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as those which Moses formerly presented in fortune. The religion which we profess, perbehalf of the children of Israel, to obtain a mits us not to aspire after those proud titles, revocation of that awful doom; “I sware in those posts of distinction, those splendid reti my wrath, that they should not enter into my nues which confound the ministers of temporal rest,” Ps. xcv. 11. But if, on the contrary, princes with the ministers of that Jesus whose you are wise to admit the word of exhortation, kingdom is not of this world. But whatever wo we are warranted to bold up our wishes for lose with respect to those advantages which your salvation, as so many promises sealed, dazzle the senses, is amply compensated to us with that seal of God which standeth sure, and in real and solid blessings; at least, if we ourimmediately emanating from the mouth of that selves understand that religion which we make God, the Lord who changeth not.
known to others, and if we have a due sense
of that high vocation with which we are hoAPPLICATION.
noured of God. May that God, who has conI have embraced with avidity, my dearly ferred this honour upon us, vouchsafe to endow beloved brethren, the opportunity of contribut- us with that illumination, and with those viring to the present solemnity, to come to you tues, without which it is impossible for us to at a juncture so desirable, and to bring to you discharge the duties of it in a becoming manthe word of life, at a' season when I am at li- ner! May he vouchsafe to bestow upon us that berty to unfold to you a heart which has ever courage, that intrepidity, which are necessary been penetrated with a respectful tenderness to our effectually resisting the enemies of our for this city and for this church. Deign to ac- holy reformation; nay, those too, who, under cept my affectionate good wishes, with senti- the name of reformed, do their utmost to ments conformable to those which dictated thwart and to undermine it! May he vouchthem.
safe to support us amidst the incessant difficulVenerable magistrates, to whose hands Pro- ties and oppositions which we have to encounvidence has committed the reins of govern- ter, through the course of our ministry, and to ment, you are exalted to a station which our animate us by the idea of those supereminent devotions contemplate with respect! But we degrees of glory, which await those, who, after are the ministers of a Master whose commands having “turned many to righteousness, shall control the universe; and it is from the inex- shine as the brightness of the firmament, and haustible source of his greatness, of his riches, as the stars for ever and ever!" of his magnificence, that we draw the bene- Merchants, ye who are the support of this dictions which we this day pronounce upon Republic, and who maintain in the midst of us your august heads. May God vouchsafe to prosperity and abundance, may God vouchsafe inspire you with that dignity of sentiment, to continue this blessing upon your commerce! that magnanimity, that noble ambition, which May God cause the winds and the waves, naenable the sovereigns to whom he has entrust- ture and the elements, to unite their influences ed the sword of his justice, to found on the in your favour! But above all, may God basis of justice, all their designs, and all their vouchsafe to teach you the great art of “placdecisions! May it please God to inspire you ing your heart there where your treasure is; with that charity, that condescension, that affa- to make to yourselves friends of the mammon bility, which sink the master in the father! of unrighteousness;" to sanctify your prosperiMay it please God to inspire you with that ty by your charities, especially on a day like humility, that self-abasement, which engage this, on which every one ought to prescribe to Christian magistrates to deposit all their power himself the law of paying a homage of charity at the feet of God, and to consider it as their to God who is love, and whose love has spared highest glory to render unto him a faithful ac- us to behold the light of this day! count of their administration! That account Fathers and mothers, with whom it is so deis a solemn one. You are, to a certain degree, licious for me to blend myself, under an adresponsible, not only for the temporal, but for dress so deeply interesting, may God enable us the eternal happiness of this people. The i to view our children, not as beings limited to eternal happiness of a nation frequently de- , a present world, but as beings endowed with pends on the measures adopted by their gover- an immortal soul, and formed for eternity! nors, on the care which they employ to curb May it please God to impress infinitely more licentiousness, to suppress scandalous publica- j upon our hearts the desire of one day beholdtions, to procure respect for the ordinances of ing them among the blessed in the kingdom of religion, and to supply the church with en- heaven, than going on and prospering on the lightened, zealous, and faithful pastors. But earth! May God grant us the possession of magistrates who propose to themselves views ; objects so endeared to the very close of life, of such extensive utility and importance, are objects so necessary to the enjoyment of life! warranted to expect from God, all the aid ne- May God vouchsafe, if he is pleased to take cessary to the accomplishment of them. And them away from us, to grant us that submission this aid, great God, we presume to implore in to his will, which enables us to support a calabehalf of these illustrious personages! May our | mity so severe! voice pierce the beavens, may our prayers bei My dearly beloved brethren, this reflection crowned with an answer of peace!
chokes my utterance. May God vouchsafe to Pastors, my dear companions in the great hear all the wishes and prayers which my heart plan of salvation, ye successors of apostolic has conceived, and which my lips have uttermen in the edifying of the body of Christ, and i ed, and all those which I am constrained to in the work of the ministry! God has set very suppress, and which are more in number than narrow bounds to what is called in the lan- the tongue is able to declare! Amen. guage of the world, our advancement and our
the cross! It is impossible for us to call to reSERMON LXXIX. membrance the great day of thy exaltation,
without fixing our eyes upon thee, with those
blessed disciples of thine who were the witTHE TRUE GLORY OF THE CHRIS- nesses of it, without following thee, as they did TIAN.
with the bodily organ, and with all the powers
of thought, and without crying out, “ Draw us, PART I.
Lord, we will run after thee," Cant. i. 4. But
in giving way to such desires, we misunderGALATIANS vi. 14.
stand the nature of our vocation. We must
combat as thou hast done, in order to triumph But God forbid that I should glory, save in the with thee. Well, be it so! “ Teach my hands
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the to war, and my fingers to fight," Ps. cxliv. 1. world is crucified unto me, and I unto the Teach us to make thy cross a ladder, whereon world.
to mount to thy throne. Amen. The solemnity which in a few days we are The text which we have announced, is, as it going to celebrate, I mean the Ascension of were, a conclusion deduced from the chapters Jesus Christ, displays the triumph of the cross. which precede it. We cannot possibly have a The Saviour of the world asceniling in a cloud, clear comprehension of it, without a general received up into heaven amidst the acclama- recollection of the whole epistle from which it tions of the church triumphant, removes the is taken. St. Paul, in writing to the Galatians, offence given by the Saviour of the world has this principally in view, to revive the spirit hanging on a tree. The period of the cruci- of Christianity which he himself had diffused fixion, I acknowledge, was precisely that in over the whole province of Galatia. Never which he carried magnanimity to its most ex- had preacher greater success than the ministry alted pitch. Never did he appear so truly of our apostle was attended with in this city great as when" descended into the lower parts of the Lesser Asia. He himself gives this hoof the earth,” Eph. iv. 9; “humbled, made of nourable testimony in favour of the Galatians, no reputation, obedient unto death, even the in chap. iv. ver. 15, that “they had received death of the cross,” Phil. ii. 7, 8; he accom- him as an angel of God,” and, which is saying plished what was most repulsive to nature, in still more, even as Christ Jesus.” But the the plan of redemption. But how difficult is Gauls, of which this people was a colony, have, it to recognise heroism, when the hero termi- in all ages, been reproached with the faculty of nates his career upon a scaffold!
easily taking impressions, and of losing them The darkness which overspread the mystery with equal facility. The sentiments with which of the cross, is passing away; the veils which St. Paul had inspired them, shared the fate of concealed the glory of Jesus Christ, begin to all violent sensations; that is, they were of no withdraw; heaven, which seemed to have con- great duration. With this he upbraids them spired with earth and with hell to depress and in the very beginning of the epistle. I marvel, overwhelm him, declares aloud in his favour; says he to them, chap. i. 6, “I marvel that his splendour bursts out of obscurity, and his ye are so soon removed from him that called glory from the very bosom of shame: because you into the grace of Christ, unto another
he made himself of no reputation, and took gospel.” Mark the expression, removed unto upon him the form of a servant; because he another gospel. humbled himself; because he became obedient We are not possessed of memoirs of the first unto death, even the death of the cross: there ages of the church sufficiently ample to enable fore God also hath highly exalted him, and us to determine, with precision, who were the given him a name which is above every name; authors of a revolution so deplorable. But if that at the name of Jesus every knee should we may give credit to two of the earliest hisbow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, torians, to whom we are indebted for the most and things under the earth,” Phil. ii. 9, 10. complete accounts which we have of the first
What circumstances more proper could we fathers of heresy, I mean Philostratus and St. have selected, Christians, to induce you to seek Epiphanius, it was Cerinthus himself, in the your glory in the cross of your Saviour, than first instance, and his disciples afterward, who ihose which display it, followed by so much marred the good seed which St. Paul had sown pomp and magnificence! I am going to pro- in the church of Galatia. One thing is certain, pose to you as a model the man who of all namely, that respect for the ceremonial obserothers best understood the mystery of the cross: vances which God himself had prescribed in a for my part, says he in the words which I have manner so solemn, and particularly for the law read, "God forbid that I should glory, save in of circumcision, was the reason, or rather the the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom pretext, of which the adversaries of our aposthe world is crucified unto me, and I unto the tle availed themselves to destroy the fruits of world.” Let us meditate on this subject with his ministry, by exciting suspicions against the all that application of thought which it so justly soundness of his doctrine. "St. Paul goes to merits.
the root of the evil: he conveys just ideas of And thou great High Priest, “Minister of these ceremonial institutions; he demonstrates, the true tabernacle! thou holy, harmless, un- that, however venerable the origin of them defiled, separate from sinners, and made higher might be, and whatever the wisdom displayed than the heavens, set on the right hand of the in their establishment, they had never been laid throne of the Majesty in the heavens,” Heb. down as the essential part of religion, much vii. 26; viii. 21, graciously look down on this less still, as the true means of reconciling men people, now combating under the banners of | to God. We perceive at first sight this design
of the apostle in the words of my text, and says he, * “ AUGUSTUS and TIBERIUS enacted through the whole epistle from which they are laws, by which the Jews dispersed over the taken.
Roman empire were authorised to practise the But what is perhaps not so easily discovera- rites of their religion, and the ceremonial instible in it, but which ought to be very carefully tutions transmitted to them from their fathers. observed, is, that as St. Paul was maintaining All those who were circumcised, though they his thesis against opponents of different sorts, had embraced Christianity, were considered all so he likewise supports it on different princi- over the pagan world as Jews; but all those ples. Three descriptions of persons argued in who remained in a state of uncircumcision, favour of the Levitical observances. The first while they professedly received the gospel, did so from a prejudice of birth and education. were equally persecuted by Jews and pagans. The second, from an excess of complaisance. There were teachers among them, therefore, The third from a criminal policy.
who, in order to screen themselves from these 1. A part of the Jews, who had been con- persecutions, submitted to be circumcised, and verted to Christianity, could not help preserv- recommended circumcision to their disciples.” ing a respect for the Levitical ceremonies, and These are the words of St. Jerome, and they wished to transmit the observance of them throw much light on what our apostle says in into the Christian church. These were the the twelfth verse of the chapter from which I persons who acted from a prejudice of birth have taken my text. “As many as desire to and education.
make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain
in the different condition of that wife, and of
passage of St. Jerome to this purpose de- to which they were attached by the prejudices
proved dangerous to others who conformed to
• Hieron. tom. 9. in Galat. vi. 12.
the practice of it merely from the dastardly By the world of cupidity we understand those motive which induced them to disguise their self-same beings, considered so far as by our religion, or to screen themselves from the per- abuse of them, they seduce us from the obedisecution to which it exposed them who gloried ence which we owe to the Creator. Of the in making profession of it.
natural world it is said, Gen. i. 31, “God saw But whatever difference there may be in the every thing that he had made, and behold it character of the opponents whom the apostle was very good.” And St. Paul says, 1 Tim. was combating, and in the arguments which iv. 4, that every creature of God is good. he employed to confute them, he presses on all if it be received with thanksgiving.” The of them this principle, on which the whole fa- Christian does not break with the world in bric of Christianity rests. The sacrifice which this first sense of the word. On the contrary, Jesus Christ offered up, that of his own life, is he makes it the object of his frequent meditathe only one capable of satisfying the demands tion; he discovers in it the perfections of the of divine justice, awakened to the punishment great Being who created it: “The heavens de of human guilt; and to divide the glory of the clare the glory of God; and the firmament Redeemer's sacrifice with the Levitical ceremonial, showeth his handy work,” Ps. xix. 1. Nay was, as he expresses it, to preach another gospel; more, he makes it the object of his hope: For was to fall from grace; was to lose the fruit of the promise, I quote the words of St. Paul, in all the sufferings endured in the cause of chap. iv. 13, of his Epistle to the Romans, Christianity; was a doctrine worthy of being “For the promise that he should be the heir rejected with execration, were it to be preached of the world was made to Abraham: and all even by“ an angel from heaven.” Our apostle things are yours; whether Paul or Apollos, or goes still farther; he solemnly protests that no Cephas, or the world,” i Cor. iii. 22. worldly consideration should ever have power It is the world of cupidity, therefore, that to make him renounce this leading truth of the our apostle speaks in the words which I am atgospel; that the more it exposed him to hatred tempting to explain, that world of which it is and suffering, the more he would rejoice in the said, " The world passeth away, and the lust knowledge of it, and in making it known to thereof. Love not the world, neither the things others; in a word, he declares he will continue that are in the world,” i John ii. 15. 17. “The to preach the cross, were the consequences to friendship of the world is enmity with," or as be, that he himself should be nailed to it: “God it might have been rendered," is hatred to forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of God.” This is the world which" is crucified" our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is to the Christian; the Christian “is crucified” crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” to this world. The apostle, in expressing himThis is the general scope of the epistle to the self thus strongly, refines upon a form of speech Galatians, particularly of our text, which is which frequently occurs in Scripture, that of the conclusion of it.
“dying to an object.” To die to an object, is, But it is of importance to descend into a in the style of the sacred authors, to have no more particular detail. And, in order to throw farther intercourse with that object. In this more light on my subject, I propose, as far as sense our apostle says, in chap. ii. of this Episthe limits prescribed me permit, to attempt the tle, ver. 19, “I through the law am dead to three following things:
the law;" in other words, the genius of severity I. I shall examine wherein those sentiments which predominates in the Mosaic economy, of the Christian consist, which enable him to lays me under the necessity of entirely resay that "the world is crucified unto him, and nouncing it," that I might live unto God;" the he unto the world.”
meaning of which evidently is this, that I may II. I shall show that in such sentiments as have undivided recourse to a dispensation these true glory consists.
which presents the Deity as more accessible to III. I shall demonstrate that it is the cross me.
In like manner,
to die to the world of of Christ, and the cross of Christ alone, which cupidity," or what amounts to the same thing, can inspire us with these sentiments; from "to die unto sin," is to renounce sin; "how which I shall deduce this farther consequence, shall we who are dead to sin live any longer that in the cross of Christ alone we can find a therein. likewise reckon ye also yourselves to just ground of glorying. Vouchsafe us a few be dead indeed unto sin: but alive unto God, moments more of your attention to the elucida- through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rom. vi. 2. tion of these interesting truths.
11. I am still quoting the words of St. Paul. I. What is the disposition of mind denoted by But as if a violent death were more really these expressions, " the world is crucified unto dying than death in a milder form, Scripture, me; I am crucified unto the world?” In order in order to mark more decidedly the sincerity to have just ideas of this reciprocal crucifixion, of the renunciation of the world, which is aswe must comprehend, 1. The nature of it. cribed to the Christian, is not satisfied with re2. The degrees. 3. The bitterness.
presenting him as dead, but holds him up as 1. The nature of it. “ The world is crucified crucified to the world of cupidity: “Knowing unto me; I am crucified unto the world:” this this, that our old man is crucified with him," is a figurative mode of expression, importing a Rom. vi. 6. “They who are in Christ have total rupture with the world. Distinguish crucified the flesh, with its lusts;" and in the two different senses in which the term world text, “the world is crucified unto me, and I may be taken: the world of nature, and the am crucified unto the world:” that is, illicit cuworld of cupidity. By the world of nature pidity exists no longer with respect to me, and we understand that vast assemblage of beings i subsist no longer with respect to it. which the almighty arm of Jehovah has formed, 2. There is, however, a certain degree of but these considered as they are in themselves. I ambiguity in these ideas of “deadness to the world,” of “crucifixion to the world,” of “amy body, and bring it into subjection," I Cor. total rupture with the world.” For this reason ix: 27. Hence those advances in the Christian it is that we said, that in order to have just course; “not as though I had already attained, ideas of this disposition of mind, it is not suf- either were already perfect, but I follow after ficient to comprehend the nature of it, but that This one thing I do, forgetting those we should also understand the gradations of things which are behind, and reaching forth which it admits. If, in order worthily to sus- unto those things which are before, I press totain the Christian character, an absolute renun- ward the mark, for the prize of the high callciation of the world, in the literal sense of the ing of God in Christ Jesus,” Phil. iii. 12–14. words, were indisputably necessary, where is # He is crucified unto the world.” He is so the person, alas! who durst pretend to assuine in respect of hope and fervour. Hence those that name? Would it be a Noah? would it be sighings after the dissolution of the body, which an Abraham? would it be a Moses? would it be forins, as it were, a wall of separation between a David? would it be a Peter? would it be a God and us. Hence those ardent breathings Paul? would it be one of you, Christians of our after a dispensation, and economy of things in own days, who seem to have carried piety to which we shall be able to give an unrestrained its highest degree of fervour, and “who shine effusion to the love of order, and be completely as lights in the world, in the midst of a crook- united to Jesus Christ. “For we that are in ed and perverse nation?" Phil. ii. 15.
this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; nor Where, then, are those saints to be found, in for that we would be unclothed, but clothed whom an ill-smothered cupidity emits no sparks upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of That female is an example of what is called life, knowing that whilst we are at virtue, by way of eminence, in her sex; and home in the body, we are absent from the which, according to the ideas of the age in Lord; . and willing rather to be absent which we live, seems to constitute the whole from the body, and to be present with the of virtue, as far as she is concerned; but, im- Lord,” 2 Cor. V. 4. 6. 8. pregnable to all the assaults which can be made 3. But the Holy Spirit, in representing to us upon her chastity, she succumbs under the
our renunciation of the world, under the idea slightest temptation that attacks her on the side of a death, of a crucifixion, intended to mark of avarice; and she loses all self-government, not only the nature and the degrees of the disthe moment you recommend to her, to take care position of mind which these expressions dethat her charities be in something like propor- note, but likewise to indicate the difficulty, the tion to her opulence.
bitterness, of making such a sacrifice. That man is a pattern of reflective retire- In very rare instances do men die without ment, and modest silence: but, unshaken by the suffering. Death, in the gentlest form, is usurudest attacks made upon his spirit of reserve, ally preceded by violent symptoms, which some he yields to the slightest solicitations of pride, have denominated the harbingers of death.he decks himself out with the names and titles These harbingers of death are mortal swoonof his ancestors, he admires himself in the ings, feverish heats, paroxysms of pain, tortures poorest effusions of his brain. How easy would insupportable. Crucifixion, especially, was the it be to multiply examples of this sort! most cruel punishment which human justice,
But if it be impossible to say, taking the ex- shall I call it? or buman barbarity ever inventpression in the strictness of interpretation, that ed. The imagination recoils from the reprethe Christian has broken off all commerce with sentation of a man nailed to a tree, suspended the world, that he is “dead to the world,” by the iron which pierces his hands and his that "the world is crucified unto him," and feet, pressed downward with the weight of his that “he is crucified unto the world;" he pos- own body, the blood of which is drained off sesses this disposition of mind, nevertheless, in drop by drop, till he expires merely from excess various respects, and to a certain degree. “He of anguish. is crucified unto the world;" he is so in respect Is this frightful image overstrained, when of intention, he has that sincere will “ to pull employed to represent the pains which the down every strong hold, every thing that ex- Christian is called to endure, the conflicts alteth itself against the knowledge of God;" it which he has to maintain, the sacrifices which is an expression of St. Paul's, 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. he is bound to make; agonies which he is under Hence such protestations as these, "O Lord! an indispensable necessity to undergo, before he thou hast searched me, and known me,” Ps. possibly can attain that blessed state which our cxxxix. 1. “Lord! thou knowest that I love apostle had, through grace, arrived at, when thee,” John xxi. 17. Hence the bitterness of he said, in the words of my text, “the world regret on account of remaining imperfection, is crucified unto me, and I am crucified unto "0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver the world?" me from the body of this death?” Rom. vii. 24. Represent to yourselves a Christian, repreHence those prayers for the communication of sent to yourselves a man as yet a novice in the fresh supplies of heavenly aid; “Open thou school of Jesus Christ, called to combat, somemine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things times the propensities which he brought with out of thy law,” Pg. cxix. 18. “Teach me to him into the world; sometimes to eradicate a hado thy will, for thou art my God: thy Spirit is bit which has grown up in him, till it is become good; lead me into the land of uprightness," a second nature: sometimes to stem the torrent Ps. cxliii. 10.
of custom and example; sometimes to mortify “He is crucified unto the world.” He is and subdue a headstrong..passion, which en. so in respect of exertion and actual progress. grosses him, transports him, drags him away Hence those unremitting conflicts with the re- captive; sometimes to bid an everlasting faremains of indwelling corruption; “I keep under I well to the place of his birth, to his kindred,