Page images

the following passage, Eph. iii. 17. 18. 19. “ That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; " that ye being roored and grounded in love,

may be able to comprehend with all faints, " what is the breadth, and length, and depth, " and height; and to know the love of Christ, " which passeth knowledge, that ye might be fill. Hed with all the fulness of God.'

4. In the last place, From what has been faid, learn what is your most proper employment at the Lord's table. Adore and contemplate the riches of redeeming grace, that great theme which the angels desire to look into." Think, with humble amazement, on the boundless mer. cy of God, which reached even to you, and with the bighest thankfulness on the honour to which you are admitted, of receiving the sensible pledges of his love. Dwell on this impenetrable mystery of “Immanuel God with us-God ma. • nifested in the flesh.” Think on this awful. proof of divine justice and holiness, the wrath of God poured out upon his own Son. Think on the perfection of that atonement which is made for the fins of the world. Rejoice in the fulness of that Saviour who is now made « head over “ all things to the church;" and draw, by faith, from his fulness, every necessary supply to yourselves : and as you are now to commemorate his death, with a view to his second coming, think on that “ day of salvation," when he shall come“ to be glorified in his faints, and admired " in all them that believe ;" when you shall enter in triumph into the holiest of all, where. no doubt the mystery of redemption shall be more fully discovered; when faints and angels thall jointly fing that new song, Rev. v. 12.

Worthy is the Lamb that was Nain, to receive “power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, " and honour, and glory, and blefling;” when the whole plan of divine grace shall be completed and closed, and the mediatorial kingdom itself brought to a period; for “then cometh the

end, when he shall have delivered up the king“ doin to God, even the Father;" when con. firmed angels, and redeemed sinners, when the whole host of heaven shall unite in one acclama. tion, “ Hallelujah : for the Lord God omnipo“tent reigneth."






Glorying in the Crosso


But God forbid that I should glory fave in the

crofs of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Action Sermon.


Y brethren, we are this day met to keep up

the remembrance of our Redeemer's suf. ferings and death in our room. We are to com- . memorate an event the most important, the most interesting, and the most astonishing, that crea. tion ever beheld. We are to contemplate a subject the most wonderful and mysterious that ever was offered to the mind of man. The incarnation of the Son of God, the King of kings found in the form of a fervant, and the Prince of life expiring on an accurfed tree. What is this but the union of things the most opposite and seemingly inconsistent that can possibly be conceived ? the union of the most diftant extremes of strength and weakness, gloryand basea ness, honour and shame?

In a sort of correspondence and analogy to this great subject itself, nothing can be more ope.


P 3

posite than the sentiments formed by believers and unbelievers with regard to it. To the one, it hath a dignity and majesty unspeakably amiable; to the other, it hath a meanness and base. ness that is shameful and contemptible. The Apostle Paul often takes notice of this, that it was " to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the « Greeks foolishness ;” and he often discovers his own inviolable attachment to his Saviour, by an open profession of esteem for those circumstances in his character and appearance which a blinded world were most apt to treat with derifion and scorn. This is particularly the case in the text, “ But God forbid that I should glory “ save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Chrift."

By the cross of Christ, in the New Testament, we are sometimes to understand the sufferings of believers for Christ's fake; but more commonly, and, I think, evidently in this place, it signifies his humiliation in general, and particularly his crucifixion, to which circumstance our attention is directed, because it was the most base and ig. nominious of the whole. In this the apostle fays he would glory : nay, he expreffes his abhor. rence at the thought of glorying in any thing else: “ God forbid that I should glory fave in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Nothing can be more suited to the employment of this day, and nothing more proper to distinguish between the friends and the enemies of Christ, than this, when carefully attended to; for the one will undoubtedly glory, and the other will as certain. ly be ashamed of his cross.

[ocr errors]

In discoursing further on this subject, what I propose, through divine asistance, is,

1. To explain the import of the apostle's glo. rying only in the Saviour's cross:

2. To Thew what good reason every real Christian hath to glory in it. And,

3. To make some practical application of the subject.

1. In the first place, then, let us explain the import of the apostle's glorying only in the Saviour's cross. What is this object in which the apostle says he would glory? Very wonderful in. deed. It is, That Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary, was fubjected to a long life of sorrow, reproach, and contempt : That towards the close of it, he was arrested, accused, condemned as a malefactor; and after innumerable and unspeakable indignities, was at last nailed to a cross, an engine of torture of the most cruel and painful kind, and so shameful, that it was a manner of punishment appropriated to the most detested criminals of the baselt rank. What is there here to glory in? and what does the apostle mean by this expression? It means,

1. That he had a high esteem of it, as an event of the greatest moment, and an object wor. thy of the highest regard. We do not glory in common things, but in things of peculiar digai. ty and worth. It was not then in his view mere. ly what it seemed. He did not consider it, furely, as the execution of a criminal ; but said, with the centurion on Mount Calvary, Truly “ this


« PreviousContinue »