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4. I shall now conclude, by improving this subject for the purpose .of self-examination. And surely no ferious hearer will be backward to bring himself to the trial. My beloved hearers I speak to all of every rank, high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, who profess to bear the name of Christians : Are you, or are you not, crucified to the world, and the world to you? All real believers are fo. If you are not, your riches or your poverty, your honor or your shame, your regular behavior, or even your zeal for public duties, will avail you nothing in the day of Christ's appearance. I am sensible, that the decision of the question, Whether you are, or are not, crucified to the world ? may often be attended with no little difficulty. I will therefore, as far as I am able, endeavor to aflift you in the trial. For which purpose, I beg your attention to the following observations.
1. You are crucified to the world, if you do not habitually allow your thoughts to dwell upon it, and your defires to run out after it. The cross was an abhorred object, which no body could look upon with delight. Worldliness is often as much discovered by our desires after what we have not, as by the ufe or employment of what we have. There are many whose great delight seems to arise from the fond expectations they entertain of worldły happiness to come: nay, there are many who are so flothful as not to pursue the world, and yet feed themselves with the very imagination of it. Their thoughts, and even their language, constantly runs upon idle fancies, and romantic fuppositions of the happiness they should enjoy, were they in such or such a state. Now, my brethren, he that is crucified to the world will make conscience of restraining these irregular defires; and, from a deep conviction of the vanity of the world, will find little pleafure in the contemplation of it.
2. Your begin crucified to the world will appear in the moderation of your delight and complacency in what you possess of it. You will not, if I may speak fo, give yourselves up to it, but will always qualify the enjoyment of it by a reflection upon its van ty in itself
, and its short duration as to any connection we ihall have with it. We
are really to pity, the weakness of children, when we see them apply themselves with so much eagerness to trifles, and so greatly delighted with their amusements and enjoyments. À parent, looking on them when hotly engaged at play, will be at once pleased to see them happy, and at the same time filled with a tender commiferation of their want of reflection. Something of the same view otie crucified to the world has of all earthly enjoyments. Many á grown person will sinile at the play of children, while he himself is perhaps as eagerly engaged in the schemes of ambition, in political struggles, and contests for power which are often as great trifles as the play-things of children, only that they are the play-things of men.
3. You are crucified to the world if you have low hopes and expectations from it. It is hope that stirs us up chiefly to action in all our pursuits. And so long as we entertain high thoughts of what the world will afford us in some after-season, we are not crucified to it. There is a common proverbial saying, “ If it were not for hope, the “ heart would break :" just so, when our hopes from the world are destroyed, the heart of the old man is broken. We are exceeding ready to think, that were such or such a difficulty or uneasiness removed, could we obtain such or such an advantage in view, we would be happy. But there is always a deception at bottom. We vainly think, that happiness arises from the creature ; but he that is crucified to the world judges, by past experience, that it hath little comfort to give; and therefore he will place but little dependence upon it.
4. He is crucified to the world who hath truly subclued all invidious dispositions towards the possession of it. There are many who seem to have little comfort from their own enjoyments; but there is reason to fear, that it arises not fo much from felf-denial, as from difcontent. The world inay be said to be crucified to them, but they are not crucified to the world. It is by this that worldliness expreffes itself chiefly in the lower ranks of life. Those who are obliged to live moderately and hardly, from mere penury, often shew, by their carriage and language, that they have as much sensuality in their hearts, as those who in VOL. I.
dulge their irregular desires to the greatest excess. But he that is crucified to the world, not only sees all its pomp and splendor in others without repining, but will often be. ftow a thought of compassion upon the great, for the ensnaring circumstances in which they are placed with regard to their souls. And surely they are of all others most to be pitied. May the Lord, in mercy, convince them of their danger; and, in the mean time, preserve his own people from being led aftray by their influence and ex. ample.
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THE WORLD CRUCIFIED BY THE CROSS OF
S E R M O N.
GALATIANS vi. 14. last claufe.
-By whom the world is Crucified to me, and I unto,
NOW proceed to the second thing proposed, which was,
To show the influence of the cross of Christ in crucia fying the world. This, my brethren, deserves your most ferious attention, as pointing you to the great and vital principle of the Christian's fanctification, the true and only source of spiritual comfort and peace. The cross of Christ is always considered in the apostolic writings as an object of the highest dignity and merit; and the believer is there taught to speak of it in expressions of the warmest attachment and regard. Witness the words of the text itfelf, in the preceding clause: “ God forbid that I should “ glory fave in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We may perhaps be easily induced, in a time of external quietness and peace, to adopt this sentiment as an opinion, or to use it as a form; but happy, and only happy, those in whom it dwells as an ever present truth, and operates as. a daily governing principle !
Taking the subject in great latitude, I might observe, that the cross of Christ being the price paid for the blessings of salvation in general, every illuminating discovery in the mind, and every gracious, affection in the heart, which are the work of the divine Spirit, may be justly a. scribed to it. But I propose, at this time, to consider it singly as an object of faith, and to thew how the firm persuasion and frequenț recollection of this great truth tends to crucify the world to us, and us to the world ; the rather, that we find elsewhere our victory over the world afcribed to faith, and this faith particularly terminating on the Son of God: 1 John v. 4, 5. “ For whatsoever is born of God, " overcometh the world; and this is the victory that M overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that “ overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus " is the Son of God?" For the further illustration of this subject, then, let us obferve,
1. That the crofs of Christ crucifies the world, as it gives us an immediate and striking view of the mortality of our nature, as well as the original and general cause of this mortality. The vanity of created things is in nothing more manifest, than in their precarious nature, particuJarly our own tendency to the dust, by which all earthly relations shall be speedily and entirely dissolved. In this view, indeed, you may fay, that the death of any other person, sickness, and all its attending fymptoms, or a funeral, with its mournful solemnities, tends to crucify the world: and most certainly they do. But there is fome. thing still more in the cross of Christ. There we fee, not only the death of our nature, but the death of the Son of God in our room.
There we are carried back to a view of the great cause of the universal reign of the king of terrors, fin. Sin first brought death into the world ; and this made it necessary that Christ “ should taste of death ut for every man,” that we might be restored to spiritual life. Mortality, therefore, is written in the most legible characters on the cross of Christ. Nay, the curse of creation itfelf is written upon the cross of Christ,
We cannot Jook upon it, therefore, in a serious manner, without being cleeply affected with the doom which we ourselves have still to undergo: “ Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt
return." It is impossible to avoid knowing that we must die; but those only discover the moment of this trụth, who fçe its proçuring cause. Those only have just and abiding