou forsaken me ]"


He offered, in sacrifice, his

PULPIT.

sufferings of Christ,

directed to sin:

Christ

suffered

we

are immediately

died for our sins;


once for sin, the just
he

he bare our sins in his


he was wounded
;
for our transgressions, he was bruised for
W'e know of no sacrifice
lay down his life for his friend ;" but our iniquities.
" when we were enemies, Christ died for being offered, either from the Old or
us." The Redeemer said that none could New Testament, but what it had some
call
take away his life ; he had power to lay it connexion with sin. That religion
it Socinian, or what
it Unitarian, call
down, and he had power to take it again
he laid down his life for the sheep. We you please that religion that has no safor the
therefore find that his death was earlier crifice for sin, is not Judaism
than was usually the case with male- sacrifice of Christ formed a very importfactors ; earlier than the death of the ant part of the Christian and .Tewish
religion
it is not Christianity, for the
malefactors who were crucified with him
not through extreme torture, not through sacrifice of Christ is the glory of the
Jesus died for sins
loss of blood, not through the breaking of Christian system.
his bones for we are told " he cried with not his own, for he was without sin ; he
a loud voice," showing that there was no died for the sins of the whole world.
This man offered himself a sacrifice for
loss of strength, demonstrating that the
Life

life.

" Greater love


dear to every creature.
hath no man than this, that a man
is

for the unjust;

own body

on the tree

vital organs

pulse

was

were

of

full

and

beating,

life,

that every

that

he

died

transgressions of

The

it.

man exposed him

to

the

displeasure of God, to the stroke of jus-

voluntarily.

He

sin to avert the consequences of

Suf-, tice, to the wrath of heaven, the death of

offered, in sacrifice, his will.

be loved
sake ; and shame and death
foes. The Redeemer prayed
of suffering might pass from

fering can never

for its

own

the

body, to anguish of mind.

Jesus

that the cup

Christ paid the penalty, that he might


deliver the sinner from the consequences

him

of his sins; and every sinner that accepts

are terrible

yet he

sacrifice of Christ by faith, the


he voluntarily re- finger of God's mercy, dipped in the
signed himself to that train of overwhelm- blood of his Son, writes that sinner as
ing and distressing ideas that threw his one over whom the second death shall
mind into an agony that bathed him in a never have power.
He died in order that he might remove
bloody sweat he gave up the consolation
Here there was the presence of sin by doins; avjay the
of heaven's protection.

gave his person

who

put

it

into the

to torture

hands of those of the

no

force, there w?.s

no compulsion

thing was free: this

body, and
mankind.
Perhaps

spirit,

man

every

offered himself,

and glory, and

life, for

love of it, by cleansing the guilty in the


fountain opened for sin and uncleanness,

rendering

the

person

without spot, or

wrinkle, or any such thing; that he might


so renew the nature of man, so endear the

it may be asked, /or what purSome tell principles of grace to him, that he might
pose he offered this sacrifce.
us that Christ died to confirm the truth of deny ungodliness and warldly lusts, and
his doctrine. No, brethren, his doctrines live above the practices of sin.

And further, he offered himself a sacriupon their own evidence, on their


moral influence, confirmed by his stu- fice to recoveT the forfeiture of sin. Sin
pendous miracles. It has been said by had forfeited the image, the love, the
some that he thus suffered and died to protection of God. Through sin man had
set an example to his followers how they lost every spark of happiness in life and
should endure suffering. No; he lived comfort in death, and every title to glory ;
to teach us t^ live, and he has left an but by the sacrifice of Christ we receive

rested

that we should follow his steps.


Whenever we think or read about the

example

that

all

This

we

lost in the transgression.

sacrifice

was

so complete in both

THE SACRIFICE AND EXALTATION OF

CHRIST.

109

Having

so voluntary, of them that slept."


it was
body and mind
and of his own accord it was stamped disciples as far as his favourite Bethany,
;

led out his

with such an iafinite desert, tJiat one


such sacrifice, oblation, or satisfaction,
as Christ offered, was enough; it never
needed to be repeated, either in the mass
It does not need
or in any of its parts.
human merits, human sufferings the one
offering of Christ is enough, if you believe it and you will accept it, and if you
will accept of it as a fall and present salOne such sacrifice is a sufficient
vation.
atonement for the sins of the world.
are now directed to the exaltaThis was
tion OF our Redeemer.
through the medium of liis resurrection.
That Jesus Christ really died on the
cross, was attested by the water and the
blood that flowed after the insertion of
the spear, anatomically demonstrating
And
that the heart had been pierced.
that he rose again, according to the Scriptures, we have conclusive evidence. We
have the testimony of the angel, who
said, " He is not here, he is risen."
have the testimony of the women who
were early at the synagogue. We have
the testimony of the two doubting disciples who met him by the way. We have
the testimony of Thomas, who would not
believe his eyes
he must have another
have the
sense, touch, convinced.
testimony of all the twelve; the testimony of " five hundred brethren at once ;"
the testimony of Paul, who was " as one
born out of due time." We have the
testimony of the Roman soldiers, who
became as dead men ; to say nothing of
the story invented by the Jews, that his
disciples had stolen away the body while
:

We

We

We

the soldiers slept.

There is no fact connected with our


Lord's history, of more importance than
his resurrection.

Upon

the truth of this

event depends the divinity of his mission,


the truth of his doctrine, the credibility of
his miracles, the satisfaction of his atone-

ment, the truth of his promises, especially


the promise of his raising the human body
from the dust. Seeing that there is no
fact of more consequence than the resurrection, there is no fact that has such
abundant evidence. " Now is Christ risen

from the dead, and become the

first-fruits

he lifted up his hands and blessed them,


and while he was in the act of blessing
them, a cloud received him out of their
sight.

And

he has

now " sat down at the right


God is a great and inviwith whom, literally, there

hand of God."
sible Spirit,

can be neither standing nor recumbency;


we must, therefore, understand this phrase
figuratively and it is, first, expressive of
rest.
The Jewish high priest, wlien he
entered within the veil, never sat down:
his work was not done he had to return,
:

and

to

the

same

were spared:

"But

come back and

sacrifice, if his life

offer

he had offered one sacrifice


down on the right
hand of God." Not that Jesus Christ
had ceased from his mediatorial acts not
that he has ceased to be alive to the interests of his church and of his people.
No ; he bears the names of his people on
this

man,

after

for sins, for ever sat

the breastplate of his heart; he

knows

with the feeling


of their infirmities he receives, perfumes,
and presents their prayers he sends down
on them the Holy Ghost, he answers their
requests, he avenges their injuries, he
their state, he is touched
;

marks in his book their works of faith


and labours of love. And it is to be
expected that you give him some token
of that kind, that he may have works of
Moreover, he is
faith to record of you.
superintending the repairing of their man-

and the brightening of the crowns


shall adorn their ransomed heads.
As it respects suffering, active and paswhen he shall
sive, he has sat down
appear again, it will be without a sinsions,

which

offering to the salvation of the world.

But this expression, " sat down," intimates his being honoured. To be placed
at the right hand of eastern majesty, was
an honour for court favourites and sucThe highest honour
cessful generals.
Solomon could confer on his mother,
Bethsheba, was to give her a place at
his right hand. When we read that Jesus
Christ is at the right hand of God, we
understand he is raised to the highest
honour; he is raised above all principalities

and powers

having done his work to

THE BRITISH

110

the perfect satisfaction of his Father,

it

that, at

the

are

should bow, and every tongue confess

Hence

Father."

" Worthy

is

God

the

the language of heaven

the

Lamb

that

was

slain

"Go,

ye,

nations."

It

next words?

that he is Lord, to the glory of

is,

what

God to give him a name therefore, and teach all


the name of Jesus, every knee would have been useless,

has pleased

"

PULPIT,

worthless, for

us to have gone into the world to preach


gospel, if he had not received the

the

power

and

brethren

it

dominion.
Yes, rny
thus looking at the posi-

the
is

power, aiJ riches, and wisdom,


and strength, ".nti honour, and glory, and
blessing."

tion, lookingat the magnitude of the work,


contemplating our exalted Redeemer sit
ting at the right hand of our heavenly
This phrase is expressive if power, of Father, invested with all power and with
authority, and dominion.
Indeed, the all sovereignty, that we see nothing can
right hand is sometimes employed as an withstand the power of his will. There he
emblem of power. Now, when our Re- shall sit until according to the promise

to receive

deemer is placed at the right hand of of the Father to him, " Sit thou at my
Gcd, we understand him as invested with right hand, until I make thine enemies
power: he is now the ruler of all things, thy footstool" the purposes of his will
the governor of all worlds.
The Lord shall he fulfilled.
Jesus Christ is King; and all the acts of
Of THE ADVERSARIES OF JeSUS ChRIST,
his government, all the acts of his reign, we observe, frst, that Satan is the most
are for the

encouragement, glory, and


church; for the present

stability of his

and eternal welfare of his people.

"

is

given to be the

Head

over

all

He

things

to the church, which is his body :" he


can therefore raise up whatever instruments he pleases; he can give these
instruments whatever talents he thinks
proper; and whether their talents shall
be many and great, or few and small, he
can render those talents efficient and sufficient to answer the end for which they
are given
for with him is the residue of
;

subtle, ancient, and

formidable.

When

were sown among the wheat, it was


said, "an enemy hath done this;" and it
is
further added, "the enemy is the
wicked one." Satan was the enemy of
Christ's person, and mission, and saving
work he showed his enmity when, on
tares

the cross,

seed of the

"he bruised the heel of the


woman." He is the enemy

of man
and he shows his enmity to him
by blinding his understanding, hardening
;

his heart, polluting his imagination, sen-

sualizing his passions and his appetites,

and robbing God of the affections and the


services of the creatures he has made.
Satan is the enemy of the pious; to their
turn the hearts of men as he listeth
kings, holiness, their happiness, their usefuland peasants, and savages, saints and sin- ness; and this he shows by agitating,
ners.
He can make the events of trade perplexing, and distressing their minds
and commerce; he can make the wrath of on the subject of Christian experience,
man, and the wrath of the very devil, to throwing hinderances in the way of duty,
serve him and to serve his cause.
He and tempting them to depart from the
ever reigns in the kingdom of nature, and living God.
makes the rivers in their channels, and
But, my brethren, this adversary shall"
the stars in their courses, fight in his be the footstool of the woman's all-concause.
Jesus Christ can bring whom quering seed that was given to bruise his
and what he will to do the purposes of head. Already this adversary has been
conquered, when the Saviour spoiled
his grace and salvation.
It is on this ground that missionary principalities and powers, and made a
the Spirit.

He

holds in his hand the sceptre of the


kingdom of Providence; so that he can

Without these we show of them openly and by that genedo nothing, and expect nothing. ral outpouring of the Spirit of God which
Our Redeemer based the subject himself shall fall on us by and by, the power of
here
"All power," says he, "is given Satan shall be broken, the armour on
unto me in heaven and in earth." And which he has trusted shall be taken away,
exertions are based.

could

THE SACRIFICE AND EXALTATIOx\ OF


his

goods shall be spoiled

having the

the

antjel

key of the bottomless

pit

old serpent, and


and confine him, and seal
his ruin, never more to go about and
shall

lay hold of the

shall bind him,

CHRIST.

Ill

Paganism presents

the most delusive


prospect of happiness and of safety.
Now, these are enemies to Christ, because he is light and truth
these are
:

and dark as the chambers


These systems degrade God's

false as hell,

deceive the people.

of death.

Another adversary of Jesus Christ is


Error. Error may be said to be a hydra
with many heads.
The first head which presents itself in
this hydra has the face of a beast; by
which we understand the errors of popery

creatures, rob the

Redeemer, murder the


as such they must

men and
come down by the
souls of

general diffusion of

knowledge, by the spread of the Scriptures, by the propagation of the gospel,


by the piety and by the influence of God's
so decided an enemy to Christ that people, these systems shall be overturned.
that system in the New Testament is Every error of the church of God
PhariThat system takes seeism, Antinomianism, denying tlie Lord
called Anti-Christ.
from the common people the word of life, that bought them will be brought to lick
which is the key of knowledge. It takes the dust. The conflict has begun some
the ordinances of men, and doctrines of noble battles have been won, and shall
devils, for oracles of God.
It exalts the go on till all is subdued by the sword of
creature to the throne of the Creator.
It the Lord and of Gideon.
gives to saints and angels the honour and
Another enemy is to be fonnd in wicked
worship due to the Saviour of the world. and unconverted men. We might conceive
It gives license to crime by the sale of it possible for superstition and idolatry to
indulgences. It has ever infused a perse- be destroyed from the earth and yet, so
cuting and uncharitable disposition. It long as men are unconverted to God, they
has blinded the understandings and dead- are enemies to Christ. Men are born into
ened the consciences of myriads of men the world with a nature of enmity, not
for ages, and opposes almost impassable submitting to God's law; every sin man
barriers to the spread of experimental commits is an act of hostility against the
and practical godliness.
living God. They are enemies to his jusNow, this enemy shall be the footstool tice, which is pledged to punish them; they
of Jesus Christ.
With the flash of his are enemies to his law, which restrains
eye, at the brightness of his appearing, their passions and abridges them in their
the man of sin, the son of perdition, shall gratification of them they are enemies to
be subdued. The great angel has already Christ's gospel, which requires sacrifices
cast the millstone into the pit, saying, that they are unwilling to make, and im"Thus shall Babylon fall, the seat of the poses terms to which they are unwilling
beast."
to submit ; they are enemies to his people,
Another of these errors has the face of who resemble him, and whose piety conthe false prophet, by which we may un- demns their licentious laxity.
derstand the delusions, impurities, and
But these enemies shall be the footstool
abominations of Mahometamsm.
The of the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Upon
next has the face of a dragon by which unconverted men Jesus Christ will emwe understand the cruel, the impure, the ploy his gospel, and his word on their
licentious, the hellish abominations of understanding, and his Spirit on their
Paganism, or Heathenism.
Paganism conscii;nces, and his providence on their
gives to the mind the falsest idea of circumstances and their bodies; and these
God, or extinguishes the idea of the weaj ons shall be mighty, through God,
Supreme Being from the human mind. to the pulling down of strongholds. By
Heathenism substitutes, in the place of these wea, ons some shall see their error,
the great Jehovah, idols and devils wor- shall discover their wickedness, shall
ships them by the impurest rites, pro- perceive their danger, and tremble at it;
pitiates them by the bloodiest sacrifices. shall let the weapons of their rebellioa

THE BRITISH PULPIT

112

power. As all have sinned against God,


worms, to the footstool of Christ's the sentence is passed upon all the saint
mercy; shall cordially embrace, with as well as the sinner must meet this great
arms of faith, the despised Nazarene
foe they must meet, they must struggle,
they shall give him their hearts, and they must grapple in the stern grasp and
affections, and lives, in devotional obedi- in the cold embrace of death, that fair
ence and they shall joyfully suffer for frame of thine must fall. But thou fallest
drop out of their hands; shall crawl, like
guilty

his sake.

The enemies

of Christ shall

to rise in glory

their wills, their con-

Thy

sciences, their affections, their powers,

like

become

his guests

being subdued to the obedience of faith


and those who withstand these means of
mercy, who resist these weapons of grace,
shall be swept away with the besom of
destruction, when, from the dense smoke
of the perdition of hell, they shall confess,
as it is said of the apostate Julian, " O,
thou Galilean, thou hast conquered me !"
I refused to be overcome by the power of
thy word, by the power of thy gospel
and now, in my turn, I am overcome by
the damnation of hell
Another enemy of Christ is death. He
is said to be the last enemy that shall be
destroyed.
Death is shrunk from with
almost instinctive abhorrence by all animated nature. To the wicked man, death
is the king of ttrrore ; it separates him
from his pleasures, cuts him off from
his sins, drives him from his idols
it
does away the possibility of moral and
spiritual improvement, it seals his everlasting ruin. And even some of the saints
view death as a foe, having been all their
lifetime subject to bondage.
Brethren,
what devastation has death made in the
fair workmanship of God
See the blasting, withering influence of death on the
finest animal frames, the brightest intellectual agencies
Who can ever look at
the corpse of a parent, a husband, a child,
a friend, without saying, "An enemy
hath done this]"
Yes and this enemy holds in bondage
;

as thou fallest thou liest.

body shall be changed, and made


unto Christ's glorious body. Soon
vile

the trumpet shall sound, the dead shall be


raised incorruptible, and death and hell
shall be cast into the lake which burns
with fire and brimstone: death shall be
done away, and God shall be all in all.
Lastly, all these enemies have been
made by one worse than the devil himSin made a
self; and that enemy is sin.
demon of one of the brightest angels that

stood before the throne

man

enemy

sin

made

inno-

and a vassal in his life against God; sin brought


all the error and idolatry, and superstitions and abominations that are on the
earth
sin "brought death into the world,
and all our wo." When the gospel shall

cent

an

in his heart

when the gospel


saving influence on the
children of men, then the practices of sin
shall come to an end ; and when all the
people of God shall be brought safe to
be universally preached,

shall

exert

its

their Father's house, sin shall be annihi-

And for this purpose the Son of


God was manifested for this purpose he

lated.

offered himself a sacrifice for sin

for this

purpose he has commanded his gospel to


be preached to every creature ; for this
purpose he is at this moment seated at
the right hand of God, invested with all
power, with all energy to employ whatever instrument or agent he thinks proper,
to give a blessing to those means that they
may be effectual. And when death shall
be done away, and when sin shall be
of corruption the bodies of the saints who annihilated, he will rise up from his seat,
have died in the Lord. It is very true and not till then, and deliver up the kingJosus dom into the hands of his Father; and
this enemy is a conquered one.
Christ encountered death in his dark do- God shall be all in all.
Here we discover, brethren, the characmain and, as he entered it, he said, " O,
They are said to be enedeath, 1 will be thy plagues ; O, ^rave, I ter of sinners.
Enemies to Christ?
will be thy destruction :" he snapt those mies to Christ.
chains of which it was impossible for him Can that be true ? Is that not a libel on
to be held ; and he rose superior to its human nature that deserves to be prose!

THE SACRIFICE AND EXALTATION OF


cuted and punished by the judges

enemy

to

goodness

An enemy

An enemy

An

to

bene-

CHRIST.

113

we know no way of bringing these


rebels to God but by the moral suasion

but

him that hath of the gospel. Jesus Christ could subdue


An his rebels by miracles, by providences,
loved us, and given himself for us 1
enemy to him in whom met and combined by angels but when he redeems men, it
whatsoever things are true, and lovely, will be by himself overcoming men; and
and of good report ] Strange as it may be when he converts men, it will be by the
and one would scarcely think there was agency of man, the instrumentality of
volence

to

scarcely sufficient iniquity in any

nature to be an

enemy

Where is that person that has a


spark of love to Christ, of zeal for the
glory of his name, who has tasted of the

human man.

of Jesus Christ

experience and practice say that we will


not that grace shall reign in us and rule

sweets of his forgiving love, who does


not feel a wish to have something to do
all things but loss for the excellency of in bringing these rebels back to God 1
the knowledge of Christ, so long we are Jesus Christ has prepared his soldiers;
found in a state of enmity to Christ.
he has marshalled his powers, he has
We learn, again, that these enemies of equipped them for the fight; some of
Christ, these unconverted persons, must be them have taken the field ; others are
his footstool, whether at home or abroad. ready to go forth to fight the battles of
Are any of you unconverted] Are any of the Lord: he has done his part; we are
you in a state of hostility of mind to the required to do ours.
are to pray for
blessed Jesus ?
Remember you must the extension of his kingdom we are to
come down. Will you be subdued by bear his banner in the arms of faith and
justice or by mercy ]
Will you be con- prayer we are to supply the pecuniary
quered by the sceptre of his grace, or will means so long as human instrumentality
you be broken in pieces by the iron rod of is employed in extending the triumphs of
his wrath 1 Will you be subdued by the the cross.
Money will be requisite ; and
Lamb of God, or will you be torn in we ought to be forward in supplying these
pieces by the Lion of the tribe of Judah] pecuniary means. The battle has begun,
Must Jesus Christ conquer you by the the conquests have commenced the work
sword of his Spirit, and by the power of is going on, and God has honoured you
his blood ; or must you be brought to by giving you a part in it. We read that
submission by the flames of hell? O, even the dark papist is turning over the
kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye pages of God's word
that the Mahomperish from the way
He has offered a medan has confessed the founder of his
sacrifice for you and for the world ; he system an impostor; that pagans have
has sat down at the right hand of God been converted, and now despise idolatry.
his Father, and he will never rise from We know that within the last twelve
that seat till the world is saved or lost
months, in our own country, ten thousand
till thou art converted or cast into outer
who were rebels to Christ have been
darkness.
subdued by the word of Christ, and numFinally, we see the duty of the people to bers in our foreign stations.
Yes ; the
extend by conquest the triumphs of the kingdom of hell is shaking the gates of
Redeemer, the empire of the Saviour; to perdition tremble. Let us not rest, but
bring home his rebel outcasts, that they take up a bold and manful stand in our
may be saved from sin and Satan's snare. own places, until we join in that blessed
Look at the vast population of the globe; acclamation, "The kingdoms of this world
what a melancholy aspect it wears
In are become the kingdoms of our Lord and
fifty years perhaps the whole of this of his Christ
the Lord God omnipotent
generation will be swept off the stage of reigneth !" Yes, and he will reign till
time ; and, if unconverted, where will he has subdued all to the obedience of
Now, the Lord has no faith, till death and sin are dead, and
that portion be ?
over us.

So long as we refuse

to

count

We

pleasure in the destruction of sinners

Vol.

1L 15

God

shall be all in all.

Amen.

THE

114

BRITISH PULPIT.

SCRIFTTTRi: DIFFICULTIES.
NO.

The infidel must either dispute the


evidence, and disprove the facts which

I.

the authority of the revelation,

attest

or
Socrates is reported to have said, conhe must take the revelation upon its own
cerning the writing-s of Ileranlitus, that
assumption, and proceed to show that its
60 much of them as could be understood
must be pronounced excellent and admi- contents cannot be worthy of God to
impart, nor of man to receive.
It is but
rable; and that that portion might be
very rarely that infidels attempt any thing
believed to be so which could not be
more than to carp at the mysterious and
understood. It is very certain that the
obscure parts of the sacred volume.

objectors to the sacred Scriptures, in rest-

ing their opposition upon a few obscure


places and apparent contradictions, have

These they endeavour


as possible from

to isolate as

all its

much

sublimer and less

questionable portions
they pass over in
little of the wisdom and none
silence the great mass of its contents, and
of the candour of that arni*b!e heathen
fix, with malicious subtilty, upon a f(^w
and our modern Deists, at i^ast, appear
hard sayings, which they endeavour to
very unlikely to be benefited by an exwrest from their connexion, or to pervert
ample of modesty and fairness, which the
to an import altogether foreign;
and
malignity of their minds disqualify them
which, by being placed together, rehave
disdained
no
to appreciate.
They
peated with disingenuous exaggerations,
artifice, however mean, and withheld no
and, in their condensed form, surrounded
railing, however violent and unjust, by
with the murky and distorting atmosphere
which they could excite the very low;

displayed

human nature of hostile matter, present


An awful spirit of midable appearance than

est and worst passions of

against revelation.

a far more forreally belongs

to them, or than they are ever felt to


and rashness is fallen upon
possess, when they are casually met with
them, and their attempts to make good
in the fair and honest perusal of the
their argument resembly any thing rather
sacred volume itself.
than that dispassionate and serious spirit
of inquiry, which alone becomes so grave

blindness

and momentous
lead to
It is

its

a c,uestion, or

which could
THE SCRIPTURES.

sacisfactory termination.

by no means

upon the solution of

to

be admitted that,

doctrinal, historical,

philological, or philosophical difficulties,

The word

of

others.

faith,

or the obscurities in the contents of reve-

is

bread that nou-

sword that pierces


the odour of life to those

It is

depends the question at issue between the who live by


infidel and the Christian. The main body themselves;
of the Christian evidence stands quite independent of tiie imperfections in the text,

God

and

rishes some,

it

is

and die sincerely to


the odnur of death to

who

are alienated from God, and


up in themselves by pride. The
best nourishment turns to poison in
corrupted stomachs
whoever looks for
scandal in the word of God, deserves to
find it there to his own ruin.
God has so
mixed light and shade in his word, that
the humble and docile find there nothing
but truth and comfort, whilst the indocile
and presumptuous find nothing but error
and incredulity. All the difficulties imme-

those

live shut

Let the question of external evidence be first settled, before the book itself
then let the Christian
be scrutinized
advocate avail himself of the benefits of
the first stage of proof through which he
has advanced ; or let him require, before
he proceeds to the solution of the difficult
places, what he has a right to assume,
that the book is of divine origin, and is to diately vanish when the mind is cured of
be estimated fairly by this pretension, as presumption then, according to the rule
being placed, by the very fact professed, of St. Augustin, we pass over all we do
in circumstances altogether different from not understand, and are edified at what we
lation.

any human composition.

do understand.

Fenelon.'

SERMON

XI.

THE INFLUENCE OF MEMORY INCREASING THE MISERY OF THE

BY THE REV.

"But Abraham

said, Son,

remember

J.

A.

Our Lord Jesus


llie

greatest of

all

Christ

was not only

preachers, but unques-

tionably the most awful.

JAMES.

that thou in thy life time receivedst thy

and thou

likewise Lazarus evil things: but noiv he is comforted,


ful,

that lifted

His discourses There

abound with more frequent allusions to


the punishment of the guilty, and with
more fearful descriptions of it, than can
be found in almost any other portion of
holy Scripture. How tremendously fearful is the parable of which the text is a
part; in which He that hath the keys of
the unseen world seems to throw the door
of it ajar for a few moments, and to give
us a glimpse of that world where hope
never enters, and from which misery

art tormented."

good

is

up his eyes

and

xvi. 25.

to the rich

torment.

in

a dreadful taunt in the admoni-

tion, a sting not to

then,

things,

Luke

when addressing himself

man

LOST.

my

This,

be described.

hearers, is the subject of dis-

the incourse on the p'esent occasion


fluence of memory increasing the misery
of the lost.

That there is a state of inconceivable


and interminable punishment for the
wicked in another world, is one of the

first principles of revealed truth, which


cannot be discredited without withholdIn that ining assent from the Bible.
never can pass. Much of the parable, I spired book a state of rewards and puadmit, is what might be called drapery ; nishments is placed in the very front of
but it is not the drapery of error, but of its announcements, and it is interwoven
truth.
The sentiments conveyed to us with the whole texture of 'evealed truth.
that there is a state of punish- To doubt this, is not so far to mistake as
are these
:

ment prepared

for the

wicked

in

another

world, and a state of blessedness for tiie


that every man when he dies
righteous
:

enters

upon one or other of these states;

that the circumstances of the present


(I

mean those of

life

riches or of poverty)

to contradict the

my
The

testimony of God. Yes,

hearers, hell is a dreadful

poet

may make

reality.

the source

it

gloomy and awful images with which

of
to

adorn the creations of his genius, the


dramatist may work it up into a form for

have no influence of themselves upon public amusement, the swearer may emman's eternal destiny. Poverty, if united ploy it to add venom and fury to his oath,
with piety, will exclude no man from the scoffer may use it to point his epiheaven; riches, if connected with, impeni- gram, or sharpen his wit; but notwithtence and irreligion, will keep no man standing this shocking levity, this vulgar
obscenity, this awful impiety, it is a fact,
from hell.
But there is another sentiment convey- whatever men do with it, that there is a
ed in the language which I have selected lake that burneth with (ire and brimstone,
as the subject of discourse this evening, and that " the wicked shall bo turned
and that is, thai memory will have an into hell, and all the nations that forget
important influence in aggravating the God."
It is not improbable that the greater
misery of the damned. " Son, remember," was the expression which our Lord part of the punishment of the wicked
the curse of
put into the lips of the father of the faith- will be mental anguish
115
:

THE BRITISH

116
Jehovah will
to receive

upon a

fall

The

it.

and

made bare

more from

will arise probably


reflections

spirit

sufferings of the lost

dispositions,

positive inflictions of the

their

own

than

Almighty

circumstance which ought

to

and not only


it were, with ourselves
with ourselves as we are to be, but with

as

ourselves as

any
;

PULPIT.

I ki'

ever struck you, but

we

increase

we now

are.

w not whether

this

it is

thought has

a terrific one

mysteriously and wonderfully


mysteriously and

are

rather than diminish the apprehension of formed, and not less

man

punishment: for wonderfully placed. What, speaking of


body in the a lost soul, will he remember in anothei
First, The possessions he hah
case of a rational being to those of the world 1
mind ? What is mere pain, received IN THIS " Son, remember that thou in
through the nerves, compared with heart- thy lifetime receivedst thy good things,
but
remorse and self-reproach 1 By univer- and likewise Lazarus evil things
sal consent, there is no hell like that of a now he is comforted ; and thou art torguilty conscience; other punishments ar^ mented."
Yes, all shall be recollected
without us, but the source of this is the gains in business that this lost soul
within us. It is admitted on all hands, in perdition secured when he was an inthat the faculties of the soul will be habitant of our world ; his patrimonial
inconceivably strengthened in uiother possessions, his accumulations of wealth,
world; the immortal part of man will his splendid mansions, his gay equipage,
then arrive at the maturity of its powers, his sumptuous living, his retinue of serboth for good and for evil ; the good will vants, every thing that constituted his
be strengthened, the evil will be made gayety and his grandeur, and all his pomp
more resolute and determined, and all andcircumstance. But whatad vantage will
the passions more lively and vigorous. it be to have a voice perpetually saying to
Among these faculties, the memory will him throughout eternity, " Son, remember

what

concerning

this

are the tortures of the

bear

its

part in the

way

of influence. This

astonishing power of the

human mind

is

susceptible of almost illimitable degrees

now

thy
good things ?" O the sting of that past
tense, "thou hadst^ Worldly possessions
that thou in thy lifetime receivedst

some possess it to an
almost incredible certainly
astonishing. By its mysterious constitution we very frequently find, that thoughts
rise up that had been lost, not only for
hours, days, weeks, months, but for
years; a circumstance which renders it
not impossible nor improbable, that the
memory will be so strengthened when

in

the soul shall arrive at

last, evil as

of strength
extent that

is

its

eternal state,

whole series of its actions, of its


words, of its motives, will again be revived
the history of the man's whole
self be again brought before him, so that
he will seem to be living through all that
he did and all that he was, in that other
state of existence. We are always, therefore, my brelhren, sowing seed which is
to spring up to be gathered in eternity
" Be not deceived what a man soweth
that shall he also reap he that soweth to
the flesh shall of the fit ah reap corruption ;" while " he that soweth to the

that the

Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life ever-

lasting."

We

are thus to live for ever,

hand, or

in

expectation, are generally

a source of high gratification


alienated,

when

lost,

but

when gone

when

for ever,

what consolation do they generally yield


to him that possessed them ? And this lost
sinner will in many cases recollect by
what dishonourable and dishonest means
these possessionswere gained. Successful
fraud and villany, while the fruits of

them

they are, yield a gratification

to evil-disposed

men but when


:

the fruits

are all withered, and there is the bare,

blighted, leafless, and fruitless tree of

what pleasure
be to remember possessions ? And

guilt that bore them, then

will

it

even where there may be no guilt, where


no guilt may have been contracted in acquiring possessions, yet to recollect possessions for which the man sacrificed his
soul

O then

for a

man

to recollect that

his Bible, and his minister,

sounding
" V/hat shall

ally

it

profit a

the

whole world, and lose

He

is

tff

were perpetu-

in his ears the expression,

man if he gain
his own soul ]"

then to recollect this very expres>

THE INFLUENCE OF MEMORY.


by his own experience,

men,

117

such there be here to-night, do


convicted of the veriest folly that an im- consider how soon you may be stripped
mortal creature can commit of sacrificing of all that wealth, and go, a naked, penthe immortal for the mortal, heaven for niless spirit, into eternity; and if you
earth, things unseen and eternal for things have not employed your wealth (as, if
to have a voice, answering to the character I have just
seen and temporal
whispering to the soul through eternity, named, you have not) for the glory of
as there was in the case of Esau, when God, eternally to hear this voice, " Thou
he arose from the consumption of his hast had thy consolation, now nothing
transient meal, "This is the price of thy remains for thee."
Secondly, Lost souls will remember
birthright;" to have a voice whispering
their routs
in the soul for ever, "Thou hast sold the THEIR WORLDLY PLEASURES
high possessions of eternal life and glory and parties, their public and private enfor gratifications and possessions that are tertainments, their lawful and unlawful
gratifications, their scenes of revelry and
now for ever gone !"
But there will be another kind of re- seasons of mirth, their home-bred demembrance of those possessions ; or, in lights and their fashionable amusements.
other words, a remembrance of them con- And will these things throw one ray upon
nected with another idea
and that is, the gloom of everlasting night? Will it
that they have all been spent upon a blunt the thought of the worm that never
sion, and

to stand

if

man's

That property, granted to


employ for the glory of God, and

self.

dies, or mitigate th

fearfulness of the

quenched 1 The poet


for the good of mankind, for the relief of has said, and every man's experience susmisery, the instruction of ignorance, and tains the propriety and truth of the exthe salvation of lost souls, had all been pression, " Of joys departed never to respent on himself, for his own gratifica- turn, O how painful the remembrance."
tion, and the aggrandizement of his fa- Conceive of a man of title, and of wealth,
mily. Men will learn at the day of judg- and of family, and of enjoyment, sudment, if they never learn before, that denly arrested in the midst of his proswealth is a talent to be employed for the perity, by a power that he cannot resist,
good of man and for the glory of God ; and hurried away to a dark damp cell,
and then think what will be the feelings loaded with irons, and left with no other
of the lost spirit, to look back on hun- employment than the dreadful one of condreds and thousands spent on his own trasting the scene that he has left with
gratification, and that of his family, and that to which he has been brought; but

him

to

fire

that is never

spent for terrible, brethren, as the transition seems,


good of society. And that man's case is susceptible of hope;
connected with this, it is to be recollect- he may yet expect to he redeemed and
ed, that, in the present world, rich men restored to all that he has lost; if he be
are sometimes estimated in society rather a Christian, if this is not within the
by their wealth than by their virtue,
range of his expectations, he may look
very false standard of respect, but so it is
to brighter scenes abve, that will inand that tribute is paid to a man's purse finitely more than compensate for all
which cannot be demanded for his cha- this ; or if he be not a Christian, he will
racter.
But think of that man having look with something like consolation to
passed into the unseen world, to take his the grave, where the wicked cease from
place among the meaner lost, and to be troubling, and the weary are at rest. But
for ever hearing the taunt from pauper think of the votary of this world's pleatongues, " Art thou also become even as sure, think of the man of fashion, think
we ? For remember that thou in thy life- of the woman given up to little else than
nothing, or next to nothing,

God, and

for the

time hadst thy good things, we our evil earthly delights, suddenly arrested in
ones ; we are both tormented together their career, and carried into eternity,
now." O ye rich men, ye prosperous away from all their pleasures, to a land
tradesmen, ye hoarding men, ye covetous where no sounds of mirth, no voice of

THE BRITISH

118

song, no note of music ever breaks upon


where no pleasures of the turf,

the ear,

or of the field, are to be followed, where


the card table an'l the theatre exist no
longer, where th^ rnerry dance, and the

PULPIT.

some sins, in the case of most men,


which stand out with peculiar promi-

are

nence from the

Perhaps,

rest.

case of most of us, there are

we

in

the

some

that

concert of sweet sounds no more are to

cannot soon forget God has forgiven


them, but we can scarcely forgive our-

be enj jod

selves.

" But darkness, death, and long despair.

Reign

in eternal silence there."

to look

back on such a scene of de-

which

lights for ever gone, of pleasures

had no connexion with the inoral nature,


and therefore no connexion with man's
eternal destiny, except

destiny of

My

it

be that dark

and miserable

lost

hearers, accuse

me

spirits.

not to-night of

Is

possible to forget them

it

We

ought not to forget them


the remembrance ought to go through life, for
the sake of caution, for the sake of humility.
David went back as far as his
youth, and said, " Remember not against
;

me

the sins of

my

youth."

It

is

thus

the case sometimes with Christians:


is

who

also the case with those

Christians
of

they pass over a multitude

minor

it

are not

transgressions,

some

perhaps

but

sins they have committed,

the foul purpose of putting out the light


ftf human joy in the abodes of men ; tell

there are

me

them, the recollection is ever rising up in


their minds; it occurs in the hours of
silence, in the hour of midnight: sometimes in company, remarks are made by

not that

came

from the

of consolation

infuse the

or to
into

No

it.

sures which

hither to dash the cup

lips of mortals,

venom

of melancholy

only speak of those plea-

the

word of God

and which are put

forbids,

the recollection of

individuals

in

place of

those

but

which the word of God

exhibits.

I tell

with

you neglect and despise reI tell you, that if you are lovers
ligion
of pleasure more than lovers of God
tell you, that if you are not renewed by
the Holy Spirit, to taste that the Lord is
gracious, and to have joy and peace in
I tell
believing through Jesus Christ
you, that if you are given up to the enjoyment of a worldly mind and worldly
you, that

if

courses, this scene that

am

alluding to

awaits you. I am only stepping between


you and pleasures that would weigh you
down in that world where the sounds of
pleasure are never heard.
there

are

pleasures presented

brethren,
to

you,

whom

what

who

which

is

painful

are altogether strangers,

they suppose are acquainted

their

and

history,

they imagine

said is an accusation of

is

to

them

and in reading, they meet with facts that


throw their memories back on these
transgressions.

It

is

possible

am

ad-

dressing some to-night of this character;


it is

probable

night,

who,

I
in

am speaking

to

some

to-

the hour of temptation,

have fallen, and they have fallen grossly


and grievously. Now all their peace is
blasted, and all their self-respect is gone.
O that they would forget that one sin
that they could hide themselves from
the recollection of that one
for some
Lethean billow to put away a remembrance so painful they would be willing
that the past should be one universal
:

placed within your reach, which will fit


you for pleasures which are for ever, for blank, if it could take away the rememjoys that exist through endless ages, at brance of that sin. The sting remains;
the right hand of God.

Thirdly,

The lost

s .ul

will remem-

The great
IN ETERNITY HIS SINS.
multitude forget theirs now as soon as
ber

they are committed ; and any man that


sets himself down to the task of counting
the

number of

his

transgressions, will

engaged in as hopeless a work


as numbering the stars that burst on his
view on a clear winter's night. There

find

he

is

and there is a wound in the conscience,


festering and burning, which nothing can
Yes; there is balm for that. Beheal.
fore I go on to the application of the idea,
let me pause in the train of my thought
and representation, to speak to the wounded conscience, of a physician even for
that; a balm, even, as I have said, for
that deep wound ; the blood of Christ
can cleanse even from that sin. God

THE INFLUENCE OF MEMORY


laith,

am

*'I

Give not

willing to blot

thyself

up

wounded

for

our

out."

reckless and

to

hopeless despair; look to

it

Him

that

was
and

transgressions

bruised for our iniquities: Jesus Christ

But the

will receive thee, and forgive thee.

think,

my

hearers, if

now

be so pain-

it

sometimes to look back on the past,


what will it be in eternity, when all the
man's sins will rise up in his view, and
he must see them; when the voice that
ful

he hates, but cannot silence, will go over


the catalogue, and be for ever sounding
in his ears the sins that he hath commit-

ted, the sins of his youth.

think, for

ever to hold fellowship with dark thoughts

and guilty recollections ; to find himself


for ever and for ever in the company of
his sins.
And then, you know, all the
sophistry by which the deceitful heart
practises upon the mind of man will be
detected it will no longer be a doubt what
sin is; it will no longer be a question
whether it be a great and enormous evil,
;

or a

The

trifle.

lurid flashes of perdition

will throw light on this subject, and for


is an inexcuses will be
silenced, all pleas will be cut off, and the
poor creature will come back to this tremendous reflection, " Sin is as great an
evil as it was represented, and I stand
without excuse in the commission of it."
It is a fearful thing when it is said, God
" setteth our sins in the light of his countenance ;" it is not less fearful when we

ever settle the question, that sin


finite evil

and then

all

are told that he will set

of our

own

them

countenance, and

in the light

we

shall see

them.

principles of the Christian religion.

You

cannot remember the time when a father's


hallowed voice in tones of prayer floated

you

eternal welfare of their offspring,

had no such parents. You remember the


books that were placed in your hands
while yet at home, and the letters that
were addressed to you when removed
from the vigilance of a father's and a
mother's eye.
O the advantages you
have enjoyed
Kept from the society of
the wicked, and introduced to that of the
righteous by all that the most judicious,
tender, and affectionate treatment could
do, trained up for God.
Now think of
all this being in vain; and, if in vain, all
!

remembered

this

eternity, where the


you no good, but will

in

recollection can do

aggravate your misery.

And

then think

of the religious advantages of a public

nature that you

have enjoyed.

Think

of the ministers that you have heard.

speak now to the stated worshippers in


this place. Whose bust is that?* Whose

monument
stone,
to

still

you

is

that

W' ho, by that silent

speaketh, though he

The man who,

of the blessed God, and

is

dead

for half a cen-

tury, here preached the glorious

who

gospel

hath

now

ascended to his God to give in an account


of his stewardship.
O what addresses,
public and private, you have heard from
him
And think of the men he called
around him to assist him. To say no!

who

thing of those
those

who

are

still

live, think

now with him

of

for eternity

Think of the plain, and faithand thundering discourses of Theophilus Jones, who so soop followed his
venerable co-pastor t^ hi? rest and reward, that, as it were y a double voice
from the tomb, this congregation and anheaven.

in

The

lost soul will recollect IN ETERNITV ITS MEANS OF GRACE,


ITS OPPORTUNITIES OF SALVATION, ITS ADVANTAGES FOR OBTAINING ETERNAL LIFE.
Children of the righteous, I speak now
to you. Let recollection now begin call
to your remembrance, as you sit here, the
advantages of a religious nature that you
have enjoyed as far back as memory can
carry you.
You cannot remember the
time when a mother began, even upon
her knees, to teach your infant mind the
Fourthly,

119

your early ear. You cannot remember


the time when you began to hear of salvation through Jesus Christ, of heaven
and hell. If there are children whose
parents are such monsters as to forget
to

ful,

'.

other might be impressed. Think of the


good, the wise, the peaceful, the judicious Mr. Griffin, who has within these
last

two months passed away

to

that

blessed world to which he had been the

instrument of elevating so
tal

souls.

many immor-

These men, and

* Pointinp' to a

others that

monument with a

bust of

the Rev. R. Hill, recently erected behind the


pulpit of Surrey Chapel.

THE BRITISH

120

PULPIT.

have preceded them into the world of Bible, to pray, to hear sermons'? You
spirits, you have heard, and heard them, seemed setting out for the kingdom of
some of you, in vain. You will never heaven the Spirit strove with you, and
hear them more. Yes, you will they you seemed yielding to his influence the
will preach to you still hy the means of cords of love seemed to encircle your
your own conscience that memory, that hearts you appeared to be about to be
mysterious faculty of yours, contains all drawn by them but as you approached
their sermons; though now for a season the gate of life, you saw it was narrow,
the remembrance may be lost, the con- and you observed that the road looked
science will take them up again in an- difficult
there was some besetting sin
other world
ay, in the world of misery, that you had, and you could not give it
if you continue in unbelief, and preach up
there was some evil companion that
them to you again. What subjects you solicited you, and you could not abandon
have heard discussed by these men, and him; you were ridiculed, and you had
others, of the law and the grace of the gos- not courage to bear with opposition, and
pel 1 They have knocked by their varied you had not firmness to encounter it; and,
themes at every door of the heart; they
melancholy spectacle, you were seen
turning back, and walking the ways of
have appealed to your hopes and fears
and yet in the case of many it has been God no more. Sometimes it is painful
in vain.
Now then (I want still to give to you now to think of this, and you are
my subject a close bearing on the con- ready to say, " O, that I had never heard
now, I say, think what it will that sermon
science)
0, that I had never had
be, for a man who has lived and died and those impressions; O, that those convicperished in unbelief, under the sound of tions had never taken hold of my heart
the gospel, to spend eternity in counting 1 cannot enjoy my sins as I once did
I
sabbaths that were lost, and in hearing am half spoiled for the world, though 1
again sermons that were once heard, but am not a member of the church." Yes,
heard in vain, and hearing them then and you know, that often the scene of
when they are accom])anied with no of- festivity, in which others experience no
interruption, is marred for you.
Then
fer of mercy, no invitation to Christ
when they will only be heard as the think, young man, think what will be the
;

when

knell of past opportunities of salvation,

case in eternity,

and the sinner will feel, that to have


heard them, and to have heard them in
unbelief, has increased his condemnation, and sunk him deeper in the bottom-

"Son, remember thy impressions; remember thy convictions." O, what a

less pit.

folly,

Fifthly, The lost soul in eternity


WILL REMEMBER ITS IMPRESSIONS, CONVICTIONS, PURPOSES, AND RESOLUTIONS, ON
EARTH. And have not most that hear
me, at some period or other, had these

Have
moments when, by ser-

impressions, had these convictions'?


there not been

heard, or afflictions by
which you have been visited, or events
that you have witnessed, or books that
you have read, or hair-breadth escapes

mons you have

that have been

granted to you, or the

counsels of friendship

impressions of a

superior nature have been

your mind

Were you

made conscious

of sin,

made upon

not, for a season,

made

serious and

thoughtful, led to take up the neglected

a voice shall say,

victim of folly will you appear to yourself there;


that,

Christian,

O,

how

will

you curse that

when you seemed almost a


when you seemed about to

decide for heavenly glory, you suffered


yourself to be drawn back.

You

will

your conduct will


appear, the climax of all folly and madness; to have begun to feel something of
the importance of religion and of eternity,
and then to have given it up, and through
that eternity to have the mind thrown
back upon these seeming beginnings of
good things, with the recollection that
they are lost now for ever
Thus, my hearers, you see, that memory will then have a very important influence on the punishment of the wicked.
Yes; if memory could be lost, half of
hell could be lost with it
it is memory
appear

to yourself, or

THE INFLUENCE OF MEMORY.


that will give the sting to

Let me,

death.

for a

the second

few moments, pre-

sent the contrast to this.

Memory

go with the righteous


abode, and it will open

their

to
to

will

eternal

True

that they

it is,

but
will recollect that they also sinned
it will be no tormenting recollection; it
:

bend

will

them the lower before

the

121

have done for


us, in the way of good, and all the good
that we have done to others, and shall
all

that others

God we shall
work together for

ascribe all the glory to

them a source see how

Standof pleasure not to be conceived.


ing on the summit of Mount Zion, they
shall look down the winding path which
led to the ascent, and observe every step
that they have taken.

remember

things

all

good

the connexion of events


the con;
nexion of our history with the history of
;

the world at large

and

memory

will be

ever connecting the past with the

for

present

the eternal
And

world.

present of another
thus to the righteous, " Son,

remember," will be a note of joy, which


will for ever exhilarate and delight his

throne of the Eternal, and as they sink,


their joys will rise immeasurably high.

heart.

and the
more humility we have, the happier we
and thus the very recollection of
are
our sins in heaven will, by producing
deeper and deeper humility, be no source
shall be
of tormenting recollection.
lost in adoring gratitude, and wonder,
and joy, at the grace that pardoned and

place before you, with all affectionate

Humility

in a creature is bliss;

We

sanctified them.

We

shall

remember

the history of Providence, and

all

all

the

Now, my dear

hearers, let the preacher

seriousness, for your decision, the ques-

Will you

have your memory your


heaven, or your tormentor in
hein Do consider; consider this; it is
no imaginary thing; it is what concerns
you all ; and therefore, do, to-night, de-

tion

friend

in

cide.

Remember now, remember now,

your sins, and


of Christ.

fly for

Now

pardon

to the bloof^

the recollection will be

methods of grace, and the connexion of beneficial ; now the recollection will be
we shall recollect how God seem- the means of salvation. Go home toed following us through all the scenes of night, remembering your sins, and fly for
our existence, and so uniting them as pardon to Christ. Remember the God
that all things should work together for against whom your sins have been comboth

our good

mons

we

shall

remember those

ser-

that produced the saving impres-

sion on our heart, and the names of the


preachers that were the honoured instruments of thus doing good to our souls
all

the hallowed scenes of piety, through

mitted

remember Jesus

Christ,

who

waits to save you remember your possessior.s, and consecrate them all to God,
:

giving yourselves to the Lord. Repleasures, and sacrifice all

first

member your

that are sinful, all that are injurious to

your soul's best welfare ; and come to


the possession of that pleasure which
now is satisfying without being polluting
tial world; we shall again enjoy afresh
those seasons, and those scenes of com- and it will be the commencement of endmunion with God, which have now sanc- less felicity. Remember your opportunithey are all presented to you totified many a spot, and made it dearer to ties
us than any other that can be found on night: we speak not of them in the past
the face of the whole world; we shall tense; God is here, waiting to be graremember all those victories over sin, and cious: Christ is here, in the fulness of
self, and Satan, and the world, through his mediatorial grace, as the way to the
which we were conducted by the omnipo- Father; the Spirit is here, waiting to rewe shall remem- new and sanctify your hearts; the Bible
tent grace of our God
ber all those seasons of conference and is here, to direct you in all those high,
the mico-operation, which Ave spent in this sacred and mysterious concerns

which memory now so delights

to travel,

will be travelled over again in the celes-

world of ours, and then and there see the


results of all that we now do for Christ,
results which we cannot at present, in
our partial ignorance, anticipate

Vol.

IL 16

we shall

nisters of religion are here, to help


in

to

you

from the city of destruction


the city and habitation of God ; your

your

parents,

flight

young people,

are here, seated

THE BRITISH

122

PULPIT.

by your side, perhaps, to-night, sending analogous difficulties, and, in many reup many an earnest prayer on your be- spects, difficulties of a more mysterious
half; and perhaps, almost turning upon

you as the

preaclier goes on, not with

tlie

taunt of Abraliam to the rich man, but


with all the affection of a father's or a

mother's heart, saying, " Son, remember."


Remember now thy Creator in the days
of thy youth, ere the evil days

come

which no place

Remem-

and less tractable character, that, with

any rational and

consistent theist,

friend of revelation

may

the

soon bring the

controversy to a close. Let the words


of revelation be received as the production of that

same Mind which gave being

and law to the rational inand then the congruity, in the


ber now your impressions, your convic- nature and extent of the mysteries and diftions, your resolutions ; call them to re- ficulties, discernible in all the separate dePerhaps there are some who partments of his works, becomes rather a
collection.
take them seal if unify than an argument of contrahave begun to lose them ;
up again to-night; would God the preach- diction, and should be construed into an
er may have come up for this blessed pur- identity rather than into a discrepancy of
pose, of retouching and retracing some authorship. It is to be admitted that there
impressions that have almost vanished might be difficulties of such a nature as
completely tocancel and set aside theclaim
from the heart. O begin again to-iiight
shall be found.

in

" I will
again the resolution
serve the Lord ;" take up again the purpose of surrendering yourself to him,
take up

and becoming his


grant that this

for ever

may be

and ever. God

the case.

to the universe,

telligences,

every difficulty or
mystery, however, that can, even by infidels, be supposed to annul these pretensions: they seem, by the very effort of exaggeration, to be conscious that every diffito inspiration. It is not

for it is the culty, and every mysterious page in reveIn conclusion, remember
substance of the sermon short and un- lation, do not amount to a forfeiture of
certain as is your existence in this world, its claims. Hence the laborious artifices,
your character is perpetually receiving the special pleadings, employed to magand you are nify some of these hard places into abhere the stamp of eternity
all, and always, and everywhere, and surdities, some into philosophical imposin all things, gathering those materials sibilities, and others into a violation of
which must inevitably be the source of the moral principles of human nature;

the most tormenting or the rn st felicitous recollections throughout eternity.

SCniPTTUTRE DIFFICULTIES.

and hence, too, the grosser and more vulgar artifice of construing the vices, or the
occasional lapses of the leading characters of Scripture, to the discredit of reve-

lation,

NO.

It

is

work of

duce, as far

II.

importance to reas possible, both the number


vital

or

even of

Every degree of

its

author himself.

difficulty

short of in-

volving a contradiction to the perfections


of the Deity, a violation of the law of

and the force of scripture difficulties ; at reason, or the moral sense of conscience,
all events, to show that, whatever is their may be consistent with inspiration, and
number and their nature, there is not one may be perfectly congruous with all that
If so much is
that can fairly be construed into an in- can be known of God.
validation of the primary claim, which shown, the Deist is left without excuse,
revelation sets up for itself, of being the and his infidelity involves him in the
word of God. The departments of na- charges of inconsistencj and absurdity
Benson.
ture and of providence supply so many

SERMON

XII.

THE SUFFERINGS AND TRIUMPH OF CHRIST.


BY THE REV.

"When
days,

and

and

thou shalt

R. S.

M'ALL, A.M.

make

the pleasure

shall be satisfied."

his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his
of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul,

Isa.

liii.

10, 11.

where the meekness and humility of


the might and
which require to be noticed.
majesty of the Godhead. We sometimes
First,
The aspect in which that form not only an inadequate judgment of
WORK IS HERE REPRESENTED BY WHICH these sufferings, but one which is not
OUR Saviour accomplished his great sufficiently practical in its tendency beUNDERTAKING.
cause we do not connect as we ought the
It is not necessary to make any apolo- union of the two natures, in our own megy for applying this passage to Jesus ditations upon this subject. The divinity
Christ.
The most pathetic of all the of the sufferer extracts from our sympaprophets here places in our view the ago- thies. We know, indeed, that the divine
nies which the Saviour endured on earth, nature did not suffer, but this did not prein connexion with the glory that should vent him from feeling all that he was capafollow. The passage teaches us.
It only made him
ble of feeling as man.
That the sufferings of Christ were more capable of feeling, and added to the
In calling your attention to this inte-

resting passage, there are

three things

flict

the

man were mingled with

expiatory and piacular.


No explanation
can be given of them consistent with the
character of God, but that he was punish-

ed

poignancy and intensity of his sufferings.


He had a spirit unequalled for sensibility and affection, and keenness of feeling.
To form a just conception of his

by way of propitiation. " All we,


have gone astray we have sorrow, we must unite the ideas of com-

like sheep,

turned every one of us to his

own way

passion for the grief of the distressed,

and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity and horror at what was cruel and unjust;
of us all."
It reminds us also,
of indignation at the oppressor, and pity
That his sufferings were voluntary. for the oppressed ; of a wish to deliver
The words would more properly be ren- the guilty, and an abhorrence of iheir
dered, " when his soul shall make an sin.
We must connect all the iniquity
Intimating that he which he witnessed, and all the knowby the agency of another, ledge he had of the human heart. We
but of himself. Also,
must think of all the wickedness, the
That his sufferings were most intense hardness of heart, the unbelief, the deand auful. Reaching to the bottom of pravity, the unholiness of man; to give
overwhelming him with horror us a just idea of his sorrow. All his days
his soul
and dismay. " The travail of his soul." were grief; his whole life was a pilgrimThe expression implies, extremity of toil age of wo. Good men have always felt
and labour active and energetic suffer- keenly the wickedness and distress of
ing a struggle with conflicting tenden- others. Paul was filled with indignation
cies
the utmost agony of spirit
a con- when he saw a city wholly given up to
133
offering

for

sin."

suffered, not

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124

PULPIT.

Elijah was filled with grief at What was required to have still wished
beholding the wickedness of Israel. Jere- the welfare of those by whom he was
miah wept abundant tears for his sin- deserted
To have felt the scorn of his
But what were the emo- impotent but implacable foes
ful country.
What
tions of the soul of Jesus when he saw must he have felt when a rude hand smote
men abandoned to the evils of their na- him when he was bound when they
What distress must he have felt railed on him in mockery, and bowed the
ture
as he passed through cities wholly aban- knee before him
when they gave him
doned to crime
If his approach to Jeru- gall to drink
when they bade him come
salem caused him to shed tears, how down from the cross when even the
abundant must have been the tears he thieves reviled him
O what was then
shed over a lost world
Add to this the required to go as a lamb to the slaughter,
fearful preparations for his death
the to bow with meek submission, to be
malice of his enemies the fears of his dumb as a sheep before its shearers
But
friends
the false-heartedness of the trai- all this was little compared with the last
tor who was about to deliver him t> his act of his spirit, when he offered himself
foes.
All was fully anticipated by him. as a sacrifice for the sinful.
He longed to enter on his sufferings, yet
know nothing of the nature of this
trembled at the idea of what he had to sacrifice but this we know, that it was
" I have a baptism to be bap- an act of amazing energy, of strenuous
encounter.
tized with," said he, " and how am I labour.
It was not submission merely ;
straitened till it is accomplished."
But it was a direct and positive consecration
when the hour actually arrived, what of his whole being; as if he would place
must have been his feelings'?
Well himself on the altar, and become himself
This was " the
might he exclaim, " My soul is exceed- the sacrificing priest.
ing sorrowful, even unto death !" He travail of his soul.''^ True, it was mystebeheld all, overpowered with terrific rious ; but while it serves for the salvagrandeur.
He well knew how heavy tion of the redeemed, it is enough ; and
was that burden of wrath which his Fa- it shall be progressively unfolded in
ther was about to cause to fall upon him. glory.
Let us notice,
He saw the sword undrawn, and felt already the keenness of its edge. When
Secondly, The sublime and heavenly
he hung upon the cross, the angels of SATISFACTION ARISING TO THE REDEEMER
heaven and the spirits of the deep all be- IN CONTEMPLATING THE EFFECT OF HIS
held the conflict with suspense.
Even SUFFERINGS.
inanimate creation felt a pause. And not
It is the pleasure arising from the exCompared with this,
till his sacred head had fallen helpless on
pectation of success.
his bosom
not till his eyes were closed all the charms of wealth and fame sink
This cheers the
not till his blood was cold, and his into insignificance.
whole frame stitFened, did the earth cease loftiest spirits under all they are called
idolatry.

We

sun come from his darkto put forth


But then, nature resumed
their dead.
her wonted appearance.
had he sunk
in that awful hour, where had been the
hopes of guilty men how changed had
been the aspect of this auspicious day
What then had been our doom
Where
then would have been those songs of
praise which now fill every heart with joy!
What hopes and feelings should we now
have cherished amidst the blackness and
darkness of eternity

It is greatest in

the greatest

to tremble, the

to

ness, of the graves cease

minds. This idea was habitual to Christ,


and it sustained him amidst all his suffer" He for the joy that
ings and sorrows.
was set before him endured the cross,"
&c. And it is this which still cheers him ;

But what resolution

was

required

suffer.

for

it

yet remains to be fully realized.

down on the right hand of God


he had offered one sacrifice for sins ;
from henceforth expecting, till his enemies be made his footstool."
// is the pleasure of the most pure and
exalted benevolence.
By the kind and
"

He

sat

after

merciful appointment of our Maker,

we

THE SUFFERINGS AND TRIUMPH OF

CHRIST.

125

how mighty the


are made to feel pleasure in removing that the change effected
But how much
which causes pain. What an ecstasy of consequences involved
delight is felt when we have unbarred greater is this work where the understandwhere the conscience is
the dungeon of the prisoner, and burst ing is darkened
How great, seared where the whole life, with all its
the fetters of the slave.
where the man seems
then, must have been the joy of ihe plans, is polluted
Saviour, when by his sufferings he chang- as if the brand of perdition were already
ed the sounds of deepest misery into stamped upon his forehead, and the chains
sounds of unspeakable joy. See him of darkness were already wrapped around
when he ascended up on high, " leading him, and as if the adamantine spell were
I

never to be broken
How awful is the
men, even for the rebellious."
The state of the infidel of the blasphemer,
heavenly powers crowd around his cha- &c. And how mighty must be that influence by which these are renewed
But
they mark his honourable scars
riot
the most inveterate
the crown of thorns is exchanged for a the change ensues
diadem of glory the reed for the sceptre habits are loosened the chains are
of omnipotence scoffs and revilings for broken. A mighty hand has loosened the
light
adoration and triumph
the prison door is opened
All but his bonds
wounds are changed all but the marks penetrates the recesses of the dungeon ;
These remain and they sounds of peace are heard and the captive
of laceration
show that he has turned the weapon upon lifts his eyes to heaven in transports of
himself.
Behold him upborne before the joy
And what must be the joy of the
Ancient of days
The kingdom divine Redeemer while the redeemed soul passes
is given him
a kingdom that shall not from darkness and enters the light of
And now, what can be God
The curse is cancelled the senpass away
the
added to all this ] What more can be tence of condemnation is erased
captivity captive, and receiving gifts for

enjoyed

It is

not the undissembled, the

unanimous acclamations of angels nor,


which is above all this, the decided approval of his Father, which constitutes
;

No; he looks
something more suitable to the ample
benevolence of his soul. It is to behold
a renovated universe made to share his
honours it is to see the souls for whom
he suffered brought to the possession of

doom

Hell trembles
and heaven exults with acclamations of triumph
This satisfaction is to be estimated
of eternity is reversed

his sublimest satisfaction.

only by considering the knowledge of

for

this

suck satisfaction as springs

from

importance and difficulty of the


event brought to an accomplishment,
I
speak not now of the way in which salvation was purchased ; but of the way in
the great

of the way

all

We

know

the process and its effects, in


both as to ourselves and others.
But the whole is fully known to him.
Could we but look within, and see the

only

part,

opposition of principles

his glory.
It is

which the Saviour possesses.

corruption
of death.
the

first

the struggles of

the conflict with the

Could we witness the


kindling ray of light

powers
effect of

could

we

by the new and


and the beauty which is

see the change produced


spiritual creation,

which not soon to fade, but to flourish for ever, we


the sinner is brought from the bondage of might then have some better conception
corruption, into the liberty of the sons of of the mighty operation.
But he sees
God. Even when the individual has been the whole, from the first germ, to the
blessed with a pious education, and all period when mortality is swallowed up
around concurs to make him pious and of life. He sees all, from the first sigh,
To
the work of salvation goes regularly on, to the triumphant song of praise.
till it ends in the joys of heaven
even in him, the darkness of the abyss of wo

which

it

is

applied

in

such a case, how great are the difficulties and the unutterable joys of heaven are
it meets with from within
how fearful ever present. He is fully aware of the
the opposition encountered
how great torments of the damned, which know
1.3
;

THE BRITISH

126

PULPIT.

alleviation, and which time cannot ex- influence of his atonement forms the chief
haust
and also the joys and bliss of doctrine of the gospel. Indeed, it may
heaven, which shall run on for ever
properly be called the gospel itself; it is
// is sutisfuclion arising from the pecuthis which makes it glad tidings.
Sepaliar relation of his character and ivork, to rate from this, the doctrines of immorta-

no

the event ilsef,

With what

and

all its consequences.

satisfaction did the apostles,

confessors, and martj'rs, rejoice

lity,

of the resurrection, of judgment to

come, &c. are

all

sources of dismay and

me

not that the record of


success of their labours, in the result of my crimes shall be brought before God ;
their toils, and especially in the last scene that the trumpet of the archangel shall
of their lives when they closed their eyes summon me into the presence of my
in

the

Tell

horror.

But tell me how my sins may


the friends Maker
who have struggled be blotted out, and my crimes for ever
Avith so many difficulties, now see the wiped away
Tell me this, and I shall
fruit of their labours
The slave of listen to the sound of the trumpet with
Demerara, the wanderer of Africa, and joy, and it shall be to me the tidings of
the superstitious Brahmin, now join in the purity and heaven.
Whether we invesin blood

With what joy do

of this institution,

songs of the redeemed. But he sees all


he knows all his converts, and he is not
:

ashamed
tlon for

to call

them

is

them brethren; hisaflec- character of man,


intimate, and his joy in

their salvation is great.

result of

his death

And

Christian

about

is

when

the

and agonies alone.

In the last scene of his


yea,

it is all

to

go

life,

when

the

his

eternity

his wickedness,

ness, and helplessness

or

the

weak-

or the character of

Christ, his humility, his cross, or his glory

they

is this

all refer

us to this doctrine, and

which gives them

and glory.

to his rcAvard

the crown is placed upon his

God, his holiness,

tigate the character of

his immutability,

all

Beside, there

trine so truly Christian.

is

it

their interest

no other

The

doc

heathen, in-

some expiation is necesand the very nature of the sacrifices


He fixes his eyes on the countenance of they offer implies that there should be a
the Redeemer, and all the glories of relation between the sacrifice and the naheaven are lost in the bright vision of ture of the persons who have sinned. But
Christ and his glory. And these emo- never has the removal of the guilt of sin
tions of joy will be reciprocal.
The been represented as the design of Deity,
Saviour will delight in his people, and his and not as the wish of the sacrificer himpeople will delight in him. O think of self; never has the victim been represented
head, and he
joy,

what

is

the period

When

is arraj^ed in

the garments of

the source of his exultation

when they

ed

all

holy as angels,

shall all be collect-

heart shall be joined to heart,


all filled

with the fruits

deed, believe that


sary

as provided

by God, and

not

by man, and

an object infinitely dear to


him; and never has that sacrifice been
that

victim

This will represented as efficacious, and as an obbe the consummation of his joy. Then ject to be confided in. The whole range
his triumph will begin ; then his joy will of thought, and all the annals of history,
be complete then not one effort will be furnish no such scenes of humility and
unblessed, not one wish uncrowned This grandeur, as are associated in the hall of
leads us to consider,
Pilate, the sorrows of the garden, and the
Thirdly, The certainty that this ignominy of the cross. Other systems
SALVATION SHALL BE FINALLY REALIZED.
agitate, alarm, appal
this soothes, raThe connexion of this passage fur- vishes the soul, excites the obedience of
nishes our
love, and the ardour of hope.
This
First Argument.
The sufferings of makes the system apart from all that is
Christ are assumed as the basis of this human
the very conception is as singuassurance, and lead us to observe the lar as it is sublime.
Other founders of
natural and inherent attraction of this religion, though many of them sagacious,
doetrine.
The inseparable and certain appealed not once in their whole history
of righteousness and peace

THE SUFFERINGS AND TRIUMPH OF

CHRIST.

127

strong-est, the

Christianity have done much, but there

our feelings, the principle


of sympathy and love. Now, the gospel

has never been even the attempt by the

to

which forms the

that

simplest of
is

all

calculated to excite these in the highest

By this means it is not only


adapted to us, but is proved to be the
design of Him alone who knows the
degree.

ThFs ensures

heart.

among

its

universality,

its

They have

abettors of false religions.

founded no missions, they have made no


efforts to effect the happiness and salvaOther systems may
tion of mankind.
have forced themselves on the attention,
and their principles may have been en-

mankind, wherever forced by the sword and by blood but


there is grief to be consoled, or sin to be the gospel alone has been propagated by
forgiven.
peace and love. When was it ever heard
But this certainly arises,
that the abettors of the pagan religion
2dly, From the tendency of the gospel endured trials and sufferings to propagate
Where are the graves of
to an unlimited and ceaseless diffusion. their system 1
We may here refer to the first periods of their reformers and missionaries, who
Christianity. 'The apostles submitted to aimed to do good, and died in the attempt ?
loss
they yielded to what was imposed When has the Brahmin or the Hindoo
upon them ; they counted not their lives ever traversed our shores, in order to condear to them
they were content to be vert us to the belief of the Sanscrit, and
We
poor that they might bring the tidings the worship of their divinities'?
They have heard, indeed, of the efforts of infiof ntisearchable riches to others.
esteemed themselves nothing; their work delity to subvert Christianity but what
engaged all their thoughts the miseries sacrifices have they made to do this T
of the world absorbed them ; a desire to Where are their missionaries rW'hy, with
save that world influenced them with an all the love which they profess for men,
ardour which nothing could abate; and this and their rooted enmity to all superstiwas all the reward they sought, that they tion ; why do they not seek to Aveaken
might make known to those by whom they and remove the superstitions which have
were doomed to death, the tidings of sal- so long held Tartary and China in bondvation and joy.;, Holy men day-stars from age ?
Why, seeing they are so very beon high! It is to them, under God, we nevolent, do they not seek to clothe the
owe all our means of grace the principles naked Indian ? And with all their zeal
and hopes of Christianity all that glad- for peace and amity, why do they not
dens mankind all that causes happiness seize from his grasp the tomahawk and the
in this world, or in that which is to come.
scalping knife, and prevent the recurrence
They tell
This gave rise to missionary exertions
of murder and of bloodshed 1
but the principle before was unknown. In us of their love of freedom of their abacceptance

all

we

see every thing calculated

horrence

simple; its
doctrines are easily apprehended its rites
its sacrifices are unbloody
are few
its
promises are joy and peace; its duties
are practicable
it hopes are unspeakably

tempt of

the gospel

for extension.

Its

faith is

The

bright.

character of

the

gospel,

therefore, is favourable to universal diffu-

sion

it

has been, and

it

will not cease

employed with the greatest effect,


till the necessity for employing it shall be
done away.
But the spirit of missions is not only
to be

one principal feature of the gospel

it is

of priestcraft

their

con-

denominated religion ;
let them look, then, at native savages, and
What are they not
try to benefit them.
men 1 Why, then, do they not pity
them] Why do they not seek to elevate
them to the rank of men ? Why do they
not aim to exalt them by science and by
truth?
Are they not bending under the
yoke of bondage and oppression'? Then,
all

that is

why
Is

do they not attempt

there

priestcraft

men

to liberate

among them no
?

Among

Men who what have

have embraced even

forms of attempted? 'y^\vaX

they done ?

them

juggling,

them, then,

exert themselves!

peculiar to that system alone.

corrupt

of

let

these

will not ask,

What have

trials

no

they

have they en-

THE BRITISH

128
dured

What

PULPIT.

have they made 1 names behind them. It has made this


of their mar- land the cherished abode of freedom, the
the print of their feet centre of the arts, the nursery of benevoWhere have been seen lence, the Pharos of the world.

sacrifices

Where

are the

monuments

tyrs?

Where

is

upon the desert

their attempts to relieve the perishing, to

succour the distressed 1 No, brethren ;


these are not the triumphs of such men.
It is not thus they have chosen to display
the result of their principles.

No;

From

amazing progress.
is not more
than it has effected. No enemy remains
to be conquered which has not already
4thly,

What

its

the gospel has to do

We

been vanquished.
hope, indted, for
nothing from the agency of men ; but for
labours belong to the very men they ma- every thing from the omnipotence of God.
lign.
This is the very department of When at first the whole Roman empire
Christianity; and those who possess it was confederated for its destruction, it rose
praise is at once given up to us

this

these

triumphantly over all. When all the


learning of Greece conspired to counteract
is embraced, ike greatest temporal advan- it, it overthrew their boasted philosotages in connexion with its spiritual bene- phy. The disputers of this world, with
That which philosophy aimed in all their commanding eloquence, were
fits.
vain to accomplish,, Christianity has done. unable to resist the authority of the goswill aim at its universal diffusion.

From

3dly,

its

conferring, wherever

it

once destroyed by its influ- pel. The marble effigies of their heroes
teaches the barbarian to seek and gods, together with the temples that
another's benefit, instead of smiling at contained them, have crumbled away, and
the reeking knife and the warm blood of left behind them little more than the mea human victim. Instead of revenge and mory of their names. What difficulties,
Idolatry

is at

ence.

It

blood,

it

Additional

breathes peace and affection.


loveliness is given to the

scenery of nature.

changed

for the rural

cities rise,

Rome, imperial Rome, has


1
The swamp is ex- passed away and Greece, Corinth, and
village. Towns and Athens, where are they ]
But the gospel
;

and temples and palaces

ter in the waste.

The

ships of

It is

not espoused by a

commerce few fishermen merely

it has taken deep


and not in nations

glit-

which were once desolate; and savages are converted into men.
Observe what missionaries have accomplished
what civilization they have introduced
what sanctity has been added
to the dearest ties of nature, by religion.
See how Christianity has turned carnage
and war into peace and gentleness. See
what it has done for children, striving,
are seen in places

like

the prophet in

the wilderness,

" make ready a people prepared


Lord."

Who

then, can be presented to the spread of

the gospel

does not from

to

for the

shall triumph.

root in all nations

only,

but

in

minds

shall oppose it?

are vast
is

We

And what

also.

believe that there

that there
that myriads are

masses of ignorance

extensive desolation

bound by the spell of an infernal agency ;


we remember the extent of Mohammedan
superstition

we

we take all

into the account

confess that these things form a strong

barrier

to

human

efforts.

But already

the holy banners of the cross are seen

waving on the

citadels of Zion ; even


behold her pearly gates already
mount all difficulties, till it sits enthroned crowds inhabit her ; and soon shall she
in triumph over all mankind.' If all this be filled with all nations, and kindred,
is seen more fully in the islands of the and people, and tongues.
No sophistry
South sea, it is only because it is there can be employed against her greater than
seen and felt at once in its influence on a that of Porphyry and Julian ; no opposiwhole people because it is there brought tion morefierce than that of Nero and Cali-

cipate a complete triumph

all this anti-

It shall sur-

now we

But what it has done


has in fact done in every country
called Christian, through the instru-

into full display.


there,

now

it

mentality of

men who have

not left their

gula; no barbarism more rude than that


of Scythia and Britain ; no darkness
greater than that of Esquimaux and Hottentots.

Nothing can be brought against

THE SUFFERINGS AND TRIUMPH OF


more formidable than has already been
overcome. "The Lord of hosts is with
the God of Jacob is our refuge."
us
5lhly, From the promises of final success, and the encouraging appearances in
the circumstances of the church in the precannot contemplate these
sent day.
it

We

wiihout humility and gratitude.

We feel

CHRIST.

129

and of party have long been opposed


prescribed will of God. These
days, however, are passing away. The
church is roused from her lethargy ; she
to the

has listened to the voice of


calls her to arise,

to

make

Him who

the solitary

places glad, to cause the wilderness to


and blossom as the rose. And

rejoice

now, what may we not hope to accom?


Formerly we had great hindoing with the efforts and zeal of its first derances; we had but few agents, &;c.
promoters. Had we been imitators of But now, thousands of our brethren share
the apostles, what prospects might not in our sympathies, stimulate us in our
But other mo- labours, assist us by their exertions, and
now have burst upon us

much is doing, and


when we compare what we

grateful that so

yet

we

are

blush

plish

An ordinary
have actuated us. Theirs was a rejoice in our success.
manly temper of mind, contemplating Christian may now effect what would
But what is have required the energy of the apostolic
great and noble objects
ours] Alas! though there are some ho- character in days that are passed away.
nourable exceptions, they are, in general, When the world had long been in darkwhat we should be ashamed to name, and ness, God raised up those master spirits,
and if
even blush to feel. But it is better that Luther, Zuinglius, Knox, &c.
the censure should fall on us, than on our their successors had followed up their
cause.
It is better that scoffs should be efforts, the world had soon been enlighttives

levelled

at us, than

which assure us that


what it is destined

ened. At such periods men are raised


become up, who might in other times have pined
we had away in inactivity. We cannot estimate

at the declarations
it is

not yet

to be.

If

commission, the difficulties would have long since rolled


away. W^e rejoice that the apathy is removing ; and that there are so many
whose lustre is so great, that it is almost
enough for our honour that we are their
contemporaries.
There have been many
missionaries ; and tliere are others fired
with the same ardour, and yearning with
the same compassion over the souls of
men, and longing for their salvation. By
many of these I am now surrounded ;
many have borne the burden and heat of
the day ; in hope they have rejoiced
against hope
they have been strong in

too highly the qualifications of a missionary ; nor can we sufficienly rejoice that

they would not relinquish what they have

great

been

faithful to our

many have been raised up. There


may be services which require equal
there may be enterprises even
skill
so

But there are none


more dangerous.
which require such simplicity, such spinone which take their colour so
rituality
completely from another world. Here
;

there is not the stimulus of earthly ambition ; there is no compelling necessity to

no great consequences to be dreadHere all is


drawing back.
all is voluntary and
peaceful and solemn
spontaneous all is plain and simple,
A single eye and a
faith, giving glory to God in seasons of tending to one end.
darkness and difficult}^. Being persuaded single heart is all that is needed. A
of the promise, they embraced it, though Christian missionary is an honourable
afar off, assured that what he had pro- man ; though he be mean in the eyes of
mised he was able to perform.
And the world, and scorned by some, he is a
urge

ed from

man, the more

illustrious for that

very scorn. The age of violence and of


have suffered, for all the privations they blood is gone ; but the feelings w^hich
have endured. To such men as these, I animated the martyrs are not extinct;
am not disposed to address the language they still glow in many breasts the spiof censure. I would share in their zeal, rit of the martyrs is among our missionseen, for all the

sleepless

nights they

and rejoice in their success. Still, what


have we done % The spirit of the world

You 1117

aries.

Missions are no longer

to

be regarded

THE BRITISH

130

as schemes of doubtful success.


plans of operation are matured
stations are determined

PULPIT,

heritance

if we have
among them

tified

we

Their redeemed
;

their

obstacles have

if

an in-

obtained
that

sanc-

are

can look forward to the

success has heavenly kingdom; we owe it all to the


;
been afforded. Many have embraced the goodness of our God. What, then, shall
gospel; and their influence is extending we account it too much to suffer and to
like so many radii to every part of the do 1 Here we may display the promptness
circle.
A wave offering is presented to of our obedience. For this is his comthe Lord, and the rich harvest will fol- mand. All are under his control ; some
low. The handful of corn sown on the with and some against their will; some
top of the mountain, shall grow and be- so as to enhance their reward, others so
come as the cedars of Lebanon ; the little as to add to their misery. But how
one shall become a thousand. A single awfnl will it be to facilitate, like Pilate
pagan added to the church, becomes the and Judas, the plans of salvation, which
pledge of millions; the foundation of the will have no influence on them at last!
enemy's citadel is sapped, its strength be- To which class of agents do you belong ?
gins to decline, and its fortresses shall be How forciby does this great cause appeal
overturned. In one truly converted, we to our compassion. Myriads are perishsee a germ which shall vegetate, and fill ing in sin and debased by crimes ; seekdesert regions
we see one who shall ing heaven by sacrifices of greater horror
cause songs to be raised on account of than the very crimes which they are to
myriads.
propitiate.
See them hurried forward
Light springs up.
The gloom and into eternity
A succession of immordarkness of ages has vanished. There is tal beings is ever on the march from one
no error no idolatry. The voice of tu- region of existence to another from seen
mult, and the trumpet sounding to war to unseen
from that which is probationand bloodshed, is silenced. There shall ary to that which is unalterable from
be no sword bathed in slaughter. None that which is finite to that which is inshall invade by violence the property of finite ; a change to a world where their
his neighbour.
Wasting and destruction destiny is fixed for ever. Of these, how
shall no more be heard.
The Sabbath of few have ever seen that light which is to
the world is come. Notes of joy shall direct their steps to the vast unknown
arise from every part.
The name of state of existence how few have heard
Christian shall be hallowed. Kings shall the tidings of salvation
O that we
lay their sceptres at the feet of Christ. could view this dreadful procession of
Legislators shall prevent evil, and not souls to the tribunal of God
We caninflict it.
Government shall show that not; but they are passing along, some to
they are but subordinate agents. The regions of wo, and some to bliss ; some
kingdoms of this world shall become are pressing down to darkness
and
the kingdoms of our God and of his others, from all they enjoyed in the world,
Christ; and all things shall be put un- are just about to have their light and joy
der his feet.
His empire shall be the shrouded in darkness for ever
And
boundaries of the earth ; and it shall be where is the minister of peace to guide
said of Zion, " Behold, thy God reign- them 1
Where is the Saviour to deliver,
th !"
where the intercessor to plead for them 1
but there is no eye to pity,
( And now, brethren, what a variety of They die
motives are here exhibited to animate us no arm to save them. And shall we withthat we may extend to all mankind the hold instruction ?
We have the means ;
benefits of the gospel salvation.
Here those means are sufficient, and are deall may find motives; here is a lav/ful signed to be universal.
O tell them of
sphere for ambition ; here is ample room the sacrifice and blood of Christ of the
yielded to their exertions

'

Lamb

God that takes away sin. Show


We were once involved in darkness and them how they may enter by a new and
in guilt ourselves
and if we have been living way into the holiest of all. Show

for the exercise of devotional gratitude.

of

THE SUFFERINGS AND TRIUMPH OF


them how,

may

thouofh laden with sin, they

Show them the


fountain in which they may be cleansed
from all impurity. How they who are
afar off may be brought nigh, be made
admission.

find

kings and priests unto God, and be satisfied in his presence for ever and ever.
These, brethren, are the motives by
which we would excite you to a renewal
of those exertions and contributions which

you have been accustomed

to render.

will not debase the subject

by using any

inferior motives

sented, he

for wliere these are pre-

generous feelings
who can refuse. But I ask not that man's
offering
I would have this cause served
is

dead to

all

by willing Christian

offerings.

We plead

not with skeptics.

Our only

real

we

our hands,

CHRIST.

131

should remember that

contains the revelation of

and

it

may

God

to

it

man

naturally, therefore, be expect-

many things beyond man's


understanding, and to discourse of many
subjects both novel and mysterious.
2.
The greater part of these writings

ed to include

was composed to serve a present purpose


and, unless we enter into that purpose,
and are prepared to follow the argument,
we must of course fail to comprehend the
writer.
3.

As

these hooks are of extreme an-

tiquity, they of course refer to


facts,

persons,

places,

opinions of antiquity

customs,

prejudices,

many

and

of which

have long since died and been forgotten


unless we recall them to mind, the refermies are presumption and confidence; ence will be unintelligible.
our only hope is perseverance, reflection,
4. The books which we are concerned
and pra}'er.
to understand do not come to us as they
This society is confined within no nar- were written. Their original languages
row, party, sectarian views. It has for are not generally understood, and we
thirty years pursued its course.
God has read them in all the disadvantages of a
This translation may be
been pleased to bless its exertions, by translation.
causing whole nations to renounce idola- imperfect, or its expressions may have
try, &c.
Persevere in your course in become obsolete ; and, in some cases, the
proportion to the extent of your means ; learned authors may have mistaken the
and supplicate the blessing and the grace sense of their originals.
of God.
Grant me but this, and I have
To one or other of these sources, may
no more to ask ; my end is answered, my most of our difficulties be referred.
success is sure.
And we apprehend that any one of
Missions are services of toil, but we such difficulties is, to a common reader,
have not to share them. Other men have insurmountable. (1.) If it arise from the
taken this toil upon them, and have profound m3'Steriousness of the theme,
hazarded their lives for the sake of even the largest and most cultivated mind

Men whom

Christ.

no

no danger of the sea

pestilence of clime, can divert from

their purpose.

them

ene-

We

pledge ourselves

to

that they shall not fail through the

And much
fail to comprehend it.
more he, who is little accustomed to
may

intellectual

which

exertion.

(2.)

Difficulties

rest in the line of argumentation

and proof employed, or in perceiving the


and object of the writer, are not
hunger, of cold, or of nakedness in a likely to be solved without some illustrastrange land.
(3.) Allution and help from others.
sions, and figurative diction, do absolutely
failure of

we

will

our pecuniary supplies

not permit them

that

to perish

of end

require literary and classical explanation.

SCRZFTURZ: DXFFECUZaTIIlS.
NO.

The

difficulties

(4.) Obscurities in the English words,


or misconceptions of the meaning, from

III.

which

are

met with

in

the understanding of the Scriptures, arise

from various causes to point out some


of these causes is the object of the
:

present paper.
1,

When we

take the Scripture into

or men can be safe, cannot


be remedied but by the aid of superior
learning, such as we can only come at by
On all which acthe help of books.

which no man

counts, the English reader of the Scriptures must sometimes feel his loss ; and

THE BRITISH

132

without the means of applying

to

books,

These books

he will be helpless.

are

often costly, and often useless to the persons who most need their help. Hence
the duty of the public teachers of religion

giving their attention to clear up in some


measure the difficulties the people may
find.
And hence one instance of the
of a

necessity

standing

ministry,

which reference may be had

to

for informa-

we know what the writer wishes


Now, sometimes this is not so
readily discovered.
Many examples in
ble, if

to prove.

book of Job, ix. 22 24


in the
Psalms, xl. xlv. xlix. in the Prophets,
the

Isa.

xxi.; in the Epistles,

Cor.

i.

We

17

may

23.

Thess.

observe,

Rom.

iii.

2.

iv. 15.

by the way, from

these latter instances, in the Epistles of

Paul,

how

little

credit is

enemies of Christianity,

tion.

We

PULPIT.

due

to

those

who would have

now

proceed to adduce a few ex- us suppose, that the early believers were
difficulty already weak silly enthusiasts, the letters written to these people show, that they must
1.
Difficulties necessarily resulting have been men of good sense and sound
understanding, or they never could have
from the nature of the subject.
The sacred writers being inspired to understood them.

amples of each kind of


mentioned.

3. Difficulties arising from the facts


speak of the unseen world, of eternal objects, of the invisible and infinite God, and customs alluded to.
Customs. Ps. cviii. 9. Josh. ix. 4.
are in the situation of Paul after he had
been in paradise he found himself una- Matt. ix. 17. Acts xxii. 25.
Persons. Acts xxiv. 25. Felix and
ble to express what he had seen and
heard so as to make himself understood. Drusilla. 2 Tim. iv. 16, 17. 1 John ii.
1822. 2 John 7. 9. Antichrists.
2 Cor. xii. 4. Dan. xii. 8.
Places. Ps. cxxxiii. 3. Comp. Deut.
When they speak of God, it cannot be
but that their language should be sublime iv. 48.
Opinions.
and obscure, beyond our full comprehenEph. iii. 5, 6.
Matt,
sion.
Exod. iii. 13 15. Does any man xii. 24.
understand this 1 Job xi. 7, 8.
Adages. Matt. xxi. 21. 2 Cor. xiii.
When they speak of the Son of God, 2. Matt. xix. 24. Jer. xiii. 23.
human language is not adapted to express
4. From an imperfect, mistaken, or
the subject, and human understandings obsolete translation.
cannot fully know it.
Imperfect. Gen. xiv. 22. 2 Kings
John i. 1 5.

Matt. xi. 27.

iii.

The being and


Spirit are
iii.

attributes of the

beyond our thoughts.

8.

The unseen world

heaven

Holy

9.

John
hell.

4.

11. Isa. Iviii.

xxxii. 10.

Heb. iv. 5 iii. iv.


Mistaken. 1 John iii.
Obsolete. 2 Cor. viii.

Ps. xxxvi.

Gen. xlv.

16.
1.

Cor.

ir.

6.

Rev. xxi. &c.

It is our consolation to remember, that


which never can be no one article of our faith stands affected
by these difficulties.
perfectly understood, at least in this life
They leave the
but still they are more likely to be some- foundation of our hope immovable. The
what illustrated, when we borrow all the grace of Christian charity depends not
light and information which good and on the decision of controverted questions.
wise men, who have diligently studied, It is only our knowledge or desire of

These

are things

can give us.

which

2. Difficulties

result

from the

nature of the argumentation.

For instance,

some

inquiry,

if

we

we

read an answer to

shall

have

difficulty in

understanding the answer, unless we know


what the question was. If we read an

argument,

it

will be

much more

intelligi-

knowledge, that is hindered or mortified.


Knowledge is power. And as the same
great author has well said,
It was the
desire of power in excess that caused the

angels to fall
it was the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall ; but
in charity is

nor angels

no excess, neither can


in danger by it.

men

come

il

SERMON

XIII.

THE WORSHIPPERS IN THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE.

BY THE REV. CHARLES BRADLEY.

"These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made
the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him
day and night in his temjile." Rev. vii. 14, 15.
them white in

The

figure under

which heaven

is

re-

presented to our view in this vision,

is

all

our desire; there live the Christian

friends,

who

w-ere once dear to our souls

crowded with worship- on earth and there, if we are the reThe deemed of the Lord, when the days of
pers, and resounding with praises.
that of a temple,

man who

loves the tabernacles

of the

are,

indeed, seasons

in

the life of the

own

our tribulation are ended, will be our

Lord as the saints of old loved them, will eternal home. O, rnay we
view this representation of his future enter that house of rest
residence with peculiar interest. There love to fix our thoughts on
contemplate

its

blessedness

all

one day

May we
it
!

all

now, and

May we

established Christian, in which the pros-

often experience, within these walls, a

pect of this heavenly temple brings to his

foretaste of its joys

heart a peace and a blessedness, which

pass

all

understanding.

While

his soul,

The

representation

which the beloved

disciple has here given us of the happiness

in the secrecy of retirement, is rising on

of the heavenly world, suggests

the wings of faith to the footstool of

four

its

subjects

for

these

our consideration

God, the veil, which conceals eternity temple, the worshippers in this temple,
from his sight, seems to be drawn aside, the nature of their worship, and the priand heaven, with all its glories, opens to vileges they enjoy. We shall, however,
He beholds the splendour of find sufficient matter for our present medihis view\
the heavenly house, he hears the songs of tation, if we confine our attention to the
its redeemed inhabitants, and deems him- two former of these subjects.
L Let us consider, first, the temple
self already a partaker in their joy.
Would we, my brethren, enter into the HERE SPOKEN OF.' It is a heavenly temple,
Christian's secret, and share his honours a holy place, not standing on this perishand his happiness? Our affections must able world, but having its foundations laid
first be fixed where his are fixed, on
on the everlasting hills of heaven. All
things above. We must have a treasure other temples have been erected by man,
in eternity, and our conversation must be but this temple has been built by Jehovah
Let us, then, this very hour, himself, to be the eternal dwelling place
in heaven.
strive to elevate our minds to the dwell- of his beloved church, and the seat of his
He dwelt, indeed,
ing place of God. W^hile seated in this own glorious throne.
earthly house of prayer, let us lift up our figuratively in the temple at Jerusalem,
thoughts to that glorious temple above us, and had the chambers of his priests surin which all the triumphant church are at rounding him on every side but he dwells
this very moment assembled and pouring visibly in this heavenly house, and is
There dwells the gradually collecting within its walls all
forth their praises.
Saviour, who is all our salvation and the countless myriads of his saints, and
33
;

THE BRITISH

134

make them

PULPIT.

and chapter, as standing round about the


throne, and falling before the throne on
Where this temple is, we know not, their faces, and worshipping God. But
"We are, indeed, taught to consider heaven these are not the worshippers referred to
but we in the text. There is another, and a more
as a state, rather than as a place
have reason to conclude, from several numerous class of priests, serving in this
passages of Scriptutr, that there is some temple, singing another and a louder song,
portion of the universe set apart to be the and occupying as honourable a place.
palace of its great King; that there is " These are they, which came out of
will

for ever ministering

rejoicing priests around

liis

throne.

within the

some

boundaries of the

creation

glorious world, where Jesus in his

human form now


where he

lives and reigns, and

will eventually assemble, with

washed their
made them white in the blood
Lamb."

great tribulation, and have


robes, and

of the
1.

This description reminds

us, first,

company of angels, all of the former condition of these worshipIt tells that it was an earthly conthe sinners of mankind whom his blood pers.
dition.
They were not, like the angels,
has purchased.
the innumerable

All that
it

we know

of this world

really exists, and that

purity and peace.

Our

it

is

is,

that

born in this house

they were natives of

a world of an apostate world, and had an

Bibles, indeed,

us something of its glories, and more


than our limited capacities can fully
comprehend; but still, the most glowing
descriptions that language can convey,
tell

origin.

once

The powers

earthly

of their nature were

far less exalted

than those of their

fellow worshippers, and they were altogether incapable of sharing in

many

of their

Their spirits were united to a


and the most exalted conceptions to which frail body, a body of humiliation, taken
our imaginations can reach, fall infinitely from the dust of the earth, and rapidly
short of that dazzling splendour which tending to dust again.
The
Their condition, too, was a sinful one.
fills the courts of the living God.
world which we inhabit, though defiled Their great tribulation was brought upon
by sin, and under the curse of God, has them by the greatness of their sins. Not
yet so much order, beauty, and magnifi- that they were more sinful than the other
cence in it, that we are often delighted inhabitants of the earth which they dwelt
and astonished as we contemplate its on, but they were once as much encomscenes.
What, then, must be the glory passed with infirmities as any of their
of that world which has never felt the brethren, as dead in trespasses and sins.
polluting touch of sin, which was pre- There is not one among them who was not
pared, before the foundations of the earth a transgressor while on earth, and who has
were laid, for the thrones of the redeemed, not to this very hour a remembrance of his
and adorned for a full display of the Al- guilt. It is this remembrance which makes
mighty's unclouded brightness ] Happy their gratitude so fervent, and their song
so loud. It is this which draws from them
are they who dwell in such a temple
Blessed is the man who is but a door- so exalted a hymn of praise, that the angels cannot reach its strains, and are
keeper in such a house
II. The happy beings who are the forced to wonder at its sweetness.
They were also in an afflicted condition.
WORSHIPPERS IN THIS SPLENDID TEMPLE
ARE DESCRIBED IN THE PASSAGE CONNECT- Not a single sorrow nor care now enters
ED WITH THE TEXT, AND OUR SECOND their hearts, yet they were once in " great
services.

Many

SUBJECT OF CONSIDERATION LEADS US TO

tribulation."

TURN OUR ATTENTION TO THE.M.

a state of peculiar distress

of them

came out of

and sufferings.
Who, then, are these rejoicing worship- " They had trials of cruel mockings and
Many of scourgings yea, moreover, of bonds and
pers, and whence came they ?
them are natives of this heavenly world, imprisonment. They were stoned, were
and have been for countless ages minis- sawn asunder, were slain with the sword.
These are They wandered about in sheep skins
tering servants in this house.
described, ia the eleventh verse of this and goat skins, being destitute, afflicted,
;

tormented.

THE HEAVENLY

THE WORSHIPPERS

IN

them were

some

All

of

in

degree men of sorrows. They were as


well acquainted with poverty and want,
anxiety and care, as we are now. Their
bodies were as weak and liable to pain
and sickness as our own. Their houses
of mourninor were as frequent and gloomy,

and
It

graves as dreary and cold.


was the same with their spiritual

tlieir

troubles.

They

felt, at

seasons, the

painful and suspicious fears that

we

same
feel

they were assaulted by the same temptations, stricken by the same arrows, and
forced to struggle with the same enemies.
Nf>t a single temporal or spiritual sorrow
can ever enter into our hearts, which has
not been a thousand times felt, in all its
bitterness, by these rejoicing inhabitants
of the heavenly world.

TExMPLE.

135

" They have washed their robes, and


made them while in the blood of the
Lamb."
Without this washing, they
could never have been admittf d into the
heavenly temple; for nothing that defiles
has ever entered there. Even in that
earthly

Lord

at

house, which was built for the


Jerusalem, his priests were con-

wash in the sacred laver before


they approached the mercy-seat, whicii
was the symbol of his presence; and
strained to

surely he will not admit one, \;ho

is

de-

and unclean, to minister before him


his temple above. He that was so care-

filed
in

ful

not

of the purity of his earthly house, will


suffer his

heavenly mansion to be

polluted.

The

robes of these priests were once,

indeed, defiled and stained by sin.

Their
garments were as mean and polluted as
these worshippers; it was an earthly, a ours are now, and neither men nor angels
sinful, and a suffering one.
Let us look, could have cleansed them. Ten thousand
secondly, at thei r present condition. Here, tears of penitence could not have washed
however, our knowledge again fails us, them white, nor the blood of martyrdom
We know what it is to be sinful and concealed their stains. How, then, was
afflicted creatures upon earth, but we do their filthiness removed?
By the water
not know what it is to be holy and re- of baptism ? All these priests were injoicing beings before the throne of God deed washed in this water, but it was not
in heaven.
In this far distant world, we this which purified their souls.
Daily
can neither see all the glories of the experience proves that no outward means
temple above us, nor enter into the full can remove the crimson stain of sin, or
meaning of its services. Some particu- do away its filthiness. While we are
lars, however, of the present condition of contending that baptism has this power,
the redeemed saints are given us by the thousands around us, who have been bap2.

Such was

the original condition of

beloved disciple
It

is

in this vision.

tized in the

name

represented to us as a state of death-blow to

all

of Christ, are giving a


our reasonings by their

peace, a state of freedom from sorrow and

worldly and ungodly lives.


This, as
come out of their well as every other ordinance, is, indeed,
tribulation; they have passed through it, sometimes made the means of communiand left it all behind. Their wearisome cating blessings to the soul but there is
pilgrimage is brought to an everlasting no inseparable connexion between the
end. They have exchanged an earth of outward visible sign and the inward spilabour and misery, for a heaven of peace ritual grace of any sacrament. A man
and rest. The billows of adversity, which may go to the table of the Lord, and yet
once filled their souls with fear, still roll not discern the Lord's body there. He
on and rage; but they are rolling far may be washed in the water of baptism,
beneath them, and can never again toss and yet be as much in the gall of bitterthem with their waves. We deem it a ness and in the bond of iniquity as Simon
mercy to be kept for a day, yea, for an Magus or Judas Iscariot.
hour, free from anxiety and sorrow ; but
Could we but once be brought, brethren,
some of these worshippers have not shed to see something of the real nature and
a single tear, nor been harassed by a extent of the depravity which reigns

from pain.

They

are

single care, for ages.

Their state

is also

within us,
a state of purity.

we

should that very

moment

be convinced that no outward ordinances,

THE BRITISH

136

no human exertions, can cleanse the soul


that the evil is too
from its pollution
powerful and too deeply seated to yield
We should
to such remedies as these.
;

PULPIT.

criminals, hut he views

them

Christ

in

as acquitted criminals, as beloved childas having obtained,

ren;

by an act of

grace, a complete and perfect pardon, and

see that the matter will not admit, for a received from him a title to richer privi
moment, of doubt or argument.
Our leges than their sin had forfeited. They
feelings would at once refute the most were, indeed, continuall)^ contracting fresh

defilement as long as they remained on


There is, indeed, a fountain which has earth, and were constrained to wash
power to wash away sin and uncleanness again and again in the same fountain that
subtle reasonings.

is a spiritual fountain, possessing cleansed their robes at first; but if this


a spiritual and mighty efficacy. These fountain had left the unpardoned guilt of
heavenly priests have discovered this sa- only one sin upon their souls, that one
cred laver, and in their songs they point sin would have disqualified them for the
We find them always as- pure services of the habitation of God,
it out to us.
cribing the change which has passed on and have barred for ever its sacred doors
them to one cause, and giving to one being against their entrance.
" Unto him that loved ns,
all the glory.
This free and full pardon of their sins
and washed us from our sins in his own is not, however, the only blessing which
blood, and hath made us kings and priests the heavenly worshippers have obtained
unto God and his Father, to him be glory through the blood of the Lamb. Had
and dominion for ever and ever." " They this been all, they could never havejoined
have washed their robes, and made them in the worship of the heavenly world, nor
white in the blood of the Lamb ;" tliat sung the songs of Zion. The same founblood, which, the Bible tells us, cleansetb tain that freed them from the guilt of sin,
from all sin, and which can make the washed aw <iy sin itself, freed them from
sinner's defiled robes as white as snow. its reigning power, and put a new and
"7%ere/ore," says the text, "are they holy principle within their hearts. Not
before the throne of God." This was the that they were at once brought into a
reason why the everlasting doors of the state of perfect purity. As the consecraheavenly temple were opened to them, tion of some of the Jewish priests was
while thousands of their fellow sinners carried on for many days before it was
are for ever excluded from its courts
completed, so the purification of these
" they were washed, they were sanctified, priests was a long and arduous work.
they were justified, in the name of the Years passed away before some of them
Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our were completely sanctified, and made

but this

God."

meet

When

once they had applied to this


cleansing fountain, they were brought
into a state of pardon and acceptance

"

with God.

He

blotted out as a thick

cloud their transgressions, and as a cloud


The guilt of their sins,
their sins."
strictly speaking, still remains on them.
They still deserve, and ever must deserve,
the wrath of

God

but

all their liability

punishment is completely and for ever


so entirely removed from
done away
them, that their reconciled God deals
with them in heaven as though he remembered their sins and iniquities no
more. In this sense, " He does not see

to

iniquity in Jacob,
Israel."

God

nor perverseness in

looks upon his saints as

to

minister

light; and they

among

were

all

the

saints

plagued

in

to their

dying hour,

in a greater or less degree,


with the struggling corruptions of their

hearts.
But sin could not follow
them beyond the grave. As soon as their
evil

liberated souls escaped from this world

of pollution, they entered a world where


this

enemy can never come; and

now

unsullied purity and perfect holiness.

all

is

Their graces, which were so often obscured and sullied here on earth, now
shine forth with unclouded brightness
and never-fading lustre. " Christ," says
the Scripture, " loved the church, and
gave himself for it, that he might sanctify
and cleanse it with the washing of water
by the word, that he might present it to

THE WORSHIPPERS IN THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE.

137

himself a glorious church, not having great multitude, a multitude which no


spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, man can number."
but that it should be holy and without
But here it may be asked. Whence can
blemish."
this great multitude come? We read our
may observe, further, that the Bibles, and we find the people of God
state of these worshippers in the tem- spoken of there as a little flock.
ple of God is a state of triumph.
The look around us in the world, and are
white robes, in which they are clad, are sometimes tempted to ask. Where shall a
not their only ornaments.
We are told godly man be found ] How, then, shall
in the ninth verse of this chapter, that this great multitude be brought to glory?
they have palms in their hands.
From what unknown globe has sovereign

We

We

The palm

tree,

cient nations,

among many

of the an-

was an emblem of

victory.

mercy fetched them? We dare not say,


answer to these inquiries, that all who

in

Hence its branches were used to adorn tri- are now rejoicing in tiie heavenly courts
umphal processions. The general, whose were once inhabitants of the earth on
victories the triumph was designed to which we live.
The benefits of redeemcelebrate, carried a small branch of

his

hand, and

a conqueror.

deemed

When,

were once

we

in

as

the re-

therefore,

are described as having

their hands,

it

was thus recognised


palms

in

are reminded that they

soldiers,

who were

not

ashamed

to confess the faith of Christ crucified,

may be as extensive as the


boundaries of the creation.
There is,
ing grace

however, every reason


the

great multitude

spoken of

to

suppose that

of saints

in this vision,

who

are

were originally

strangers and pilgrims in this world of

sorrow.

It is true,

indeed, that the

way

which leads from this sinful world to the


arm completely heavenly mansions is represented in the

but fought manfully under his banner, and

by

the strength of his

We

conquered every enemy. The saints on Scriptures as extremely narrow.


earth, indeed, are warring the same war- see, too, that there are few walking in it.
fare in which these glorified beings were But it does not therefore follow, that the
engaged, and are continually obtaining greater part of the human race descend
victories in it; but then they must wait by another road to another kingdom.
till all
the days of their warfare are Millions of the children of men are, we
accomplished, before they can have the trust, carried yearly in their infancy to
triumphal chariot and the palm.
The the realms of light, and many an aged
soldier never triumphs till the war is saint also is seen patiently walking in
ended, and the enemy completely sub- the path which leads to God, and will
dued. The saints in heaven have finished soon be standing in his temple a rejoicing
the painful conflict, and are now gone up priest. Satan does not number among his
for their reward to Jehovah's temple. subjects all the inhabitants of our globe.
And
what blessed triumphs are theirs
The Redeemer has a people on the earth.
What glorious spoils What everlasting He is seeing of the travail of his soul in
shouts of victory and songs of joy
Their many places, and in a thousand hearts,
triumph is a never-ending triumph. Their though we see it not. Who can tell how
palms will never wither. Their robes of many an humble Christian has been trahonour will never fade.
The lustre of velling to the land of rest, while almost
their crown never can be tarnished. The all around him, and even the honoured
light of day will be extinguished, and the instrument that first turned his soul to
stars of heav! n be darkened, but the God, have been ignorant of his faith ?
brightness of their glory will be as incor- The man has poured forth alone his prayruptible as the throne of God.
IMen have not seen the
ers and tears.
3. As we look on these worshippers in uplifted eye, nor heard the secret prayer
heaven, we may observe, thirdly, the for mercy but the angels of heaven have
greatness of their number. They are said, rejoiced over the weeping suppliant, and
in the ninth verse, to be " a multitude, a at length carried him in triumph to the
Vol. 11. 18
M2
!

THE BRITISH

138
temple of his God.
before

We

know,

too, that

the destruction of this world of

it will become the kingdom of our


Lord and of his Christ. A time is rapidly

sin,

approaching,

when

the standard of the

cross shall be erected in every land, and

Jesus of Nazareth reign in every place.


need not fear being solitary inhabitants of the heavenly house. God has not
built so splendid a temple to be the only
blank in his crowded creation. We, and
all around us, may make light of that voice
which invites us to enter in but still the
marriage supper of the Lamb will be
abundantly furnished with guests.
A review of the cheering subject, which
we have thus briefly considered, leads us

We

to observe, in conclusion, that the gospel

PULPIT.

Let us, then, prepare to meet out


promised trials, and not only to niee\
them, but to welcome them with cheerfulness and joy.
They are designed to
help us forward in our course, to lead us

tion."

which will take us to the


temple and the throne of God. " Oui
light affliction," says one who had tasted
of much severer sorrows than ever fell to
the lot of any of us, and was quite as
capable of forming a true estimate of
on in the road,

is

" Our light affliction, which


but for a moment, worketh for us a far

their nature

more exceeding and eternal weight of


glory."

There

is

another reflection suggested to

us by the words

we have been

considering.

How

the

between the

great

is

contrast

of Christ does not promise to its followers present and the future condition of the
any exemption from the calamities of life. followers of Jesus ! Those whom the
It tells us that man is born to trouble, and apostle saw in this glorious temple are all
that the servants of God shall have their said to have come out of great tribulation.
of the sorrows of mortality.

They were,

perhaps, some of the first and


most persecuted members of the church.
But what a blessed and wondrous change
sentations.
It promises us happiness in
has passed upon them
They were once,
heaven, and many joys in the road which perhaps, wandering about in sheep skins
leads to it; but, at the same time, it and goal skins; they are now clothed in
plainly tells us that this road is a path of white raiment, walking the streets of the
trial. All the saints are, indeed, described
new Jerusalem, and treading the courts
as rejoicing; but, then they are said to be of its splendid temple. They were once
"rejoicing in tribulation." Their near- glad to fly for shelter to mountains, caves,
ness to God has neither removed calamity and dens of the earth they are now occufrom them, nor blunted tlieir feelings pying everlasting mansions in Jehovah's
when smarting under it. Who, then, are house. Those heads, which are now
we, brethren, that some special exemption encircled with crowns of glory, \vere once
should be made in our favour'? David, bowed down under a sense of guilt. Those
and Paul, and every other saint, have tongues which are now shouting "Worthy
drunk of the cup of sorrow: why, then, is the Lamb," were once complaining of
should we expect it to be always kept their wretchedness and sin. Those hearts
from our lips'? Have we deserved it less which are now glowing with the most
than they, or do we need it less ?
Have exalted happiness, and rejoicing in spotwe fewer sins to be subdued, less pride, less purity, were once full of corruption
less self-dependence, less earthly-mind- and perplexity, and aching with cares
edness, to be rooted out'? Tribulation is and sorrows.
the portion of all the redeemed and, if we
Has such a change as this passed on
have ever tasted of redemption, it will, in these once sinful and afflicted saints?
some shape or other, be our portion. Our And is there no change awaiting those,
Saviour tells us so. This is one of the who are now following the same Lord in
the same path of tribulation'? Shall they
first sayings he addresses to them who
follow him, and one of the first truths he never exchange a world of suffering for a
generally makes them feel the meaning heaven of rest, a vale of tears for a mount
of, " In the world ye shall have tribula- of joy ?
O, look, my Christian brethren,
full portion

The

Bible does not attempt to cheat us


into a profession of religion by false repre-

THE WORSHIPPERS IN THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE.


to that glorious

church of the

army of martyrs,
first-born.

to that

See them on

139

tions; whether, through grace, they have


forced

me

to see

my

spiritual

misery and

Listen to their songs of wretchedness; whether they have made


Soon, very soon, shall you be me feel the plague of my sinful heart, and

thrones.

their

triumph.

numbered with them.


Only tread in led me to seek for help in a crucified
wash in that fountain which Saviour; whether they have softened,
cleansed them keep close to that Saviour changed, humbled me] The great quesserve faithfully tion is. Have I washed in that fountain
in whom they believed
that God whom they loved and feared; which God has opened for sin and for

their steps;

and your robes shall soon be as white as


your songs as joyful, your crowns

uncleanness,

and

have

been

really

power of

theirs,

cleansed

as bright.

giving way, and the love of holiness


gradually gaining strength in my heart]

But

the voice of consolation is not the

only language that the Holy Spirit addressf'S to us in the text.

a loud

call

to

Here

is, lastly,

self-examination.

may

This

the

sin

0, brethren, how few among us can bear


bring our profession of Cliristianity to
such a test as this
have no heart!

felt

God, and yet we may


not be in their number. The gates of
this heavenly temple may be optened to
ten thousand times ten thousand ransomed
sinners, and yet closed against us. There
is another and a very different house, in
which we may be forced to seek an everThere is the dwellinglasting home.

feel

fore the throne of

Is

to

stand be-

great multitude, brethren,

there

We

sense of our spiritual pollution we


not our need of Christ; we desire

not the

washing of his blood.

As

for

inward purity, purity of heart, we seldom


think of it, and can hardly understand

But what is that


is meant by it.
hope of heaven worth, which is not
accompanied with this inward purity ]
Does not the Scripture say, " He that

what

hath this hope in him,"


a good hope of
temple of the living God. To which of heaven, " purifieth himself even as God
these mansions, then, are we hastening] is pure]" and do not your consciences
We must soon be lodged for ever in one testify that there is no communion beor the other of them
which will be our tween purity and you ]
habitation ] Shall we be the ministering
Dare not, then, in direct opposition to
priests of Satan or of God ]
the word of God, to hope for heaven till
If we obtain a faithful answer to such sin is become hateful to your soul, and
questions as these, we must not be con- perfect holiness the first wish of your
tent with referring to our present troubles, heart; till you have gone with a feeling,
and drawing an inference from them that penitent, and believing heart, to the
all will in the end be well. Tribulation, it fountain which infinite mercy has opened
is true, is the portion of the people of for transgressors on the cross, and washed
God but it is also the portion of another your defiled robes and made them white
and a more numerous people, the children in its sacred water. This fountain is still
The Reof the wicked one. The severest afflictions standing open for sinners.
prove nothing as to our spiritual state and deemer's work of salvation is not yet
character.
may be amongst the most completed. Though he has already carwretched on earth; and yet, notwith- ried innumerable thousands to his house,
standing all our sufferings, we may be there yet is room, room for thousands
also amongst the most w^retched in the more, room for you. Do you really desire
world to come.
may resemble the to enter in ] Have you but a willing
This is all a
glorified inhabitants of heaven in their and an humble heart]
former state of tribulation, and yet never gracious Saviour asks. Take it to his
However polluted by iniquity,
be made partakers of their present happi- cross.
ness.
The question to be asked is not he will cleanse it there, and make you a
whether I have been afflicted, but whether pure and rejoicing worshipper for ever ia
my afflictions have been sanctified afflic- the temple of your God.

place of Satan in eternity, as well as the

We

We

THE BRITISH

140

SCRIPTURS BirnCULTIES.

PULPIT.

contradictions should be reconciled ; that


seeming discrepancies should be adjusted ;
that mistranslations should be corrected

Like

Holy
some

all

other ancient writings,

Scriptures present

many

the

difficulties,

customs and

that references to obsolete

ceremonies should be explained

in

of which will defy every attempt at word, that our Scriptures should be raised
solution, while there are others which in the utmost degree to the original chamay be fully and satisfactorily removed racter which they sustained.

by an acquaintance with general science.

Nor should

the circumstance that these

ANECDOTES OF FRENCH INFIDELITY.

themselves in the saThe following anecdotes are related by


cred volume be permitted to excite any Madame la Comtesse de Genlis, in a
surprise, much less any distress of mind, work entitled "The Dinner Parties of
:"
to those persons who may meet with them the Baron d'Holbach
" Morvel, an actor, sat in the pulpit of
Let them
in the course of their reading.
only call to mind the fact, that the books the cathedral of Notre-Dame, at Paris,
difficulties present

High

of Scripture were written by different


persons, in almost every variety of circumstance ; that they refer to people

during the French revolution, as


Priest of Reason ; and, eight years

authentic documents, which might reflect


light on some obscurity of expression or

the Goddess of Reason, was seated upon


the high altar of the church of Notie-

after-

wards, he died in the most dreadful state


whose customs and habits were totally of ravirtg madness.
" Mademoiselle Aubry, an actress of
dissimilar to our own ; that they narrate
histories of which we possess no other the opera, nearly naked, and representing

vagueness of description that they were Dame, to receive the solemn homage of
written in other languages than those in the people. This same woman, seven
which we now possess them; and that, years afterwards, playing Minerva, in an
in addition to the mutability of language, opera, and being placed in a sort of car,
must be added the difficulties of trans- fell from the top of the theatre, all the
lating out of one tongue into another. Let cords of the machine breaking at once.
all this be considered, which, indeed, is The fall knocked out her teeth, broke
but a small part of the several circum- her shoulder and one of her legs, and
stances which might be brought forward, disfigured her face in a most frightful
and then we shall see the folly and un- manner. Two children, who were to have
;

fairness of those

who would

difficulties of Scripture as a

urge the

reason

why

been placed at the foot of the goddes",


representing the Genii of Arts, were detained by an accident in the Rue des

should not be received as an authentic


and inspired book ; for it should be borne Lombards they were taken into a shop,
in mind that these difficulties are almost where they remained a quarter of an hour.
exclusively confined to matters of an his- Mdlle. Aubry wished to wait for them,
torical mture; not affecting, even in the before she mounted the car the audience,
remotest degree, the doctrines, upon the however, would not suffer this ; and even
knowledge and belief of which the salva- when a few minutes longer delay was
The children
tion of every man to whom they are solicited, they refused it.

it

proposed depends. These are written in arrived just at the moment of the fall
" Here we observe the ' high priest of
the plainest and most intelligible manner,
and of their several parts there is the most reason' dying distracted; the 'goddess'
receiving her punishment

sirable,

character in

Nevertheless, it is deboth for the honour of revelation


and the satisfaction of the inquiring mind,
that even the difficulties to which we have
referred should be

removed

that apparent

committed

the very same


which her crime had been

perfect harmony.

and innocence spared in the


;
person of the children. What food for
reflection

!"

SERMON

XIV.

THE SACRIFICES WHICH PAUL WAS WILLING TO MAKE

IN

THE CAUSE

OF CHRIST.

BY THE REV. JOHN FRENCH,


MINISTER OF THE RELIEF CHURCH, COLLEGE STREET, EDINBURGH.

" ^^^lat

mean ye

to

weep and

to

? for I am ready not to be bound


name of the Lord Jesus." Acts xxi. 13.

break mine heart

also to die at Jerusalem

for

the

When

Paul uttered these words, he


return from one of those
Christian missions in which he had so
zealously embarked for the spread of the
gospel. In this, and a preceding mission, he had visited some of the most
celebrated regions and renowned cities

was on

his

of the world.

With

only, but

indefatigable step,

But if Paul had his share of sufferings,


he had his triumphs too. The gospel
prospered in his hand.

His divine Mas-

gave him souls for his hire. His fellest enemies were at times given him as
ter

the trophies of his faithfulness, patience,

and heroism.

He who

in the

same night

thrust Paul's feet into the stocks, and

consigned him, all scourged and wounded as he was, to the deepest dungeon of
Europe. He had sailed the waters of the a prison that very same person, on that
Mediterranean sea. He had coursed his very same night, lay trembling as a penitrack among those innumerable islands tent at his feet, bathing his wounds, askthat so beautifully stud the Grecian Ar- ing the way of salvation, and humbly reOn the soil of ancient Troy ceiving the baptism of a Christian at his
chipelago.
along the classic shores of Greece at hands.
The gospel which Paul thus taught to
Antioch, Ephesus, Philippi, Corinth, and
Athens, he had planted the standard of thousands was, in these its early days, a

he had

toiled his

way

tion of Syria, Arabia,

over no small por-

Asia Minor, and

the cross, and proclaimed that Jesus of powerful, fruitful principle. They who
embraced it felt its softening influence
Nazareth was the Saviour of the world.

In the performance of this arduous duty melt their hearts, and prompt them to all
he had passed through many perils, suf- the charities of life. They gave with no
fered many hardships, and been the vic- niggard hand to the support of the gospel,
tim of the most atrocious persecution and to the relief of the poor. And as the
and cruelty. Those places now named poor Christians in Jerusalem were at this
may indeed be famed for many things, in time suffering many privations, it would
history, in fable, and in song; but amid appear, that, collections having been made
all their other celebrity, for this also have in the most of those Gentile churches
they obtained an infamous notoriety, that which Paul had planted, the apostle himof the most benevolent

men

the world ever saw, spoke to

them

when one

whom

self

was

sent as their honoured almoner,

to carry this their

bounty

to their suffer-

ing brethren in Jerusalem. It is in the


they mercilessly treated him as the ve- prosecution of this object we meet with
riest wretch that ever society hunted out him in our text. As the apostle proceeded on his journey, he received many, and
of its pale.
141
in the

language of truth and soberness,

THE BRITISH

142
these by no

means obscure

intimations,

that this journey to Jerusalem

was

to

be

PULPIT.

1. And here I remark that the spirit of


our text implies that Paul was willing to
sacrifice his ease and comfort, and to devote all the energies of his body and soul

eminently perilous. He tells us, that in


every city to which he came, the Holy
Ghost witnessed that bonds and afflic- to the honour of Christ's name.
The spirit of our text, we say, warrants
Apprized of such a
tions awaited him.
fact as this, no wonder that his attached this specification. For here the mere toil
friends might wish to save a life so dear of voyaging by sea and travelling by land
and so valuable as was Paul's. And, in this, his present mission, implies no
however questionable and ill-judged their mean sacrifice of ease, and no mean exinterference with the course of events penditure of laborious exertion.
The
which the Holy Ghost foretold, it was whole of Paul's apostolical life was an
no doubt, on their part, a well-meant illustration of his willingness to do and
kindness to the devoted Paul. Accord- bear the utmost of which humanity is caOf his mere travels alone, those
ingly, when first he landed at Tyre, and pable.
now when he had reached Cesarea, his parts of Scripture which describe them
Christian friends in both places most afford us but the scantiest itinerary. A
earnestly besought him not to go up to brief chapter will at times comprehend
that Jerusalem that had killed so many the toil and travel of many thousand
Had Paul passed over these in
prophets, stoned so many of God's mes- miles.
sengers, and upon

whose

inhabitants

was

be charged all the righteous blood


shed upon the earth, from the blood of
righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias,
whom they slew between the temple and
the altar.
But Paul's was never the craven heart
of a coward. Tell him where duty lay,
and no terrors could shake his soul, or
turn him from his invincible attachment
to Christ and his cause. While sensibly
to

alive therefore to these, the intense

sym-

pathies and melting entreaties of friendship,

we

hear

him replying with

passionate fervour of a saint, and

all
all

the

the

the lady-like fashion of


tourists,

enjoying

which

pliances

can

now

supply,

many modern

those helps and ap-

all

science, art, and luxury

many might have

him the pleasure of

envied

some of the
loveliest regions of the globe. But when
we hear him saying of himself, and of
visiting

" Even unto the preboth hunger, and thirst, and

his fellow apostles,

sent hour

we

and are buffeted, and have no


working with our hands being reviled, we
bless; being persecuted, we suffer it;
being defamed, we entreat we are made
as the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things ;" and when, with
are naked,

certain dwelling-place; and labour,


:

" What
break mine more precise reference to himself, we
heart 1 for I am ready not to be bound hear him enumerate the catalogue of his
only, but to die at Jerusalem for the name sufferings, "In labours more abundant,
in stripes above measure, in prison more
of the Lord Jesus."
This text presents two topics for illus- frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five

resolute heroism of a martyr

mean ye

to

weep and

to

times received I forty stripes save one.

tration.
I.

The

which Paul was Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was
in the cause of I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a

sacrifices

willing to make
night and a day I have been in the deep
Christ.
n. The EXALTED OBJECT FOR WHICH in journeyings often, in perils of waters,
he was willing to make these sacri- in perils of robbers, in perils by mine
it was for the name of the own countrymen, in perils by the heathen,
fices

Lord Jesus.
It is

only to the

in perils in the city, in perils in the wilfirst

of these topics

derness, in perils in the sea, in perils

your atten- among false brethren ; in weariness and


tion.
We are then, in this discourse, to painfulness, in watchings often, in hunillustrate the sacrifices which Paul was ger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold
and nakedness.
Beside those things
willing to make in the cause of Christ.

that

we

shall at present call

PAUL'S
which

WILUNGNESS TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST.

are without, that

me daily,

which cometh

143

tions eminently calculated to promote the

honour of Christ's name.


As magisweak, and I am not weak ] who trates, ministers, physicians, teachers,
Is offended, and I burn not]"
and still merchants, traders, artisans, all in your
farther, my friends, when we contemplate different spheres, may do something for
not only these, properly speaking, his Christ.
Let it be a question then with
passive toils, but also his more active every conscientious man and woman in
strenuous efforts to save souls when we this assembly, " What is it that I can sathink of him toiling with his hands to crifice 1 what is it that I can suffer 1 what
earn a bit of bread, while he distributed is it that I can do for the name of the
so munificently the bread of life to others Lord Jesus ?"
i^when we think of him planting so
Need I specify what you can contribute
many churches, watering those already to the furtherance of Christ's honour.
planted, preaching in synagogues, and in Some can give their labour, some their
all places of public resort, visiting from time, some their talents, some their wealth,
house to house, writing epistles, reason- some their influence, some their examing with the learned, grappling with the ple, some their prayers some may give
enemies of civil liberty, and asserting the all of these, some two or more of them
sacred rights of freedom, declaiming be- and there is not one of you but who may
fore a Felix, a Festus, and an Agrippa, at least live, and suffer, and pray for the
with an eloquence more powerful than honour of Christ's name. Who, I ask,
that " which fulmined over Greece, and is so insulated in this world as not to
shook the throne of Macedon" in short, have father, or mother, wit'e, vhild, browhen we think of him as doing every ther, sister, friend, neighbour, or acthing, and attempting every thing, where- quaintance, to whom he may do some
by he might win souls to Jesus, we feel good ? Who absolutely so busy, as not
that we live in the age of little men, that to have one odd hour, one spare moment
Who
Christian character is dwarfed by the to devote to religious purposes ]
barrenness of a degenerate age, and that so talentless, so mindless, so actionless,
would we do for Christ all that duty as not to be capable of filling some post
binds us to do, we must look to such of usefulness in the Christian church?
examples as that of Paul, and strive to He who cannot speak and argue, can act
catch from him that burning zeal for the and he who can do but little even in that
Redeemer's honour, which existed and way, may at least have it said of him,
flamed so mightily in his ardent soul. that " he has done what he could." Who
We hold up to your gaze the example of so ignorant as not to know something
Paul, and we call upon you to act in the which, if communicated, might instruct
Who so poor
spirit of his heroic declaration, which we some more ignorant soul ]
upuii

Who

the care of all the churches.

i*

are

now

therefore, to

home
what

as not to be able at least to

considering.

Applying

branch of our subject,


our own cases, bringing it

this

to ourselves, the question

are

now

is,

the sacrifices of ease and of

show a

will-

ingness to help religion forward'? While


the sun endures, and while the Bible
lasts, the poor widow's mite shall stand

blazoned on the inspired page

in brighter

what the attempts and ex- memorial than the richest endowments
ertions which all of us in our various ever consecrated to the support of relispheres ought to make for the honour of gion by titled wealth or ostentatious
It will not do to take charity.
Christ's name 1
But still some of you may object we
refuge under the excuse, " I am not an
the question is. Are you a have not time, we have not convenience,
apostle ;"
Christian 1 Are you a disciple of Jesus 1 we have not means, we have not money
We urge in reIf you are, Christ will find you work in to engage in this work.
every sphere of life. There is no station ply, that even though every one of these
which any one of you occupies, but in apologies and excuses were sustained,
which you may make sacrifices and exer- there is not one of you but must be push-

comfort, and

THE BRITISH

144

PULPIT.

every good work;" "to be zealous of


good works;" " zealously aifected in all
good things ;" " that you are to be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord ;" " that
name." And in relation to a still greater you are to contend earnestly for the faith
number, I would press the inquiry, that once delivered to the saints ;" that " you
in Older to add to your means and ability are to run, and strive, and fight in the
of doing good, may nothing be taken business of salvation
that you are as it
from your sleep, nothing from your hours were to take heaven by violence;" and
of idleness and amusement, nothing from that when you have done all, from a conthe cost of your pleasures, nothing from sciousness that you have done too little,
the luxuries of food, and the luxuries of you are to acknowledge yourselves " uned to the last extremity to get rid of this
" that at least you can give the
claim,
example of holy living, and the benefit
of your prayers, for the honour of Christ's

dress, and the luxuries of furniture 1 Can


nothing from ne of these be spared to
honour Jesus or save a soul 1 Let conscience, taking its station at the foot of
Christ's cross, and instructing itself by

the plain uncompromising

precepts

profitable servants."

Feeling the force of these the comof your God, I trust every Christian now hearing me will exclaim with

mands

the poet

of

God's word, give an answer that will


God.
But, upon what objects, then, perhaps
you ask me, are we to lay out all this exsatisfy at the judgment-seat of

Awake, my dormant zeal for ever flame


With generous ardour for immorta! souls
!

And may my

my

head,

my

tongue,

my

heart,

all.

Spend and be spent

in service so divine.

penditure of labour, time, talents, wealth,


influence, example, and prayers

my

friends, the

immensely

ways

Why,

of doing good are

numerous

You may

and diversified.
countenance and support all the

varieties

of religious institutions

may

you

2d. In the second place, I remark, that

Paul

was willing

friendships for

the

to

sacrifice

name of

earthly

the Lord

This idea is prominently suggested by these affecting words, " What


Jesus.

contribute to missionary societies, mean ye to weep and to break mine


you may lend them your assistance
heart?"
you may take an interest in SabbathCould the endearments of the tenderest
schools
you may form and support friendship have restrained Paul from the
libraries
you may circulate tracts you performance of his duty to his Saviour,
my give your attendance at prayer meet- such a powerful motive was not wanting
ings you may visit the sick
you may in his case. He was loved with no comread the Scriptures to the aged you may mon affection by those among whom he
counsel the young and inexperienced
laboured in the ministry of the gospel.
you may frown on every species of error Our text is one proof of it. These perand crime; you may reprove sin; you sons entreated and besought him to have
may display public spirit by patronizing a care for his safety and his life, and
scientific, literary, and humane institu- when they could urge and beseech no
tions; you may do what you can to re- more, they employed the sad but powermove all national, provincial, or local ful eloquence of weeping and of tears.
grievances in short, you may encouarge This, however, was not one solitary ocand adopt all scriptural means for the currence. In the preceding chapter, at
spread and revival of religion for the the conclusion of a narrative, to me more
growth of piety and the increase of hap- exquisitely pathetic than almost any
piness wherever man has a dwelling writing I am acquainted with, we meet
with the following account of Paul's
round the wide circle of the globe.
Now, my friends, having shown you parting interview with the Ephesian
what you may do for Christ, I insist on church. " And when he had thus spoken,
your coming to the conviction that it is he kneeled down and prayed with them
your duty to do it. Surely you read in all. And they all wept sore, and fell on
your Bibles that you are to be " ready to Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing
or

PAUL'S WILLINGNESS TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST.


most of

for

all

the words which he

show

prepared to

145

that Paul

was

in the

not

wrong, we call upon you, in duty, to go


and do likewise. Beware lest earthly
friendships of any kind wean your hearts
from Jesus, and rob him of his due. I
would not have you undervalue friendship, for it has been said, and I believe
justly, to double our pleasures and divide
our sorrows ; but never let it usurp that
sovereign place in your hearts which belongs to God and to Christ alone.
Let this caution extend to those friends
who are related to us by the ties of blood
and affinity. An excessive attachment
to these is very apt to cool the ardour of
Christian zeal. The love of a husband,
and the fondness of a father, have often
proved serious obstacles to an intrepid
avowal and defence of the gospel. Ah !
well does he who has fought in the battle field, know how much the thoughts
of home, of wife, and of children, have
rushed upon his recollection, palsied his
arm, and almost unmanned his heart,
when the drum beat to arms, and when
the battle's opening roar foreboded to his
mind that never should he again see his
home and his children. Could the sol-

the language of cold and unfeeling re-

dier but get rid of these feelings, the bit-

buke. His own heart was wrung by this


proof of their affection. The state of his
soul thus described by himself, was an
echo to their weeping; and the mental

terness of death

spake, that they should see his face no

more."

Now, my

hearers, we are by no means


suppose that Paul was insensible to
these, the melting sympathies of friendto

ship.

No

Paul's soul was not of that

iron mould, that sterner stuff, that makes


some men think it disgraceful to shed a

and unmanly to display any tenderNeither his piety nor his


manners were of that austere kind that
extorts our veneration, while we are chilled into distant awe by the cold repelling
air which is ever thrown around them.
tear,

ness of feeling.

The

was of

sanctity of Paul's character

warmer, kindlier, and more attractive


form.
He had the secret of winning
hearts. He threw his heart and soul into
all that he said, and wrote, and acted;
and when this is perceived, congenial
minds, like all other affinities, cling to
each other with mutual ardour and affection.
The very language of the text affords illustration of this remark upon the
" What mean ye,"
apostle's character.
said he, " to weep and to break mine
a

heart ?"

pang was

This you will observe

to

is

him the more severe,

that a

purer and a loftier principle forbade him


to yield to their pressing entreaties.

was

and,

would
And what the

he rush upon the foe.

warrior thus feels the Christian also experiences.


He finds that not merely in'

circumstances of danger, but even in the

His more ordinary duties of every-day

the bitter agony of giving a denial

weeping

would be past;

fearless of all other consequences,

the cares of a family, and the

life,

attach-

ments which it calls forth, are frequently


most unfavourable to piety and religion.
Here, then, is the nobleness of Paul's Let not, then, these social ties so wind
present sacrifice. Like all eminent saints, round your heart, so engross your sympahis character was a well balanced one. thies, as to neglect your duty to your
He loved his friends well, but he loved God and your Saviour. Yours may not
his Saviour better.
Earthly friends had be the trying lot to live in persecuting
their claims which he duly regarded, but times, when it would have become you
the love of Christ was uppermost in his to arm for Christian war, and to die a
to

friends

pleading even for

himself.

soul.

In

the

very hour, therefore, in

which he might be

said

to

enjoy the

luxury of loving hearts, he was willing


to tear himself from them; and, though
it should be to bondage and to death, to
go wherever God, and truth, and duty
called him.

And now, my

hearers, if

Vol. II. 19

you

are not

martyr's death, and when the last farewell of weeping friends and relations
might have proved the bitterest dreg in
of sorrow which you had to
but remember that temptations, as

the cup
drain

dangerous

come from

to

your spiritual safety,

friends and

relations,

may
when

neither war, intolerance, nor persecution,

THE BRITISH

146

disturbs the enjoyment of domestic peace.

PULPIT.
In the precrding context,

we

learn that

came down from Judea a certain


pass through Eve's hands to Adam, even prophet, named Agabus; and when he
in a state of peaceful, happy innocence ] was come to Cesarea, he " took Paul's
Was not Samson shorn of his strength girdle, (or sash,) and bound his own
through a blind love for Delilah, rather hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the
than by the might of the Philistine bands ? Holy Ghost, so shall the Jews at .Terusaand was it not from the v/ifeof his bosom lein bind the man that owneth this girthat Job received the dreadful counsel to die, and shall deliver him into the hands
curse God and die"? Attach then to every of the Gentiles. And when we had heard
the fruit of the forbidden tree

Did not

there

'

due importance; and, since!


God has the first and indisputable claim
to your regards, let no earthly affection
divide your heart with him. Said Christ,
' He that loveth father or mother more
than me, is not worthy of me; and he
that loVeth son or daughter more than me,
And he that taketh
is not worthy of me.
not his cross and foUoweth after me, is
not worthy of me."
object

its

'

But,

besides

these,

there

other

are

friendships in the world, which, though

not to be coveted, are very apt to decoy


us from the path of duty. I refer to the
corrupting influence of those persons

we

and they of that


to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, What mean
ye to weep and to break mine heart? for
I am ready not to he bound only, but also
to die at Jerusalem, for the name of the
Lord Jesus."
I crave your particular attention to this
noble declaration as made by Paul. Observe the remarkable circumstances in
which it was made, and which characterize it.
It was not upon a contingency
which might happen or might not happen, that Paul declared his willingness

these things, both


place besought

him not

to surrender his liberty. It was not upon


whose birth, rank, and fortune, place the gloomy foreboding of a diseased mind
them above us in society, and to whom dreading the occurrence of evils which
It was not a
slavish minds are but too apt to crouch for might never take place.
the paltriest favour a nod, or a smile. peradventure that Paul was to be made a
Thus Moses was exposed to the ensnar- prisoner. It was as certain as the Holy

ing blandishments of the court of Pha- Ghost could testify it from his infinite
raoh ; Elijah was tried at the court of knowledge of all events past, present,
Ahab and of Jezebel ; John the Baptist and future. In every place to which Paul

was

tried

by

for

friendship of

time by the

sinister

Herod and Herodias

that of Felix and Drusilla; and

own Knox had

Paul
our

withstand the witching


beauty and duplicity of a Scottish queen.
Your lot and mine, my friends, are not
to

likely to be cast in spheres like these

our own
brought
ger

is

in
in

the

rank superior to
alliance with vice, and we are
contact with it, there the dan-

but wherever there

same

is

in kind, if not in

degree.

had lately come, the testimony was repeated, that bonds and imprisonments
awaited him ; and even now when within
little more than one day's journey of Jerusalem, and when solemnly told by language and by symbol that his hands
should be manacled, and his feet fettered
like a slave; it was in these circumstances of peculiar solemnity that Paul,
taking up the very language of his doom
from the mouth of the Holy Ghost, declared his readiness to be bound at Jerusalem for the name of his blessed Master.
Observe here, also, what was the his-

such circumstances, let the elevating consciousness of being a Christian


of being born of God, and of having a
hom in the skies, restrain you from con- tory of the man who made this declaraceding one essential truth, or diverging tion. He was not one who slighted un-

In

all

one line from the track which God's word


and your conscience tell you are right.
3d. In the third place, I remark that
to sacrifice his liberty

Paul was willing


for the

name

of the Lord Jesus.

tried hardships.

"

He jests at

scars

The

poet has said,

who never

felt a

wound."

Paul was not one of this description. He


was not one who acted the braggart in

PAUL'S WILLINGNESS TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST.

who had proved a coward in


He knew well what imprisonment

peace, but

war.

147

longer the oppressed thralls of sin, of


Satan, and of hell.

was. He could count the cost of forfeitI have


only further to observe here,
ed liberty, for he had already, for the that the sacrifice which Paul thus prosake of his religion, been frequently a fessed himself willing to make, was one
prisoner.
which, as you know, he actually made.
Wiiat then? Did Paul slight or un- He did not falsify his engagement, or
dervalue liberty ] No ! not for one mo- quail before his enem.ies when his chains
ment are we to suppose it. His history were put upon him. The noblest stroke
warrants me to say, that the love of free- of oratory which, perhaps, he or mor-

dom

burned as ardently

as ever

it

in

bosom

Paul's

did in that of a Brutus or a Tell.

We

are to

who

contended

remember

this

was

the

man

ever uttered, was when in the presence of Agrippa


with these fetters
upon his arms, he exclaimed, " Would
tal

to God, that not only thou, but also all


judgment- that hear me this day, were both almost
seat of Felix and of Festus.
This was and altogether such as I am, except these
the man who would not abate one jot of bonds !" Through the injustice of Felix,
his civil rights, when he conceived the in these bonds he was confined for two
assertion of tliem could be of any possi- years a prisoner at Cesarea; and, subsequently, at Rome, for other two years he
ble advantage to himself or to society
who, at Philippi, would not even walk was a chained prisoner at large, with a
out of his dungeon till the magistrates soldier to guard him.
themselves came and acknowledged that
Paul well knew that Christ deserved
they had wronged him, and besought him all, and more than all this at his hands,
to depart.
This was the man, who, on though no advantage should result from
for liberty against all the

iiirelings of intolerance at the

But

another occasion, protested against being

it.

bound, and against having one stripe laid


ypon him, because he was a Roman citizen.
This was the man, who, when unjustly and brutally struck in the .Jewish
Sanhedrim, by the command of the higli
priest, intrepidly and indignantly replied,
*' God shall smite thee, thou whited wall
for sittest thou to judge me according to
the law, and dost thou, command me to be
smitten contrary to the lam .?" In short

make

to stimulate his

willingness to

the sacrifice, he no doubt believed,

the event showed, that great good


would flow from his imprisonment and
his bonds, whereby an increase of glory
would redound to the hoivoured name of

as

Jesus.

At this stage of our subject, then, we


would glance at the b mefit which accrued
to

the im-

the religion of Christ, from

prisonment of Paul.

Through Paul's captivity at Rome, the


was the man, who, rather than
submit to proconsular tyranny and injus- gospel was carried at once to the very
tice, appealed to Caesar, and was thus heart of the Roman empire, from which,
transmitted a prisoner to imperial Rome. as a radiating centre, it no doubt more
this

Paul then was not one who slighted


the freedom which, at this time, he proits

this

it.

What

enigma?

then

the sacrifice

name

to

pro-

distant

same

the

access to the very palace of the imperial

is

this riddle?

was

to

Through

providential occurrence, the gospel found

C^sars

and though a Nero might

the solution of remain a tyrant and a monster,

The

explana-

tion is to be found in the object for

the

way

He

in other circumstances have bled to de-

fend

its

vinces and colonies.

value, and might

fessed himself willing to sacrifice.

appreciated highly

readily found

be made.

of the Lord Jesus

It
it

some

still

high-

influential oflicers

for

of his household and of the state were


at least favourably impressed towards the

for

Christian faith.

which

was
was

ly probable that

it is

At

all

events,

we

are

the honour of him, who, in the form of certain that the intrepid and magnania slave, was led to prison, to judgment, mous bearing of Paul under his bonds,
and to crucifixion, that men might be no tended to the furtherance of the gospel.

THE BRITISH

148

and inspired the primitive converts with


a courage that made them bold to preach
the truth without fear.
But to the captivity of Paul, in a more especial manner,
are

we

indebted for

many

of those in-

spired epistles which bear


These were the fruits of

When

hours.

name.

his

his

captive

he could no longer, with

his living voice, go round the world as a

Christian herald, calling upon

come

men

to

Jesus and be saved, with the unrestrainable spirit of a faithful and devoted minister, he instructed the churches
to

his pen, and sent down to us these


precious memorials of his inspired wis-

by

dom.

What

a blank

would have been

in

the canon of Scripture had these epistles


not been written

Paul shall

still

By

though dead,
the churches till

these,

speak to

time shall be no more. By means of these,


we may yet be said to be instructed, and
counselled, and comforted by Paul, even
while now his sainted spirit is witii God
and with Jesus, sharing in all the glories
and blessed with the felicities of that
happier world.
And now, my Christian hearers, from
the example of Paul, let me urge upon
you the duty of being prepared to make

PULPIT.

treatises in confutation

of his enemies,

which were eminently useful

to the

work

of the Reformation, and which, but for

might never have been


produced. It was in a lonely monastery
on the banks of the Rhine, that John
Huss, the Bohemian reformer, was kept
for many years a doomed prisoner, and
where he wrote several useful Avorks for
his confinement,

the

benefit

prison that

of

the church.

It

was

in

our great Scottish linguist

Buchanan wrote his beautiful version of


Psalms of David. It was in prison

the

that the learned Grotius produced his admirable treatise " On the Truth of the
Christian Religion."
And it was in pri-

son that John Bunyan wrote his well


known inimitable allegory which, by
into foreign tongues, may
be called, not merely a British, but

translation

now

European Christian

jail

In the

classic.

of Bedford, for twelve years and a

was this good man a prisoner, and


because he would not refrain from
preaching the gospel of Christ. Liberty
was offered him on condition that he
would not, hut with dauntless honesty
he still replied, " If you let me out today, I shall preach again to-morrow."
a similar sacrifice for Christ, if God in
To these instances I would only add
his mysterious providence should ever the highly interesting case of Bernard
demand it at your hands. And I urge Palissy. "This person was one of the
this as a duty, with the more confidence most extraordinary men of his time, and
that these favourable results, arising from had greatly benefited his country by his
captivity and imprisonment, were not pe- improvements in the arts.
Although a
culiar to the case of Paul.
Every Bible Protestant, he had, through the royal
reader is well aware what benefits flowed favour of Charles the Ninth of France,
to God's church from Joseph's imprison- escaped from the massacre of St. Barment in Egypt from Esther's exile as a tholomew. But having soon after been
captive maid in Persia; from the confine- shut up in the Basfile, he was visited in
ment of Jeremiah in the dungeon; from prison by the king, who told him that if
from he did not comply with the established
Daniel's captivity in Babylon
Peter's imprisonment at Jerusalem ; and (popish) religion, he should be forced,
from John's banishment to the lone isle however unwillingly, to leave him in the
of Patmos. Nor is modern history want- hands of his enemies. ' Forced /' replied
half,

all

ing in illustrations of the happy effects Palissy,


which have flowed from a sacrifice of but they

For ten
months Luther was shut up in the castle
of Wartenberg; but there he translated a
great part of the New Testament into
liberty in the cause of Jesus.

German

there he wrote his notes on the


there he composed many

evangelists

I can

'

speak like a king;


force you cannot force me.
He never regained his liberty,

this is not to

who

die.''

but ended his

life in

the Bastile in the

ninetieth year of his age."*

the spirit of

men

* See Pursuit of
culties.

like these

that

would de-

Knowledge under

Diffi-

PAUL'S WILLINGNESS TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST.


scend upon
their zeal,

us.

that the mantle of claim.

and their

their devotedness,

courage, might

fall

No

He was now

habitually ready to run

all

149
long time
hazards in the

for a

upon the Christians cause of Jesus. He who ere this had


been in deaths oft he who at Lystra had
been stoned, drawn out of the city and
left as a dead man by his murderous assailants, may surely, without any suspi-

of our degenerate age.


We are far from wishing that the trying times of persecution may return, for,
under a sense of our weakness, our prayer
should ever be, " Lead us not into tempta-

cion of empty boasting, receive credit for


But surely, surely, to display the an engagement from which he was not
zeal of working in peaceful times is as likely to flinch.
To desert his post, to
tion."

clearly our duty as to

show

the zeal of recant his faith, to flee from duty because


Let a danger lay in the path, were assuredly

suffering in times of persecution.

e^enerous shame, therefore, for our poor


stinted attainments excite us to

ardour
is

in the

renewed

Christian race, and

if

God

mercifully exempting us from imprison-

ment, captivity, or exile

if

he

is

bless-

ing us with the sweets of liberty, let the


rich blessing only be the more gratefully

and diligently improved


the giver.

to the

never the actions of the apostle Paul.

common

this he possessed a

soul with all


spirit of

who have

martyidom

in

In

feature of

displayed the true


every age. Such

was the spirit of an Esther, who, in the


cause of humanity, and with the penalty
of death, for intrusion into the

king'e

honour of presence, before her eyes, went notwithstanding into the king, e.xclaiming, " If

4. In the fourth place, we remark, that I perish, I perish !"


Such was the spirit
Paul was willing to sacrifice his life for of a Nehemiah, who, when threatened
the name of the Lord Jesus.
with assassination in the performance of
Paul was a man who lived exclusively duty, and when advised to flee for safety
for Christ.
It was the first, last, con- to
the
temple, undauntedly replied,
stant feeling of his soul, "how shall I " Should such a man as I flee? and who
best promote the honour of my God and is there that, being as I am, would go
Saviour ]" He knew no end, and sought into the temple to save his life ] I will
no end of existence but this. If the glory not go in." Such was the spirit of the
of Jesus could be best promoted by living, three Hebrew captives, who, when a
then, though hardships unutterable should flaming fiery furnace had been heated to
be his lot, he was willing to live, because sevenfold fury for their destruction, adhe could live to the honour of Christ; dressed the intolerant tyrant, in these
but if, by dying, he could honour Jesus words of cool and matchless heroism,
the more, then to die was he willing, "O Nebuchadnezzai we are not careful
since by dying he could die to the glory to answer thee in tl is matter.
If it be
of Jesus.
Living or dying, Paul's wish so, our God whom we serve is able to
was to be the Lord's.
deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,
We do not found this opinion on our and he will deliver us out of thine hand,
text merely.
His whole life proves it. O king! But if not, be it known unto
On a recent occasion we find him saying, thee, O king! that we will not serve thy
"The Holy Ghost witnesseth in every gods, nor worship the golden image which
eity that bonds and afflictions abide me. thou hast set up."
Such was the spirit
But none of these things move me, nei- of a Daniel, who, when he knew that the
ther count I my life dear unto myself, so decree was signed, dooming him to a den
that I may finish my course with joy, of lions if he oflfered up one prayer to
and the ministry which I have received God or man for thirty days, yet notwithof the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel standing, with calm resolution, went into
of the grace of God."
We are not to his house, as if no such decree had passimagine that Paul was on these occasions ed, and with his windows open to Jerusurprised by the warmth of his present salem, " kneeled upon his knees three
feelings into a hasty engagement from times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks
which afterwards he might wish to re- before his God as he did aforetime."
,

n2

THE BRITISH

ISO

PULPIT.

We

never read
Paul, we say, shared in the spirit of a spurious enthusiasm.
Having entered the field, he of him inflicting on himself those gloomy
these men.
kept it never laid down his arms never penances or unnatural mortifications, prac-

sought quarter never from cowardly feel- tised by Brahminical devotees or melannever read of him ating cried " hold " to the persecutor, but, choly monks.
had he possessed them, would have laid tempting to scourge himself into piety,
down ten thousand lives for the love lie or starve himself into saintship ; in him
an enlightened sobriety tempered the
bore to .Tesus.
I can imagine thai some may allege sternest and most inflexible resolution.
have already shown, he guarded his
I
that there was enthusiasm in all this.
know well, my friends, in common with life, liberty, and civil rights, on all occaSHry student of ecclesiastical history, that sions, like one who was accountable not
for three hundred years the name of a only for their use, but also for their loss.
Christian was death, martyrdom became He never unnecessarily threw himself
so coiT.mori that towards the close of that into the hands of his persecuting enemies.
period a morbiJ unnatural craving for it He promptly availed himself of every
seized n:nj' Christian professors. They lawful means of defence and escape, and
they suffered gra- suffered only when suflering could be
courtd persecution
tuitous torture, and, in some cases died avoided in no other way than by neglectIgnatius is ing his duty, denying his faith, wronging
almost vvitlitjut necessity.
said to have displayed this questionable his conscience, and offending his God.
ardour for martyrdom. Origen is said to Sooner than do these all the martyr rose
havo been so earnest to suffer with his in his soul. The sufferings which Paul
father, when he was a youth of sixteen endured had thus about them all the reyears of age, that, if his mother had not quisite sterling value of a martyr's knowkept his clothes from him, he would have ledge, and a martyr's sincerity. He well
run to the place where his father suffered, understood the religion which he professHe was able to give to every one
to profess himself a Christian, and to suf- ed.
It is related of a poor wo- that asked him a reason of the hope that
fer with him.
man of those times, that, making haste to was in him, with meekness and fear. He
for what
the place where many Christians were to knew well what he believed
be burned, she was met by a persecutor and for whom he suffered and, knowing
who addressed her, " Why make such this, there was no sacrifice short of his
haste to that place, there are many to be soul's salvation which, in proper time and
burned]"
"Ah!" said she, "that I place, he was not willing to make in
know, and I am afraid all will be done proof of his sincerity. And it was under
I and my child would the influence of this devout and most rabefore I come.
tional enthusiasm that Paul, on the prefain suffer with them."
Now, while I admit that men have en- sent occasion, exclaimed, " Wiiat mean
dured the most extreme torments in fana- ye to weep and to break mine heart 1 for
tical adherence to a false creed, and have I am ready not to be bound only, but to
thus illustrated the maxim, " that it is die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord
not the blood but the cause that makes Jesus."
You are aware, my friends, that though
the martyr;" and while I also know that
a strong necessity must be made out, and Paul was thus ready to die at Jerusalem,
a proper spirit possessed for dying as a should his master's honour demand it, it

We

We

martyr even in a good cause, since some


may rush on death, as the warrior at
times does, from a greedy lust of fame;
yet, after all these admissions are made,
I also know that Paul, in common with
thousands of those who have bled for
Christianity, possessed every qualification

was not

as a martyr, without the slightest taint of

tremity of

for a considerable period that the

forfeit of his faith

was

called for at his

During four years, as already


stated, he was a prisoner at Cesarea and
Rome. Subsequent to this he itinerated
the world, as he had done before, preachhands.

ing the gospel, encountering every ex-

danger, enduring hardship*

PAUL'S WILUNGNESS TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST.


and privations, but
the

mark

still

pressing on to

for the prize of his high calling.

151

also to every friend of Jesus, and of re-

ligious liberty,

>'

Btivare

.'

be ye also

And even after he vv-as fully ripe for hea- ready for the hour of danger and of trial."
ven, when life to him was loss, and death Let no friend of freedom, then, desert his
gain unspeakable, even then the blessed
Paul, with a self-denial never surpassed

by any follower of

Christ,

have his coronation

by continuing on

in

to
if,

save
But at length

earth, he could

souls and honour Jesus.

martyrdom

the land, that

man

is

a tool and emissary

of Satan, and has in him the

same death-

less principle of hostility.

In the hand

arrived.

of a merciful Providence, public opinion

the precise time was, ancient his-

may now be your safeguard, but just because religious liberty is on the adv.\nce,

the period

When

was willing

glory delayed,

There is no truce in Satan's heart


towards the church or her liberties ; and
if there be a tyrannical priest or peer in
post.

of

his

torians are not fully agreed

they are

all

agreed, however, as to the manner of his just because the scriptural churc' >; of
Being a Roman citizen, he was Christ in this island, instead of existing
death.
at a place called Salvian Wa- by mere sufferance, have the present
about three miles from the city of prospect of existing by constitutional
Rome, and his body was interred in the right and law, just on that very ecount
Ostium way. P^rom his second epistle hell and its emissaries are so much the

beheaded
ters,

to

Timothy

it

appears that he anticipated

both the time and the nature of his death.


The sayings of dying men have often
been repeated. This was Paul's " I am
:

now

ready to be offered, and the time of


my departure is at hand. I have fought
a good fight, I have finished lay course,

more likely to take the alarm, and make


some desperate effort to regain the prey
taken from them. Judging by the spirit
of high-church intolerance breathed by
many in our times judging by the tone
of stern defiance assumed, the bitter and
rancorous spirit displayed by many of the
dominant church party toward those who

have kept the faith. Henceforth there


up for me a crown of righteous- are asserting merely their rights and
ness, which the Lord, the righteous claiming nothing but their own ^judging
Judge, shall give me at that day ; and by these things, it is not a breach of
not to me only, but unto all them also charity to say, that there are men in our
land who clearly indicate that had they
tliat love his appearing."
And now, my Christian friends, in but the power, they have unquestionably
concluding this discourse, let me urge the will, to light up the smouldering fires
you to imitate the example of Paul, in of bigotry, and to draw the sword of perbeing willing to sacrifice life itself for secution again from its scabbard.
Let Christians, then, stand to their
It is true,
the name of the Lord Jesus.
you at present enjoy religious liberty and arms, take good heed of passing events,
You are blessed watch carefully the ebb and flow of publive in peaceful times.
with the privilege of worshipping God lic sentiment, guard well their liberties,
as your consciences dictate, free from the and come what come m.iy, though it
I

is laid

Ma- should be to offer up our lives on the


Here the serpent brood of altar of Christianity, never, never again
persecutors have, for the time, slunk into to let the souls of Scotchmen be enslaved
their den.
The Sharpes, the Lauder- and misled by priestly tyranny. But redales and the lords of the council, who member, my fellow Christians, though
argued so powerfully with boot, thumb- the necessity should never arrive, it is

sano-uinary penalties of Scotland's


rian

days.

screw, and gibbet, have all passed away.


The Scottish Attila, Clavers, has gone
to his account, and bloody Bell sleeps in
But remember that eighteen
his orrave.
thousand of their martyred victims also
While their blood
sleep in the dust.
cries to heaven for vengeance, it cries

your duty to reach the conviction that


your life should be at Christ's call and
" We are to take
solely at his disposal.

up our cross and follow him."

" We

are to resist unto blood striving against


"
are not to love our lives to
sin."

We

the death."

Besides, you have other

THE BRITISH

152

PULPIT.

enemies than these with which you have the longest, shall be short, and its termiwage, in this life, an interminahle war. nation glorious
a few steps more
Sin, Satan, and the world, are your band- few struggles more
a few wrestling
ed deadly foes till death close the strife, prayers and efforts more, and then your
from this war there is no discharge. sorrows and sufferings shall all be ended ;
Here also there can be no honour in re- then the rude blasts of life shall all be
<< Forward,,''''
treat, no safety in flying.
spent
the thick clouds of trial shall
is the motto of all Christ's soldiers
have all passed away, and the eternal
" victory or death," is the watch-word sunshine of glory shall settle on your
here.
Let the Spirit of the Lord then head. Yes, there remains a rest for the
come upon you as it came upon Samson people of God. Beyond these skies there
of old. " Quit you like men and be is a purer heaven, where God, and Jesus,
strong."
Remember, that in Christ's and holy spirits dwell. There, they who
army every true soldier is a hero, and have Avon the crown of saintship, or of
every hero crowned. Hear your Saviour martyrdom, shall wear it. Never shall
saying, "To him that overcometh will I they be tried by danger or hazard more.
grant to sit with me on my throne, even Their battles are all fought
their victoas I also overcame and am seated with ries are all gained
and the loud shout
my Father on his throne."
of salvation to God and to the Lamb,
Still, further, let it be remembered for rises in triumphant jubilee for ever and
whose sake you suffer. It is for Jesus, ever. Amen.
who, by the shedding of his blood, has
RELIGIOUS CONVERSATION.
answered to God for all your sins for
Jesus, who has plucked you as a brand
I WILL tell you a story which I have
from hell's burning fire, and blessed you from very good hands, of two very emiwith the hope of heaven's unutterable nent men, both for learning and piety, in
glory.
It is for Jesus, at whose name the last age, or rather the beginning of
heaven now rings with hosannas for the present the one of them a great preJesus, in whom God the Father supreme- late, (indeed a primate,) and the other a
to

ly delights

whom

for Jesus, before

che-

rubim and seraphim bow down and adore

for Jesus, at

whose

the redeemed cast

feet the spirits of

consult the interest of learning, and the

crowns, while

church so when they had


despatched that, they seldom parted from
one another without such an encounter as

all their

they cry, " Worthy, worthy


that

was

churchman of great note. These two eminent men, as they often met together, to

is

the

Lamb

slain."

affairs of the

" Come, good doctor," saith the


But perhaps a sense of your own weak- this
ness overwhelms you
then remember bishop, "let us now talk a little of Jesus
:

that the strength of the Lord of Hosts

ever on your side.


is

The name

is

of the Lord

Christ."
doctor,

Or, on the other side, said the


my lord, let me hear your

" Come,

grace talk of the goodness of God, with


His perfections are your wonted eloquence let us warm one
whatever perils and dangers another's hearts with heaven, that we may

a strong tower, into which his people

run and are safe.


pledged, that

may

befall you, at least

your soul and


In every

the better bear this cold world."

And

this

salvation shall never be lost.

they performed with that holy reverence

hour of need, he commands angelic legionaries to take their station as guards


around the fighting Christian. Had you
but faith, you might with a keener vision

and ardent zeal, with that delightful sense


and feeling, that afforded matter of admi-

than that given to the prophet's servant,

them.

ration to those of their friends or servants

that

happened to be present, or to overhear


Here is now an example of holy

see these hills and the wide cope of hea- conference, without a preface, and yet
ven lined with horses and chariots of without exception: a precedent, easy to
fire, all ready to minister to the heirs of imitate wherever there is a like spirit of
piety.
Goodman's Winter Evening Cow
salvation.
In fine, remember that your conflict, at ference.

SERMON XV.
THE DUTY AND IMPORTANCE OF DULY IMPROVING GOD'S PROVIDENTIAL
AND GRACIOUS VISITATIONS.

BY THE REV.

The harvest

is

past, the

summer

is

W.

ended,

NAYLOR.

and we are

not saved."

Jer. viii. 20.

the mournful conclusion of This appears to have been their state


mournful indeed, if only when, in the anguish of their distress,
;
applied to their political state, as a nation they exclaimed, " The harvest is past, the
suffering the horrors of an invading army ; summer is ended, and we are not saved."

Such was

ncient

Israel

These words, in whatever sense they were


it is supposed that, at this period,
Jerusalem was a besieged city, and that employed by Israel, are descriptive of the
Israel, instead of humbling themselves moral state of many at this day, who,
before God and imploring the interposi- after all that God has done for them and
tion of his power, had listened unto the to them and with them, are constrained,
deceptive language of the false prophets, on reflection from conviction, to confess,
who flattered them with a speedy de- " Many favoured harvests of blessings
liverance but the period of promised de- have passed by, and many summer sealiverance came ; it passed by, and sal- sons of valuable opportunities have ended,
But still more but we are not saved from the dominion
vation was unknown.
mournful is this conclusion, when ap- of sin and danger of eternal death." Sofor

plied

to

their

moral

state,

as a people

who had

allowed gracious opportunities


of spiritual salvation to pass by unimSuch opportunities they had
proved.
frequently been favoured with

for

God

had sent unto them all his servants, the


who had plainly warned them
of danger, and had clearly pointed out to

prophets,

them

the only

serious consideration !
thought
This scripture, suggested by the present

lemn

calculated to pro-

season of the year,

is

mote our instruction

in righteousness,

attending to those important truths

First,
To PROMOTE OUR SALVATION
way of deliverance. Among FROM THE DOMINION AND CONSEQUENCES

WE

ARE GRACIOUSLY FAVOURED OF

OF SIN,

he loved his country, and wept


over her desolations ; he traced all her
calamities unto the wickedness of her inhabitants; and their sin he faithfully reproved, and their reformation he diligently sought; yet his labours among
them were so fruitless and despised, that
he declared, " When I would comfort
myself against sorrow, my heart is faint
There were, however, seasons
in me."
when they were constrained to reflect on
their ways, and were made sensible of
the folly and danger of their conduct.
Vol. II
20

God WITH AN ABUNDANCE

it

observe.

these the prophet Jeremiah took a lofty


station

by

pre-

From

sents unto the reflecting mind.

we

it

OF SPIRITUAL

BLESSINGS.

The word

harvest, whether

it

be em-

ployed literally or figuratively, is a word


expressive of abundance so that harvest
and
blessings are abundant blessings
numerous are the blessings with which
we are favoured of God, designed by
;

him

to

promote our salvation.

Among

notice a few, deserving of conTo promote our salvation,


sideration.

many we
God has
First,

granted unto us.


The teaching of his

153

gospel.

THE BRITISH

154

PULPIT.

That the gospel

is designed of God and


sacrificial
in its effects, answerable unto
promote the salvation of the designs of grace ; and, as a propitiaman, is manifest from the nature and im- tion, so acceptable unto God, that through
port of those instructions which it affords
Christ, all the human race may find
for, by the gospel, we are instructed con- mercy.
Thus does the gospel teach
cerning the r.ecessHy of salvation. Thus, man, that he may be cheered with the
it informs us that man is naturally dehope of and encouraged to seek for salvapraved, that he is born in sin, bringing tion.
Further, the gospel instructs us
into the world with him corrupt principles concerning Ike method
It
(f salvation.
and carnal propensities, being so far gone informs us, that though God has so abunfrom original righteousness that he is of dantly provided for the salvation of man,
his own nature inclined to evil.
It in- yet, by him, none are saved irresistibly
forms us, that this depravity is so deep
that, on the part of man, there must
that his very thoughts are evil in the sight be a penitent mind, a yielding will, and
of God, his mind enmity itself against a believing heart that true repentance
God, and his heart desperately wicked must and will appear in sorrow for past
before God ; thus proving, that it is im- sin, and in an entire abandonment of sin
possible for those who are in the flesh to
that a yielding will must be manifested
please God.
It informs us that this de- by obedience unto all the commands of
pravity is universal
that no individual God
and that faith must have for its
has escaped " the fault and corruption of object, Christ crucified, in whose blood
our nature"
that it is as wide as the em- there is redemption of soul and forgivepire of the human race for " all flesh has ness of sin.
Thus does the gospel teach

calculated

to

corrupted

God's way upon the earth."

informs us that this depravity is invariably manifested in the life


that the
tree being evil, the fruit is evil also
that
It

God

brings the charge of sin against all


mankind ; so that, " if we say we have

and have not sinned, we deceive


ourselves, and the truth is not in us "
It
further informs us, that this depraviiy is
so dangerous to man and so oflTensive to

no

sin

that

man may

be brought into a state of

salvation, and "


is life

know him whom

to

know

eternal."

Secondly, Warnings of his providence.


the ministry of the gospel many are
careless they neglect it, or they slumber
under it thus the voice of Providence is

To

to rouse them to concern.


Providence is frequently the voice of God to
man, and by this he speaks with power
God, that by nature we are all the child- and terror; and beyond the sound of this
ren of wrath, having the wrath of God voice none can go, and all are subject
abiding on us. Thus does the gospel unto its visitations and by the warnings
teach, that we may see our moral state of Providence the salvation of man is
and the great necessity of salvation. designed of God. For this purpose, .JehoAlso, the provision if salvation.
Thus, vah warns hy dreadful calamities. Thus
the gospel informs us that God has not the stormy tempest that lifts up the waves
left man unto the consequences of his de- of the sea and dashes in pieces the firmpravity
on the contrary, in order to save built ship, entombing the crew and pashim from its miseries, he has laid help on sengers in the grave of the deep, is the

employed

one who
only and

mighty

to deliver, even his


Son. It informs us
that, for this purpose, the Father spared
not his Son ; but when, to rescue man
is

beloved

from the curse of sin, it became necessary


that one should bear the sin of all, and
by death make atonement for all, .Tesus
being the only one qualified to make that
atonement, the Father gave him up to the
demands of justice and power of death
;

yea, that his death, in

its

nature,

voice of

God unto man

the irresistible

blast that spreads desolation and death

through the dark mines of the earth,


the

voice of

God

to

man;

the

is

forked

lightning that darts with inconceivable


rapidity from the heavens, and shivers the

oak of the

consumes

the cattle of

the field, penetrates into the dwelling of

man, and
being,

was by

is

forest,

in a

moment deprives him of


God unto man and

the voice of

these calamities mortals are warned

THE DUTY OF IMPROVING GOD'S


of the absolute power of God.
By prevailing sickness and disease. Thus God is
pleased to visit nations, cities, and neigh-

VISITATIONS.

155

be stifled, and his drawings be withstood,


and sin be committed, then the influence
of the Spirit

is

felt in

the bitter reflec-

bourhoods, with mortal malady. The tions of guilt, in the piercing anguish of
burning fever, the fatal dysentery, and remorse, in the keen upbraidings of conappalling cholera, scatter the arrows of science for the past, and in the horror and
death in all directions, bereaving parents fear which attends the thought of the
of their beloved children and depriving future ; and why these diversified operachildren of the protection of their affec-tions of the Holy Spirit] Doubtless, their
;

tionate parents

God warns

and by these visitations

his creatures of their vanity,

and teaches them

that

neither health,

is the salvation of man.


Fourthly, Labours of faithful ministers.
To gather the harvest, reapers are

object

strength, nor youth, can secure continued

required
and to promote our salvation,
sudden death. A friend, a God employs ministers who are spiritual
neighbour, perhaps a relative, in the reapers. Thus the gospel is not only
slumbers of the night, or engaged with compared to the plough, and its truths to
the party of pleasure, or amidst the busy seed, but ministers to husbandmen and
bustle of business, is arrested by the cold reapers.
Under this character they are
hand of death, and in a moment number- spoken of by Christ " The harvest truly
ed with the dead. By these events men is plenteous, but the labourers (reapers)
are warned of the nearness of death, the are few."
To them, in this character,
" He that
danger of delaying a preparation for death, this promise may be applied
and the advantage of living fully prepared goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious
for that solemn hour.
seed, shall doubtless come again with
Thirdly, Injluence-of his Spirit. Even rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
the warnings of Providence are over- In this character, they are designed of
looked by many, or soon forgotten.
God God to be blessings unto the world, by
has therefore graciously granted his Spi- gathering the souls of men into the kingrit to follow men at all times, and into all
dom of grace. With this blessing in this
circumstances, that by it he may work land we are abundantly favoured of God.
in them his pleasure.
The influence of Days have been known, even in Britain,
this Spirit is manifested by convincing when the word of the Lord was so premen of the evil of sin. Not only that sin cious that there was no "open vision"
is an evil in its nature, but an evil against when the heralds of salvation were not
that it cannot be committed found one among many thousand ; but in
the soul
but to the soul's injury; so that it is an our day the word of the Lord is multievil for man to yield unto its power. plied, and great is the number of those
Thus we are imboldened to assert, that who publish it ; so that all in our land may
few sin ignorantly ; that most, if not all, hear " the joyful sound." Thus we prove
" Many
feel a revolting conscience from sin, and the truth of the ancient promise
health.

By

an accusing conscience for sin, and this


conscience is of the Spirit.
By drawing
men from sin. Thus, when sin is planned,
contemplated, and resolved on, it is the
Spirit that cries

" avoid

and turn away."

When

is

entered,

" Let
and

it is

it,

pass by

the Spirit that again cries,


man forsake his ways ;"

the wicked

to the

language of this

any, are entire strangers.

Spirit,

kindly
sin.

oflTers

his

to resist sin.

kw,

Nor does

Spirit merely speak against sin

man

it,

the path of sin

if

the

shall run to

and

be increased."
our teachers

walls

of

fro,

Our eyes frequently see

they statedly stand

Zion,

blowing

the

trumpet, and proclaiming the

on the

warning
oflTers

of

peace, beseeching us, in Christ's stead,


to be reconciled unto God ; and thus they

become

the savour of life unto life, to all


believe their report, and allow themselves to be drawn by them into the

who

he also< garner of the church.

powerful aid to help


By reproving men for

and knowledge shall

Secondly,

We observe,

To promote our

salvation,

WE ARE NOT ONLY FAVOURED OF GoD WITH

Should the convictions of the Spirit AN ABUNDANCE OF SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS,

THE BRITISH

156

PULPIT.

BUT ALSO WITH NUMEROUS GRACIOUS SEA- ful to the body and distressing to the
SONS AND FAVOURABLE OPPORTUNITIES.
mind, are generally gracious visitations

The summer is the season accounted


favourable for the performance of particular works; and with such seasons, in
reference to the special

we

vation,

For

God.

First,

for
it

graciously favoured

this purpose,

Though we

aged persons

of

sition

opportunities

for

many

the

habits of evil,

repent of their sinful conduct, to call upon

They

hinderances.

by a stubbornness of dispo-

dulness of

self-examination.

By
us down into the dust of death.
them, when rightly exercised, the mind
is humbled, the heart is softened, the
will brought into submission, and a
teachableness of disposition produced.
By affliction, many have been brought to

salvation, yet

that such events are

from being numerous, and that they are

attended with
are hindered

afford

he grants,

to obtain

must be confessed

far

sal-

They

solemn thought, holy meditation, serious


inquiry, important reflection, and faithful

By them we are reminded of our dependence on God that


summer season of youth. life and health are at his disposal, and
do not deem it impossible that it is an easy thing with him to bring

are

work of our

designed of God to promote our spiritual


benefit.

apprehension

power of long established

and the absence of express promise but God for his mercy, and resolve to amend
though no promise is given unto the their ways and their doings, and some
aged, as aged persons, to encourage them from them have dated their new creation.
to expect the mercy of their offended With such summer seasons many present
God, yet the summer season of youth is have been favoured. You can call to
encouraged by special promise, such as, remembrance when Providence seemed
" Those that seek me early shall find me." to frown on your path, and you were
Thus the young are divinely assured that brought into circumstances of difficulty
the early dedication of themselves unto and distress.
You can recollect when
God, is highly acceptable in his sight
certain members of your family were laid
that it is his pleasure concerning them, on the bed of suffering, and you had
and that they will meet with a gracious reason to fear their sickness would be
reception.
Again, this summer season unto death yea, when your own bodies
is not only favoured with cheering pro- were oppressed with pain and weakened
mises, but, in the performance of this by disease, and you appeared to be drawduty, the young have not such difficulties ing near unto the eternal world
and why
to contend with as the aged have ; a long these dispensations 1
No doubt they
course of sin has not spread its baneful were granted of God to work in you sal:

influence over their passions and princi-

ples

in

them there

is

not so

much

to

be

undone, removed, and forgiven as in the


aged nor have they such bitter regrets
to feel, nor such desponding thoughts to
encounter, as those must have who defer
the concerns of their souls unto the "winter
period of life. This summer season is
also generally favoured with the smiles
of health, vigour of strength, power of
memory, and freedom from anxious care
;

and painful solicitude

respecting

worldly circumstances; and

all

their

vation, that you, also,

might say, "It

is

me that I have been afflicted."


Thirdly, Summer season of special visi-

good

for

tations (f grace.
That nations have been
favoured with special spiritual visitations,
is a

scriptural truth

and that individuals

are thus visited, is manifest from general

experience.

There

who

is

scarcely an indi-

not only what


be termed the ordinary striving of
the Spirit of God, but also the very pow-

vidual but

has

felt,

may

erful influence of that Spirit;

and that,

these are

especiall)' in seasons of suffering, in the

Young

retirement of solitude, in the ordinances

favourable to spiritual prosperity.

your summer season work of religion, and under the powerful miniswhile the gospel sun shines upon you try of the gospel, when they have been
filled with fear, roused to concern, melted
with such meridian glory.
Secondly, Summer season of affliction. down with contrition, and mightily drawn
Dispensations of affliction, however pain- to give themselves unto God. Have not
people, this

is

"

THE DUTY OF IMPROVING

GOD'S VISITATIONS.

157

many of you experienced such visitations truth. We are well aware that there is
when " the kingdom of God has come a disposition in man to call such facts
nigh you" when the powers of the world in question, and to conclude, there is
when such abundant mercy with God that he
to come have been tasted by you

a voice you have distinctly heard, and a

voice you clearly understood, said unto

you, " This


vation."

is

the accepted time of sal-

Those

visitations

have been

re-

never has and never will consign an


immortal soul to everlasting destruction.

But

show

facts,

that

numerous and

indisputa'tle,

blessings and

opportunities

And why

this may pass away unimproved


and when
Doubt- they do so, finally, why should we hesiless, for the purpose of assisting you to tate to declare, that destruction
endless
" make your calling and election sure."
destruction, must follow 1
Ask me for
Thirdly, It is possible for spiritual facts to prove this awful truth ] I refer
BLESSINGS AND FAVOURABLE OPPORTUNI- you to the old world. They had a long
TIES TO PASS AWAY, AND LEAVE MAN A and favoured opportunity, all the days
STRANGER TO SALVATION. The bloSsiugS Noah was preparing the ark God was
of the most abundant harvest have an speaking unto them and waiting to save
end, and the longest summer comes to a them ; but they regarded not his longclose
so will the blessings and opportu- suffering grace, and the flood came and
nities of salvation, and this they may do brought their blessing and opportunities
and man remain destitute of salvation. of salvation to an end. Ask me for facts
This truth is variously confirmed we to prove this awful truth 1 I refer you to
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, in the days
observe,
The word of God asserts the of the Redeemer's abode with men.
First,
truth.
There are few truths more expli- They were blessed with the works, excitly revealed than this, and doubtless it ample, and ministry of Christ and his
They saw the wonders which
is revealed with clearness for our solemn apostles.
warning. In an early age of the world attended the Saviour's death, and they
Jehovah declared, " My Spirit shall not heard of the power of his resurrection,
alway strive with man." By this scrip- yet what was the ultimate state of thouShall we believe the faithful
ture it is plainly intimated, that the Spirit sands?
of God may be withdrawn from many, Amen 1
Hear, then, his testimony. He
with whom he has long strove, and the wept over Jerusalem, saying, " If thou
periods of his strivings have an end. Of hadst known, even thou, at least in this
this Israel was warned when Jehovah thy day, the things which belong unto
but now they are hid from
declared, " Be thou instructed, O Jerusa- thy peace
lem, lest my soul depart from thee." And, thine eyes." Ask me for facts to prove
" Wo also to them when I depart from this awful truth ] I refer you to many aged
them." Indeed, were ii not possible for persons of the present day, who have had
them to pass away unimproved, and many calls and offers of salvation but a
leave man a stranger to salvation, what long life has been spent without God,
can those scriptures moan, which declare and now they have sunk into such a state
the existence of such tremendous circum- of mental imbecility, that they are not
they
stances, such as, " Because I have called, capable of receiving instruction
and ye refused I have stretched out my have become mentally dead, while dead
hand, and no man regarded ; but ye have in trespasses and sins ; and where is the
Ask me
set at naught all my counsel, and would promise of salvation unto such
none of my reproof, I also will laugh for facts to prove this awful truth 1 I refer
at your calamities, I will mock when you unto many hearers of the gospel,
Then shall they who, from the days they were seated on
your fear cometh.
call upon me, but I will not answer ; they their mother's lap and were led by a fashall seek me early, but they shall not ther's hand, have been trained to observe
find me."
holy Sabbaths to attend the house of

peated atrain and ag'ain.

special influence of divine grace

"?

Secondly, Numerous facta establish the

God, and

sit

under the ministry of the

THE BRITISH

158

PULPIT.

By tlie gospel they have


life.
An unsaved state is a state of dan^ett
been convinced, warned, instructed, and Not merely of temporal calamities, howinvited ; yet, to this moment, they remain ever tremendous-^of bodily death, howstrangers unto saving grace.
Ask me ever painful but the danger of the wrath
for facts to prove this awful truth 1
I
of God, who is terrible in majesty- the
refer you to the damned in hell.
Many of danger of eternal judgment, which canthe inhabitants of perdition were once as not be conceived
the danger of the death
you now are in a state (jf probation. To of the soul, that death which never dies.
them the gospel was preached on them In a word, unsaved by grace from the
the providence of God called
with them dominion of sin, man is every moment in
the Spirit of God strove
and among danger of the eternal curse and consethem the ministers of God diligently quences of sin. So that an unsaved state
laboured.
They had summer seasons of is, of all others, the most deplorable and
youth, of affliction, and special visitation ; alarming.
Let us now,
but death found them in the path of transApply these important
Fifthly,
gression, and now they find themselves TRUTHS.
In doing so, we would conwith him who once exclaimed, "I am sider the language of this scripture as the
tormented with this flame." Ask me for language of.
facts to confirm this awful truth 1
regret for
Shall
First, Penitential regret
I refer you to yourselves'?
Nay, do not having abused such precious blessings
shrink from this personal application of and neglected such favourable opportunihave none of you cause to take ties. And who can reflect on the worth
the truth
up the lamentation of mourning, and say. of the soul, its fallen condition, the misery
have had many bountiful harvests of it is in, and how near it is unto eternal
blessings, and many bright summer sea- misery
who can reflect on the suitablesons of opportunities ; but, alas, " we are ness of the blessings of salvation to raise
We observe, once more,
not saved !"
the soul from its fallen state, and secure
Fuurihiy, The state of those who its endless happiness who can reflect,
ARE NOT SAVED BV GRACE IS MOST DEPLO- that a soul so circumstanced, and blessRABLE AND PERILOUS. Let US Contemplate ings so valuable, have been neglected and
the wretclied condition of such.
In doing despised, without regret ] Such folly and
so, we notice.
such wickedness should humble us into
An unsaved state is a state of guilt. the dust, and move a heart of stone to
Such are guilty before God, and guilty contrition. We tremble for the safety of
against God
they have broken his law, those who can review God's great goodand the condemnatory curse of that law ness, and their great vileness, without
rests upon them.
They are impure in his deep compunction of mind. We trust,
sight, and he cannot behold iniquity with therefore, that you are saying, with feelword of

We

pleasure.
that

It is oflfensive to his

nature

" abominable thing which his soul

./?77.
unsaved stale is a state nf misery.
Real happiness is only to be found in the
light of God's countenance; but "the
face of the Lord is against them who do
evil ;" and where he frowns misery must
dwell
so that the unsaved from sin must
be strangers unto happiness. Ask them.
Have they joy ] " It is like the crackling
:

Ask them. Have


of thorns under a pot."
they rest? "They are like the troubled
sea which cannot rest !"
Ask them.
1 " There is no peace,
God, unto the wicked."

Have they peace

my

summer

is

"The

ended, and

harvest

we

is

past, the

regret that

are not saved."

hates."

saith

ings of regret,

we

Secondly, Awakened fear the fear of


who discovers his danger, and is
concerned about it. And well may this
a person

discovery occasion fear

fear that

God,

justly displeased with the abuse of past

mercies, should henceforward

withhold

mercy a fear lest the horrors of an


unsaved state should speedily come upon
them. Such conduct on the part of man
has merited such abandonment from God.
And do you not fear, you who know you
you who are
are not saved by grace ]
assured, from the word of God, that withhis

THE DUTY OF IMPROVING

GOD'S VISITATIONS.

you must perish for ever 1 live nf your state P


can you contemplate your danger of ber of the unsaved

out salvation

And

destruction

eternal

God

forbid

indifference

we

hope, from real

Rather,

concern, you are saying, "

summer

past, the

for our safety, for

Thirdly,

is

we

with

The

harvest

we

ended, and

159

Are yon of the num1

Reflect on that state.

Unsaved, what are you The servants of


Satan, the enemies of God, the negleclers
of Christ, and resisters of the Holy Spirit.
Unsaved, where are you ] In the gall
"?

is

fear

are not saved."

of bitterness, in the broad

inquiry the inquiry

on

way

of destruc-

awful verge of perdition.


of those who are anxious to learn whether Unsaved, what are you doing 1
You are
salvation is yet possible
who are saying, destroying your own souls, rejecting the
" Can I, after abusing so much goodness kingdom of heaven, and making eternal
after placing myself in such circum- death sure.
Unsaved, where are you
stances of jeopardy, yet obtain salvation'?" going?
Your path may appear wide,
Thanks to the long-suffering grace of pleasant, and easy; but look to the end
Serious

tion,

the

God,

it

is

Your

possible.

ings are yet continued


life is

not yet closed.

harvest bless-

your summer of
This, with you,

of

it!

See, see!

it

terminates in hell!

Being unsaved, are you

is

with
your pros-

satisfied

yourselves, your state, and

1
Satisfied without an interest in
Christ?
Satisfied without a title to
you the Spirit of God strives with you
heaven ? Satisfied under the sentence of
you may be saved, for the blood of Christ eternal death ] Surely not. But should
pleads for you, and the arms of mercy are any be so satisfied, we address them in
wide open to receive you you may be the language of the Holy Spirit, "Awake,
saved, for unto you the word of salvation thou that sleepest ;" for, if you do not
is sent
sent, because God waiteth to be thus awake, in eternity, in the language
g-racious
sent, to assure you that " God of fixed and black despair, you will have
hath not appointed you to wrath, but to exclaim, " The harvest of God's
to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus bounty is for ever past, the summer of
Christ." Is, then, your inquiry, "Though his mercy has for ever ended, and we
many harvests are past, and many sum- must for ever remain unsaved."
mers have ended, can we yet be saved ?"

not the inquiry of eternity, but of time.

You may

pects

be saved, f^r ministers invite


;

We

reply to you, salvation

Fourthly,

is possible,

REV.

and near.

consuming

Affectionate

warning,

It

On my

JOHN FLETCHER

PREACHING.

occasional visits,

was struck

warns you, that your privileges are pass- with several things. Preaching on Noah
ing away your time is
that as a type of Christ, he was in the midst
your careless conduct is inexcusable
of a most animated description of the
and that your eternal destiny will soon terrible day of the Lord, when he sudEvery feature of his exbe fixed.
It warns you, that, as the denly paused.
great work your hand findeth to do is the pressive countenance was marked with
saving of your souls, you should do that painful feeling and, striking his forework mightily, and immediately making head with the palm of his hand, he
haste and not delaying to enter into a exclaimed, " Wretched man that I am
It warns you, that the Beloved brethren, it often cuts me to the
state of salvation.
delay of a week or a day may prove fatal
soul, as it does at this moment, to reflect,
it warns you, that this sermon may be
that while I have been endeavouring by
your last blessing that this ordinance the force of truth, by the beauty of holimay be your last favourable season and ness, and even by the terrors of the Lord,
that the sun of your last summer may to bring you to walk in the peaceable
have risen upon you: considerations paths of righteousness, I am, with rewhich should lead you to pray, " Lord, spect to many of you who reject the
so teach me to number my days, that I gospel, only tying millstones round your
may apply my heart unto wisdom."
neck, to sink you deeper in perdition !"
Fifthly, We inquire, Is the text descrip- The whole church was electrified, and it

THE BRITISH

160
was some time

before he could resume the

PULPIT.
"

hope

have not been


mean to be
On another occasion, after the morning so: but I wanted more love then, and 1
service, he asked if any of the congrega- feel I want more now."
This mild antion could give him the address of a sick swer silenced him; and sent him away,
man whom he was desired to visit. He I trust, better acquainted with Mr.
was answered, " He is dead, sir." Fletcher's spirit, and his own. They
" Dead
dead !" he exclaimed ; " An- are not generally of the best spirits themother soul launched into eternity
What selves, who are first to complain of the
can I do for him nov/ Why, my friends, spirits of their opponents.
will you so frequently serve me in this
On his way to Ireland Mr. Fletcher
manner 1 I am not informed you are preached in a large town ; and towards
the conclusion of his sermon stated his
ill, till I find you dying, or hear that you
Then sitting down, he cover- sentiments respecting the eminent degree
are dead !"
ed his head with his gown; and when of holiness to which a Christian might
the congregation had retired, he walked attain in this life. All the ministers of
home buried in sorrow, as though he had the place attended to hear him ; and all
but one stayed to shake him by the hand
lost a friend or a brother.
All of Mr. Fletcher's opponents were after the service. That one was the
able, and most of them humorous writers. principal clergyman, a polished gentleThis circumstance frequently obliged man and an old acquaintance. In the
him, contrary to the habitual gravity of morning Mr. Fletcher, who suspected no
his character, to encounter them with offence, said to Mr. Gilbert, " I had not
subject.

-Mr. Fletcher,

bitter.

Certainly

did not

their

own weapons;

made him pass


those

who

and

perhaps
with

tiiis

for a bllter writer

could not bear to see their

own

sentiments treated with the same freedom

with which they

treat those of a contrary

They who wish

description.

to

judge

the pleasure last night of shaking hands

with

my

friend

of quitting the

Mr.
I cannot think
town without seeing him.
,

As you are acquainted with him, perhaps


you will walk with me." They accordingly called, and were introduced
but
when he presented his hand with his
:

would do well to read


Mr. Fletcher's works before they censure usual respectful cordiality, it was rudely
him and to bear in mind that the respect declined. " I never preach any thing,"
due to truth will justify a degree or free- said his friend, " but what I experience.
dom with doctrine, which esteem and love Do you, Mr. Fletcher, experience that
according

to truth

will not allow towards the persons of

advocates.

its

will not recriminate on his

respectable opponents ; but relate an


anecdote which will exhibit his patience
and gentleness under severe and rude

When

eminent degree of holiness, that Christian


which you spoke of last
night ?"
Unprepared for discussion,
especially with an angry disputant, he
answered mildly, " My dear brother, we

perfection,

dying serve the same blessed Lord why then


should we disagree because our liveries
minister called upon him. Though he are not turned up exactly alike 1" Findhad been forbidden to converse, and the ing his friend still rude and repulsive, he
gentleman was a stranger, Mr. Fletcher suddenly caught his hand, kissed it, and
admitted and received him with his usual bowing low, said, " God bless you, my
But the visiter, instead of brother," and retired. It is creditable to
courtesy.
conversing on such subjects as were the religious principles of this gentleman,
suitable to Mr. Fletcher's Christian cha- that Mr. Fletcher's patient kindness was
On his return from
racter and afflicted circumstances, entered not without effect.
warmly on controversy ; and told him, Ireland his friend called upon him, asked
" He had better have been confined to his his pardon in the handsomest terms, and
bed with a dead palsy, than have written treated him with the most respectful disCommunicated by the Rev.
so many bitter things against the dear tinction.
My brother," said Melville Home.
children of God."
censures.

circumstances at

apparently

Bristol,

in

a dissenting

SERMON
HUMAN AND

SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

BY THE REV.

'

In much wisdom

It

keep

is

in

is

much grief: and he that

S.

ROBINS.

increaselh knowledge increaseth sorrow."

highly important that we should


mind, as well in respect of the

declarations of Scripture, as of the

XVI.

On

Eccl.

the great reckoning day,

debt book

max- account

is

opened, and

for the

we

when

i.

18.

the

are held to

employment of even the

ims of mere temporal and secular con- lowest faculties with which we have been
cernment, that many things which, in gifted ; that will surely not be overlooked,
one point of their application, are alto- or unheeded, which is the distinguishing
gether undeniable, may in another point prerogative of our nature, and bj' which
be contrary to reason and experience
we are adapted to study the attributes of
that many positions which, up to a certain God, and to serve and glorify him for
limit, are true beyond all question, may, ever.
The talent must be used, not laid
if strained, and urged beyond that limit, by; it must be put out to interest, not
become as evidently untrue. The words hidden in a napkin nor buried in the earth.
of the text may serve as an illustration of
It is, indeed, a high and noble thing to
this principle.
The intended application consecrate our minds, with all their best
is clearly of limited extent ; if it were and brightest faculties, to him who beThere
universal, it would involve a paradox; stowed them for his own service.
and it would assert that which is contrary is no finer spectacle than that which is
not only to the testimony of our own presented by the man of science, who
minds, but to the plain statements which searches the records of creation, written
are made in many other places of the in characters which no time can obliterate,
word of God. There is wisdom which and on a page which no changes can
bringeth no grief; and there is knowledge efface and fetches in from them proofs
whose increase implies no increase of of the character, and illustrations of the
sorrow.
We shall find in the Bible no dealings and doings of Deity who, while
plea for ignorance. " That the soul be he listens to the voice which they utter in
without knowledge it is not good," is the his ear, acts as nature's interpreter for
declaration of Scripture; and they are nature's God, and brings forth evidences
rendering a mighty disservice to religion, of everlasting truth wherewith to put to
who represent it as disconnected with the silence the cavils of the objector. Or one
;

Of all who has become familiar with the lanwhich the Lord has bestowed guages of other lands, may dedicate this
upon his creatures, none ranks higher, or power also to a holy service, and make it
involves weightier responsibility, than the the means of extending the limits of the
gift of intellect.
No endowment with Redeemer's kingdom, by sending forth
which He has invested them can be ranged the tidings of salvation through his blood,
in its importance above that, by which to the nations which have long been sitman is separated, and marked off, from ting in darkness and the shadow of death.
the lower creation, and by which he is While another who is strong in argument,
made to differ from the beasts that perish. and able to detect fallacious reasoning,
161
o2
Vol. II. 21
cultivation of the mental powers.

the gifts

THE BRITISH

162
and

to give force to truth, will

find

topics in the defence of which he


better

or

more

no

may

spend his

satisfactorily

intellectual strength than those whicli the

gospel furnishes forth.

And

if

there even

PULPIT.

They would

have been charged.

take

the things of the gospel out of the sphere


of reason, and confine

them altogether

it

that while the truth

is,

is

to

Hence

the regions of feeling and affection.

overspread

were a period, when it was laid with the and obscured by multiform delusions
weight of a special duty upon the people while frantic claims to special inspiration
of God, to improve to the utmost their are asserted, in maintenance of wild, and
mental faculties
period in which

for his service, it is the

our lot

is

cast.

extravagant, and antiscriptural doctrines,

The we

are told the case

is

one

to

which the

apostles of infidelity are abroad, and are

ordinary process by which error

doing their master's work with unceasing


and unwearying devotedness. There are
subtle and keen witted men, who have
rendered themselves up to the one unholy
design of puUinor down the fabric of pure
and undefiled religion; and while they
are putting forth all the powers of cultivated minds for the achievement of their
purpose, it is surely the time when the
servants of the cross should keep their
intellectual armour bright and burnished.
The days are at hand when there will be
a yet fiercer conflict between the principles of good and evil ; when the struggle
for the mastery will be yet more tremendous ; when they who love the Lord
Jesus Christ cannot remain in neutrality,
but must contend earnestly for the faith
once delivered to the saints, in promulgating which apostles laboured, and in
the defence of which martyrs braved the
scaflfold and the stake.
We do not doubt
the issue of the great contest, because we
know that the might of Omnipotence is
engaged on our side, and that the word of
Him who cannot be.unfluthful is pledged
to his church.
But we have no warrant
to look for a special blessing, while we
commit the protection of our Zion to
unpractised hands while we intrust the

futed,

defence of our spiritual citadel to

who

men

possess xeal indeed, but not accord-

ing to knowledge. The church of Christ


has probably suffered not less from its
professed friends, than from

its

that

cannot be applied

it

is

is

re-

vain

in

unanswerable arguments are urged,

the expected result does not follow, but

occasion

is still

given to the enemies of

the Lord to blaspheme, and the hearts of

those

who

love his

name

are depressed

and saddened, as they see one and another


of the weaker brethren made to stumble,
and wander from the narrow way. The
apostolical injunction to be "ready to
give an answer to every man that asketh
a reason of the hope that is in us," is
addressed not only to the distinguished
and highly gifted champions of gospel
truth, but it belongs with as much directness and force of application, to those
whose position is far lower, and whose
attainments are of a far meaner order. If
we would be kept from imbibing erroneous opinions which must hinder our own
souls, and may be the cause of hinderance
to others, we must bring the powers of reason to bear upon the subjects of revelation,
in a simple and prayerful dependence upon
the Spirit, without whose teaching, indeed,
human powers could not avail for the
discovery of the least fragments of divine
truth.
Such an employment of mind,
the words which I have chosen for our
present topic, are far, indeed, from discouraging.

And

in order to set this matter

before you with

more clearness and

pre-

cision, I will consider, in the first place,

SOME OF THE CASES IN WHICH THE APPLIavowed CATION OF THE TEXT IS UNDENIABLE and,
;

and without charging hypocrisy in the second place, some of those in


or deception upon all of the former class WHICH no APPLICATION OF IT CAN BE
who have done injury to the great cause of MADE.
truth, we blame them that they have so
As to the first head of our subject, we
often suflfered the mind to lie fallow and may say, in general and compendious
untilled ; and have counted it a small terms, that the text applies to all the
thing to leave in abeyance the intellectual acquisitions of knowledge which are inde

enemies

endowments with the use of which they pendent of God, and from which

consi-

HUMAN AND

SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

derations of the soul and of eternity are

163

he knows noand all the acquisitions


of human science must necessarily pro- by which he has been distinguished from
duce dissatisfaction and disappointment. his fellows, will have no bearing upon its
When it has been urged to its farthest weighty concernments. " Whether there
extent, its discoveries are but mean and be knowledge, it shall vanish away:
ignoble in comparison of what remains whether there be tongues, they shall
its acquisitions are little cease."
He may have taken larger
yet unknown
worth, when contrasted with the extent strides than his contemporaries, in the
of the field, which can never be brought field of human attainments and he may
within its grasp and compass. If it be be able to illustrate his chosen subjects
applied to the objects and operations of with such eloquence that riveted attenexternal nature, it soon reaches the boun- tion hangs upon his words; but, in spite
dary line beyond which its investigations of the admiration which he excited, he
cannot advance. It may accumulate facts, must soon go down to the quiet chamber
and, by a careful and precise induction, of the grave; the tongue which spoke
form a system connecting together vari- with such force and persuasion will be
ous phenomena, it may pronounce of one put to silence; the distinction which he
class, that they are cause, and of another, earned by mental superiority must cease,
that they are effect; but of their mode of and his very name will, after a few geneinfluence, or of the exact relation which rations, be forgotten.
2d. But there are circumstances in
they bear to each other, nothing is known.
And if science be applied to trace out the which sorrow more directly tracks the
machinery and operations of our own footprints of that wisdom which is of the

excluded.

The

tauorht in a better sehnol,

'

limitation of the sphere

thing of eternity

minds, the result

One

is still less satisfactory.

generation of metaphysicians builds

The

earth.

human science, the


human learning,
many a heartrending

annals of

history of students in

up a system which another generation might furnish forth


employs itself to pull down and to de- page. We might read of man}' a one,
who, having ardently pursued the object
stroy.
1st. Human knowledge is confined with- which seemed to promise most of reputaThe tion and advancement, has derived from
in narrow limits in point of time.
present is that which it can alone claim. his pursuit only the keenness of disapThe annals of past ages convey false- pointment and the bitterness of a broken
At this time, and within the
so that heart.
hoods intermingled with truth
the most patient and unwearied research compass of this crowded city, you might
cannot distinguish between fact and fic- go into many a chamber where the
and infinitely the larger portion of scholar is consuming life itself in the
tion
the transactions which have occupied the acquirement of knowledge which will
You might see the sad
millions of mankind, have obtained no not profit him.
;

record, and have left no memorial.

Of

the mighty future, which lies be5'ond the

boundary of time ; of that inconceivably


long existence, to which the present life
forms but the commencement and the
vestibule, unassisted reason can make no
discovery. There hath no voice come to
us but the voice of revelation and of God,
to tell us of our

own

it

waning strength over the nightly


lamp until the hectic colour settles upon
his pale sunken cheek; till, with wasted
limbs, and unstrung nerves, he bears in

in conceal-

the aspect of his emaciated form the evi-

everlasting destiny

must remain wrapped


ment and mystery to him who

and

sinking to an
untimely tomb, because he followed his
one object too intently and too devotedly
labouring during the day, and stealing
hours from repose, that he might spend
spectacle of such a one

his

dence of premature decay. And while he


have toiled patiently is sacrificing so much for intellectual
and unweariedly, and he may have been distinction, he is keenly and painfully
pointed at with the finger, as the wisest sensible of neglect. He feels himself a
among the wise ; but unless he has been lonely and forsaken creature. The world

teaching.

He may

rejects this

THE BRITISH

164
mark

mankind

PULPIT.

of mind, the lofty and noble endowments which the Lord has bestowed, are
ral engagements, to care for his success. so often made the means of widening the
Others there are of firmer temperament gulf of separation which divides us from
and bolder spirit, who are rising to him. We may embark so ardently in the
distinction, and grasping the splendid cause of human wisdom, that, while we
advance, step by step, to higher and more
rewards which society has to bestow
they are better suited to struggle with the envied attainments, we may, in exactly
world and, though they may belong to the same degree, be travelling into ?
an(?
a far inferior class of minds, they have region of remoteness from God
battled with the stream, and have planted while we use his gifts for the achieve
their feet upon the vantage ground, on ment of our present purpose, we may
which his eye and his hope have long consign to inconsideration the condition
been vainly fixed. He goes down to his of responsibility which he has annexed,
grave; and with him maybe buried the and from which we cannot finally escape,
bright expectations of parents, who, with tnat they should be used to his glory, in
the willing credulity of the heart, believed the promotion of his own everlasting
no object too high for his attainment; or purposes. The effect will be to keep us
the last hopes of his own home circle to far from God, since the pride which
whom he was the centre of affection and chambers itself in the natural heart, and
delight.
This ardent pursuit of know- rises in determined hostility against the
ledge, this uncheered and unmitigated humbling doctrines of the cross, will be
And if increased by continual accessions; and as
toil, has destroyed many a life.
there be no revelation of the truth of God we advance successfully in the acquireto the heart; if no dawning of spiritual ments of human knowledge, we shall be
day hath broken upon the darkness of tempted to compare ourselves with those
the soul
if the gospel of the Lord Jesus of meaner attainments, from whose ranks
Christ has never come with its converting we have stepped forward, and wanting
and healing power, it is not easy to ima- the counterbalance of grace in the heart,
gine a death-bed more uncheered and we shall be further removed from the
unhappy. The man feels, when he is simplicity of that childlike spirit, in
dying, that a deceived heart has turned which it is required that we should go as
him aside ; he sees that he has been learners into the school of Jesus Christ.
is too

busy

are too

to

his doings;

much occupied by

their

own

ties

seve-

labouring for that which

is

its
its

not bread

4th.

To

be thus turned aside

from him

with all who is the source of present blessing and


energies, devoting the mind, with all eternal hope, will sooner or later he felt to
bright and powerful faculties, for that be an evil and a bitter thing. It issues

that he has been spending

which could not

satisfy

life,

the

soul,

nor

not unfrequently in yet more disastrous

The. mind which has been so


deeply engaged in following the discoveries of science, and sjathering stores of
intellectual treasure- in ways which it has
shaped out independently of God, may at
works in tracing the various processes length, in the uncurbed pride of reason,
through which they pass, and the various reject the evidence for the truth of his relaws to which they are subject, as to vealed word may deny hia nrovidential
forget the high attributes of the Creator interference in the transactions of the
may be so engrossed by earth; and, plunging yet deeper in the
himself.
the gifts which he has bestowed with a abyss of unbelief, may join the fool of
If
free and liberal hand, as to be altogether old, in denying his very existence.
It is a there be a human creature whose condiforgetful of the bounteous Giver.
saddening proof of the ingratitude of the tion might well excite profounder pity
heart, and of the utter depravity to which than that of others, it is he who, being a
our nature has fallen, that the very facul- wanderer in the wilderness, has quenched
comfort his

hour of need.
3d. Human knowledge, ivhile it is unsandified hy grace, tends to lead us away
may become so absorbed
from God.
in the contemplation of the Creator's
spirit in the

effects.

We

We

HUMAN AND

SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

lo5

which would have the fable of the nurse, and the delusion
way; who, being born of the priest; the days of unspoiled and

in his soul the light

guided hirn on his


to an inheritance of sorrow, has closed
against himself the only well-spring of
abiding comfort. Such a one may not
only present the fearful spectacle of infidelity in his own person, but, with an
unholy devotedness, he may use his influence and his talents in perverting the faith
of others, and making them the same in
their unbelief as he has himself become.
But while he is thus doing the work of
the great enemy of mankind, he is also
preparing the way for consequences which
he neither expected nor desired. He may
pride himself upon the strict integrity

which

is

stamped upon his dealings

the

carefulness and consistency with which

he performs the

offices of his station

and

the respectability and unimpeached credit

with which he bears himself in the relations of social life; but while he is conveying the subtle poison of his opinions
to the minds of others, he cannot predict
the effects in which they may result.
The young and intellectual, upon whom
he had taken pains to fasten his opinions,
may not be able to exercise the same
mastery over their passions, and to restrain so successfully the outbreak of evil

propensities,

when

the curb of religious

principle has been withdrawn, and the

outworks of morality have been beaten


down. Having become infidel in opinion,
they may become debauched in practice;
following out, in their natural result, the
principles to which they have been prose-

may become such as their


companions learn to pity or scorn, and
such as society desires to weed out of its
pale.
He who with so much assiduity
converted them to his views, may be yet
in the fulness of his own unchecked pros-

lyted, they

perity

but his heart will be

wrung with

anguish as he marks the blight and the


ruin which he caused, but which he can-

not remedy. And when


comes upon him, when

his

own

evil

day

his leaf is sere

and yellow, and the blossom of his life is


gone, he will feel the full bitterness of a
There may be times
desolate spirit.
when memory will call up early recollections, and go back to the days when
he had not j'et learned to call the gospel

unperverted childhood, when in the holy


observances of a pious family circle, the

morning and evening prayer was offered


by those into whose hearts no doubt had
ever entered, that the living God was
their guardian and provider, or that Jesus
had clothed himself with their nature, and

had borne the burden of their sins upon


the cross.
There may he the remembrance of the peace which then dwelt in
his bosom, and has never since been
lodged there, and with this remembrance
there may be a momentary stir of slumbering affections, and a gushing forth of
long-forgotten feelings; but the heart has
been too long hardened, and the mind too
much warped, to dwell on scenes and
recollections like these. Yet, as he compares the present with the past, he may
feel that he has made but an ill exchange.
Just as

we may

conceive the habitual

whose pleasures

have long
been those of the wine-cup and the midnight revel, looking back to the days
when his limbs did not totter with premature weakness, nor his pulse throb
with habitual fears when he could stoop
in the midst of the pleasures, and exercises, and labours of youth, and bathe his
brow and quench his thirst in the crystal
stream.
He remembers the past, but the
power of simple and unblamed enjoyment
drunkard,

is

gone.
5th.

But fur

ihe

man

loho has lived in

proud

defiance of God, there will come a


season luhen he icill reap a fuller harvest

When he
of disappointment and sorrotv.
is shut up in his death-chamber, and is
preparing to pillow his head in the sepulchre, the evidence for the existence and the
interposition of Deity,

which he laboured

so long to resist and to exclude, will rush

upon him with overwhelming force.


may have lived, but he cannot die an
del.

The God whom he

the restraints of

whose

He
infi-

renounced, and

authority be set

himself to castaway, will make his terrors


It is nothing, in his present
to be felt.
extremity, that he has been distinguished
among his contemporaries, and that his
name has been emblazoned high in the
records of learning and science.

On

all

THE BRITISH

166
these

things he

now

will

They cannot

inscribed.

vanity

see

soothe the un-

quietness of bodily suffering, nor

lift

the

burden from the self-accusing conscience.

He

will feel, at length, that in his

wisdom hath been much

much

and in the
increase of his knowledge hath been inHe hath treasured up
crease of sorrow.
evil for the latter day, and has laid upon
his own soul the bitterness of anguish,
which found him out at the last.
6th. And that which is true of indiviIf
duals, is not less true of communities.
it

be a dangerous thing

grief,

for a

man

to culti-

vate intellectual accomplishments, at the

expense of personal piety, no less is it


hazardous, that religion should be dissociated from knowledge, in the prevailing

schemes

for the instruction of a people.

And among

all

the features of the time

which cause anxiety

to

those

careful for future days, and


for the generation

who

who

who

are

tremble

are to follow, there

none which threatens more disaster and


calamity than the growing pride which,
is

irrespective of the claims of the Creator,

would deify the


creature.

phy

are at

intellect of the

fallen

The men of the new philosowork, who are content that the

people should be of any religion, or of


no religion, provided only, that stores of
perishable wisdom be accumulated. With

them is leagued the cold skeptic, whose


weapon is sarcasm, and whose ready
argument lies in a sneer; who, if knowledge be but diffused, would not complain
though the

altar

should be polluted and

PULPIT.
But

now

pass on to consider,
Some of the
CASES IN WHICH NO APPLICATION OF THE
TEXT CAN BE MADE.
1st. It cannot he applied to the knowlet

us

briefly, in the second place.

ledge <f ourselves, and of the condition to


which our nature has fallen. No acquisition is

more important,

threshold of

all

for

spiritual

it

lies at the

advancement;

none more difficult, for the heart is deceitabove all things, as well as desperately
wicked. Tlie evidences of sin are around
us on every side. The wreck and ruin of
creation proclaim what it has done.
Its
disastrous effects are visible, even to the
heedless eye, in the blight and wretchedness which it has cast upon a world,
which, with all its furniture and all its
tenants, God, at first, pronounced very
good. But it is chiefly in its consequences
to our own nature, that we should seek the
evidences of the deadly work which sin
hath wrought. It lurks, however, so
deeply in the hidden and unexplored
recesses of the heart, it is so contained
in its concealment, that, while we are
borne down by its effects, the cause
escapes our observation.
Even when
the pressure of bodily pain wrings the
groan of anguish from the bosom, or
adversity makes us poor and unprovided,
or bereavement makes us desolate in spirit, we often remain ignorant of the rod
of bitterness, from which every human
sorrow has sprung.
If sin be indeed
such, in its character or measures, as to
excite scorn and avoidance in those with
ful

And we cannot doubt that whom we are bound up in the intercourse


old enemy of human souls, who made of common life, we may feel it to be an
But, if we have earned retree of knowledge the instrument of evil thing.

overthrown.
the
the

busily employed spect by the strict moralities of a conwhich bid so fair sistent course; if our words have weight
If in the decision of others, and our example
for the advancement of his kingdom.
the flood shall not overwhelm us, and has influence among men of integrity and
shall not sweep away whatever of holy reputation, it is hard to persuade ourand excellent yet remains if the monu- selves that there may yet lie as wide an
ments of ancient piety, which have come interval of separation between us and
down to us from a God-fearing ancestry, God as that which divides him from the
which the heart loves to cherish, and on most reprobate and reckless of sinners.
which the eye loves to linger, are yet Nature resists the admission we can
spared to us, it will be only through the learn its necessity only by the teaching
undeserved interposition of Him, whom, of the Spirit, which unfolds our moral
as a nation, we are schooling ourselves to history, and shows us to ourselves. Such
knowledge is blessed in its results, when
renounce.

his earliest temptation,

is

in helping forward plans

HUMAN AND
vre

come

in

SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

the brokenness of a self-

distrusting and self-abasing heart, to seek

other help and other merit than our own.

Ere we can

attain to

fools, in order to

it,

God, as he is revealed in the gospel


record of his love to a ruined world, is to
open the inlets of comfort to the soul.

we must become
martyr
for, if any man

be wise;

to bear his

knoweth nothing yet

to the

know

he

ought

to

own

in our

thinketh that he knoweth any thing, he


as

167

To know

of unforgiven transgression.

land,

who was going

testimony amidst the flames

truths of the gospel, opened his

Testament for the last time, and prayed


Tht declaration of the text carumt be that he might be pointed to some passage
applied to the knowledge if God. No subject whose strong consolation might carry him
on which the intellectual faculties can spend through the appalling terrors of the scene
themselvesissoelevatingand ennoblingas which awaited him God directed him to
the character of him who bestowed them. a text, which was the last upon which
it.

2d.

We shall never, indeed, master the might}'


subject, nor hold

it

within the compass of

our minds, nor grapple with the incon-

Christ

many

Neither

details.

can angels accomplish this by the devotion


of all their immortal energies. And yet
the Lord hath published records of him-

many

eternal, to

is life

thee the only true God, and Jesus

ceivable magnitude of

its

"This

his eye rested.

know

whom

And

thou hast sent."

a saint, in his hardest conflict,

in his direst

for

and

extremity, has this blessed

truth sufficed.

If

reconciled Father,

we know God
all is

well.

as our

We

may

not, indeed, left

be carried over dark and troubled waters,


but we shall be safe in the ark in which
the Lord has shut us in
the tempest

The

may sweep

self,

on

which

it is

a bright and

glowing page,

He

our privilege to read.

hath

himself without witness.


whole world teems with God. The

across the sky, but

its

vio-

meanest objects on which the eye can lence cannot harm us, for we shall have
rest are eloquent of him, and bear their found a haven.
concurrent testimony to the lines of his
But if Scripture knowledge is to proeternal character.
But no contemplation duce such effects, it must never be sepaof God, out of Christ, can give comfort to rated from grace. This separation is one
the heart which has become conscious of of the dangers which specially belong to
transgression of his law.

Every divine

a period of so

much

religious profession

tremendous array. as the present. It is no breach of charity


Holiness turns with loathing from the to believe that there are many persons
guilt which Omniscience detects Justice who pore on the pages of the Bible, and
claims its victim, and Omnipotence is have become familiar with its statements,
ready to punish with the outpouring of over whose lives and conversation its
irresistible vengeance.
The revelation ])rinciples have never exercised any
attribute is gathered in

of the power of the gospel

is

revelation of peace to the heart.

the only
It is

the

one blessed scheme by which, while all


have their complete and
awful vindication, the overture of free
pardon is made to those whom sin has
ruined and rendered helpless.
We bless
God that not even the veriest outcast, not
even the vilest among the children of sin
and shame, can come in vain to plead their
cause in mercy's presence chamber. Not
the attributes

perceptible control.

It falls

within the

limits of an easily imagined possibility,


that

we might

gather from

the

Bible

opinions of faultless accuracy, and frame


a creed so scriptural that its articles could
not be impugned

and yet, that while

we

were distinguished by an unwavering


maintenance of such a creed, and were
noted for sturdy partisanship of such an

adopted system,
the

we might

kingdom of God

as if

be as far from
we had never

human family, heard the sound of the gospel, and no ray


condemnation of of truth had dawned upon the darkness
the great day, will be able to urge, in of the soul.
We can never become wise
arrest of the righteous sentence, that he unto salvation, unless we go with the
desired to participate in the blood-bought outpouring of humble hearts, to seek
pardon, but was left in the hopelessness better guidance than our own, to ask

a single individual of the

who

shall fall under the

THE BRITISH

168

PULPIT.

be that, as he draws near the close of his


and journey, and even when he is laid upon
to subdue the hostility of the carnal mind, his dying bed, God may reveal to hira
as well as to open the difficulties of the many things which, in his best and brightest hours, he had never been able to
revealed word.
There is no necessary connexion be- discern. Just as we may have seen how
tween the gifts of the Spirit and the the ray of closing light brings into view
attainments of human learning ; no con- distant objects, some village spire, or
finement of the blessings of spiritual stately building upon the remote horizon,
knowledge to men whose minds are which the eye sought in vain, until the
furnished with other stores.
God often sun was sinking behind the western
hides these things from the wise and hills.
prudent, and reveals them unto babes.
This knowledge shall not only form
Many a tenant of the mud-built cottage is the staple of our earthly happiness, but
able to lay hold of the hope of immortality shall outlast the span of our present exwith firmness of grasp, which the ancient istence, and reach forward into the outdoubt not
philosopher and the modern skeptic could lying region of eternity.
never attain. He may be able to tell no- that heaven will contain whatever of
thing of the more abstruse and recondite unimagined beauty, and grandeur, and
evidences of his religion, but he can pro- sublimity can gladden the eye; that it
duce the evidence which never fails to will include whatever can call forth the
satisfy his own heart, which he derives warm affection of hearts, over which sin
but
from the complete and wonderful adapta- shall no longer have any control
tion of the gospel to his wants.
It found
neither can we doubt that heaven will be
him poor, and has left him rich ; it found in the highest degree a place of intellect.
him ignorant, it has made him wise ; he The redeemed will make continual acquiwas by nature a sin-polluted and a sin- sitions of knowledge. It may be that the
ruined creature, and the gospel has shown range of their observation will be indefihim how his sin has been atoned for, its nitely enlarged ; that they may gaze with
guilt for ever put away, the sentence of undazzled eye upon all the works of God,
its condemnation cancelled, and its power as they lie open to their view, through
curbed and restrained. And God may the wide extent of worlds and systems ;
often make such a one, though untaught and that they may look back on the
in schools, to be the instrument of con- mighty designs which He has been rollEven ing on from the beginning of time. Many
version to the wise of this world.
many a minister, on whose labours abun- a dark dispensation will be made clear;
dant success has rested, might bear his and as they trace the harmony between
testimony, that he was first guided by the administration of Providence and the
Providence to such a lowly disciple, from dealings of grace, they will see how all
whom he might gather much precious things have been working together for
instruction in the realities of his religion, good to the people of the Lord.
And as
which he never learned in colleges and they travel on their pathway of light,
they will have for their companions the
halls.

for the gracious influences of the Spirit,

whose

office it is

to

convince of

sin,

We

Such knowledge continually

As

the believer goes on his

increases.

way, he gra-

dually discovers more of the will and the


dealings of his Father. At first there
might have been much of zeal, and less

of knowledge; but, while


burns as brightly as when

the
it

was

kindled in his bosom, the latter


creased by continual accessions.

former
first

is

It

in-

may

unfallen spirits,

who

will consecrate their

lofty faculties to unrol the mysteries of

divine
into.

love

which they

And God

desire

to

look

shall advance his glorified

by continual revelations of himself.


Increasing knowledge shall be an element|
saints

of that blessedness which, for aught

know, may increase


for ever.

in the

we

same proportion

SERMON
THE

SL\

XVII.

AND PUNISHMENT OF ACHAN.

BY THE REV.

R. P.

BUDDICOM,

M.A., F.A.S.

"And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel,
and make confession unto him ; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And
Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and
thus and thus have I done : When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two
hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and
took them

and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of

" Love worketh no


bour

the

law."

ill

to his

neigh-

First,

therefore, love is the fulfilling of


It

is

an essential

part of

may be

vii.

19

21.

Firat,

six of Achan.
His punishment.
The word of the Lord

were

absolute ruin.

to

had
Its

be slain ; its silver


and gold, its vessels of brass and iron,
were to be consecrated to the Lord, and
laid up in his treasury, as witnesses of the
awful manner in which he had vindicated

this duty is too

frequently viewed in a partial and inade-

quate light.

Had Achan been

Josh.

The

Second,

inhabitants

detrimental to those

Unhappily

tent."

doomed Jericho

charity to abstain from any line of con-

duct which
around us.

my

asked, whether he

to

desired to bring defeat and death into the

the glory of his name, and the terrors of

camp and armies

his justice.

of Israel, he would pro-

Every man

of Israel

was

keep himself from the accursed


thing, lest he should make himself
accursed by the taking of it, and make the
camp of Israel also a curse, and trouble
In defiance, however, of this precept,
it.
so plainly, so solemnly enforced, did
Achan, as he went through the city to
execute the decree of God, permit himself to be tempted by a splendid robe, emoffender, but, in some degree, upon the broidered in the looms of Babylon, by
some shekels of silver, and a wedge of
society to which he belongs.
This frequent connexion between the gold, to transgress the commandment of
guilt of a transgressor, and the sufferings the Lord, and to commit a sacrilege
of those who are innocent of his offence, against the INIost High.
The conduct of every offender against
may be ordered by the Most High, among
other beneficent ends, to make us more the divine law resembles that of Achan.

bably have spurned at the question. Yet,


while he gratified his sordid avarice with
the Babylonish garment, and the shekels
of silver, and the wedge of gold, he
sharpened the sword of the men of Ai
against his brethren, and charged his soul
with the guilt of their slaughter in the
battle.
Even thus the consequences of
individual sin fall, not only upon the

we may

neither

of that spiritual

wound

united, nor bring dishonour


rified

Head.

to

He is surrounded by incitements to sin:


members but each transgression is marked with
body with which we are the impress of a divine prohibition, and

vigilant over ourselves and each other


that

warned

Such

the

upon

its

glo-

a holy caution is evi-

dently taught in the history before us,

which comprises,
Vol. II. 23

branded as an accursed thing, too plainly


to be mistaken ; and infallibly communicates of that curse to those who wilfully
touch it. When the temptation is the

169

THE BRITISH

170

PULPIT.

most strong or seductive, a handwriting making a covenant with our eyes, that we
like that upon the wall of Belshazzar's should not admit evil desires through
palace appears, to deter the endangered them, to pollute and defile us.
The
soul, and testifies, " Because of these senses must be kept under due restraint;
things Cometh the wrath of God upon the and the prayer of David should often rise
children of disobedience
be not ye, to our lips " Turn away mine eyes from
therefore, partakers with them."
But the beholding vanity, and quicken me in thy
god of this world blinds the eyes of those way." Let the Lord, O Christian, be
who believe not the declarations of the always before thee, if thou wouldst walk
God of truth, and leads them thus to safely. Then " let thine eyes look right
;

onward, and let thine eyelids look straight


There are some circumstances in the before thee." Turn neither to the right
confession of Achan, marking the pro- hand, nor to the left, lest " the lust of the
gress of sin, from its first entrance into eyes" insnare thee.
the heart, to its outward commission,
Secondlj^ Inatienlion io this important
which may serve as the history of almost caution occasioned a mournful progress
every offence committed against the law in the guilt of Achan. Undue admiraof God, the soul of the transgressor, and tion was productive of sinful desire.
the sacrifice of .Tesus Christ.
Bear with " When I saw among the spoils a goodly

Tuin.

me while I lay them before you ; that, Babylonish garment, and two hundred
under the teaching and influence of the shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold
Holy Spirit, ye may at once discover the of fifty shekels weight, the7i I coveted
danger by which ye are beset, and the them." The moral law of God forbids
means of escape from it.
the commission of all evil, whether
First, An undue fatniVtarify ivith things against him, or our neighbour.
The
forbidden was the Jirst cause of .ickan^s spiritual explanation of the Saviour has
" I saw among the spoils a also shown, that the commandments may
downfall.
goodly Babylonish garment, and two be broken, without the actual transgreshundred shekels of silver, and a wedge sion
that murder may be the enmity of
of gold of fifty shekels weight," That the spirit, and adultery the impurity of
man must walk through life without eyes, the heart. But even the literal precept
or passions, without the exercise of rea- discovers the mind of God in this respect
son, or the kindlings of affection, who, and while tiie first nine commandments
amidst the numberless evils of this per- forbid, with his voice, any unholy pracverted world, never looks upon, nor is tice the tenth, which cries, "Thou shall
solicited by an occasion of sin.
Every not covet," lays the axe to the root of all
one must rather pass, like the Israelites improper desire enjoining us, in " whatamong the spoils of Jericho, through ob- soever state we are, therewith to be conjects strongly exciting him to offend tent," without anxious wishes for any
against the decree of God, and take pos- thing which our heavenly Father has
session of some gratification, which will seen good to deny.
bring the wrath and curse of the Lord upon
No part of the divine law, separate
him. Temptations to sin will look bright from its blessed office of being a schooland captivating, as the garment, and the master, to bring us to Christ, discovers a
silver and gold glittered before the eye greater manifestation of divine love, than
And that same deceitfulness the tenth commandment, whether it reof Achan.
of sin, which opens the eye wide to gaze spects our own peace, the welfare of our
;

upon the exterior attraction of an accursed neighbour, the common good, or the glory
thing, by some mysterious mechanism, of God.
If sinful desires be entertained,
closes the ear to the rebukes of con- they must pollute and distress the mind,
science, or to the denunciations of God. even though the course of providence, or

The eye

is

the great inlet to that mischief the operations of restraining grace, should

which works upon


no

the heart.

safety, except in

There

is

imitating Job, by

hinder the perpetration


plated sin.

The

of

the contem-

great majority of

men,

THE

SIN

AND PUNISHMENT OF ACHAN.

171

however, practise upon themselves a alone awhile, and then do to me accordgross and fatal delusion, by thinking ing to that which hath proceeded out of
nothing evil which is confined within the thy mouth." Beware, however, that ye
If any unIf the sovereignty listen not to the seduction.
recesses of the heart.
of God were confined by those limits hallowed desire have arisen within you,
which bound human authority, and could go in prayer to God, through the mediatake cognizance of external disobedience tion of Jesus, for the almighty help of
But his Spirit, to enable you to subdue it:
only, such a view might be correct.
as " the Lord seeth not as man seeth ;" and, in the sufficiency of that grace, rest
as he "looketh upon the heart," such an not day nor night, until it be brought into
opinion merely leads those who entertain subjection to the will of your God and
it,

to sport

ceivings.

themselves with their own de- Saviour. Carnal nature may plead for its
That professor of the gospel of indulgence, as Lot for Zoar, " Is it not a

adorn the doctrine of Utile one "?" But that wisdom which the
and avoid Holy Ghost teacheth, will show you,
the peril of making shipwreck of faith, that as the least neglected spark may enand of a good conscience, must pray kindle a conflagration, to lay waste a
" that all carnal affections may die in city, so may an unobserved lust burst at
Christ,

God

who would

his Saviour in all things,

may consume

things belonging to the


and grow in him." " Let
the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be always acceptable
in thy sight,
Lord, my strength, and
my Redeemer!" It must not suffice him,

length into a flame, which

that the stream of evil gushes not forth

nion over us, they instantly become our

him, and that


Spirit

may

all

live

to the

light

up

the heart.

in

its

fountain

must be

dried

Thence proceed

evil

thoughts, the leaders of all that terrible


army of mischief, sin, and sorrow, which

and eternal peace of the


offender.
All our desires, if we wish
them not to lead us into sin, must be kept
in entire obedience to the revealed will
and law of God. If they usurp a domithe

present

While Hagar was

remorseless tyrants.

no act of
charged upon her ; but

undutifulness

a servant,
into

when she

is

is

given

Abraham's bosom, she taunts the

our Lord Jesus Christ has so forcibly


described.
Here then must be the main
Little does that
conflict of a Christian.

patriarch's wife, disturbs his house, and

man know of
own deceitful

himself, he cannot consent to part with

spiritual warfare,

heart,

of

of

his

the divine re-

quirement, or of his causes

of danger,

who

does not feel that safety and hope


depend, under the salvation of the cross,
upon the courage and constancy with
which the battle is fought against the
bosom sins that do most easily beset him.
no easy task to take the child of our
cherished, though sinful desire, as Abraham took his son, and to offer it upon the

It is

altar of a divine

gains an influence over him, so strong,


that, until enjoined by the Most High
her.

One

security alone remains

thy heart with

Nehemiah,

all

diligence."

therefore,

" Keep
Imitate

when he and

the

captains of Judah were endeavouring to


rebuild Jerusalem, while

their

enemies

We

made
conspired to hinder them. "
our prayer unto God, and set a watch
A Chrisagainst them day and night."
tian should pass through the temptations
around, him, as Israel

wished

to

pass

That unholy through the highway of Edom, turning


patiently upon the not aside, but hastening towards the pro-

command.

affection will not lie

nor re- mised land, with his eye and heart so


wood, and beneath the knife
sign itself to death, as a lamb that is fully occupied by the glory and joy set
brought to the slaughter, which is dumb. before him, as to have no desire for
Such a heavenly
If it perishing vanities.
It will resist, remonstrate, plead.
should see the tempted spirit in earnest minded ness is the best remedy for the
;

for its extermination,

it

will only desire,

were, a respite from present execution ; and such a delay as Jephthah's


daughter required of her father; " Let me

as

it

love of sinful things.

He

only

who has

thus learned to " walk by faith," and to


" count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus"

THE BRITISH

172

PULPIT.

his Saviour, will be able to escape the " when it is conceived, bringeth forth
pollutions that are in the world through sin :" but the sad process stops not here.
lust.
He only who can hope, that by the " Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth
grace of adoption, his body has become death." Following, therefore, the course
the temple of the Holy Ghost, a habita- of this dark though instructive history,
tion of God through the Spirit, will be we reach
anxious to preserve himself from all deSecondly, The consequences of Achan's
filement.
Only such a man is happy in GUILT.
" Blessed are
his life, and in his hope
When Ahab met Elijah, he cried, in
the pure in heart, for they shall see God." the consciousness of his own offences,
Thirdly, IL rarely happens that evil rests " Art thou he that troubleth Israel
ivith the indulgence of desire.
Satan " I have not troubled Israel," answered
is too malignant an enemy to leave the the indignant prophet, "but thou and
transgressor, until evil be consummated. thy father's house
in that ye have for"Lust, when it is conceived, bringeth forth saken the commandments of the Lord."
sin." Such was the experience of Achan. Similar to this reproof was the mournful
Unholy desire led him into flagrant trans- address of Joshua to Achan, when sengression. " I saw these things, I coveted tence was about to pass upon him.
them, and took them." When the great " Why hast thou troubled us? The Lord
enemy of man has led captive the soul in shall trouble thee this day." He was
the bonds of any evil concupiscence, his not merely his own enemy, but the enemy
greatest work is done.
Some promise of of the tribes among whom he dwelt. His
secrecy, some assurance of delight, some offence had a double aspect of wrath,
favourable opportunity, some removal of upon others, and upon himself.
restraints, or some sudden and violent
First, It brought shame, defeat, and
temptation, will be cast before the endan- death into the camp of Israel.
His inigered bond-servant; and he will be con- quity was visited upon them. "Israel
tented, nay, think himself in the way of hath sinned, and they have also transpeace and happiness, to do the bidding of gressed my covenant which I commanded
his dreadful master, and earn the wages them for they have taken of the accursed
of sin, eternal death. As Christ formed thing: therefore the children of Israel
:

in a believer's heart is the principle of could not stand before their enemies, be-

and the hope of glory, so evil desires


formed in the mind of an ungodly man,
will, in all probability, be nurtured into
actual wickedness, and become practical
presumptuous sin. Behold their consequences in Achan's trespass, and in the
life,

circumstances which led to its commisand be warned against them.


sion ;

Avoid the persons, the places, the amuse-

cause they were accursed." The divine


presence and power manifested among
them, and displayed in their behalf, could
alone cover their heads, and give them
That previctory in the day of battle.
sence was withdrawn, that omnipotence
ceased to protect and prosper them, while
the sin of Achan remained undiscovered
and unpunished. " 1 will not be with
you any more, except ye destroy the
accursed thing from among you." The
men of Israel and .Joshua evidently considered their disgrace and defeat before

ments, the books, which would lead you


into temptation.
If seduction should
assail you, endeavour to realize 'the presence of the Lord, the terrors, and the
mercies of his love. So that when the Ai, as a mark of
tempter aims his fiercest and most fiery " The Lord's arm
dart, you may each say, " How can I it could not save,
do this great wickedness, and sin against it could not hear;

God
The

the divine displeasure.

was not shortened,

that

nor his ear heavy, that


but their iniquities had

separated between them and their God,

and their sins had hid his face from them


that he would not hear."
Is it asked,
amidst the fluctuation of public opinion,
have seen, and the agitations of political conflict,

history of iniquity, like the roll in

Ezekiel's vision, is "written within, and


without, with lamentation, and mourning,

and wo."

" Lust," as we

THE
'*

Who

is

the bitterest

SIN

enemy

AND PUNISHMENT OF ACHAN.


of his coun-

173

offending God, the terrors of almighty

The answer is at hand he who justice, executed by almighty power;


most daring violater of the law of who that views with the eye of faith the
his God.
That man does his country woes inflicted by the worm that dieth
more mischief than all the armed array of not, and the fire that never shall be
human foes. His guilt sharpens their quenched, can see a mistaken fellow creatry ]"

is the

swords, and nerves their arms, and invi- ture ruining his soul, and sinning away
On the other hand, every hope of its eternal salvation, withit turns the councils of that land where
out being moved to sorrow, and agitated
his sin is committed, encouraged, or by a regret, too frequently as vain as it is
tolerated, like the counsels of Ahithophel, poignant?
And shall not this very grief
into foolishness.
It brings dissension of others, like-minded with the compasinto the cabinet, and weakness, or cow- sionate Saviour, be reckoned by a just and
gorates their devices.

ardice, into the field.

It

makes

the hearts

of the people melt and become like water


before their enemies. As Christians, as

holy

God

as aggravations of the trans-

My

gressors' guilt]

brethren, if Chris-

have expostulated with any


lovers of our brethren, whose safety or of you upon the evil of your way ; if
whose life our guilt may endanger ; as tears have flowed from the eye, and anpatriots, who regard our country, and guish has filled the heart of a parent, a browould make her the real glory of all ther, a sister, or a friend, in consequence
lands, we are loudly required to repress of the dishonour which you have done to
the love, and abstain from the commis- the mercy of God, the blood of Christ,
Otherwise, however the pleading of the Holy Ghost; if they
sion of all evil.
secretly it be wrought, it will have an have remonstrated with you, besought you
awful manifestation in the shame, re- to have pity upon yourselves, laid your
proach, disgrace, and danger, which it awful case before God in prayer, and still
may produce to the land and the institu- found you obdurate ; will not this, suppose
tions which we are bound to honour and yo, be required of you in the day of final
defend.
retribution 1 Will it not add to the guilt of
Secondly, The guilt of Mian brought the devoted city in judgment, that Jesus
sorrow upon Joshua and the princes of wept over it, and would have saved it]
" Joshua rent his clothes, and And shall you be guiltless of this addiIsrael.
fell to the earth upon his face before the tional item in the awful reckoning for
Bear the conviction
ark of the Lord, until the eventide, he sin 1
Alas, no
and the elders of Israel, and put dust on deeply in your minds and while there is
In this distress he was joy in the presence of the angels of God
their heads."
led to expostulate with God, in earnest over one sinner that repenteth while the
sincerity, yet with a great alloy of unad- eternal Father Avaits their recovery to bid
vised eagerness, doubt, and even de- heaven and earth rejoice over it, and to
spondency. Among the collateral and cry, " This my son was dead, and is alive
;"
indirect evils of sin, must be reckoned again ; he was lost, and is found
God
desires
to
the shame and sorrow which it produces while the Lamb of
see in
in the minds of those who are jealous for you of the travail of his soul, and to be
the glory of God, and anxious for the satisfied
and while the hearts of Chrisbest interests of their brethren. Rivers tian friends yearn over you, to bring you
of water ran down the eyes of the man to salvation, listen to the united voice,
after God's own heart, because Israel obey the heavenly impulse, and be saved.
Thirdly, Against considerations cf this
kept not the law of the Lord. Paul
mourned over the iniquities of the false liind, hoivever, Jlchan might have been
" Many walk, of steeled and fortified but there were conteachers at Philippi
whom I have told you often, and now tell sequences to himself which would repay
you even weeping, that they are the ene- his transgression, and make its folly and
mies of the cross of Christ." Who that bitterness come home to his mind with
tian friends

knows the

dreadful

consequences

of] terrible regret.

For a time the garment^

p2

THE BRITISH

174

and the shekels, and the wedge lay in his


and though he could not wear the
one, nor spend the others, he might pride
himself upon possessing them, in the
miserable delusion of a covetous spirit.
But the Israelites were summoned before
the Lord, and the hour of recompense was
at hand.
At first he might stand enwrapped in security, and little fearful, that
among the mighty multitude assembled
round him, he alone should be detected
but his unholy confidence could not abide.
The tribe of Judah, to which he belonged,
is taken ; and the probabilities of discovery are vastly increased. Some rising
fear begins to struggle with his unholy
confidence: and now his heartthrobs with
a quicker and louder alarm for the family
of the Zarhites, of which he was a member, is selected from the rest, as containing the guilty man. That family comes
near by its household and lo the family
Whither now shall
of Zabdi is taken.
Achan flee, and where is the hope of
secrecy with which he lulled his soul to
sleep, in its guilt and crime ? The family
of Zabdi advances, the last lots are given
forth
and behold, Achan, the son of
Carmi, is found, and stands among the
countless thousands of Israel, pointed out
by the unerring finger of God, as the man
who had taken the accursed thing, and
made himself a curse by this presumptuous act of sacrilege. The talents and the
raiment were beautiful in the eyes of
Gehazi, when he bestowed them in the
house but how dim and worthless would
they appear, when the prophet's voice
thundered in his ear, and he went from
the presence of the man of God, " a leper
as white as snow!" Ananias and Saptent

PULPIT.

bably before men assuredly in that day


when the thousands of Israel who surrounded Achan will be as a drop of water
to the ocean, compared with the unimathe
assembled
ginable multitude of
world.
Every secret sin will then shine
as clearly before the eye of God, as the
sun appears in the unclouded heaven.
" There is no darkness, neither shadow
of death, where the workers of iniquity
may hide themselves." Wrath will deAs Achan, his family,
scend upon them.
and all that he had, were stoned, and
burned in the fire, so must obdurate trans;

gressors perish in the fierceness of that

which the breath of an offended

flame,

God

will enkindle in judgment.

then

was Achan's joy

thing

Where

in

Where

the accursed

also shall be the pleasure

which the wicked, and those who forget


God, took in the toys and trifles for
which they have been contented to barter
eternal

their

profit a

man

if

peace] "What shall it


he gain the whole world,

own soul 1 Or what shall a


give in exchange for his soul 1"
O

and lose his

man

what will be the deep, the unavailing anguish of the convicted offender, when the
last lot falls upon him, and when, in answer to his cry, " Hast thou found me, O

mine enemy
the Judge shall exclaim,
" I have found thee !" My brethren, let
the fate of Achan warn you to flee temptation, as Absalom's brethren fled from the
feast,

when

they

saw

their brother

Amnon

murdered at the table for his offence. If


you have already ventured upon the dark
and downward way of wilful transgression, let the example of this lost Israelite
meet you in the sad career; even as they
who pursued Abner stood still when they
phira came boldly before the apostles, saw the bloody body of Asahel in the path
doubtless taking credit to themselves for before them.
the craft with which they had cheaply
First, The experience of the Israelites
earned a good report of being merciful to on this occasion should teach us, never to
;

the poor: but

when

they

fell

dead at the

apostle's feet, the value of their

undervalue the strength of a single tefnpta-

money Hon. The spies whom Joshua sent to


Of all view Ai thought meanly of its defences,

must have perished with them.


the delusions which the god of

this and said, " Let not all the people go up,
world can spread before the heart, the but let about two or three thousand mea
practical infidelity which whispers the go up and smite Ai and make not all the
hope of impunity for sin is the most com- people to labour thither, for they are but
mon and the most dreadful. Be sure, how- few." In this presuming confidence, and
ever, that your sin will find you out pro- willing to spare themselves the toil of
;

THE

SIN

AND PUNISHMENT OF ACHAN.

warfare, they attacked this despised city,


Your
repulsed with loss.

ious to escape

175

from human judgment,

than to be acquitted through Christ, in


temptations may appear small, your the judgment of eternity. " If w'e say
means of resistance and victory within that we have no sin, we deceive ouryourselves amply sufficient ; but the selves, and the truth is not in us ; but if

and were

least temptation

is

irresistible

The

unassisted strength.

by your we confess our

feeblest arrow

he

sins,

is faithful

and

just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse

you are pro- us from all unrighteousness."


The example of Joshua
Thirdly,
vided with no other armour than your own
sufficiency, is deadly enough to destroy loarns us, that prayer for the mercy of
you eternally. Peter was never more in God must be joined with an earnest zeal
The leader of Israel
danger, than when he imagined it impos- for his holiness.
sible that he should deny his Master; nor lay before the ark, engaged in fervent
Samson, with all his strength, than when supplication: .but the divine command
he confidently slept in the lap of Deli- reached him, " Get thee up ; why liest
Israel hath sinned.
lah. " Let him that thinketh he standeth, thou upon thy face ]
ye cannot stand
take heed lest he fall." Remember that Up, sanctify the people
in the quiver of Satan, if

and blood, but before your enemies until ye take away


with the principalities and powers of sin. the accursed thing from among you."
" Take unto you, therefore, the whole Individual or national fasts and supplicaarmour of God, that ye may be able to tions are the mockeries of humiliation
stand in the evil day, and having done all and prayer, unless we aim to wash our
When we
Self-sufficiency is the bane of hearts from wickedness.
to stand."
man. Be persuaded of your own ina- search the chambers of iniquity within
bility.
Be persuaded of Satan's power. us, by the word and Spirit of God, and
Look to the all-sufficient Spirit of God desire the expulsion of every idol, we
for help ; and imitate him who said, " I may hope for success.
If we endeavour
can do all things through Christ which not to mortify all the iniquity, against
strengtheneth me."
which w'e implore divine help, we are
Secondly, The conduct of Achan should assisting Satan to close our eyes, and
impress upon us all the necessity of a tempting God to harden our hearts.
prompt and ample confession of our offences " Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto
against the law of God. No sooner was prayer." Live in the spirit of prayer
he urged on this point by Joshua, than he and improve the graces which you entreat
made a most ingenuous disclosure of his the God of mercy, through his Son, to
" I have sinned against the Lord bestow upon you. Depend upon God
guilt.
God of Israel, and thus and thus have I but see that ye receive not his grace
done." " Whoso covereth his sins shall in vain. " Work out your own salvation
not prosper, but he that confesseth and with fear and trembling ; for it is God
forsaketh it shall have mercy. If any that worketh in you both to will and to do
say, I have sinned and perverted that of his own good pleasure."
Cast out
which is right, and it profited me not, the accursed thing. So shall your prayer
God will deliver his soul from going be heard, your warfare assisted, your vicdown to the pit, and his life shall see the tory secured, your triumph made eternally
light."
Thus cast yourselves upon the glorious."

you wrestle not

v/ith flesh

mercy of the Father,

at the cross of his

Son. Thus give glory to God that he hath


convinced you of sin that he has not yet
recompensed your rebellion in the woes
of hopeless and eternal judgment; that
he has provided an atoning Saviour,
whose blood cleanseth from all sin ; a
sanctifying Spirit, who can make you new

THE RESURRECTION AND THE

LIFE.

creatures in Christ Jesus.

Be

less anx-

"

The

resurrection and the life ;" these

are thy magnificent titles, captain of our


salvation

And

thee body and

we commit

for thou hast

to

re-

both, and thou wilt advance both


noblest and most splendid of por-

deemed
to the

therefore

soul

THE BRITISH

176

Who

tions.

quails and shrinks, scared

PULPIT.

took sweet counsel upon earth, we shall


toil only to
heighten our

"Who among recount our


by the despotism of death
you fears the dashing of those cold black ecstacy, and
!

between us and the promised land ] Men and brethren, grasp


your own privileges. Men and brethren,
Christ Jesus has " abolished death ;" will
ye, by your fearfulness, throw strength
into the skeleton, and give back empire
to the dethroned and the destroyed ?
Yes, " the resurrection and the life"
" abolished death." Ye must indeed
waters which

die,

and so

But

if

roll

far death

remains undestroyed.

the terrible be destroyed

when

it

can no longer terrify, and if the injurious


be destroyed when it can no longer injure; if the enemy be abolished when it
does the work of a friend, and if the tyrant
be abolished when performing the offices
of servant ; if the repulsive be destroyed
"when we can welcome it, and if the odious be destroyed when we can embrace
it; if the quicksand be abolished when
-we can walk it and sink not, if the fire be
abolished when we can walk through it
and be scorched not, if the poison be
abolished when we can drink it and hurt
not
then is death destroyed, then is
death abolished, to all who believe on the
" resurrection and the life ;" and the noble prophecy is fulfilled, (bear witness,
3''e
groups of the ransomed, bending
down from your high citadel of triumph !)
;

"

death,

grave,

will be

thy plagues

will be thy destruction."

" I heard a voice from heaven"

O
for

call to

mind the tug and the


more

din of the war, only that, with a

bounding throb, and a richer song, we


may feel and celebrate the wonders of
redemption. And when the morning of
the first resurrection breaks upon this
long-disordered and groaning creation,
then shall our text be understood in all its
majesty, and in all its marvel
and then
shall the words, whose syllables mingle
so often with the funeral knell, that we
:

disposed to carve them on the cypress tree rather than on the palm, " I am

are

the resurrection and the life," from the

chorus of that noble anthem, which those


for whom Christ " died, and rose, and
revived," shall chant as they march
from judgment to glory. Rev. H. McU
ville,

A.M.

What
out hope

would the
?

life

Remove

man be withand you take

of

it,

away

at once the relish of prosperity,


and the support and solace of adversity.
Let the tide of prosperity run ever so
high, and flow with unebbing fulness
ever so long, if the hope of its continuance be destroyed, it is instantly deprived
of all its power to satisfy.
Let the prosperous man be certainly assured, that his
prosperity is to last but one day longer;
that, at the close of so short a time, its

the angel's tongue, that words so beauti-

springs are to be dried up, and he is to be


melodiousness
left in all the dreariness of universal
" saying unto me. Write, blessed are the desolation: would that day, think you,
dead which die in the Lord from hence- be enjoyed by him ] No the extinction
forth
yea, saith the Spirit, that they of hope would be the extinction of joy.
may rest from their labours, and their And O what would adversity be without
works do follow them." It is yet but a hope
This is the last lingering light
little while, and we shall be delivered
of the human bosom, that continues to
from the burden and the conflict, and shine when every other has been extinwith all those who have preceded us in guished. Quench it, and the gloom of
the righteous struggle, enjoy the deep afl^iction becomes the very blackness of
raptures of a Mediator's presence. Then, darkness
cheerless and impenetrable.
ful

might have

all

their

reunited

to the friends

with

whom we Wardlaw.

SERMON

XVIII.

THE JOY OF HEAVEN OVER

REPENTANT SINNER.

BY THE LATE REV. JOHN GEDDES,


MINISTER OF

'

I say

Likewise,

unto you, There

is joy in the

that repenteth."

An

CHURCH, GLASGOW.

ST. A N D R E w's

presence of the angels of

God

over one sinner

Luke xv. 10.

may be deemed remarkable, Jesus Christ, who, while upon earth,


own account, or on account knew what was transacted and felt in heacircumstances which invariably ven, who knows the feelings and the joys

event

either on its

of the

accompany

it.

In both these respects,

the event mentioned in the text merits

of angels, for he is their Lord, that we


receive the declaration, " I say unto you,

joy in the presence of the angels


over one sinner that repenteth."
saved, a soul converted, a child of dis- In discoursing from these words, it is inobedience becoming an heir of God. To tended, in humble dependence on the dithe sinner himself, it is the one thing that vine aid and blessing, to consider, in the
is needful, not essential to any title that first place, The event itself ; and to
he may have for heaven, but essential to consider, in the second place, The joy
his meetness for heaven and that change WHICH THIS event PRODUCES.
of character, without which it is impossiIn the first place, attend to the event
ble that he can ever stand before God in itself, thus expressed, " a sinner that re-

attention.

It is,

markable on

its

in

own

the

first

account,

place, re-

a sinner

there

of

is

God

judgment, or be admitted into his pre- penteth." In the first part of this statewhere there is fulness of joy, and ment we are all included, being all sinto a place at his right hand, where there ners.
From the second part we may be
are pleasures for evermore.
And in re- excluded, for we may not be all penitents.
gard, again, to the circumstances which It may, with regard to many present, be
are invariably combined with it, we find the melancholy fact, that up to this hour
that the interest produced by it is not they are still in the gall of bitterness,
confined to earth. It gladdens saints, but and in the bond of iniquity, still children
it also gladdens angels. It is glad tidings
of disobedience, and heirs of wrath, still
on earth, but it is good news also in far from God, still at enmity with him,
heaven. Among angels even, who know and still rolling sin as a sweet morsel in
how precious the soul is, and who form their mouths. There are notorious proflifar higher estimates regarding both the gate presumptuous sinners, whose necks
glory of God, and the happiness of man, are as iron, and- whose brows are as
than we do, we read, that there is joy brass who glory in their shame who
over one sinner that repenteth. Nor are work all manner of iniquity with greediwe fancying now an interest in our wel- ness who declare too plainly for us to
fare which is never felt.
Our faith here be mistaken, that they are the slaves of
is not passive nor dependent on the say- Satan
who gratify their own inclinaing of man. It is upon the authority of tions, and evil lusts, and sinful propensiVol. II
177
23
sence,

THE BRITISH

1*76

who

PULPIT.

mouths continually!

rious thought, even on the Sabbath, evef


and re- enters to restrain them, or awaken them,
say, With our tongues or bring them to serious concern, and
strain
will we prevail, with our lips will we who are saying, " Let us eat and drink,
There for to-morrow we shall die," and are preprevail, who is Lord over us?
are secret, disguised, concealed sinners, sumptuously saying, " To-morrow shall
who endeavour to maintain a fair show be as this day, and nmch more abundant."
before men, who study to keep an out- And there are worldly-minded sinners
Ward decency, but whose hearts are in- who have no time, no inclination, and no
wardly corrupt, awfully depraved and leisure, for religion. They are careful
polluted, and in regard to whom, there about many things; they are concerned
they are wholly occuwill be some fearful disclosures on the about this world
day of judgment, when the books will be pied and engrossed by it; their hearts are
opened, and when the Lord will bring to overcharged with the cares of this life,
light the hidden things of darkness, and thoughit benot with drunkenness and with
will make manifest the counsels of the gluttony; and many things are continuheart. There are Pharisaical sinnefswho ally rising up to choke the word, and to
vainly fancy that they have no need for render it unfruitful ; and their hearts are
repentance, who attend to small matters, inclined unto covetousness, and not unto
but neglect the weightier, who tithe as God's testimonies; and money is to thecfi
and they are pierced
it were mint, and anise, and cummin, but the root of all evil
who neglect judgment and mercy, and through with many sorrows, and are
do not walk humbly with God who are making shipwreck of faith and of a good
ties

set their

who
prayer who

against

God

cast

ni!"

fear

going about to establish a righteousness conscience. There are also procrastiof their own, justifying themselves in nating sinners, who admit the necessity,
their own eyes; who are a generation that but delay the duty of repentance, who
are even pure in their own eyes, and yet fancy that to-morrow will be a more conare not washed from their fillhiness and venient season than to-day, who stifle
in regard to whom it will be proved, that present conviction, who put away from
in going about to establish a righteous- them present serious impressions, who
ness of their own, they have neglected the pave life with good intentions, and at last
righteousness of God, which is through die as they live still far from God.
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and which, Nay, there are even, in some measure,
while it attends to small matters, and convinced and awakened sinners, whose
does not leave them undone, attends also convictions have not terminated in conLike Cain, they complain, and
to the weighty matters, having received version.
the doctrine that is according to godli- they wander, and they reckon somehow
that God is hard, and that they are sufiiss, and being clothed with humility,
Like
are rooted in faith, and established in fering more than they can bear.
There are also stupid, unconcerned Esau, they weep, but it is for an earthly
love.
sinners, who look no farther than the portion, and because they succeeded not
body and time, who put no other ques- according to what they reckon due to
;

tions than,

we

What

shall

we

eat,

what

drink, and wherewithal shall

who

shall

we

their talents, their skill, or their industry.

They

be

think

themselves wise, or they

whom

think themselves warranted in not set-

they live, and move, and have their being,


60 as to pray before him, wiio do not live

ting their desires and their affections on

clothed

know

not

God

in

things above, but in desiring earnestly

under the power of the world to come, those other gifts that perish with the
and who know less of God than the ox using; or, like Pharaoh, though they be
knows of its owner, or the ass of his softened beneath the immediate pressure
master's crib. There are light-minded, and pain of the rod, yet the moment that
careless sinners, whom sorrow never judgment is withdrawn, they return again
clouds, to whom pleasure in every form to their folly, and to their wickedness,
is welcome, and into whose hearts no se- and say, Who is the Lord that we should
'

THE JOY OF HEAVEN OVER A REPENTANT

SINNER.

179

otey him: we will not. listen to his voice, and hatred to it, and we turn from it unto
Or, like Ahab, they may clothe them- God with full purpose of heart, and enselves in sackcloth, and

walk steadily
hearts

are

are turned

ashes, and

sit in

for a season,

not right with

but

still their

God.

Tliey

from many sins outwardly,

deavours after new obedience. The repentance supposed is not a seeming but a
real repentance, and is in complete harmony with the law and the gospel. The
law is honoured by the terror which it
produces the gospel is honoured by the
peace which it maintains. The law is
magnified by the alarm that has been excited, and the gospel is magnified by the

and yet they retain the love of sin inwardly; and when an opportunity presents itself, and when former temptations
return, they harden themselves against
God, and act wickedly; or, like Herod,
they approve of much, and they may even communication of
;

practise

much, but they

chat purifying hope


which maketh not ashamed. The sinner
At one is humbled, the Saviour is exalted, God

retain their dar-

ling and their besetting sins.


breach the enemy continually enters, is obeyed, and the penitent himself praises
and the citadel of the heart is taken ; at God, and says. He hath delivered mine
one leak the water continually enters, and eyes from tears, my feet from falling, and
the soul is sunk in ruin. And they are my soul from hell.
These remarks explain, in the first
like Herod at last with the daughter of
Herodias, under the dominion still of ini- place, the kind of event thai is here men'
quity, led on to commit evil, which they tinned, and I have been the more particuonce abhorred; and like Hazael, though lar in explaining the nature of repentance
they may have been astonished at their unto life, inasmuch as we are ready to
former state, and reckon themselves dogs flatter ourselves in our own eyes, to think
i

do such wicked things, yet these and


such things they do, and are swallow'ed
to

that

we

are penitents

to think of ourselves

when we

down at last into utter perdition. There we ought to think, to


was a Judas who repented, but, in de- partial and a seeming,
he thrust himself into God's presence. There was a Dives, of whom we
read as having repented, but it was too
late, and he lifted up his eyes in hell, and
was in torment. None of all these can
be the repentance spoken of in the text.
The repentance that we have now been
speaking of is mere local repentance,
mere formal or superstitious repentance
spair,

the

which

and

real repentance,

ply because

we

are not,

more highly thaa


be satisfied with a
instead of a full

and

to

suppose, sim-

are better outwardly than

we once were, that we are therefore all that


we ought to be, and that we may say unto
ourselves. Peace, when there is no real
and lasting foundation
is

for our peace.

It

pleasing to think of the privileges of

the penitent, and of the interest taken in

him
But

that even angels rejoice over him.

none conclude that they are peniworketh death not the repentance of the tent, unless they have received that grace
gospel, which is through faith in .lesus, which has really created the clean heart,
and through looking to the cross unto which has really renewed the right spirit,
eternal life.
These convictions mention- and which is really serving God in newed are consistent with the heart in which ness of life; for if any man be in Christ,
conversion has never taken place; but or a true penitent, he is renewed, old
the repentance now supposed is repent- things have passed away, and all things
ance unto life, a change of heart as well have become new. There is a change of
as a change of state, a reigning in the heart that will delight in heaven, along
heart over sin, and a breaking off of the with a title that will secure our admislife from it, a relative change as to God
sion into heaven and the same righteouswe are justified and a real change as to ness that is wrought out for us by the
his law
we are made to delight in it. Redeemer is in connexion with the rightWe have a true sense of sin we have eousness that is also wrought in us, and
apprehensions of the mercy of God in by us, and for us, by the Spirit, the SancChrist we have grief on account of sin, tifier, and the Comforter, making us meet
repentance of the world,

let

THE BRITISH PULPIT.

180

they receive the information, we can


Let us seek, therefore, for the real tho- enter into no explanation. Upon this, as
rough change that repentance necessarily upon many other points, we must be
imparts, and let us not go away in our satisfied with ascertaining the ultimate
thoughts or in our imagination, to think fact, though we cannot understand nor
of the happiness of the saints, without reason respecting the immediate means.
also meditating on what is equally essen- This one thing simply, we are informed,
that we may be that they do know, and that when they
tial to be really a saini
made holy, in all manner of life and con- know it they rejoice. And it is to us,
versation, and that we bring forth fruits though of them we know so little, a
pleasing testimony of benevolent intemeet for repentance.
Let us proceed now, then, to meditate rest, of affectionate regard, and of exalted
0\the joyfulness of the event mentioned in and endearing sympathy. It introduces
It makes
the text. " There is joy," says our Lord, us already to the hopes above.
" in the presence of the angels of God us, even now, in some measure acquaintover one sinner that repenteth." Think, ed with the angels that are before the
then, in the first place, of the high cha- throne. They can enter into our feelings,
racter, of the high rank of the order of and we may in some measure enter into
beings now spoken of as rejoicing An- theirs. And when the veil of sense shall
gels, who occupy a higher place in the be withdrawn, it may, for aught we know,
scale of creation than men, who are pure be one of the first discoveries in the celestial state to be introduced to, and to be
spirits not having bodies as we have
who are distinguished, it would appear, made acquainted with, that angel, or with
into different orders themselves, as mark- those angels, who have more especially
ed by their different names in the Bible, received commission respecting ourselves,
Seraphim or Cherubim, thrones or domi- who have encamped about us, who have
nions, principalities or powers, lights or been ministering spirits to us as the heirs
who are spoken of as of immortality, who have had continual
burning lights
excelling in wisdom and in strength, who charge over us, who, when we were but
hearken unto God's voice, and do what he little ones, but babes in Christ, saw the
commands who are represented as the Father's face in heaven, and have been
morning stars, who sang together for joy watching over us continually, really
when the foundations of the earth were though unseen, and are our guardians till
laid, when the heavens were stretched we sit down with them in our Father's
out by his power, when the firmament house, and are admitted into the presence
was established in his wisdom, and when of God, their Lord and ours and we
the earth was founded in his discretion. know surely enough of the character of
These angels look not only into the angels, and of the scheme of redemption,
scheme of creation, but also into the to find reason upon reason why at such an
scheme of redemption, and they are per- event they should rejoice. God displaymitted not only to know its general cha- ed some of his glory in the wonders of
racter, but also the history of its indi- creation, but he displayed the same glory,
vidual success among the children of and glories of another character, and all
men, to whom it is addressed and for combined, in higher measure, in the

for the inheritance of the saints in light.

whom
it
*'

it is

provided.

They

can describe

generally, as in their song of praise,

Glory

to

God

in the highest,

earth peace, good will toward

And

if it

was

and on primeval purity, and to celebrate God's


;" but praise as its Creator, much more may

men

they have also a particular information


regarding its effectual application, for

when

scheme of redemption.

their exercise to behold nature in all its

we see how they will rejoice in God


when they behold the unfolding and ap-

is a change plication of that scheme according to


communicated to them, and there which mercy and justice, righteousness
is a joy among them respecting him. and peace, have been united, according
Now, with regard to the manner in which to which grace is reigning through right-

that

is

a sinner repents there

THE JOY OF HEAVEN OVER A REPENTANT


eousness, and
the ungodly

God

just even in justifying joys.

who believe

in Christ.

These

angels have no pleasure in our fall, and


the way of our restoration must awaken
every benevolent sympathy within them

so that their rejoicing

is

both for the

God and the happiness of men,


communion restored between God and

glory of
for

in the

They

are,

SINNER.

presence of God,

their feelings,

and

181

moreover, continually

who

by the intimations of

who

directs all

guides them

still

own will, and


own glory. And,

his

by the revelations of his


therefore, whether we consider what they
in themselves would do, or what God in
his providence would allow them to do

them, and between themselves and men, either in the one case or in the other, we
and for the prospect now set before them may well argue an intensity of feeling
of having the children of disobedience when angels, always happy, are said to
and the heirs of wrath sanctified and glo- rejoice, when not a few but all are spoken
rified, and made companions and asso- of as joining in the triumph, and when
ciates with themselves in the heavenly that triumph is, moreover, mentioned as
state, so that they may again call them taking place in the presence of God
Thus it is that beings of high season of hosanna, a day of jubilee, a
brethren.
rank, in the order of intelligent creation, loud hallelujah unto God, animating all
the saints, pervading the innumerable
rejoice over sinners' repentance.
In the second place, we may consider company of angels, gladdening Jesus the
the intensity, the universality of the feel- mediator of the new covenant, approved
ing that is produced. It might be true to of by God the judge of all, and all cen-

say of the angels in heaven, that they rejoice, though the joy was but slight or
transient, although it pervaded only a
The idea,
part of the heavenly host.
however, conveyed to us here is the idea,
not of a slight or of a transient, but of a
deep and of a permanent impression, and
it is the idea, moreover, not of joy only
among a few, but of joy among all, of
but one feeling and one expression of
feeling, through all the innumerable com

tring in this

the Redeemer seeing of the

travail of his soul

and

satisfied.

the angels administered to Jesus

Thus
when

he was a man of sorrows and acquainted


with grief, when he was in an agony,
and the sweat was as it were great drops
of blood falling down to the ground ; and
were it no other scene in heaven than
Jesus seeing of the fruit of his travail and
satisfied, we can easily suppose how all
is true that is

here expressed,

how much

pany of angels. Heaven in its every- more is true that cannot be expressed,
day or ordinary course, if I may be al- and that cannot be conceived, but is
lowed so to speak, is the place of joy, known in heaven. Joy there is there
and, therefore,

when any event

is

spoken

of here as producing joy, the very men-

over one sinner that repenteth.

Again we may think,

in

the third place,

supposes joy to an extraordi- of the season at which such joy is stated


nary extent something beyond the or- as commencing, not when the sinner enters
dinary measure of joy, something fit for heaven, not when his repentance issues in
being marked as a change, and a change eternal life the joy will then follow of
from happiness to still greater happiness coursebut when his title to heaven has
among the abodes of the blessed. Men been received, when his meetness for it
smile or weep for trifles, they are deeply is but beginning, and when he is still to
affected with matters of no great moment, make progress in the way to Zion with
and there is often a universal sensation his face thitherward when he is to wage
either of joy or of grief, when there is war with Satan, and with the world, and
no great reason either for the one or for with the flesh, and when there is a long
the other, but mistaken these angels can- course lying before him, a race which he
not be in the theme which they choose has to run, a warfare to which he has to
Their own clear under- expose himself, and a fight which he has
for transport.
standings, their own pure wills, and their to endure, and painful exercise through
own elevated affections, raise them far which he has to pass, before he is made

tion of

it

above other unseasonable and unstable

perfect through suffering.

It is

a pleas-

THE BRITISH

182

PULPIT.

ing proof of the promptitude with which


the intelligence is conveyed to heaven,
that it is so soon known. It is a pleasing
proof also of the character of the joy

ing on the penitent


tears, yet they know

produced, that even though it be but beginning as to its ultimate issue, yet there
is an immediate feeling of joy respecting
But especially this joy is presented
it.

subjects of his love.

when he is feeling most his unworthiness, when he can do nothing more than

saints

cry out " Lord, be merciful to me, a sin" Lord, what wilt thou have me
ner !"
to do ?" " Speak, Lord, for I thy servant

that

who

cloud,

who

who
who

is

sowing in

is

behind the

smiles for ever over those

are the objects of his care and the

They know how

behind the frowning providence he hides


a smiling face, and that they will ere
long reap in joy. Though they have
to us in an interesting light, when we sympathy with the saint when he bows
behold these blessed spirits looking down his head, and can think of his gray hairs
with interest upon what is just taking going down with sorrow to the grave,
place, when the penitent is shedding they have such experience of the provitears, when he is making his confessions, dence of God, as to know before the

" Lord, I believe


Lord
mine unbelief." "

hear."

help
if

thou

thou wilt,

thou canst make me clean." To them it


is a pleasing thought that another ingrafting is taking place to the living tree, that
another stone is preparing for the heavenly building, that another member is adding to the body that constitutes the fulness of

Him who

filleth

all

in all,

and

born in the redeemed


For, dead thougii he be to the
family.
world, yet in Christ he can anticipate the
time when his infant powers shall reach
that another heir

their

is

know, that

their tears will finally

be wiped away, and that the same heart

seemed at one time ready to burst


with grief, will at another time also be
ready to burst with joy, even as Jacob's
did when, not thinking to see Joseph
himself, he exclaimed, " Lo
I have seen
even Joseph's seed, his sons, and his
sons' sons."
Such bliss attends those
who wait for the salvation of God. Angels so long observing providence, are
not cast down, nor are their prospects
clouded as ours, when God is pleased to
make us go forth and sow in tears under
the promise that we shall reap in joy.
They see how the Lord Jesus Christ has
done how he has guarded over his own
how he is the companion, and the comforter, and the friend of all his people.
!

manhood, when receiving the sinword he shall grow They know

that we are the objects of his


when he shall be fit for strong heavenly care they know that we are
meat, when he shall be strong through under His protection, who feeds his flock
the word of God abiding in him, when like a shepherd, who gathers the lambs
in old age he shall bring forth fruit, when with his arm, and carries them in his
he shall be beautiful as the lily, and bosom, who will not break the bruised
strong as the cedars of Lebanon, and reed nor quench the smoking flax. They
when, no longer a hoping penitent, he know that we who are believers are for

cere milk of the

thereby,

shall be a sanctified and glorified saint,

ever rising up beneath this great

and be for ever associated with saints


and angels, hearkening unto God's voice,
and doing whatsoever he commands. To
us there seems a long, a dark, and doubtful interval between, long days, and nights,
and years, in the world of tribulation
but to angels, who do not unite time as
we do, and over whose blessed abodes a
thousand years pass away even as a single day, the transition seems but short
between the trials of the sinner and the
triumphs of the saint. And though many
a dark frowning providence is now lower-

deemer's hand
promises, that

to

we

be the heirs of
are

Re-

many

coming out from

great tribulation to a great inheritance,

we are tried in the furnace, heated


seven times, in order that Christ's own
image may be formed in us, and that the
trial of our faith is therefore exceeding

that

precious.
I

have only

to state, in the last place,

that each case of conversion is supposed


to be of stifficierit magnitude to produce this joy.
There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner

here

THE JOY OF HEAVEN OVER A REPENTANT


Numbers

SINNER.

183

myriads that have ever inhabited the


sary in order to convey to us the idea of world, even down to the present moment.
value or importance. There are many All the joys of all that have dwelt upon
subjects in regard to which number, and the earth, and who are now laid in the
number chiefly, constitutes the claim to dust, have passed away as if they had
consideration, and here the number does never been ; but the soul of righteous
not decrease, but on the contrary, aug- Abel has been always in heaven, and
ments the interest, and yet still though always delighting ever since our Lord
there be but one, yet each one is of suffi- died upon the cross. The single penitent
cient value. No doubt there was great joy malefactor has received within his own
on the day of Pentecost, and when thou- individual existence happiness more real,
sands were converted ; no doubt there was and happiness more lasting, than the hapgreat joy afterwards, when five thousand piness merely temporal of all the millions
were added to the church ; no doubt there that have been upon our globe during the
that repenteth.

are not neces-

was

great joy again,

when

a multitude of

the priests and of the people believed

continuance of the Christian era. And


when days, and nights, and years, shall
have passed away with the lusts of the

but still each individual as marked in


heaven's book, may be considered as a flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride
fit occasion for praising God, and as servof life, when the pleasures of sin shall
ing to minister to the delights of angels. all have departed, the joys of the peniOr we shall even take it in another light. tent shall still remain, and the triumphs

You may suppose that one soul converted may, in special circumstances, or at
particular seasons, or because of the individual character, be of great importance,
even as the conversion of Paul included
within itself the conversion of thousands
even as Paul was a chosen vessel, and
took many from darkness to light, and
from the power of Satan unto God. And
we can almost conceive in heaven a kind
of joy like to the day of Pentecost itself,
when the news reached heaven that souls
were approaching, and approaching from
the earth to the Father, and that the
church was multiplied, walking in the
fear of the Lord, and in the comforts of
the Holy Ghost.
But neither is a case
of this kind put down as the only case

On

of angels over

them

shall

still

be con-

sidered as affording them suitable joy,

even though connected with the history


of but one immortal soul brought out of
a state of sin and misery into a state of
salvation through the Redeemer.
The
soul dies nut with the body
it dies not
though it be unclothed it passes into
another world and still exists.
Before it
It fears
all is eternity and immutability.
or it hopes, it grieves or it rejoices, it
loves or it hates, it swells with ceaseless
transport, or it shrinks with ceaseless
horror at the constant opening of eternity.
Soon my body shall have the clods of the
valley to cover it, and my memory shall
perish from the earth ; but shall memory

itself die

shall the soul that

now

lives,

and moves, and sees, and hears, and


however few may be the conversions that speaks within me die ? No. When the
are taking place, or however obscure, un- years which I have lived have passed
fitted

excite joy.

to

the contrary,

may be the indithough there be included in his conversion no more than


his own soul's salvation, though he be
removed from the world and leave no
other proof behind him than such a proof
as the penitent malefactor on the cross
may be supposed to have left; though
we think simply on what one immortal
known,

or unimportant

away

vidual

converted,

soul will

soul

necessarily receives,

we

like the years before the flood,


still

my

be in the eternal world.

And,
how solemn the question, shall
it have gone up to heaven, or shall it
have gone down to hell 1 Shall it be
trembling with devils, or shall it be rejoicing with saints and angels ] Shall it
be weeping and wailing, or shall it be
holy, singing the song of Moses, the serShall it
think of vant of God, and the Lamb'?
!

something that outweighs in value all be filthy still, or shall it be holy still?
the happiness merely temporal of all the Damnation men speak the word. Do

THE

184

BRITISH PULPIT.

Could to us by awful judgments in the midst of


if?
your fiercest enemy 1 us, by disease in different forms carrying
O how could you endure the everlasting us away, so that many die as it were in
burning ] Were it uttered as with a voice a moment suddenly. Now as the tree
from heaven, there were for you no re- falls so it must lie. As death finds us,
maining hope. Would it not be an awful so will death also fix us. There are no
voice to any one individual here ] Won- pardons offered, there are no pardons
der not, then, if angels rejoice, if they sealed in the grave. The way to heaven
are as gods, having no pleasure in our is open from earth, but it is not open
death, but willing rather that we would from hell. The offers of mercy are free,
turn from our wickedness and live. And and full, and unrestricted here, and we
they

know

you breathe

the
it

meaning of

to

"Let the wicked forsake


way, and the unrighteous man his
thoughts, and let him return unto the
Lord, and he will have mercy upon him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly

me now say with regard to any, if


any such there be, still far from God,
that if it were given to that one even
now to repent and to live, rest assured
that angels, even as they have rejoiced

say, therefore,

before, will be at no loss to rejoice again

pardon."

let

that they will utter

triumph

if

over

still

you the

their notes of

Spirit

shall

his

penitent

is like ]

What is a man
What does our
He is like a piece

that is not a

Lord say he
of lost silver

pause, making you to surrender to Jesus,


and to exclaim, Lord, what wilt thou have
me to do? what shall I do to be saved 1

to

and suggesting to you the answer, " Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved, and inherit eternal life."
We have considered then, in the first
We have
place, the event of the text.
considered, secondly, the joy produced by
Let me press both these upon your
it.
attention, and let me warn you against
treating with indifference a subject which
angels view with interest, not as it were
Anfor their own sakes, but for yours.
gels know our danger
they see the awful
misery that sin produces they know the

come penitent children, till we arise and


come to our Father, till we say. Father
we have sinned, and are no more worthy

dreadful state of the impenitent in hell,

and because they have no pleasure in our


death, they desire to see us seeking and
loving God. Therefore I pray you to
give hit d to Jesus. He came into the
world to seek and to save the lost. He
loved us, and gave himself for us, and
he now says, " Come now and let us
reason together though your sins be as
scarlet, they shall be white as snow
though they be red like crimson, they
;

God has given his


shall be as wool."
providence to warn, and he has given
his word to direct and encourage us.
God is now, in his providence, speaking

its

owner, like a lost sheep, like a


and we are all in Heaven's

prodigal son
sight as

to

prodigal children,

be called thy children.

till

We

we

be-

have de-

parted from the chief end of our being.

We are not glorifying God, and not enjoying him, while we remain impenitent;
and the lamp of life is only allowed to
burn to give us time and space for reTo-day, therefore, if we will
pentance.
it becomes us not to
harden our hearts against him. Wherefore I pray you to search the Scriptures,
that you may understand the privilege,

hear God's voice,

that

you may know the duty, and

you

may

that

desire after the graces of true

And I pray God that your


be pardoned, that your souls
be sanctified, that you may be ena-

penitents.
sins

may

may

bled to delight in the Lord God after the


inward man, and that losing one kind

of pleasure, the pleasure of sin, you

may

and a greater, the love of


his Son, and the righteousnes and the