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so treacherous, deceitful, ensnaring and bewitching, as its motions are: they who follow them, refuse the cros9 of Christ, leave the path of duty, and treasure up wrath against the day of wrath. "In my flesh," said an apostle, "dwellcth no good thing;" but if no good dwell in the flesh, manv evil things dwell there; it is earthly, sensual, and devilish. Besides, it is ever present; it accompanies the Christian like the shadow the substance, and shews itself more active in opposition to him when he would do good; it strives to clog his winged zeal, and cool his burning love; to excite a spirit of impatience in time of affliction, and of warm resentment for real or supposed injuries; it is a worse enemy than either the world or Satan; it gives them great influence and advantage in their opposition to the soul. When the prince of this world came to Christ, he found nothing in him to take with his temptations; he was holy, harmless, and undefiled. Far otherwise is the case with the best of Christians; in them is much fuel for his fire. In all ages they have groaned heavily, being burthened with the body of sin a»d death. In mortifying the deeds of the body, and crucifying the flesh with Its affections and lusts, they have had pains to endure, not improperly expressed by those which are felt by the cutting off a right hand, and plucking out a right eye. They do sacred violence to themselves when they take the kingdom of Heaven by force. If it be asked, Who is sufficient for these things? it may be answered, A feeble saint, through Christ strengthening him, shall win the clay !—shall come off conqueror. Such have in them a supreme love to the Divine Being, and a love to divine things, proportioned to their importance. Now, love is courageous; it is not intimidated by difficulties in the way of its object. "Many waters cannot quench it, neither can the floods drown it: it is stronger than death." The Heathen poet couki sing, Amor vincit omnia: " Love conquers all things." Tint true believer can sing the same; his love makes him bold; it alleviates his burthen, and shortens the duration of the heaviest affliction. This was seen in the women who were so early at our Saviour's sepulchre; it was seen in Jacob, who loved and served; but above all, in Jesus, who loved and died. We dailysee that men, to gratify corrupt affections, set all their wits and engines to work; they spare neither pains nor expence to indulge and gratify themselves. Is it not fair and rational then to expect, that twe supreme affection, set upon the supreme object, must surmount all difficulties in the way to its enjoyment? From this efficacious principle, men have gloried in tribulation, and fought their way through the world to the kingdom of God. They have made the Valley of Baca, as it were, a well. Scarborough. S. B.
REFLECTIONS ON ISAIAH LXIII. 9. la all thdr affliction he reus afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pitu he redeemed them; and he bare them, and he carried them all the dai/s of old.
The sublimity and elegance of (lie Prophet Isaiah, deserve the utmost attention. The glowing warmth of his expressions is a clear evidence that his lips wore touched with a live coal from the sacred altar. The above passage is inimitably beautiful, and highly consolatory. There are three prominent features which may engage our attention.
1. That Lord who suffered for bis people, will certainly sympathize with them in all their afflictions.— Four passages of Scripture may be. especially urged in support of this consolatory truth: " 1 have seen, I have seen the afflictions of my people, and am come down to deliver them*.'" — "I have surely heard Epluaim bemoaning himself +," &c. — "Why persecufest thou me ± r" — "lie (Christ) is able to succour them that are tempted ||."— If it be objected, that true believers often complain of the Lord's absence, and of great darkness, there arc two passages which may serve to elucidate and explain the matter §.
* 2. The love of Jesus Christ is grand beyond all description, and exalted above all praise. It is so, inasmuch as it disposed ltiin to become incarnate. What condescending goodness! admire it, O my soul! and adore his blessed name for evermore./ The same love disposed him to suffer and die for our sakes! to work out a righteousness to justify us, and to procure the blessed Spirit for our sanctification: to reascend his native heavens, and there, as our Advocate and Intercessor, to plead our cause.
3. His arm has been the support of his ancient people; and it is still the same. — Let. this encourage the weak and helpless. God has, for our sakes, laid help upon One that is mighty; and his strength is made perfect in weakness. Let the tempted take encouragement, and let the fearful hope in his salvation **.
Oh! how great must their blessedness be who are in the hands of Jesus Christ! he is well able, and he is equally determined to preserve and secure them to life everlasting \ How vile is sin when committed against such a Saviour! a Saviour who pitied and who loved us in our low estate! We may be assured, thai all who come to him, " weary and heavy laden,'* shall meet an'hearty welcome. If the bleeding, dying love of Jesus Christ has its proper efTect upon us, we shall feel our hearts
* Fxod. iii. 7, 9. + Jcr. xxxi. 18. 19. J Actsix. 4,
|| Ileb. ii. 18. § Jer. xiv. 8, 9. Isa. liv. 7, 8,
•» See Isa. xli. 13, 14. ; and xl. io, 11.
bumbled, we shall be concerned to walk with God, and to glorify hiin; he will be our great all in all.
Divine Redeemer! manifest thyself unto the reader, as thou dost not unto the world; let him see thy beauty, let him feel ibv power, let him enjoy thy love!
PLAN OF A SERMON*
Rev. Sir, To the Editor.
Having lately heard several respectable readers of your useful Publication, express their wish that yeu would occasionally introduce a short Plan of «t Sermon in a readable form, and at the same time rendered,sufficiently obvious, in its distinguishing parts, to the Theological Student, I send you the inclosed as a specimen; and should it meet your views, yotf may expect other communications of the same kind from yours, &c.
LUKE XXIII. 28»
Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for rite, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
Our Lord Jesus humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the ignominious and painful death of the cross! Then was he so degraded, oppressed, and afflicted, that he became an object of pity to those who followed him for the
f [ratification of curiosity; and of sympathy to those who folowed him from affection to his character. But amidst all the insults and blasphemies of his enemies, he maintained the most perfect calmness of spirit. He did not complain; he did not murmur; he betrayed no disposition to retaliate, lie was more affected by the aggravated guilt, and the approaching calamities of others, than by any sufferings he felt or anticipated .himself. "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not forme, but weep1 fur yourselves, and for your children."
Let us first consider the Import of this injunction. Jesus is, not dUpleased with the tears of the people who followed him on ihi* occasion, as the tributes of compassion for his sufferings, or of* love to his person: no, he was of a tender spirit himself, and often wept, cither as a friend or a preacher; therefore he must love such a spirit in his disciples; and if he really condemned the tears of these people, it must have been on account of some-. thing inconsistent in their principles, or in the expression of tbeir sorrow. They wept over his sufferings as the objects of a mere natural sympathy. Their sorrow had no reference to any of the peculiar circumstances of hi. death, as the Saviour of lost men I They were not the tears of penitence for the sins which brought him into such a state »f degradation and suffering^ —they vrftie not the tears of ]>ity for the deluded souls who pursued liim \\ith sucu linreknting barbarity: -— they were not the tears of patriot/mi for the calamines and ruin which lhescruci» fixipn of Jesus would inevitably bring upon their country ;— they were not the tears of friendship, properly tempered with submission and confidence ;— they were not the tears of gratitude, in the contemplation of his great love; nor were they the' tears cifjoi/, in the anticipation of the blessings to be obtained by his death. When we exhibit a suffering dying Saviour, many weep; but the same effects might be produced by any tragic scene in which they have no interest, and the origin of which, they even know to be fictitious. We shall never " look upon him whom we have pierced, and mourn, and be in bitterness for him," till the Spirit of grace and of supplications shall be poured down from on high.
Secondly, Consider the Reasons of this injunction, in their essential application to Jesus himself. "Weep not for me." The love of Jesus, under the influence of which he uttered these words, is sovereign in its origin. It is disinterested in its operations. It is infinite in its decree. The blessings of it are innumerable. In some future period of time, the displays of it shall be universal: and, as it bears an eternal date, it may be safely trusted for its eternal duration. The omnipotence of his love triumphed over all the rage of his enemies, and all his exquisite sufferings. He became insensible of his own woes, in his concern for others. When Jesus said to the daughters of Jerusalem," Weep not for ine, but weep for yourselves, and for your children," he expressed all the tenderness of his si/mjiatby and pity. They wept for him; but he knew there was greater cause of weeping for them *. On this ever-memorable occasion, he asserted and maintained the dignity of his spotless innocence^. Because he did not suffer for his own sins, he endured the cross, despised the shame, and commanded the women who followed him, to dry up their tears, and cease their lamentations for him. Then also, we behold and admire his wonderful and perfect meekness. Instead of attempting to escape from his barbarous foes, or of struggling against their diabolical power; instead of threatening, upbraiding, or uttering one complaining word, he is silent and passive; feeling nothing but compassion for his murderers, in the view of their impending ruin J. But, with meekness, under the cruelties of men, he united full submission to the will of God §. It is well with the suffering disciple, when, in imitation of his Lord, he can say to his sympathizing friends, " Weep not for me; this is the will of my heavenly Father; and if he be glorilied, I must rejoice."—The submission of Jesus to'the divine will, was perfected in his firm reliance upon covenant-promises. His work was all before hiin; h<? knew his own sufficiency for
• Mat. xxxifl. 37. I,tike xix. 41, 41.
_ § Joba xii. 2:7. i%. Msl *xvi. 39, 42.
it; and the certain accomplishment of the promises, made to him by the Father, was the joy set before 'him |). As he was led to Calvary, fainting under the weight of hiscross, and cohered with disgrace, he animated himself, by anticipating the glory included in such promises. When Jesus said to the daughters of Jerusalem, "Weep not for me," he displayed the illustrious magnanimity of his character:—his composure in the hour-of trial, and his boldness in the dreadful conflict he was called to sustain. He was superior to shame, to fear, to surrounding dan
5er*. Finally, The text will strikingly illustrate the fortitude of esus: the patience with which he endured the pains he was then suffering, from the scourges and blow* he had recently received, from the crown of thorns, and the weight of his cross.
Such was the temper and conduct of Jesus in the immediate view of his crucifixion. Let us, therefore, study his character, trust his faithfulness, imbibe his spirit, and follow his example, in every path of duty and of suffering, as the most indubitable testimonies of gratitude for his infinite condescension and love.
|| Psalm xxviii. Isaiah xlii. i—4.
• Mark x. 31, 34. Jehnxviii.4—8. xix. 10, n«
ON THE USE AND ABUSE OF THE TERM
The doctrine of justification by free grace, is, of all ethers, the most consistent with Scripture, — the most replete with comfort to man,— and the most conducive to the glory of God. Our reformers were convinced of this; and, therefore, instead of insisting upon salvation by works, they thought the best way of doing good to mankind, was to shew the miserable and lost state in which they were by nature; and direct them to Jesus, as the foundation of their hope, and the only medium of their acceptanco with God. We know the consequence; the truth ran, and was glorified; multitudes were convinced; and, renouncing their own righteousness, were brought to depend entirely on the merits of Christ for salvation. All this was good; but not long after, a set of men arose, who, fired with indignation at the sentiments of those who expected to be saved by the wsirks of the law, went into the opposite extreme; and, because the law was abolished as a covenant of works, thought, therefore, it was not to be considered as a rule of life. After these men, arose others, who, though not to be ranked with the former, yet, by the expressions they used, and the sentiments they advanced, gave room to