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them of his impending sufferings. The announcement was painfully unwelcome: they were unwilling to admit it. Not their affection for their Lord only, but also their self-love, presented a moral obstacle in the


of their ready acquiescence in what he said upon this point. If he suffered, they would in all probability suffer also. Prompted, doubtless, by a sincere concern for his Master, and influenced, to an extent unknown to himself, by an apprehension of being involved in like circumstances, Peter expostulated with an earnestness approaching to presumption, saying, “ Be it far from thee,” or, as it is in the margin, “ Pity thyself” (Idewç oo Kuple) “ Lord, this shall not be unto thee.” At that moment, the great Tempter of mankind, the chief of the Devils, had taken possession of the Apostle. Jesus was not to be deceived. He turned and said to Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan;

thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the

things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Then enlarging on the nature of the temptations to avoid sufferings, by which his disciples must be assailed during the whole period of his absence after his death ; and showing how inseparably glory in the next world, the reign of righteousness whereof we speak, is linked with victory over this present evil selfish world; he said, “ If any man will come after me” (be willing to come, déha el Oeuv) “ let

him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save (wills to save) his life, shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for


sake shall find it.”


The application of this language was literal and ful to those members of the primitive church who had to choose between Christianity and a violent death. If they adhered to Christianity, and honestly avowed themselves, they incurred death; if they would save themselves from immediate death, they must renounce, or seem to renounce, Christianity. But this primary application does not exhaust the passage: like every other word of God, it “liveth and abideth for ever.” If any professor of Christianity now cherish a secret determination in his soul, if he be willing, if it be the state of his will, to save what is commonly accounted most worthy of consideration in this life, reputation in the world for prudence, judgment, good sense, discretion, to retain his worldly ease and exemption from all trouble and anxiety; if these be practically his chief objects, so that where in any instance this pursuit comes into collision with considerations of high principle and revealed truth, he holds to them still, wilful to save them; then he is against God, he is savouring the things that be of men, he is losing eternal life. But if, on the contrary, it be the state of his will, to sacrifice all these

things, if need be, for the sake of faithfully serving the Lord Jesus Christ, then he is overcoming the world, he is savouring of the things of God, he is finding eternal life.

Having thus placed the subject before his disciples, the Lord insists upon it, pressing it upon them by two arguments: the one addressed to their natural conscience, the other to their faith in revelation. The first is, “ What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?” (Matt. xvi. 26.) This is simply an appeal to man's conscience, an inquiring of profit and loss; he that has the faculty of calculating other things, let him calculate: he that hath an ear to hear other things, let him hear this. Such an appeal required no further illustration. It is abundantly plain, and requires only to be fairly and dispassionately considered. But the Lord's second topic in urging his practical exhortation, is of a different character. It is the announcement of his second coming, “ The Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works,” (ver. 27.) His meaning here was not so plain. His words indeed were plain, but the subject is such, that words alone could not adequately convey it. He proceeded, therefore, to promise them a specimen of it, to be exhibited before their eyes. “Verily I say you,

there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till

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