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within him when he found that the city was wholly given unto idolatry. No doubt indignation, mingled with pity, would pervade his mind, when he witnessed such a prostration of intellect, rendered still more conspicuous by the high station the Athenians occupied in the world of letters. As the lightning's flash emits a more larid glare from the black darkness with which it is enveloped; as the beacon's light is more brilliant during the hours of night than at the dawn of day; so, in like manner, the temples of idolatry strike more forcibly the mind when enshrined by intellect and learning, and their altars bestrewed and smoking with the immolations of genius, than when ensconced Denind ignorance and superstition, or enwrapped in the thick folds of barbarism and savage life. The spirit of Paul was stirred within him! And well it might, when he thus beheld the banner of the Prince of this world floating o'er the city. His spirit was stirred within him! What step did he take? He first went to his own countrymen the Jews. He disputed with them respecting their errors their rejection of the Messiah; in a word," he preached unto them Jesus." Also to the devout persons he held the same language. These devout persons were probably those who had cast off the trammel of idolatry, and frequented the synagogue of the Jews; "he preached unto hem Jesus;" pointed out the sinfulness of man, the corruption of his nature, and the impossibility of approaching the throne of mercy but through a Medator; that the justice and holiness of Deity could not be satisfied unless the sins of men were punished to the full; that Jesus Christ had borne our sins, and carried our sorrows; that Jesus "was wounded for our transgressons, was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." He would tell them that Christ was the sacrifice for our sins; that he died upon the cross to save sinners, and that he is able to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by him, seeing that he ever liveth to make intercession for us, and that he was ther at the right hand of God, pleading in behalf of his true disciples.
We are also told that he disputed in the market daily with those that met him. We here perceive that he did not confine his ministration to the walls of the sanctuary, but that amid the din of business, and buzz of commerce, even there he lifted up his voice and "preached unto them Jésus."
He next encountered the philosophers; the two rival sects of Epicureans and Stoics, who, in the pride of their hearts, assailed him with-"What will this babbler say?" They accused him of being a setter forth of strange gods, because that he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection. The Epicureans, who were, generally speaking, the votaries of pleasure, thought God to be such an one as themselves, and that he took no cognizance of the deeds of man. The Stoics, on the other hand, were most rigid, and piqued themselves on the cultivation of the sterner virtues, and thought themselves equal with God. However, although the tenets of these philosophers were diametrically opposed, they united in exclaiming, "What doth this babbler say ?"
And now let us inquire how the great apostle addressed them. Did he attack them with the weapons of learning and arguments drawn from the broken cisterns of human invention? No, he pointed to an altar erected "to the unknown God," and exclaimed, "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you." This allusion was most beautiful, and would no doubt make a deep impression upon the minds of his auditors. Indeed, the
whole address which he delivered "in the midst of Mars' Hill," is a most beautiful specimen of reasoning, tact, and sound argument. He thus concludes by preaching Jesus and the resurrection. "He hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath Jaised him from the dead."
And now let us inquire if this mode of preaching was accompanied with any beneficial effects. Yes, for though some mocked, "certain men clave unto him, and believed; and among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them."
My Christian hearers, we have dwelt the longer upon this subject for the purpose of placing before you this golden truth, that Paul invariably preached Jesus, however circumstanced, and however placed. Whether he spake in the Jewish synagogue, to the Jews and devout persons, or came into contact with philosophers of different sects; whether he stood up in the Guildhall at Athens, surrounded by learning, talent, dignity, and power; or when, at the hour of midnight, being thrust in the inner prison, and his feet made fast in the stocks; he still "preached Jesus.”
If, amidst idolatry and superstition, Paul simply preached unto the Gentiles "Jesus Christ and him crucified," and if the word then spoken was accompanied by the power of God unto salvation, unto every one that believeth, surely it will not be necessary to inquire what method of preaching, humanly speaking, is most likely to be attended with saving effects in this our day. We feel assured that whoever satisfies himself with merely delivering moral essays, and only occasionally glancing at the doctrines, the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, will never convert one soul to God, will never even materially reform the outward man, much less purify the foul streams that flow from the corrupt fountain within.
We shall endeavour to shew, in the remainder of this discourse, that however the minister of Christ is situated-whether he be delivering a discourse from the pulpit, and, consequently, addressing a promiscuous auditory; whether he be placed by the bed of sickness or of death; whether he be invited to witness the last moments of the believer or the unbeliever; whether it be his duty to warn the prosperous, or encourage those in adversity; whether ne check the tongue of levity, or soothe the sorrows of affliction, he will still, under all these circumstances, have but one theme; will dilate upon only one topic: he will preach unto them Jesus!" O there is a charm in that sacred word! O there is a virtue in that "blood divine," which washes out all the stains of human guilt and indwelling sin; there is an efficacy in the righteousness of the Son of God which belongs not to any of the offspring of fallen Adam; there is a satisfaction in His atonement which is indeed not to be described by human tongue, or even imagined by the sons of men. May we, my Christian friends, seek to be sprinkled by the blood of the atoning sacrifice; may we be clad in the wedding garment, and be received as welcome guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb! And may it please the Lord, the Spirit, to enlighten our minds, and to purify our hearts, so that we may be enabled to behold the wondrous things out of God's law! May He take of the things
of Christ and shew them unto us!
The ambassador of Christ, when addressing his flock, is in duty bound to
"preach unto them Jesus;" by which term we mean all that he did and suffered, all that he taught and commanded whilst on earth; his resurrection, ascension, and intercession. In a word, his constant theme must be "Jesus Christ and him crucified." He will endeavour, from time to time, to lay before his hearers the whole counsel of God, keeping back no precept, and no doctrine, through fear of man; and promulgating no precept, and no doctrine, to please man. Surely a most fearful responsibility rests upon the head of that man who, in the discharge of his sacred functions, preaches himself and not his Master; delivers mere moral essays, which, with little alteration, would as well be adapted for a heathen temple, or a Mahomedan mosque, as a Christian edifice. Brethren, we trust that we can plead "not guilty" to this serious charge, and whatever may be our failings, whatever be our short-comings in duty, which are neither few nor trivial, conscience, God's vicegerent in the breast, tells us, without the least hesitation or doubt, that whilst we have ministered unto you in holy things, we have "preached unto you Jesus!" And it is our humble prayer, and confident hope, that we shall, in dependance on the divine aid for the time to come, still more earnestly, still more boldly, still more energetically, proclaim unto you that Jesus who is mighty to save!
We conclude this subject in the words of the prophet Ezekiel, from which portion of the inspired volume we addressed you the first time we occupied this pulpit: "So thou, O Son of Man, I have set thee a watchman unto the House of Israel, therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth; and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."
When the minister is seated by the couch of sickness, or the bed of death, he will direct the sufferer to One who suffered, the just for the unjust; he will turn to various passages of Scripture which will afford comfort and consolation to the afflicted frame; he will point to the page on which it is written, "Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, will work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." The sick man will raise himself up from his couch, and exclaim, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted." "He preaches unto him Jesus."
We next turn to the bed of death: see with what earnestness the man prays in the name of Jesus for pardon and acceptance; see with what intense anxiety he listens to his ghostly monitor, as he explains to him salvation by Jesus Christ, and as he tells him that he cannot be justified by the deeds of the law, that whosoever offendeth in one point is guilty of all, despair is depicted on his brow. But when the man of God unfolds the scheme of redemption, when he tells him of a blood-bought pardon, when he reads of the Saviour's agony in the garden of Gethsemane, when the dying man pictures to his mind's eye the drops of blood oozing through the pores of the body of Jesus, and the crown of thorns pressed upon his bleeding brow, when he further is told that the Redeemer is led like a malefactor to Mount Calvary amid the execrations of a rabid multitude, is nailed to the accursed tree, that his Father, as it were, hides his face from him, that the sins of a whole world
are then laid upon Him at that hour, that Jesus died that we might live: Yes, when the dying penitent is told that the Saviour endured all this, all this for him, he wipes away the dews of death, mingled with the tears of gratitude and penitence, and with eyes uplifted, in a feeble but soul-speaking tone, says, "Sir, what must I do to be saved?" The minister replies, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!" The expiring man gathers his feet into his bed, and yields up the ghost; and his spirit takes its flight to "that land of pure delight," "where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest."
Thus we find that the faithful steward of God's mysteries ever 66 preaches Jesus." It is, however, a mournful duty to perform, to witness his fellow man quit the world, and turn a deaf ear to his message, to hear the cry of peace, where there is no peace, to see the last hour of mortality busily employed in arranging affairs that appertain to this life only, and hear the words of selfrighteousness and self-justification proceed from the lips of one who, ere the clock shall announce the termination of another hour, will be writhing in that dark abode of eternal death, where his sins will ever gnaw upon his guilty conscience, and plunge him into the unfathomable depths of despair, when he recals to mind how often the minister of God's holy word had " preached unto him Jesus;" that Jesus whose salvation he despised, and whom he must behold seated on the eternal throne, and from whose mouth he will receive his eternal doom: "Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!" Is the Christian pastor sent for to soothe the sorrows of affliction? when the voice of murmuring is heard he instantly endeavours to check the unsanctified feeling, gently takes the hand of the son or daughter of affliction, and says, "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." He will unfold the pages of redeeming love; he will tell of Jesus, " a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, whose visage was so marred, more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men ;" and when he takes his leave will have imparted that heavenly consolation, which all the recipes of worldly wisdom and earthly considerations never could afford. Yes, he has convinced his afflicted friend that there is balm in Gilead, and a Physician there.
It is, indeed, a minister's highest privilege and delight to dispense the truths of God unto a believing people; unto those who receive not with scorn, but with reverence and with love, the record which God has given us of his Son. It affords a satisfaction to the mind of the faithful steward which the language of earth cannot portray, to see his hearers advancing from the possession of one Christian grace to the attainment of another, to perceive them becoming more humble, more self-abased, as they advance in spiritual knowledge, that they study more and more to cultivate the spirit of prayer and holiness, to loosen their attachment to things of time and sense, that they are in a state of constant preparedness for that hour when the axe shall be uplifted, the blow struck, and the tree shall fall to the ground. O believe me, my hearers, the comforts of genuine piety will calm the troubled breast at a season when all the blandishments and amusements of a world, the fashion of which passeth away, shall have lost their charm; when the head is sick, and the whole heart faint, the troubled spirit will turn away, not only with indifference but disgust, from these earthly toys, and exclaim, "Miserable
comforters are ye all." Yes, the regenerate Christian, in nature's agony, can say to his convulsed frame, "Peace, be still;"
""Tis Jesus, the first and the last,
His Spirit shall guide me safe home;
I'll praise Him for all that is past,
But, my brethren, great as is his delight in witnessing seals to his ministry; though he marks the tear of penitence bedew the cheek, though he may convert many a soul, build up others in the faith, and behold many of his flock walk as children of light, still, that delight is damped, that pleasure is abated, when he recollects that there are others among his hearers of a far different description, and that he will be the very means of enhancing their condemnation, from his having faithfully and assiduously " preached unto them Jesus." The message proclaimed from his lips will not be a "savour of life unto life, but of death unto death" to them!
Are there any here present who belong unto this class? Are there any who, sabbath after sabbath, hear Jesus preached unto them, but still live in sin, and pursue the paths of folly and of guilt? Sinners, we solemnly charge, we affectionately exhort you, to lay these things to heart. Sinners, despisers of the covenant of grace, surely you cannot, nay, you shall not, depart, without hearing of the imminent peril in which you are placed. A maniac dancing with his chains on the edge of a precipice is not half so insane as those who reject the Saviour of a ruined world; for you are taking your pastime on the edge of a precipice; you are enchained by the pleasures and occupations of earth; and you will soon be precipitated headlong into that gulf of endless woe, where you will bewail your folly throughout the countless ages of eternity. But we trust there are many, very many, here present, of whom better things are to be hoped, though we thus speak.
My dear hearers, may we seek to imbibe more and more of the spirit of Christ; may we walk as he walked; conduct ourselves gently towards those who are without; let them see that although we abhor their sins we can love their persons; though we cannot join in their pleasures, we can sympathize with their griefs! Let us therefore strive to cultivate the spirit of Christian love to all, but especially to those of the household of faith; and let it be said of us as it was of some of old, " See how these Christians love one another!"