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sense of the word. On the contrary, he makes it the object of his frequent meditation; he discovers in it the perfections of the great Being who created it: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handy work,' Ps. xix 1. Nay more, he makes it the object of his hope: For the promise, I quote the words of St. Paul, in chap. iv. 13, of his Epistle to the Romans, 'For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was made to Abraham: and all things are yours; whether Paul or Appollos, or Cephas, or the world,' 1 Cor. iii. 22.
It is the world of cupidity, therefore, that our apostle speaks in the words which I am attempting to explain, that world of which it is said, 'The world passeth away, and the lust thereof. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world,' 1 John ii. 15. 17.The friendship of the world is enmity with,' or as it might have been rendered, is hatred to God.' This is the world which is crucified' to the Christian; the Christianis crucified' to this world. The apostle, in expressing himself thus strongly, refines upon a form of speech which frequently occurs in Scripture, that of dying to an object.' To die to an object, is, in the style of the sacred authors, to have no farther intercourse with that object. In this sense our apostle says, in chap. i. of this Epistle, ver. 19, I through the law am dead to the law; in other words, the genius of severity which predominates in the Mosaic economy, lays me under the necessity of entirely renouncing it, that I might live unto God; the meaning of which evidently is this, that I may have undivided recourse to a dispensation which presents the Deity as more accessible to me. In like manner, to die to the world of cupidity,' or what amounts to the same thing, to die unto sin,' is to renounce sin; how shall we who are dead to sin live any longer therein? likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord,' Rom. vi. 2. 11. I am still quoting the words of St. Paul.
of which it admits. If, in order worthily to sustain the Christian character, an absolute renunciation of the world, in the literal sense of the words, were indisputably necessary, where is the person, alas! who durst pretend to assume that name? Would it be a Noah ? would it be an Abraham? would it be a Moses? would it be a David? would it be a Peter? would it be a Paul? would it be one of you, Christians of our own days, who seem to have carried piety to its highest degree of fervour, and who shine as lights in the world, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation?' Phil. ii 15.
Where, then, are those saints to be found, in whom an ill-smothered cupidity emits no sparks? That female is an example of what is called virtue, by way of eminence, in her sex; and which, according to the ideas of the age in which we live, seems to constitute the whole of virtue, as far as she is concerned; but, impregnable to all the assaults which can be made upon her chastity, she succumbs under the slightest temptation that attacks her on the side of avarice; and she loses all selfgovernment, the moment you recommend to her, to take care that her charities be in something like proportion to her opulence.
That man is a pattern of reflective retirement, and modest silence: but, unshaken by the rudest attacks made upon his spirit of reserve, he yields to the slightest solicitations of pride, he decks himself out with the names and titles of his ancestors, he admires himself in the poorest effusions of his brain. How easy would it be to multiply examples of this sort!
But if it be impossible to say, taking the expression in the strictness of interpretation, that the Christian has broken off all commerce with the world, that he is dead to the world,' that the world is crucified unto him,' and that he is crucified unto the world; he possesses this disposition of mind, nevertheless, in various respects, and to a certain. degree. He is crucified unto the world;' he is so in respect of intention, he has that sincere But as if a violent death were more really will to pull down every strong hold, every dying than death in a milder form, Scripture, thing that exalteth itself against the knowin order to mark more decidedly the sincerity ledge of God;' it is an expression of St. of the renunciation of the world, which is Paul's, 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. Hence such protesascribed to the Christian, is not satisfied with tations as these, O Lord! thou hast searched representing him as dead, but holds him up me, and known me,' Ps. cxxxix. 1. 'Lord! as crucified to the world of cupidity: Know- thou knowest that I love thee,' John xxi. 17. ing this, that our old man is crucified with Hence the bitterness of regret on account of him,' Rom. vi. 6 They who are in Christ remaining imperfection, O wretched man have crucified the flesh, with its lusts;' and that I am! who shall deliver me from the boin the the text, the world is crucified untody of this death? Rom. vii. 24. Hence those me, and I am crucified unto the world:' that prayers for the communication of fresh supis, illicit cupidity exists no longer with re-plies of heavenly aid; Open thou mine eyes, spect to me, and I subsist no longer with respect to it.
2. There is, however, a certain degree of ambiguity in these ideas of 'deadness to the world.' of, crucifixion to the world,' of 'a total rupture with the world.' For this reason it is that we said, that in order to have just ideas of this disposition of mind, it is not sufficient to comprehend the nature of it, but that we should also understand the gradations
that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law,' Ps. cxix. 18. Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God: thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness,' Ps. cxliii. 10.
He is crucified unto the world.' He is so in respect of exertion and actual progress. Hence those unremitting conflicts with the remains of indwelling corruption; 'I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection,'
1 Cor. ix. 27. Hence those advances in the blessed state which our apostle had, through Christian course; 'Not as though I had alrea-grace, arrived at, when he said, in the words dy attained, either were already perfect, but of my text, the world is crucified unto me, I follow after This one thing I and I am crucified unto the world?' do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,' Phil. iii. 12-14.
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 Iwith 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
He is crucified unto the world.' He is so in respect of hope and fervour. Hence those sighings after the dissolution of the body, which forms, as it were, a wall of separation between God and us. Hence those ardent breathings after a dispensation, an economy of things in which we shall be able to give an unrestrained effusion to the love of order, and be completely united to Jesus Christ.go out, not knowing whither he went;' someFor we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; nor for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord,' 2 Cor. v. 4.
times, 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 complaining: 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's faith, his Redeemer and his pattern: Not what I will, but what thou wilt,' Matt. xxvi. 39.
3. But the Holy Spirit, in representing to us our renunciation of the world, under the idea of a death, of a crucifixion, intended to mark O cross of my Saviour, how heavily dost not only the nature and the degrees of the thou press, when laid upon a man who disposition of mind which these expressions has not yet carried love to thee to that denote, but likewise to indicate the difficul-height which renders all things easy to him ty, the bitterness, of making such a sacrifice.
who loves! O path of virtue, which appearest so smooth to them who walk in thee, In very rare instances do men die without how rugged is the road which leads unto thee! suffering. Death, in the gentlest form, is O yoke of Jesus Christ, so easy! burden so usually preceded by violent symptoms, which light to him who has been accustomed to bear some have denominated the harbingers of thee; how difficult, how oppressive to those death. These harbingers of death are mortal who are but beginning to try their strength! swoonings, feverish heats, paroxysms of pain, You see it, accordingly, my brethren! you tortures insupportable. Crucifixion, espe- see it on the page of inspiration, to renounce cially, was the most cruel punishment which the world of cupidity, is to present the body human justice, shall I call it? or human bar-in sacrifice; I beseech you, brethren, by the barity ever invented. The imagination re-mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a coils 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 own body, the blood of which is drained off drop by drop, till he expires merely from 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
living sacrifice,' Rom. xii. 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 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 I unto the world.
the hero of this world pretend to derive his glory?
HAVING presented you with a general view of the apostle's reasoning in this epistle; The hero of this world sometimes derives having considered it as an answer to three dif ferent classes of opponents, whom St. Paul his glory, from the greatness of the master to had to combat ; namely, those who maintain- whom his services are devoted. He congraed the observance of the Levitical institutions, tulates himself on contributing to the glory to the disparagement of the gospel, 1. From of those men who are so highly exalted the prejudice of birth and education: 2. From above the rest of mankind, on being the supan excess of complaisance: 3. From criminal port of their throne, and the guardian of their The Master, to whose service the policy: we proceeded to show, that whatever crown. difference of motive and opinion might pre-Christian has devoted himself, is the King of vail among these three descriptions of adver- kings: he it is, in whose presence all the posaries whom our apostle had to encounter, and tentates of the earth are as a drop of a however different the strain of reasoning which bucket, and are counted as the small dust of he employs, according as the character of each the balance,' Isa. xl. 15. He it is, by whose demanded, he supports, in opposition to them supreme authority kings reign, and princes It is true all, this principle, on which the whole of Chris- decree justice,' Prov. viii. 15. tianity rests, namely, that the sacrifice which that the greatness of this adorable Being the Redeemer offered up of his own life, is raises him far above all our services. It is alone capable of satisfying divine justice, and true that his throne is established for ever, and that the united force of all created things of reconciling guilty man to God. 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.
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 show, 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 endeavoured to execute, by considering, 1. The nature of this reciprocal crucifixion: 2. The gradations of which it admits: 3. The difficulty, the bitterness, of making a sacrifice so very painful. We now proceed to what was next proposed, namely,
II. To show, that in such dispositions as are expressed by our apostle, true glory con
The hero of this world sometimes derives his glory from the hatred with which he is animated, against the enemy with whom he What enemy more hateful is making war. 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 honourable 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 terror to stalk before them, and who signalized themselves by exploits more than human. The Christian has been preceded in his career by patriarchs, by prophets, by apostles, by martyrs, by those multitudes of the redeemed, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and Those holy men have nation, Rev. v. 9. been called to wage war with sin, as we are
This Being, so worthy to be praised, and praised in a manner so worthy of him, he it is who has been preparing acclamations for the conquerors of the world. Yes, Christian combatant! after thou hast been treated as the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things,' 1 Cor. iv. 13, after thou shalt have mortified, subjected, crucified this flesh; after thou shalt have borne this cross, which was once to the Jews, a stumbling block; and to the Greeks foolishness; and which is still to this day, foolishness and a stumbling block to those who ought to consider it as their highest
to subdue our passions; to form in their inner | might, be unto our God, for ever and ever! man, as we are, piety, charity, patience, the Amen,' Rev. vii. 12. Great and marvellous habit and the practice of every virtue. The are thy works, Lord God Almighty! just Christian has been preceded in his career, by and true are thy ways thou King of saints! Jesus Christ himself, the author and the fin- Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify isher of the faith. 'Wherefore, seeing we thy name? for thou only art holy,' Rev. also are compassed about with so great a xv. 3, 4. cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race which is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame,' Heb. xii. 1. 2. The hero of this world sometimes derives his glory from the brilliancy of his achievements. But who has greater exploits to glory in than the Christian can display? To shake off the yoke of prejudice, to despise the maxims of men, to resist flesh and blood, to subdue passion, to brave death, to suffer mar-glory to bear it; thou shalt be called forth in tyrdom, to remain unmoved amidst the convulsions of dissolving nature, and, in the very wreck of a labouring universe, to be able to apply those exceeding great and precious promises, which God has spoken by the mouth of the prophet, Isa. liv. 10. The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed: but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed. saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.' These, these are the achievements of the Christian.
The hero of this world sometimes derives his glory from the benefits which he bas procured for others, from the blessings with which he has enriched his country, from the slaves whose chains he has burst asunder, from the monsters of which he has purged the earth. Who is, in such respects as these, a greater benefactor to society than the Christian? He is at once, its bulwark, its light and its model.
The hero of this world sometimes derives his glory from the acclamations which his exploits excite, and from the magnificence of the recompense with which his merits are to be crowned. But whence proceed the acclamations which inflate his pride? Does it belong to venal souls, to courtiers, to hireling panegyrists; does it belong to persons of this description to distribute commendation and applause? Have they any thing like the idea of true glory? Extend, Christian, extend thy meditations up to the greatness of the Supreme Being! Think of that adorable intelligence, who unites in his essence all that deserves the name of great! Contemplate the Divinity surrounded with angels, with archangels, with the seraphim! Listen to the concerts which those blessed spirits compose to the glory of his name! Behold them penetrated, ravished, transported with the divine beauties which are disclosed to their view; employing eternity in celebrating their excellency, and crying aloud day and night: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! The whole earth is full of his glory,' Isa. vi. 3. Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and
the presence of men and of angels; the eye of the great God shall distinguish thee amidst the innumerable company of the saints; he shall address thee in these words: Well done, good and faithful servant,' Matt. xxv. 21. He will fulfil the promise which he this day is making to all who combat under the banner of the cross: 'to him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne,' Rev. iii. 21.
Ah! glory of the hero of this world, profane panegyrics, inscriptions conceived in high swelling words of vanity, superb trophies, diadems, fitter to serve as an amusement to children, than to engage the attention of reasonable men! what have ye once to be compared with the acclamations, and with the crowns prepared for the Christian hero? I sacrifice, my brethren, to the standard prescribed to the duration of these exercises, the delicious meditations which this branch of my subject so copiously supplies, and all I farther request of you is a moment's attention, while I endeavour to make you sensible, that it is in the cross of Jesus Christ alone, we find every thing necessary to inspire these noble dispositions; in order to deduce this consequence, that in the cross of Jesus Christ alone, the Christian must look for true glory; and in order to justify this sentiment of our apostle: God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world!' Under what aspect can you contemplate the cross of Christ, that does not dispose you to break off entirely with the world?"
III. If we consider that cross in respect of its harmony with the whole contradiction which Jesus Christ endured upon earth, it has a powerful tendency to awaken in us the dispositions which St. Paul expresses, so as to say with him, 'the world is crucified unto me, and I am crucified unto the world. Our great Master finishes upon a cross, a life passed in contempt, in indigence, in mortification of the senses, in hunger, in thirst, in weariness, in separation from the world; would it be becoming in a Christian to lull himself to sleep in the arms of indolence, to addict himself to the pleasures of sense, to suffer himself to be en
chanted by the charms of voluptuousness, to breathe after nothing but ease, but convenience, but repose, but abundance? If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord,' John xv. 18. 20.
If we consider the cross of Christ, in relation to the sacrifice which is there offered up to divine justice, it has a powerful tendency to produce in us the dispositions expressed by St. Paul, so as to be able to say with him, The world is crucified unto me, and I am crucified unto the world.' That worldly life, those dissipations, those accumulated rebellions against the commands of heaven; that cupidity which engrosses us, and constitutes all our delight, in what is all this to terminate? Observe the tempests which it gathers around the head of those who give themselves up to criminal indulgence. Jesus Christ was perfectly exempt from sin, but he took ours upon himself, he bare them in his own body on the tree,' 1 Pct. ii. 24, and it was for this end that he underwent, on that accursed tree, all those torments which his divinity and his innocence enabled him to support, without sinking under the load. Behold in this, O sinner, the fearful doom which awaits thee. Yes, unless thou art crucified with Christ by faith, thou shalt be by the justice of God. And then all the fury of that justice shall be levelled at thy head, as it was at his. Then thou shalt be exposed on a dying bed to the dreadful conflicts which he endured in Gethsemane. Thou shalt shudder at the idea of that punishment which an avenging Deity is preparing for thee. Thou shalt sweat as it were great drops of blood, when the eye is directed to the tribunal of justice whither thou art going to be dragged. Nay more, thou shalt then be condemned to compensate, by the duration of thy punishment, what the weakness of thy nature renders thee incapable of supporting in respect to weight. Ages accumulated upon ages shall set no bounds to thy torments. Thou shalt be accursed of God through eternity, as Jesus Christ was in time: and that cross which thou refusedst to bear for a time, thou must bear for ever and ever.
the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace?' Heb. x. 29.
Here, sinner, here read thy sentence! The voice of the blood of the Son of God will cry from earth to heaven for vengeance against thee. God will one day call thee to give an account of the blood of a Son so dear to him. He will say unto thee as St. Peter did to those who shed it; Thou hast denied the Holy One and the just... and killed the Prince of Life,' Acts iii. 14, 15. He will pursue thee with all his plagues, as if thou hadst imbrued thy hands in that blood, and as he has pursued those who were actually guilty of that crime.
But let us press motives more gentle, and more congenial to the dignity of the redeemed of the Lord. If we consider the cross of Christ, in relation to the proofs which he there displays to us of his love. is it possible we should find any thing too painful in the sacrifices which he demands of us? Is it possible for us to do too much for that Jesus who has done so much for us? When the heart feels a disposition to revolt against the morality of the gospel; when you are tempted to say, This is a hard saying, who can hear it?' John vi. 60: When the gate of heaven seems too strait for you; when the flesh would exaggerate the difficulties of working out your salvation; when it seems as if we were tearing the heart from your bosom, in charging you to curb the impetuosity of your temperament, to resist the torrent of irregular desire, to give a portion of your goods to the poor, to sacrifice a Delilah or a Drusilla: follow your Saviour to Calvary: behold him passing the brook Kidron, ascending the fatal Mount on which his sacrifice was to be accomplished; behold that concourse of woes which constrain him to cry out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Matt. xxvii. 46. If ye can, hold out against objects like these!
If we consider the cross of Jesus Christ, relatively to the proofs which it supplies in support of the doctrine of him who there finished his life, it will be a powerful inducement to adopt the sentiments of St. Paul. It is natural, I allow, for reasonable beings, of whom sacriIf we consider the cross of Jesus Christ, fices are exacted, so costly as those which with relation to the atrocious guilt of those Christianity prescribes, to expect full assurwho despise a sacrifice of such high value, we ance of the truth of that religion. It is imposshall feel a powerful tendency to adopt the dis-sible to employ too much precaution, when positions of St. Paul, and to say with him, the the point in question is, whether or not we are world is crucified unto me, and I am crucified to surrender victims so beloved. The slightunto the world.' The image which I would est doubt on this head is of essential importance. here trace for your inspection, is still that of But is this article susceptible of the slightest St. Paul. This apostle depicts to us the love doubt? Jesus Christ sealed with his blood the of the world, as a contempt of the cross of doctrine which he taught; he was not only the Christ, and as a renewal of the punishment hero of the religion which we preach, but likewhich he suffered. The idea of what such a wise the martyr of it. crime deserves, absorbs and confounds his spirit; he cannot find colours strong enough to paint it; and he satisfies himself with asking, after he had mentioned the punishment inflicted on those who had violated the law of Moses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted
If we consider the cross of Christ, relatively to the aid necessary to form us to the sentiments expressed by St. Paul, it still powerfully presses us to adopt them. It assures, on the part of God, of every support we can need, in maintaining the conflicts to which we are called. It lays the foundation of this reasoning, the justest, the most conclusive, which