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THURSDAY PENNY PULPIT.
SUBMISSION ONE TO ANOTHER.
BY THE REV. J. H. EVANS, M.A.
PREACHED AT JOHN STREET CHAPEL, KING'S ROAD, BEDFORD ROW, ON SUNDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 17, 1844.
"Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God."—Eph. v. 21.
We have here a great, deeply instructive, and important principle-the duty of mutual subjection, subjection one to another." This precept has respect especially unto our domestic ties; of wives to husbands, children to parents, and servants to masters. But it rises above this; for it takes in the principle of mutual subjection. And we cannot but remark the benign tendency of the Gospel; how it sheds forth its bright and balmy light on every subject, on every circumstance, and on all the varied relationships of life; how it goes into our families, and not only teaches us how to be happy in ourselves, how to enjoy peace with God in our own souls, but tells us to spread abroad every good toward the world around us. You find it in the sermon on the mount: after our Lord has begun setting before them the blessedness of certain characters, and of certain states of mind, the present blessedness as well as future blessedness, then-shew them to the world. It tells them, they are to be "lights of the world," and the "salt of the earth," and "a city set on a hill." And now it comes into our families and tells us how it ought to be; how we ought to conduct ourselves; what is the great and high principle of mutual subjection, one of the most reducing, yet one of the most high and exalting, that can ever occupy the soul of man ; and as great
VOL. XI.-No. 361.-November 28, 1844.
SUBMISSION ONE TO ANOTHER.
a privilege, beloved, as it is manifestly the command of God concern
Now in directing your minds to this passage, there are three points of view in which I shall regard it. First of all, the necessity of the precept; secondly, the suitableness of the precept; and thirdly, the extent of the precept.
I. In the first place, observe the necessity of the precept.
Pride is the great besetting sin of our fallen nature. In our unregenerate state it rules, reigns, and tyrannises; and in our regenerate state, it still harrasses, entangles, and tempts us in all we do. Every man is not fierce by nature, nor cruel and malignant; you may find some natural characters the tenderest, the gentlest and kindest. Every man, every natural man is not immoral; we find some with no real religion, that would shame even some of you. Every man by nature is not insensible to the obligations that belong to him in relation to his fellow-men; he may be benevolent and generous, and large hearted, and bountiful; the man that can "sell all that he has to feed the poor," is not insensible to their necessities. Every natural man is not insensible to some of the claims of religion, such as they think them to be. Many a man would be uneasy to go to bed to-night without prayer; many a man could not rest, did he wholly reject the Word of God; many a man would feel wretched, if he wholly gave up public worship. Every natural man, beloved, is not insensible to the enjoyments of domestic life; we find good masters, good husbands, good brothers and sisters, where there is no real spiritual religion. But every man by nature is proud. Either he is proud of what he has, or of what he has not. Some are proud of their learning, and some of their ignorance. Some are proud of their intellect, and some of their stupidity. Some are proud of their titles and high rank, and their influence, and some are proud to lay it all aside; their pride shows itself in giving it away and using it not. Some are proud of their religion, and some of having none. are proud of their profligacy, and some of their moral habits. Some are proud of boasting, and some of their depreciations of themselves. The most humble of men, those who have been most deeply humbled by the Holy Ghost, (and none are truly humbled without His holy anointing,) those that have been most deeply humbled before God, not only can find pride in their humility, but oftentimes they find that they have to contend with the pride of their humility.
Pride is the great besetting sin of our corrupt nature; and the great opposing sin to our renewed nature. Whence is it, that man rises up against the holy demands of God's pure and righteous law? God has a right to His creature; He has a right to his mind, He has a right to his affections; He has a right to all the faculties of his soul, and every member of his body; He has a right to his time, his talents, his influence, his money, and all that he is, and all that he has, and all that he can have, and all that he can do. Whence, then, those hollow, wretched, and vain excuses, that go about to deny this right, and seem to rise up in open and actual denial of any such right in God,-when if God had not such right, He would cease to be God? Whence is it, that they seem to absorb themselves in their business, and “rise up early and late take rest, and eat the bread of carefulness," and all for their business, as if their business could go into their coffins with them ?-who say in their hearts, if not with their lips, to their business' be thou my God.' Whence is it? Why, such a man would be uneasy did he never bend the knee in prayer, if he neglected the Word of God altogether; if he were not present this morning, perhaps, he would be uneasy; yet he has his business for his God, as much as Nebuchadnezzar had his idol for his God. Whence is it, that such numbers are always driving away the thought, every rising thought of God, and of heaven, and of hell? Whence is it, that man goes on delaying, and delaying, till at last the very desire is gone? And whence is it, that some, like Pharaoh of old, say, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey Him? I know not the Lord ?" Why, beloved, it is in all of them, and it is in each of them, the language of a proud, unsubdued, independent spirit. Soften it as we may, all such men are virtually attempting to live without God; and if they were left to themselves, they would live without God for ever: and if the Lord leaves them to themselves, and justly leaves them to themselves, they do live without God for ever, and die without God for ever. Why, one might reason with such a man-it reminds me of that sort of appeal to you in the reasonable operation of the Holy Ghost,- -we may reason with such, and convict him, on the ground of reason, of being an unreasonable man, and that he is righteously condemned; and if he be condemned at the bar of men, what shall he not be in the righteous retribution of God?
Whence is it, beloved, that man trifles with the Gospel of the grace of God? We put before a sinner life and death, destruction and salvation, heaven and hell. We speak to him, not softly, nor with crafty