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heats, paroxysms of pain, tortures insupportable. Crucifixion, especially, was the most cruel punishment which human justice, shall I call it ? or human barbarity ever invented. The imagination recoils from the representation of a man nailed to a tree, suspended by the iron which pierces his hands and his feet, pressed downward with the weight of his body, the blood of which is drained off drop by drop, till he expires merely from the excess of anguish.
Is this frightful image overstrained, when employed to represent the pains which the Christian is called to endure, the conflicts which he has to maintain, the sacrifices which he is bound to make, agonies which he is under an indispensable necessity to undergo, before he possibly can attain that blessed state which our apostle had, through grace, arrived at, when he said, in the words of
my text, the world is crucified unto me, and I am crucified unto the world!
Represent to yourselves a Christian, represent to yourselves a man as yet a novice in the school of Jesus Christ, called to combat, sometimes the propensities which he brought with him into the world; sometimes to eradicate a habit which has grown up in him, till it is become a second nature; sometimes, to stem the torrent of custom and example ; sometimes, to mortify and subdue a headstrong passion, which engrosses him, transports him, drags him away captive; sometimes, to bid an everlasting farewell to the place of his birth, to his kindred, and like Abraham, to go out, not knowing whither he went ; sometimes, with that same patriarch, to immolate an only son ; to tear himself, on a dying bed, from friends, from a spouse, from a child, whom he loves as his own
soul ; and all this without murmuring or complainting; and all this, because it is the will of God; and all this, with that submission which was expressed by Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of the Christian faith, his Redeemer and his pattern: Not what I will, but what thou wilt, Matt. xxvi. 89.
O cross of my Saviour, how heavily dost thou press, when laid upon a man who has not yet carried love to thee to that height, which renders all things easy to him who loveth! () path of virtue, which appearest so smooth to them that walk in thee, how rugged is the road which leadeth unto thee ! O yoke of Jesus Christ, so easy! burden so light to him who has been accustomed to bear thee; how difficult, how oppressive to those who are but beginning to try their strength! You see it, accordingly, my brethren! you see it on the page of inspiration, to renounce the world of cupidity, is to present the body in sacrifice: I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, Rom. xij. 1. it is to cut off a right hand, it is to pluck out a right eye, Matt. v. 29, 30. it is for a man to deny himself, it is to take up the cross : For if any one will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me, Matt. xvi. 24: it is, in a word, to be crucified with Jesus Christ; for I am crucified with Christ, Gal, ii. 20: and in the words of the text, The world is crucified unto unto me, and I am crucified unto the world. My God, how much it costs to be a Christian !
THE TRUE GLORY OF THE CHRISTIAN.
GALATIANS vi. 14.
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and ! unto the world.
AVING presented you with a general view
of the apostle's reasoning in this epistle; having considered it as an answer to three different classes of opponents, whom St. Paul had to combat ; namely, those who maintained the observance of the Levitical institutions, to the disparagement of the gospel : 1. From the prejudice of birth and education : 2. From an excess of complaisance: 3. From criminal policy: We proceeded to shew, that whatever difference of motive and opinion might prevail, among these three descriptions of adversaries whom our apostle had to encounter, and however different the strain of reasoning which he employs, according as the character of each demanded, he supports, in opposition to
them all, this principle, on which the whole of Christianity rests, namely, that the sacrifice which the Redeemer offered up of his own life, is alone capable of satisfying divine justice, and of reconciling guilty man to God.
We then entered into a more particular detail on the subject, by proposing,
I. To examine, wherein that disposition of the Christian consists, by which he is enabled, with St. Paul, to say, the world is crucified unto me, and I am crucified unto the world.
II. To shew, that in such dispositions as these true glory consists.
III. To demonstrate, that it is the cross of Christ, and the cross of Christ only, which can inspire us with these sentiments; as a foundation for this farther conclusion, that in the cross of Christ alone we can find a just ground of glorying.
The first of these three proposals we have endeavored to execute, by considering, 1. The nature of this reciprocal crucifixion : 2. The gradation of which it admits: 3. The difficulty, the bilterness of making a sacrifice so very painful. We now proceed to what we next proposed, namely,
II. To shew, that in such dispositions, as are expressed by our apostle, true glory consists.
In order to elucidate and confirm this position, I mean to institute a comparison between the hero of this world and the Christian hero, in the view of making it evidently apparent, that this last has infinitely the superiority over the other, From what sources does the hero of this world pretend to de rive his glory?
The hero of this world sometimes derives his glory from the greatness of the master to whom his services are devoted. He congratulates bimself on contributing to the glory of those men, who are so highly exalted above the rest of mankind, on being the support of their throne, and the guardian of their crown. The master, to whose service the Christian has devoted himself, is the King of Kings : he it is, in whose presence all the potentates of the earth, are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance, Isa. xl. 15. He it is, by whose supreme authority kings reign, and princes decree justice, Prov. viii. 15. It is true that the greatness of this adorable Being raises him far above all our services. It is true that his throne is established for ever; and that the united force of all created things would in vain attempt to shake it. But if the Christian can contribute nothing to the glory of so great a master, he publishes it abroad, he confounds those who presume to invade it, he makes it to be known over the whole earth.
The hero of this world sometimes derives his glory, from the hatred with which he is animated, against the enemy on whom he is making war. What enemy more hateful can a man engage, than the world ? It is the world which degrades us from our natural greatness; which effaces, from the soul of man, those traits which the finger of deity himself has impressed upon it ; which destroys our pretensions to a blessed immortality.
The hero of this world sometimes derives his glory, from the dignity of the persons who have preceded him in the same honorable career. It is considered, in the world, as glorious, to succeed those illustrious men who have filled the universe with the sound of their name, who have made