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Title: Sermons of Christmas Evans
Author: Cross, Joseph
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sermons of Christmas Evans" ***

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Transcribed from the 1857 Leary & Getz edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                  [Picture: Portrait of Christmas Evans]



                                 SERMONS
                                    OF
                             CHRISTMAS EVANS.


                    A New Translation from the Welsh.

                                  WITH A

                  MEMOIR AND PORTRAITURE OF THE AUTHOR.

                                    BY

                            REV. JOSEPH CROSS.

                                * * * * *

                              PHILADELPHIA:
                        LEARY & GETZ, PUBLISHERS.

       FOR SALE BY CARLTON & PORTER, METH. BOOK CONCERN, NEW YORK.
     SWORMSTEDT & POE, CINCINNATI, OHIO.—STEVENSON & OWEN, NASHVILLE,
           TENN.—I. P. COOK, BALTIMORE.—JAMES P. MAGEE, BOSTON.
           WM. M. DOUGHTY, CHICAGO, ILL.—J. L. READ, PITTSBURG.
           H. H. MATTESON, BUFFALO, N. Y., AND ALL BOOKSELLERS
                      THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES.

                                  1857.

                                * * * * *

        ENTERED according to act of Congress, in the year 1846, by
                              J. HARMSTEAD,

  in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of
                              Pennsylvania.



ADVERTISEMENT.


THE Sermons of Christmas Evans contained in this volume, and the extracts
from his journal and other writings given in the following Memoir and
Portraiture, are translated by two different hands, and in very different
styles.  The former are clothed in very good English, but the diction of
the latter requires an apology.  Unable to procure a better version, we
have furnished such as we found; and it is hoped that even this, with all
its imperfections, will not be wholly unprofitable to the reader.

The writer does not wish to be held responsible for the Theological Views
put forth, either in the extracts alluded to, or in the sermons.
Christmas Evans was a Calvinistic Baptist, and several of his sermons
inculcate, to some extent, the peculiar doctrines of that denomination;
though they are generally free from sectarian bias, and may be read with
advantage by spiritual Christians of all evangelical creeds.

                                                             JOSEPH CROSS.

_Philadelphia_, _May_ 10, 1846.



CONTENTS.

                       MEMOIR AND PORTRAITURE.
                                                                  Page
INTRODUCTION                                                         9
                               MEMOIR.
                Early Years                                         17
                Profession of Religion                              17
                Commencement of Preaching                           18
                Backsliding and Recovery                            19
                Change of Views                                     19
                Depressing Views of Himself                         20
                Labors in Lëyn                                      22
                Visit to South Wales                                23
                Settlement in Anglesea                              24
                Powerful Sermons                                    25
                Sandemanianism and Sabellianism                     27
                Time of Refreshing                                  28
                Covenant with God                                   29
                Studying the English Language                       29
                New Troubles and Sorrows                            33
                Legal Prosecution                                   35
                Caerphilly                                          36
                Another Covenant                                    37
                Cardiff                                             39
                Sermons for the Press                               41
                Welsh Jumping                                       42
                Caernarvon                                          49
                Pulpit Popularity                                   50
                Interesting Letter                                  51
                Tour through the Principality                       56
                Monmouthshire Association                           57
                Last Sermon, Sickness, and Death                    57
                Funereal Sorrow                                     58
                             PORTRAITURE.
                Personal Appearance                                 59
                Moral and Christian Character                       59
                Social Disposition                                  60
                Reading and Study                                   60
                Devotional Habits                                   61
                Christian Beneficence                               62
                Spirit of Forgiveness                               63
                Catholic Generosity                                 64
                Ingenuousness and Honesty                           65
                Sarcastic Rebukes                                   66
                Pulpit Talents and Labors                           67
                               SERMONS.
INTRODUCTION                                                        79
     Serm.  I.  The Time of Reformation       Heb. ix. 10.          81
           II.  The Triumph of Calvary        Isaiah lxiii.         90
                                              1–6.
          III.  The Smitten Rock              1 Cor. x. 4.          99
           IV.  Fall and Recovery of Man      Rom. v. 15.          108
            V.  One God and One Mediator      1 Tim. ii. 5.        120
           VI.  The Living Redeemer           Job xix. 23–27.      129
          VII.  Messiah’s Kingdom             Dan. ii. 44,         140
                                              45.
         VIII.  The Sufferings of Christ      1 Pet. ii. 24.       153
           IX.  The Purification of           Heb. ix. 14.         164
                Conscience
            X.  The Cedar of God              Ezek. xvii.          172
                                              22–24.
           XI.  The Prince of Salvation       Heb. ii. 10., &      182
                                              v. 9.
          XII.  Finished Redemption           John xix. 30.        189
         XIII.  The Resurrection of Jesus     Mat. xxviii. 6.      196
          XIV.  The Ascension                 Acts iii. 21.        205
           XV.  Tribulation conquered         John xvi. 33.        216
          XVI.  The Glory of the Gospel       1 Tim. i. 11.        223
         XVII.  The Song of the Angels        Luke ii. 14.         236
        XVIII.  The Stone of Israel           Zech. iii. 9.        242
          XIX.  Justification by Faith        Job ix. 2.           250
           XX.  The Shield of Faith           Eph. vi. 16.         259
          XXI.  The Paraclete                 John xiv. 16,        269
                                              17.
         XXII.  The Father and Son            John xvi.            274
                glorified                     13–15.

EXTRACTS.

        I.  The Demoniac of Gadara                    287
       II.  Entering Port                             292
      III.  The Unclean Spirit in Dry Places          294
       IV.  Satan an Angel of Light                   296
        V.  The Young Child                           298
       VI.  Varieties of Preaching                    300
      VII.  The Six Crocodiles                        301
     VIII.  Envious Ambition                          303
       IX.  The Dove, the Raven, and the Eagle        304

             [Picture: Picture of Christmas Evans Preaching]



INTRODUCTION.


THE introduction of Christianity into Britain is said to have taken place
about sixty-three years after the crucifixion.  By whose agency it was
effected, cannot now be satisfactorily determined.  Tradition has
ascribed it to Joseph of Arimathea.  This, however, is exceedingly
doubtful.  It has also been attributed to the apostle Paul.  That the
apostle Paul visited Britain, is quite probable, from the testimony of
Theodoret and Jerome.  That he was the first preacher of the gospel in
Britain, is certainty a mistake.  The weight of evidence seems to be in
favour of Claudia, a Welsh lady, belonging to Cæsar’s household.  The
circumstances were these:—

The Romans invaded Britain about fifty years before the incarnation.
Failing to conquer the Welsh, they made peace with them, and dwelt among
them in amity.  Many Welsh soldiers joined the Roman army, and several
Welsh families went and resided at Rome.  Among the latter were Claudia
and her husband.  Saint Paul was then a prisoner under Nero; dwelling,
however, “in his own hired house,” and receiving all who came to hear the
word of God.  Under his ministry, Claudia was converted to Christianity.
She soon returned to her native country, and scattered “the Seed of the
Kingdom” among her own people.  This was in the year of our Lord
sixty-three.

About a century after this, Faganus and Daminicanus went to Rome, were
converted there, and became “able ministers of the New Testament.”  In
the year of our Lord 180, they were sent back to Wales, to preach to
their own countrymen.  They were zealous and successful laborers.  They
opposed the pagan superstitions of the Welsh with wonderful energy.  They
pursued Druidism to its dark retirements, and poured upon it the
withering blaze of the gospel.  Through their preaching, Lucius, king of
Wales, was brought to embrace Christianity.  He was the first king that
ever bowed to the Prince of Peace.  The royal convert was exceedingly
zealous in the propagation of the truth.  The Macedonian cry issued from
the throne of Wales, an earnest appeal to Eleutherius for help.  Then
“the word of the Lord had free course, and was glorified.”

Under the reign of Dioclesian, about the year 300, the Welsh Christians
suffered a dreadful persecution.  Their books were burned, their houses
of worship were destroyed, and multitudes obtained the crown of
martyrdom.  The first three were Alban, Aaron, and Julius.  They were all
excellent men, and greatly beloved by their brethren.  They died in
triumph, and their blood became the seed of the church.  Many others soon
followed them in the same path.  Dioclesian gave strict orders for their
destruction.  Not a Christian was to be spared, not a Christian church,
not a book or a scrap of writing that could transmit their faith and
history to future generations.  This was the tenth persecution.  The
great dragon had sent forth his flood to destroy the church.  But
“mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”  The bush still lived,

    “And flourished unconsumed in fire.”

The first Christian king, we have said, was a Welshman.  So, in part, was
the first Christian emperor.  Constantine the Great was born in Britain.
His father was Roman; his mother Welsh.  Having resided some time in
Britain, they removed to Rome.  Constantine ascended the Imperial throne.
Converted, he made Christianity the religion of the empire.  The
intolerant edicts of his predecessors were abolished; and the absurd
rites of paganism, as far as possible, suppressed.  The emperor employed
all his energies and resources in spreading the gospel.  But his course,
if honest, was injudicious.  In the end, he dishonoured Christianity more
by his imprudence, than he glorified her at first by his zeal.  He opened
the door of the church so wide as to admit Antichrist himself.  The “man
of sin” came and seated himself in the temple of God.

Intoxicated with her prosperity, the church throughout the empire
gradually embraced the grossest superstitions.  But the Welsh Christians
strenuously resisted all innovations.  They adhered firmly to the
primitive simplicity of Christian faith and worship.  Yet they lost a
portion of their spirituality.  The storms of tribulation are often more
favourable to the growth of vital religion, than the sunshine of
prosperity.  The church becomes dizzy when placed upon the pinnacle of
worldly praise.  The boatmen wax careless when their craft glides gently
along on a smooth sea, before a pleasant gale.  This is the natural
tendency of the human mind, in circumstances of prosperity.  It was thus
with the Christians of Wales.

Other things operated unfavourably.  The Pelagian controversy divided and
distracted the churches, and destroyed the spirit of Christian meekness
and love.  The Welsh were soon involved in a civil war with the Picts and
Scots.  In their distress, they solicited the aid of the Saxons.  The
Saxons promptly responded to the call.  But the ally soon became an
enemy.  They fell upon the Welsh, drove them to the mountains of Cumry,
and took possession of their land. {11}  These disasters threatened the
extermination of Christianity in Wales.  But there were a few faithful
ones, whose ark outrode the deluge.  Gildas, Dyfrig, Dynawt, Teil,
Padarn, Pawlin, Daniel, Codag, Dewi, and several others, stood firmly
against the degeneracy of the times, and were “valiant for the truth upon
the earth.”  Through their labors, the religion of Jesus survived among
the hills of Cumry.

In the beginning of the seventh century, Austin came to Britain, under a
commission from Gregory the Great, to make proselytes to popery.  He
succeeded well with the Saxons, but not at all with the Welsh.  This is
not strange.  The Saxons were ignorant idolaters, and the transition was
easy from Paganism to popery.  The Welsh were enlightened Christians, and
it was difficult to seduce them from their allegiance to Christ.  They
consented, however, to hold a large meeting on the borders of
Herefordshire, and hear what Austin had to offer.  His doctrine did not
suit them.  They rejected alike the proposals of the monk and the
commands of his master.  This awoke the fiend within him.  He instigated
the Saxons to murder them.  Twelve hundred ministers and delegates were
slaughtered, and afterward many of their brethren.  Their leaders being
slain, the majority of the survivors reluctantly purchased peace at the
sacrifice of conscience, submitting to the creed and the usages of Rome.
Yet there were some who repudiated the doctrine of the pope’s supremacy,
and maintained for a season the simplicity of the gospel.  But they lived
among the mountains, in seclusion from the world, like the inhabitants of
the vale of Piedmont.  We hear little or nothing of them again till the
time of the Reformation.

While the Lord, through the labors of his servant Wickliffe, was
preparing his way in England, Wales also was remembered in mercy, and
visited with “the day-spring from on high.”  Walter Brute was a native of
the principality.  He had been at Oxford, where he had formed an intimate
acquaintance with Wickliffe.  He entered fully into Wickliffe’s views
concerning the reformation of the church.  His heart was moved with
compassion for his countrymen.  Inspired with apostolic faith and zeal,
he left the university, and returned to his native land.  He determined
to resist, even “unto blood,” the delusions and abominations of the
papacy.  He soon distinguished himself as a courageous reformer.  He
preached in the streets, in the markets, and from house to house.  He
blew the trump of God throughout the principality.  The temple of
Antichrist began to tremble, and its gilded and pampered occupants
manifested considerable uneasiness and alarm.

Everybody saw that Brute was generous and disinterested.  Friends flocked
around him, for the people had long since become disgusted with the
corruptions of the church, and heartily sick of ecclesiastical despotism.
Men of all classes gathered to his standard.  His labors of love soon
elicited, of course, the hostility of the clergy.  But so numerous and
respectable were his friends, that all the attempts of ecclesiastical
judicatures, and officers of the civil law, were ineffectual.  A petition
was at length sent to Richard II., King of England, entreating his
interference.  The king issued an order to the nobility of Wales,
requiring them to assist the Bishop of Hereford in apprehending and
punishing the heretic and his adherents.  This was in the year 1391.
Still Walter Brute went on, preaching the gospel, denouncing the papacy,
and exposing the corruptions of the church, without material molestation,
till 1393.  He was then cited to appear before the Bishop of Hereford, to
answer to a charge of heresy.  He appeared, defended himself against the
allegation, and contended boldly that the pope was Antichrist, and the
papal church Babylon.

In this argument, Brute triumphed over his accusers, and made many
converts to his cause.  Several of the clergy now embraced his views, and
became zealous defenders of the faith.  One of these, Davydd Ddu of
Hiraddug, on the border of Cardiganshire, undertook a translation of the
Scriptures into Welsh.  Portions of this translation were extensively
circulated.  Another, John Kent, D.D., of Grismond, in Monmouthshire, was
a learned man and a fine poet.  He labored incessantly with his pen, to
expose the vices of the clergy, and promote a more spiritual religion.
These divines were variously opposed and persecuted by ecclesiastical
power.  They were stigmatized as magicians, and accused of intercourse
with evil spirits.  But all was unavailing.  The zeal of Ddu and Kent was
unabated, and the progress of truth was unretarded.  The hand of God was
with them wherever they went.  Revivals occurred in the cloisters, and
monks came forth from their seclusion to reinforce the reformers.  In the
monastery of Margam, Glamorganshire, a large number of the monks were
converted.  One of them, Thomas Evan ab Rhys, travelled the mountains of
the principality, at the constant peril of his life, to remonstrate
against popery, and recommend a purer form of Christianity.

In 1580, John Penry, an Episcopal minister, dissented from the
established church, and became a Baptist.  He was a man of liberal
education and fine pulpit talents.  After having prosecuted his ministry
more than seven years, with remarkable zeal and success, he died a
martyr.  Penry was the first Baptist preacher in Wales after the
Reformation.

In 1620, Erbury and Wroth followed his example.  The conversion of the
latter was very singular.  A nobleman belonging to his parish went to
London to attend a law-suit.  Hearing that he was successful, Mr. Wroth
bought a new violin, and prepared to welcome his return with music and
dancing.  While these preparations were going on, news came that the
nobleman was dead.  The joy of the party was suddenly turned into
mourning.  The vicar fell upon his knees, and poured out his heart in
fervent prayer to God.  This event occasioned his conversion.  Erbury,
his friend, was converted about the same time.  Both began to preach with
wonderful unction.  “Jesus Christ and him crucified” was their constant
theme.  Their zeal drew down upon them a violent storm of persecution.
But they were not discouraged.  God owned their labors, and many were the
seals of their ministry.  In 1635 they were ejected from their parishes.
But they “cared for none of these things.”  They went from valley to
valley, from mountain to mountain, preaching the word.  The recent Welsh
translation of the Scriptures proved a powerful auxiliary to their work.
People read and investigated for themselves, and found that these were
men of God, speaking “the words of truth and soberness.”

Erbury and Wroth both organized Baptist churches; the former, on the plan
of “strict communion;” the latter, on more liberal principles.  These
were the first Baptist churches instituted in Wales, after the
Reformation from popery.  It is said, however, that there existed, even
centuries before, many Baptists in the valley of Carleon, the Piedmont of
Wales, and among the neighboring mountains.  Their origin is, very
unfortunately, involved in obscurity.  Some pretend to trace them back to
the year 63, the time of the introduction of Christianity into Britain.
This is a very convenient theory for those who wish to show that the
first Christians were exclusive immersionists; and who deem it of primary
importance to establish a regular succession of such Christians, from the
apostles of our Lord, down to the present day.  But it is unsustained by
a single shadow of evidence, beyond the bare assertion of interested
witnesses.

During the ministry of Erbury and Wroth, arose that morning-star of the
Baptist church in Wales, Vavasor Powell.  He was born in Radnorshire,
South Wales.  He was educated for the ministry of the established church.
For some time he officiated at Clun, on the borders of Shropshire.  While
there, his conscience was awakened by a reproof from a Puritan for
violating the Sabbath.  He was soon afterwards converted, under the
preaching of Walter Caradock, a noted preacher among the Independents.
In 1636, he joined the Baptists, and shortly became a very popular
preacher among them.  He was a man of great eloquence and power.  Many
were converted under his ministry.  But the red dragon was roused to
pursue him.  In 1642, he fled his native land for the safety of his life.
In four years, however, he returned, and preached boldly throughout the
country.  The people flocked to hear him, by thousands, to the
market-houses, to the fields, the woods, and the tops of the mountains.
His ministry was wonderfully blessed to the salvation of souls.

After the death of Cromwell, in 1658, Charles II. returned to England.
Now commenced a dreadful persecution of the Baptists in Wales.  “Hundreds
of them were taken from their beds at night, without any regard to age,
sex, or the inclemency of the weather; and were driven to prison, on
foot, fifteen or twenty miles; and if they did not keep up with their
drivers on horseback, they were most cruelly and unmercifully whipped;
and while their drivers stopped to drink at the taverns, they were beaten
like cattle, during the pleasure of the king’s friends; and all their
property was forfeited to the king, except what was deemed necessary to
defray the expenses of their drivers.  But all this was only the
beginning of sorrows, and nothing to what they suffered for the space of
six-and-twenty years afterward.”

In these persecutions, Vavasor Powell bore his part.  He was immured, at
different times, in thirteen prisons.  Indeed, he was a prisoner most of
the time till his death, which happened in 1670.  On his tomb is this
inscription:—“He was, to the last generation, a successful preacher; to
the present generation, a faithful witness; to the next generation, an
excellent example.”

Contemporary with Vavasor Powell, and immediately succeeding him, were
many faithful laborers in the cause of Christ in Wales.  One of them was
the noted Roger Williams, who subsequently removed to New England, and
founded the Baptist sect in America.  But after the death of Powell and
his coadjutors, the revival in Wales declined, and the churches gradually
settled into a spiritual sleep, in which they remained a century, when
they were roused by the trumpet-tongued eloquence of Harris and Rowlands.

Harris and Rowlands were Methodists.  While Whitefield and Wesley were
rekindling the fires of the Reformation on the altars of England, these
men of God were scattering some sparks of it among the mountains of
Wales.  Under their labors commenced such a revival as was never known in
that country before.  They adhered to the established church; and, on
that account, were, for a season, but little opposed.  But when the
blessed fruits of their ministry began to be developed in the conversion
of thousands of souls, the wrath of Satan and his emissaries arose
against them.  But, as Christmas Evans remarks, it was now too late.  The
sword of the Spirit was drawn; the gates of the city were opened; the
fire was kindled in the stubble, and not all the floods of persecution
could stay the progress of the flame.  Harris and Rowlands went forward
in their work of love, clothed with power from on high.  A great and
effectual door was opened to their ministry, and the leaven spread
rapidly through the lump.

The Baptists shared largely in this work of grace.  It was the rising of
a new sun upon them, which had been heralded a hundred years before in
the powerful ministry of Vavasor Powell.  The revival developed whatever
of talent and energy lay dormant in the denomination.  Many a David went
forth to meet the Philistine, and returned in triumph.  One of these, and
the most successful of them all, was CHRISTMAS EVANS.  “He was a man of
God,” says Dr. Cone, “and eminently useful in his generation.”  His
natural talents were of the highest order, and his Christian graces have
not been surpassed in a century.  The celebrated Robert Hall regarded him
as the first pulpit genius of the age.  “Had he enjoyed the advantages of
education,” writes one who knew him well, and often sat under his
ministry, “he might have blended the impassioned declamation of
Whitefield with something of the imperial opulence and pomp of fancy that
distinguished Jeremy Taylor.”  His two celebrated “Specimens of Welsh
Preaching” have been read throughout Protestant Christendom; and ranked,
by universal suffrage, among the most splendid productions of sanctified
genius.  Who that has seen them does not wish to know more of so
remarkable a man?  To gratify this desire is a secondary object of the
present publication; the primary, is the religious benefit of mankind.
The matter of the following memoir and portraiture is compiled from
several authentic sources of information.  May their perusal afford the
reader as rich a harvest of profit and delight as their preparation has
afforded the writer!



MEMOIR.


EARLY YEARS.


CHRISTMAS EVANS, second son of Samuel and Joanna Evans, was born at
Ysgarwen, Cardiganshire, South Wales, on the 25th of December, 1776.  His
birth happening on Christmas day suggested his Christian name.

Samuel and Joanna Evans were poor, and unable to educate their children;
and at the age of seventeen, Christmas could not read a word.  When he
was only nine years old, he lost his father and went to live with his
uncle, who was a farmer, and a very wicked man.  Here he spent several
years of his youthful life, daily witnessing the worst of examples, and
experiencing the unkindest of treatment.  He subsequently engaged as a
servant to several farmers successively in his native parish.

During these years he met with a number of serious accidents, in some of
which he narrowly escaped with his life.  Once he was stabbed in a
quarrel.  Once he was so nearly drowned as to be with difficulty
resuscitated.  Once he fell from a very high tree, with an open knife in
his hand.  Once a horse ran away with him, passing at full speed through
a low and narrow passage.



PROFESSION OF RELIGION.


His first religious impressions he dates from his father’s funeral.  But
they were fitful and evanescent.  To use his own language, “They vanished
and recurred once and again.”  When he was eighteen years of age, an
awakening occurred among the young people of his neighborhood.  Christmas
himself was “much terrified with the fear of death and judgment,” became
very serious in his deportment, and joined the Arminian Presbyterians at
Llwynrhydowen.

His Christian experience was evidently very imperfect.  He had a
conviction of the evil of sin, and a desire to flee from the wrath to
come; but no evidence of acceptance with God, and a very limited
knowledge of the plan of salvation.  Yet his religious impressions were
not entirely fruitless.  They produced, at least, a partial reformation
of life, and led to many penitential resolutions.  He thought much of
eternity, and was frequent in secret prayer.  He soon felt a strong
desire to understand the Scriptures, and with this view began to learn to
read.  According to his own account, “There was not one in seven in those
parts at that time that knew a letter.”  Almost entirely unaided, he
prosecuted his purpose; and in an incredibly short time was able to read
his Bible.



COMMENCEMENT OF PREACHING.


He was now called upon to exercise his gifts in public prayer and
exhortation.  “To this,” he says, “I felt a strong inclination, though I
knew myself a mass of spiritual ignorance.”  His first performance was so
generally approved, that he felt greatly encouraged to proceed.  Shortly
afterward, he preached a sermon at a prayer-meeting, in the parish of
Llangeler, county of Caermarthen.  The discourse, however, was not
original, but a translation from Bishop Beveridge.  He also committed one
of the Rev. Mr. Rowlands’ sermons, and preached it in the neighborhood of
the church to which he belonged.  A gentleman who heard him expressed
great astonishment at such a sermon from an unlettered boy.  The mystery
was solved the next day; he found the sermon in a book.  “But I have not
done thinking,” said he, “that there is something great in the son of
Samuel the shoemaker, for his prayer was as good as the sermon.”  His
opinion of the young preacher would probably have suffered some farther
abatement, if he had known, what was the fact, that the prayer itself was
memorized!

Young Evans now received frequent invitations to preach, in sundry
places, for different denominations; especially in the Baptist church, at
Penybont, Llandysil.  He spoke occasionally in the pulpits of several
eminent ministers.  All who heard him were delighted with his discourses,
and gave him much encouragement.  These labors drew him into the society
of many excellent Christians.  He seems to have profited by their godly
conversation, and soon acquired an experimental knowledge of
justification by faith, though the witness of the Spirit was not so clear
as in many cases, and he could never fix upon any particular time when he
obtained the blessing.



BACKSLIDING AND RECOVERY.


The young preacher shortly felt the need of a little more learning, to
qualify him for his calling.  He commenced going to school to the Rev.
Mr. Davis, his pastor, and devoted himself for about six months to the
study of Latin.  This involved him in pecuniary distress.  He took a
journey into England, to labour during the harvest season, for the
purpose of replenishing his purse, and enabling him to continue his
studies.  While thus engaged, he fell into temptation, and his religious
feelings suffered a sad declension.  He thought of relinquishing the
school and the ministry, and devoting his life to secular pursuits.
While revolving this matter in his mind, the children of the wicked one
came upon him, and buffeted him back to his duty.  He was waylaid by a
mob, who had determined to kill him.  They beat him so severely, that he
lay for a long time insensible; and one of them gave him a blow upon his
left eye, which occasioned its total blindness through the rest of his
life.

“That night,” says he, “I dreamed that the day of judgment was come.  I
saw Jesus on the clouds, and all the world on fire.  I was in great fear,
yet crying earnestly, and with some confidence, for his peace.  He
answered and said: ‘Thou thoughtest to be a preacher; but what wilt thou
do now?  The world is on fire, and it is too late!’  On this I awoke, and
felt heartily thankful that I was in bed.”

This dream produced a deep impression upon his mind, and recovered him
from his spiritual declension.  He began to preach with renewed energy
and success, and all his friends predicted that he would “yet become a
great man, and a celebrated preacher.”



CHANGE OF VIEWS.


There was living, about this time, at Aberduar, a Mr. Amos, who had left
the Arminian Presbyterians, and joined the Calvinistic Baptists.  He came
to visit young Evans, and converse with him on the subject of baptism.
The latter was unpractised in argument, and little acquainted with the
Scriptures.  He strove strenuously for a while, but was at length
silenced by the superior skill of his antagonist.  Encouraged by his
success, Mr. Amos made him another visit, during which he shook his faith
in the validity of infant baptism.  After this he came again and again.
Mr. Evans was at length brought to believe there was no true baptism but
immersion by a Baptist minister.  Now it was suggested that he ought to
be immersed.  Other Baptist friends interested themselves in his case,
and put into his hands such books as were best adapted to their purpose.
He was shortly satisfied what was his duty.  “After much struggling,”
says he, “between the flesh and the spirit, between obedience and
disobedience, I went to the Baptist church at Aberduar, in the parish of
Llanybyther, in the county of Caermarthen.  I was cordially received
there, but not without a degree of dread, on the part of some, that I was
still a stout-hearted Arminian.”  He was baptized with several others, by
the pastor, Rev. Timothy Thomas, in the river Duar, and admitted to the
communion of the church.  This was in 1788, when Mr. Evans was about the
age of 22.

It is not strange, that, after such a change, he should gradually imbibe
the doctrine of election, and its concomitants, as held by the
Calvinistic Baptists; but it is quite evident, not only by inference from
his own account, but by information from other sources, that he had not
yet relinquished his Arminian theology.  Whether he would have been more
pious and useful, by adhering to his Arminian views, and remaining among
his Arminian friends, is a question not for us to answer, and perhaps of
little practical importance.  It is certain that he became a Calvinist of
the highest school, and “a burning and shining light” among his Baptist
brethren.  That the Calvinistic faith is not incompatible with eminent
holiness of life, we have other evidence than that afforded by the
history of Christmas Evans.  The seraphic piety of a Bunyan, a Baxter, a
Whitefield, and a Payson, should silence for ever the clamors of Arminian
bigotry!



DEPRESSING VIEWS OF HIMSELF.


For several years after this, Mr. Evans entertained painfully depressing
views of his Christian character and ministerial talents.  He thought
every other believer had more light than himself, and every other
preacher greater gifts.  He called himself “a mass of ignorance and sin.”
He imagined his discourses entirely useless to his hearers.  This he
attributed partly to his habit of repeating them _memoriter_.  Others
appeared to him to speak extemporaneously, and he “thought they received
their sermons directly from heaven,” while he, by memorizing his,
forfeited the aid of the Holy Spirit.  “I therefore changed my method,”
says he, “and took a text without any premeditation, and endeavored to
speak what occurred to me at the time.  If bad before, it was worse now.
I had neither sense nor life, nothing but a poor miserable tone, which
produced no effect upon the hearers, and made me really sick of myself.
I thought God had nothing to do with me as a preacher.  I had no
confidence in my own talents and virtues, and the very sound of my voice
discouraged me.  I have since perceived the great goodness of God herein,
preserving me from being puffed up by too good an opinion of my own gifts
and graces, which both before and since has proved fatal to many young
preachers.”

These views of himself often occasioned him deep distress of mind.  He
entered the pulpit with dread.  He conceived that the mere sight of him
there was sufficient to becloud the hearts of his hearers, and intercept
every ray of light from heaven.  He could not ascertain that he had been
the means of the salvation of a single soul during the five years of his
preaching.  It might have been some relief to him, could he have ventured
to develope to some judicious Christian friend the disquietude of his
soul.  But this he dared not do, lest he should be deemed an unconverted
man in the ministry, and exposed as a hypocrite to the world.  So he
wrapped up the painful secret in his heart, and drank his wormwood alone.

From all this, what are we to infer?  That Mr. Evans had never been
converted, or was not now in favour with God?  We think not.  All who
knew him had full confidence in his piety, and thought him an excellent
Christian.  Whether his attention to the subject of baptism, or the
Calvinistic views he had recently imbibed, had acted injuriously upon his
religious enjoyment, would be an unprofitable speculation, if not
otherwise improper.  Perhaps these distressing doubts were but the
permitted buffetings of Satan, to preserve him from spiritual pride; the
preparatory darkness, which enabled him more highly to appreciate, and
more earnestly to recommend to others, “the Bright and Morning Star.”
Many of God’s chosen servants have been disciplined for their work in
darkness.  Dr. Payson, during all the earlier part of his eminently
useful ministry, and John Summerfield, when his sweet persuasive tongue
was leading multitudes to the Cross, were constantly distressed with
doubts of their own spiritual condition.  Though it is certainly the
privilege of every believer to know that he is “a new creature in Christ
Jesus,” we cannot thence infer that all such as have not constantly the
direct witness of the Spirit are in an unregenerate state.



LABORS IN LËYN.


In 1790, Mr. Evans attended the Baptist association at Maesyberllan, in
Brecknockshire.  Some ministers from North Wales persuaded him to
accompany them on their return.  He found the Baptist people at Lëyn, in
Caernarvonshire, few and feeble.  They earnestly besought him to remain
with them, to which he at length consented.  He was immediately ordained
a missionary, to itinerate among several small churches in that vicinity.

Now he began emphatically to “live by faith on the Son of God.”  The
burden which he had borne so long, rolled away like that of Bunyan’s
Pilgrim.  He received “the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of
praise for the spirit of heaviness.”  From this time, a wonderous power
attended his preaching.  Many were gathered into the church, as the fruit
of his labor.  “I could scarcely believe,” says he, “the testimony of the
people, who came before the church as candidates for membership, that
they had been converted through my ministry.  Yet I was obliged to
believe, though it was marvellous in my eyes.  This made me thankful to
God, and increased my confidence in prayer.  A delightful gale descended
upon me, as from the hill of the New Jerusalem, and I felt the three
great things of the kingdom of heaven, righteousness, and peace, and joy
in the Holy Ghost.”

During the first year of his labors in Lëyn, he was united in marriage to
Miss Catherine Jones, a pious young lady of his own church, and a very
suitable companion.  After this event, his duties were increasingly
arduous.  He frequently preached five times during the Sabbath, and
walked twenty miles.  His heart was full of love, and he spoke with the
ardor of a seraph.  Constant labor and intense excitement soon wore upon
his health.  He became feeble, and his friends were apprehensive of
consumption.  Through the mercy of God, however, he was spared; gradually
recovered his strength; and performed, through the remainder of a long
life, an incredible amount of ministerial labor.



VISIT TO SOUTH WALES.


Mr. Evans naturally felt a strong desire to see his friends in South
Wales.  During his second year at Lëyn, thinking it might benefit his
enfeebled health, as well as refresh his spirit, he determined to make
them a visit.  He was unable to procure a horse for the journey, and the
small societies to which he preached were too poor to provide him one.
So he set forth on foot, preaching in every town and village through
which he passed.  His talents were now developed, and he had received “an
unction from the Holy One.”  All who heard him were astonished at his
power.  His old acquaintances regarded him as a new man.  A great
awakening followed him wherever he went.  Hear his own language:—

“I now felt a power in the word, like a hammer breaking the rock, and not
like a rush.  I had a very powerful time at Kilvowyr, and also pleasant
meetings in the neighborhood of Cardigan.  The work of conversion was
progressing so rapidly and with so much energy in those parts, that the
ordinance of baptism was administered every month for a year or more, at
Kilvowyr, Cardigan, Blaenywaun, Blaenffôs, and Ebenezer, to from ten to
twenty persons each month.  The chapels and adjoining burying-grounds
were crowded with hearers of a week-day, even in the middle of harvest.
I frequently preached in the open air in the evenings, and the rejoicing,
singing, and praising would continue until broad light the next morning.
The hearers appeared melted down in tenderness at the different meetings,
so that they wept streams of tears, and cried out, in such a manner that
one might suppose the whole congregation, male and female, was thoroughly
dissolved by the gospel.  ‘The word of God’ was now become as ‘a sharp
two-edged sword, dividing asunder the joints and marrow,’ and revealing
unto the people the secret corruptions of their hearts.  Preaching was
now unto me a pleasure, and the success of the ministry in all places was
very great.  The same people attended fifteen or twenty different
meetings, many miles apart, in the counties of Cardigan, Pembroke,
Caermarthen, Glamorgan, Monmouth, and Brecknock.  This revival,
especially in the vicinity of Cardigan, and in Pembrokeshire, subdued the
whole country, and induced people everywhere to think well of religion.
The same heavenly gale followed down to Fishguard, Llangloffan, Little
New-Castle, and Rhydwylim, where Mr. Gabriel Rees was then a zealous and
a powerful preacher.  There was such a tender spirit resting on the
hearers at this season, from Tabor to Middlemill, that one would imagine,
by their weeping and trembling in their places of worship, and all this
mingled with so much heavenly cheerfulness, that they would wish to abide
for ever in this state of mind.”

The fame of this “wonderful work of God” spread through South Wales on
the wings of the wind.  An appointment for Christmas Evans to preach was
sufficient to attract thousands to the place.  In a very short time he
had acquired greater popularity in Wales than any other minister of his
day.



SETTLEMENT IN ANGLESEA.


On Christmas day, when Mr. Evans was forty-six years of age, he removed
from Lëyn to the isle of Anglesea.  According to his own account, “it was
a very rough day of frost and snow.”  Unencumbered with this world’s
goods, and possessing the true apostolic spirit, he “commenced the
journey on horseback, with his wife behind him,” and arrived on the
evening of the same day at Llangewin.

Whatever the motive of this removal, it was certainly not the love of
money.  His salary in Anglesea was only £17 per annum, and for twenty
years he never asked for more.  He had learned, with the apostle, “having
food and raiment, therewith to be content.”  He found his reward in his
work.  The privilege of preaching Christ and saving souls, with him, was
preferable to mountains of gold and silver.

On his arrival in Anglesea, he found ten small Baptist societies, in a
lukewarm and distracted condition; himself the only minister, and no
brother to aid him within a hundred and fifty miles.  He commenced his
labors in earnest.  One of his first movements was the appointment of a
day of fasting and prayer in all the preaching places.  He soon had the
satisfaction to realize an extensive revival, which continued under his
faithful ministry for many years.



POWERFUL SERMONS.


In 1794, the South West Baptist Association was held at Velin Voel, in
Caermarthenshire.  Mr. Evans was invited, as one of the preachers on the
occasion.  It was a journey of about two hundred miles.  He undertook it
on foot, with his usual fortitude, preaching at different places as he
went along.  The meeting was to commence with three consecutive sermons,
the last of which was to be preached by Mr. Evans.  The service was out
of doors, and the heat was very oppressive.  The first and second sermons
were rather tedious, and the hearers seemed almost stupefied.  Mr. Evans
arose and began his sermon.  Before he had spoken fifteen minutes, scores
of people were on their feet, some weeping, some praising, some leaping
and clapping their hands for joy.  Nor did the effect end with the
discourse.  Throughout the evening, and during the whole night, the voice
of rejoicing and prayer was heard in every direction; and the dawning of
the next day, awaking the few that had fallen asleep through fatigue,
only renewed the heavenly rapture.  “Job David, the Socinian,” said the
preacher afterwards to a friend, “was highly displeased with this
American gale.”  But all the Socinians in Wales could not counteract its
influence, or frustrate its happy effects.

Mr. Evans continued to visit the associations in South Wales for many
years: and whenever he came, the people flocked by thousands to hear “the
one-eyed man of Anglesea.”  It was on one of those occasions, and under
circumstances somewhat similar to the above, that he preached that
singularly effective sermon on the demoniac of Gadara.  The meeting had
been in progress three days.  Several discourses had been delivered with
little or no effect.  Christmas Evans took the stand, and announced as
his text the evangelical account of the demoniac of Gadara.  He described
him as a naked man, with flaming eyes, and wild and fierce gesticulation;
full of relentless anger, and subject to strange paroxysms of rage; the
terror and pity of all the townsfolk.  They had bound him with great
chains, but he would break them as Samson broke the withes.  They had
tried to soothe him by kindness, but he would leap upon them like a
furious wild beast, or burst away with the speed of a stag, his long hair
streaming on the wind behind him.  He inhabited the rocks of a Jewish
cemetery; and when he slept, he laid down in a tomb.  The place was a
little out of town, and not far from the great turnpike road, so that
people passing often saw him, and heard his dreadful lamentations and
blasphemies.  Nobody dared to cross his path unarmed, and all the women
and children ran away as soon as they saw him coming.  Sometimes he
sallied forth from his dismal abode at midnight, like one risen from the
dead, howling and cursing like a fiend, breaking into houses, frightening
the inhabitants from their beds, and driving them to seek shelter in the
streets and the fields.  He had a broken-hearted wife, and five little
children, living about a mile and a half distant.  In his intervals of
comparative calmness, he would set out to visit them.  On his way, the
evil spirit would come upon him, and transform the husband and father
instantly into a fury.  Then he would run toward the house, raving like a
wounded tiger, and roaring like a lion upon his prey.  He would spring
against the door, and shatter it into fragments; while the poor wife and
children fled through the back door to the neighbors, or concealed
themselves in the cellar.  Then he would spoil the furniture, and break
all the dishes, and bound away howling again to his home in the cemetery.
The report of this mysterious and terrible being had spread through all
the surrounding region, and everybody dreaded and pitied the man among
the tombs.  Jesus came that way.  The preacher described the interview,
the miracle, the happy change in the sufferer, the transporting surprise
of his long afflicted family.  Then, shifting the scene, he showed his
hearers the catastrophe of the swine, the flight of the affrighted
herdsman, his amusing report to his master, and the effect of the whole
upon the populace.  All this was done with such dramatic effect, as to
convulse his numerous hearers with alternate laughter and weeping for
more than half an hour.  Having thus elicited an intense interest in the
subject, he proceeded to educe from the narrative several important
doctrines, which he illustrated so forcibly, and urged so powerfully,
that the people first became profoundly serious, then wept like mourners
at a funeral, and finally threw themselves on the ground, and broke forth
in loud prayers for mercy; and the preacher continued nearly three hours,
the effect increasing till he closed.  One who heard that wonderful
sermon says, that, during the first half hour, the people seemed like an
assembly in a theatre, delighted with an amusing play; after that, like a
community in mourning, over some great and good man, cut off by a sudden
calamity; and at last, like the inhabitants of a city shaken by an
earthquake, rushing into the streets, falling upon the earth, and
screaming and calling upon God! {27}



SANDEMANIANISM AND SABELLIANISM.


About this time arose among the Baptists of North Wales a bitter and
distracting controversy, concerning Sandemanianism and Sabellianism,
which had been introduced by the Rev. Mr. Jones, a man of considerable
learning and influence in the denomination.  Mr. Evans was at first
inclined to fall in with these doctrines, and participated largely in the
strife of tongues.  He says:—

“The Sandemanian system affected me so far as to quench the spirit of
prayer for the conversion of sinners, and it induced in my mind a greater
regard for the smaller things of the kingdom of heaven than for the
greater.  I lost the strength which clothed my mind with zeal,
confidence, and earnestness in the pulpit for the conversion of souls to
Christ.  My heart retrograded, in a manner, and I could not realize the
testimony of a good conscience.  Sabbath nights, after having been in the
day exposing and vilifying with all bitterness the errors that prevailed,
my conscience felt as if displeased, and reproached me that I had lost
nearness to, and walking with God.  It would intimate that something
exceedingly precious was now wanting in me; I would reply, that I was
acting in obedience to the word; but it continued to accuse me of the
want of some precious article.  I had been robbed, to a great degree, of
the spirit of prayer and of the spirit of preaching.”

Mr. Evans thus describes the effect of this controversy upon his people:—

“The Sandemanian spirit began to manifest itself in the counties of
Merioneth, Caernarvon, Anglesea, and Denbigh, and the first visible
effect was the subversion of the hearers, for which the system was
peculiarly adapted; intimating, as it did, that to Babylon the crowd of
hearers always belonged.  We lost, in Anglesea, nearly all those who were
accustomed to attend with us; some of them joined other congregations;
and, in this way, it pulled down nearly all that had been built up in
twelve or fifteen years, and made us appear once again a mean and
despicable party in the view of the country.  The same effects followed
it in a greater or lesser degree in the other counties noticed; but its
principal station appears to have been in Merionethshire; this county
seems to have been particularly prepared for its reception, and here it
achieved by some means a sort of supremacy.”



TIME OF REFRESHING


Mr. Evans had been a long time in this controversy, destitute of all
religious enjoyment, or, to use his own expressive phrase, “as dry as
Gilboa,” when he experienced a remarkable refreshing from the presence of
the Lord.  The following account is extracted from his journal:—

“I was weary of a cold heart towards Christ, and his sacrifice, and the
work of his Spirit—of a cold heart in the pulpit, in secret prayer, and
in the study.  For fifteen years previously, I had felt my heart burning
within, as if going to Emmaus with Jesus.  On a day ever to be remembered
by me, as I was going from Dolgelley to Machynlleth, and climbing up
towards Cadair Idris, I considered it to be incumbent upon me to pray,
however hard I felt my heart, and however worldly the frame of my spirit
was.  Having begun in the name of Jesus, I soon felt as it were the
fetters loosening, and the old hardness of heart softening, and, as I
thought, mountains of frost and snow dissolving and melting within me.
This engendered confidence in my soul in the promise of the Holy Ghost.
I felt my whole mind relieved from some great bondage: tears flowed
copiously, and I was constrained to cry out for the gracious visits of
God, by restoring to my soul the joy of his salvation;—and that he would
visit the churches in Anglesea, that were under my care.  I embraced in
my supplications all the churches of the saints, and nearly all the
ministers in the principality by their names.  This struggle lasted for
three hours: it rose again and again, like one wave after another, or a
high flowing tide, driven by a strong wind, until my nature became faint
by weeping and crying.  Thus I resigned myself to Christ, body and soul,
gifts and labors—all my life—every day and every hour that remained for
me;—and all my cares I committed to Christ.—The road was mountainous and
lonely, and I was wholly alone, and suffered no interruption in my
wrestlings with God.

“From this time, I was made to expect the goodness of God to churches and
to myself.  Thus the Lord delivered me and the people of Anglesea from
being carried away by the flood of Sandemanianism.  In the first
religious meetings after this, I felt as if I had been removed from the
cold and sterile regions of spiritual frost, into the verdant fields of
the divine promises.  The former striving with God in prayer, and the
longing anxiety for the conversion of sinners, which I had experienced at
Lëyn, was now restored.  I had a hold of the promises of God.  The result
was, when I returned home, the first thing that arrested my attention
was, that the Spirit was working also in the brethren in Anglesea,
inducing in them a spirit of prayer, especially in two of the deacons,
who were particularly importunate that God would visit us in mercy, and
render the word of his grace effectual amongst us for the conversion of
sinners.”



COVENANT WITH GOD.


Mr. Evans now entered into a solemn covenant with God, made, as he says,
“under a deep sense of the evil of his heart, and in dependence upon the
infinite grace and merit of the Redeemer.”  This interesting article is
preserved among his papers.  We give it entire, as a specimen of his
spirit and his faith:—

I.  “I give my soul and body unto thee, Jesus, the true God, and
everlasting life—deliver me from sin, and from eternal death, and bring
me into life everlasting.  Amen.—C. E.

II.  “I call the day, the sun, the earth, the trees, the stones, the bed,
the table, and the books, to witness that I come unto thee.  Redeemer of
sinners, that I may obtain rest for my soul from the thunders of guilt
and the dread of eternity.  Amen.—C. E.

III.  “I do, through confidence in thy power, earnestly entreat thee to
take the work into thine own hand, and give me a circumcised heart, that
I may love thee, and create in me a right spirit, that I may seek thy
glory.  Grant me that principle which thou wilt own in the day of
judgment, that I may not then assume palefacedness, and find myself a
hypocrite.  Grant me this, for the sake of thy most precious blood.
Amen.—C. E.

IV.  “I entreat thee, Jesus, the Son of God, in power, grant me, for the
sake of thy agonizing death, a covenant-interest in thy blood, which
cleanseth; in thy righteousness, which justifieth; and in thy redemption,
which delivereth.  I entreat an interest in thy blood, for thy _blood’s_
sake, and a part in thee, for thy name’s sake, which thou hast given
among men.  Amen.—C. E.

V.  “O Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, take, for the sake of thy
cruel death, my time, and strength, and the gifts and talents I possess;
which, with a full purpose of heart, I consecrate to thy glory in the
building up of thy church in the world, for thou art worthy of the hearts
and talents of all men.  Amen.—C. E.

VI.  “I desire thee, my great High Priest, to confirm, by thy power, from
thy High Court, my usefulness as a preacher, and my piety as a Christian,
as two gardens nigh to each other; that sin may not have place in my
heart, to becloud my confidence in thy righteousness, and that I may not
be left to any foolish act that may occasion my gifts to wither, and
rendered useless before my life ends.  Keep thy gracious eye upon me, and
watch over me, O my Lord, and my God for ever!  Amen.—C. E.

VII.  “I give myself in a particular manner to thee, O Jesus Christ, the
Saviour, to be preserved from the falls into which many stumble, that thy
name (in thy cause) may not be blasphemed or wounded, that my peace may
not be injured, that thy people may not be grieved, and that thine
enemies may not be hardened.  Amen.—C. E.

VIII.  “I come unto thee, beseeching thee to be in covenant with me in my
ministry.  As thou didst prosper Bunyan, Vavasor Powell, Howell Harris,
Rowlands, and Whitefield, O do thou prosper me.  Whatsoever things are
opposed to my prosperity, remove them out of the way.  Work in me every
thing approved of God, for the attainment of this.  Give me a heart ‘sick
of love’ to thyself, and to the souls of men.  Grant that I may
experience the power of thy word before I deliver it, as Moses felt the
power of his own rod, before he saw it on the land and waters of Egypt.
Grant this, for the sake of thine infinitely precious blood, O Jesus, my
hope, and my all in all!  Amen.—C. E.

IX.  “Search me now, and lead me in plain paths of judgment.  Let me
discover in this life what I am before thee, that I may not find myself
of another character, when I am shown in the light of the immortal world,
and open my eyes in all the brightness of eternity.  Wash me in thy
redeeming blood.  Amen.—C. E.

X.  “Grant me strength to depend upon thee for food and raiment, and to
make known my requests.  O let thy care be over me as a
covenant-privilege betwixt thee and myself, and not like a general care
to feed the ravens that perish, and clothe the lily that is cast into the
oven; but let thy care be over me as one of thy family, as one of thine
unworthy brethren.  Amen.—C. E.

XI.  “Grant, O Jesus! and take upon thyself the preparing of me for
death, for thou art God; there is no need, but for thee to speak the
word.  If possible, thy will be done; leave me not long in affliction,
nor to die suddenly, without bidding adieu to my brethren, and let me die
in their sight, after a short illness.  Let all things be ordered against
the day of removing from one world to another, that there be no confusion
nor disorder, but a quiet discharge in peace.  O grant me this, for the
sake of thine agony in the garden!  Amen.—C. E.

XII.  “Grant, O blessed Lord! that nothing may grow and be matured in me,
to occasion thee to cast me off from the service of the sanctuary, like
the sons of Eli; and for the sake of thine unbounded merit, let not my
days be longer than my usefulness.  O let me not be like lumber in a
house in the end of my days,—in the way of others to work.  Amen.—C. E.

XIII.  “I beseech thee, O Redeemer! to present these my supplications
before the Father: and O! inscribe them in thy book with thine own
immortal pen, while I am writing them with my mortal hand, in my book on
earth.  According to the depths of thy merit, thine undiminished grace,
and thy compassion, and thy manner unto thy people, O! attach thy name,
in thine upper court, to these unworthy petitions; and set thine amen to
them, as I do on my part of the covenant.  Amen.—CHRISTMAS EVANS,
Llangevni, Anglesea, April 10, 18—.”

Mr. Evans, in speaking of this solemn transaction and its influence upon
his spirit, subsequently observes: “I felt a sweet peace and tranquility
of soul, like unto a poor man that had been brought under the protection
of the royal family, and had an annual settlement for life made upon him;
from whose dwelling the painful dread of poverty and want had been for
ever banished away.”

Thus “strengthened with might in the inner man,” he labored with renewed
energy and zeal, and showers of blessings descended upon his labors.  In
two years, his ten preaching places in Anglesea were increased to twenty,
and six hundred converts were added to the church under his care.  “The
wilderness and solitary place were glad for them, and the desert rejoiced
and blossomed as the rose.”



STUDYING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.


Mr. Evans made several visits to Liverpool, Bristol, and other parts of
England.  On these occasions he was frequently solicited to preach in
English, to which he several times consented, to the great gratification
of his English friends.  These sermons evinced the same energy of
thought, and the same boldness of imagery, as those which he preached in
Welsh; but in the power of his peculiar delivery, they were inevitably
far inferior.  His brethren in England were much delighted with his
performances, and said it was “no wonder the Welsh were warm under such
preaching;” but his language was broken and hesitating, and they could
scarcely have any conception of his animation and energy when he spoke in
his vernacular tongue.

His success induced him to commence a systematic study of the English
language, that he might be able to preach in it with greater freedom and
effect.  He could read English before, and was somewhat familiar with the
best English authors of his day; but never acquainted himself with the
grammar of the language till he was thirty-three years of age.  But read
his own account of the matter:—

“The English brethren had prevailed upon me to preach to them in broken
English, as it was; this induced me to set about the matter in earnest,
making it a subject of prayer, for the aid of the Spirit, that I might be
in some measure a blessing to the English friends, for there appeared
some sign that God now called me to this department of labor in his
service.  I never succeeded in any thing for the good of others, without
making it a matter of prayer.  My English preaching was very broken and
imperfect in point of language; yet, through the grace of Jesus Christ,
it was made in some degree useful at Liverpool, Bristol, and some other
places.  I was about forty years old when I learned to read the Hebrew
Bible and the Greek Testament, and use Parkhurst’s Lexicons in both
languages.  I found that, had I studied the English language attentively
and perseveringly, I should be able to overcome great difficulties; and
also, that I could without much labor in the course of few years, even in
my idle hours, as it were, understand all the Hebrew words corresponding
with every Welsh word in the Bible; and so also the Greek.  I had always
before thought that it was impossible to accomplish this, for I had no
one to encourage me in the undertaking; but I found it was practicable,
and proved it in some measure, yet relinquished the pursuit on account of
my advanced age.”



NEW TROUBLES AND SORROWS.


Here we pass over several years of Mr. Evans’ history, during which
nothing of very special interest occurred, except the agitation of the
Fullerian controversy.  This is a matter which requires only a passing
notice in this brief memoir.  We let it sleep in silence.

Mr. Evans was now nearly sixty years of age.  Infirmity, the result of
his arduous labors and numerous afflictions, began to prey upon his
system.  The several congregations under his care had hitherto
constituted but one church.  But the number of preaching places had now
become too great for him, in his enfeebled state, to continue his
pastoral visits and labors among them as he had done.  He therefore
advised them to form themselves into separate churches, two or three
stations uniting in one.  This was the occasion of a dark and dreadful
storm upon the apostle of Anglesea.  Some of the churches refused the
ministers he recommended, and called others whom he disapproved.  Then
arose a bitter party spirit, and a general contention, among the
congregations.  Mr. Evans was severely censured, and even assailed with
the shafts of slander.  Many of his former friends forsook him, and some
of those who professed to feel for him in his troubles did nothing for
his vindication.  The severity of these public calamities was increased
by private afflictions.  His beloved wife had gone “the way of all the
earth.”  He was himself brought very low by sickness, in which he nearly
lost his only remaining eye, and seemed fast tending to his final home.

But though cast down, he was not destroyed.  “I wonder greatly,” says he,
“that I did not sink into the grave under the weight of sorrows that came
upon me in my old age, together with an accumulation of trials of all
kinds; but the Lord sustained me.  There was, in the midst of all, a
strong persuasion in my mind, that there was yet much work for me to do
for God in the world, as well as much to suffer, ere I died.  If I only
entered the pulpit, I felt raised as it were to Paradise—above my
afflictions—until I forgot my adversity; yea, I felt my mountain strong,
my mind was in such a heavenly frame, and as anxious as ever for the
conversion of sinners.  The truth appeared to me in its power like a
hammer in its strength.  The doctrine dropped as sweet as the honey, yea,
sweeter than the honeycomb, and as comfortable as the best wine.  I was
now particularly wishful that all the ministers in Anglesea should join
with me, according to the promise, ‘If two of you agree to ask the _same
thing_, it shall be given unto you of my Father which is in heaven;’ for
I had such confidence that then I should see prosperity attending the
ministry, and that I should not die until I had finished my work.  I said
to a brother:—‘Brother, the doctrine, the confidence, and strength which
I feel, will make some persons dance with joy yet in some parts of
Wales.’  ‘Yea, brother,’ said he, with tears flowing in streams from his
eyes.

“Every thing now contributed to remove me from Anglesea.  The unbending
disposition of those who were offended at me, and the ardor of my own
spirit, believing that there was work for me to do in some other field of
the harvest of the Son of man, and my having prayed earnestly for twelve
months for the direction of Divine Providence, together with the visions
of my head in the night seasons, appeared to unite together to lead in
one direction.  At length, the determination to leave Anglesea, afflicted
as I was, preponderated.  I was much like Jacob, leaving his father and
his mother, going with his staff only over Jordan: so was I, leaving the
church: I had prayed, yea, I had striven with God for its prosperity, and
had labored nearly forty years with it—now leaving it—possessing nothing
of this world’s goods, save the horse upon which I rode, and a small
amount of silver in my pocket; and scarcely could I say that these were
mine.”



LEGAL PROSECUTION.


During the above-mentioned tribulations he received an insulting letter,
threatening him with a civil prosecution.  “They talk,” said he, “of
casting me into a court of law, where I have never been, and hope I shall
never go; but I will cast them first into the court of Jesus Christ, the
source of law and authority.”  So saying, he retired to his chamber, and
falling upon his knees, he wept and made supplication in the following
pathetic strain:—

“O blessed Lord! in thy merit I confide, and trust to be heard.  Lord,
some of my brethren have run wild; and forgetting their duty and
obligations to their father in the gospel, they threaten me with the law
of the land.  Weaken, I beseech thee, their designs in this, as thou
didst wither the arm of Jeroboam; and soften them, as thou didst soften
the mind of Esau, and disarmed him of his warlike temper against thy
servant Jacob, after the wrestling at Penuel.  So disarm them, for I do
not know the length of Satan’s chain in this case, and in this
unbrotherly attack.  But thou canst shorten the chain as short as it may
please thee.  Lord, I anticipate them in point of law.  They think of
casting thine unworthy servant into the little courts here below; but I
cast my cause into the High Court, in which thou, gracious Jesus, art the
High Chancellor.  Receive thou the cause of thine unworthy servant, and
send them a writ or a notice immediately—sending into their conscience,
and summoning them to consider what they are doing.  O, frighten them
with a summons from thy court, until they come and bow in contrition at
thy feet; and take from their hands every revengeful weapon, and make
them deliver up every gun of scandal, and every sword of bitter words,
and every spear of slanderous expressions, and surrender them all at thy
cross.  Forgive them all their faults, and clothe them with white robes,
and give them oil for their heads, and the organ, and the harp of ten
strings, to sing, for the trampling of Satan under our feet by the God of
peace.”

Having thus poured out his heart to God, he felt some confidence of
security.  But he was never satisfied in such cases without an inward
assurance of acceptance and success.  So he went again and again; and
when, like Jesus, he had “offered up many prayers, with strong crying and
tears,” like Jacob “he had power with God, and prevailed.”  “At the
seventh time,” says he, “I came down in full confidence that Christ had
taken my cause into his own hand, and would be my Savior.  I felt as
cheerful and happy as Bunyan’s Pilgrim, when his load fell off and rolled
into the grave of Christ; or as Naaman, when he came up from the waters
of Jordan, cured of his leprosy.”

It is scarcely necessary to add, the threat was never executed.  The
Throne of Grace is the good man’s sure resort in every emergency.
Jehovah “hides him in his pavilion from the strife of tongues.”



CAERPHILLY.


An invitation, which he received about this time, to take charge of the
Baptist church in Caerphilly, Glamorganshire, South Wales, confirmed Mr.
Evans in his determination to leave the scene of his recent trials.  He
set out alone, in his sixtieth year.  The distance he had to travel was
about two hundred miles.  On the way, while dwelling on his past
misfortunes, he found his heart melted within him, and drawn out in
fervent prayer.  His faith soon triumphed over his afflictions and his
fears.  He renewed his covenant with God, and went on his way rejoicing.
This revival of his religious feelings had a powerful effect upon his
ministry.  He had not been long in Caerphilly, before the Spirit of God
was poured copiously upon the people.

Previous to this time of refreshing, he had a remarkable dream, which he
noted in his diary.  He thought he was in the church at Caerphilly, and
found many harps hanging about the pulpit, wrapped in coverings of green.
Then, said he, “I will take down the harps of heaven in this place.”  In
removing the covering, he found the ark of the covenant, inscribed with
the name of Jehovah.  Then he cried, “Brethren, the Lord has come to us,
according to his promise, and in answer to our prayers.”  In that very
place, he shortly afterward had the satisfaction of receiving one hundred
and forty converts into the church, as the fruit of his ministry.

While at Caerphilly, he entered into a second marriage.  He remained
there only two years.  He says: “I never spent a short time in greater
comfort, for the ark of God had appeared there, and the harps of one
hundred and forty souls had been tuned to the song of redemption.”  Happy
years no doubt they were, and gladly would Mr. Evans have ended his life
in Caerphilly; but troubles arose between him and some of his
parishioners, and, receiving a call from Cardiff, a neighboring town, he
went to take charge of a church in that place.



ANOTHER COVENANT.


Previous to his removal, and while he was meditating the matter, he made
a new covenant with God.  We extract again from his journal:—

“While returning from a place called Tongwynlâs over Caerphilly mountain,
the spirit of prayer descended very copiously upon me.  I wept for some
hours, and heartily supplicated Jesus Christ, for the blessings here
following.  I found at this time a particular nearness to Christ, as if
he were close by me, and my mind was filled with strong confidence that
he attended to my requests, for the sake of the merits of his own name.
This decided in favor of Cardiff.”

I.  “Grant me the great favor of being led by thee, according to thy
will—by the directions of thy providence and word, and the disposing of
my own mind by thy Spirit, for the sake of thine infinitely precious
blood.  Amen.—C. E.

II.  “Grant, if I am to leave Caerphilly, that the gale (of the Spirit’s
influence) and religious revival I had there may follow me to Cardiff,
for the sake of thy great name.  Amen.—C. E.

III.  “Grant thy blessing upon bitter things, to brighten, and quicken me
more and more, and not to depress and render me more lifeless.  Amen.—C.
E.

IV.  “Suffer me not to be trodden under the proud feet of members, or
deacons, for the sake of thy goodness.  Amen.—C. E.

V.  “Grant me the invaluable favor of being, in thine hand, the means of
calling sinners unto thyself, and of edifying thy saints, wherever thou
wilt send me, for the sake of thy name.  Amen.—C. E.

VI.  “If I am to stay at Caerphilly, give me some tokens, as to Gideon of
old, by removing the things that discourage me, and are in the way of the
prosperity of religion in that church.  Amen.—C. E.

VII.  “Grant, Lord of glory, and Head of thy church, that the Ark of the
cause which is thine, in Anglesea and Caerphilly, may be sustained from
falling into the hands of the Philistines.  Do not reject it.  Aid it
speedily, and lift up the light of thy countenance upon it; and by thy
Spirit, word, and providence, so operate as to carry things forward in
the churches, and neighborhoods, in such a manner as will produce changes
in officers, and measures that will accomplish a thorough improvement in
the great cause, for the establishment of which in the world thou hast
died;—and by scattering those that delight in war, and closing the mouths
of those that occasion confusion.  Amen.—C. E.

VIII.  “Grant me way-tokens by the time I begin my journey to Liverpool,
and from thence to Anglesea, if it is thy will that I should go thither
this year.  Amen.—C. E.

IX.  “O grant me succor beneath the shadow of the sympathy that is in
thee towards them who are tempted, and the unbounded power there is in
thee to be the relief of such.  Amen.—C. E.

X.  “Accept of my thanksgiving a hundred millions of times, that thou
hast not hitherto cast me from thine hand, as a darkened star, or a
vessel in which there is no pleasure; and suffer not my life to be
extended beyond my usefulness.  Thanks, that thou hast not given me a
prey to the teeth of any.  Blessed be thy name.  Amen.—C. E.

XI.  “For the sake of thine infinite merit, do not cast me, thy servant,
under the feet of pride and injustice, of _worldly_ greatness, riches,
and selfish oppression of any men, but hide me in the secret of thy
tabernacle from the strife of tongues.  Amen.—C. E.

XII.  “Help me to wait silently and patiently upon thee, for the
fulfilment of these things, and not become enraged, angry, and speak
unadvisedly with my lips, like Moses, the servant of the Lord.  Sustain
my heart from sinking, to wait for fresh strength from Zion.  Amen.—C. E.

XIII.  “Help me to wait upon thee for the necessaries of life; let thy
mercy and goodness follow me while I live; and, as it hath pleased thee
to honor me greatly, by the blessing thou hast vouchsafed upon the
ministry through me, as an humble instrument, at Caerphilly, after the
great storm had beaten upon me in Anglesea, like Job, grant that this
honor may continue to follow me the remainder of my days, as thou didst
unto thy servant Job.  Amen.—C. E.

XIV.  “Let this covenant abide like the covenant of salt, until I come to
thee in the world of eternal light.  I entreat aid to resign myself to
thee, and to thy will.  I beseech thee take my heart, and inscribe upon
it a deep reverence of thyself, with an inscription that time and
eternity cannot efface.  O let the remainder of my sermons be taken by
thee from my lips; and those which I write, let them be unto thee for a
praise.  Unto thee I dedicate them.  If there should be any thing in them
conducive to thy glory, and to the service of thy kingdom, do thou
preserve it, and reveal it unto men; else, let it die like the drop of a
bucket in the midst of the scorching heat of Africa.  O grant, that there
may be a drop of that water which thou alone canst impart, and which
springs up to eternal life, running through all my sermons.  In this
covenant, which probably is the last that will be written between me and
thee on the earth, I commit myself, my wife, and the churches amongst
whom I have preached, to the protection of thy grace, and the care of thy
covenant.  Amen.—C. E.

XV.  “Let this covenant continue when I am in sickness or in health, or
in any other circumstance; for thou hast overcome the world, fulfilled
the law, finished justifying righteousness, and hast swallowed up death
in victory, and all power in heaven and earth is in thine hand.  For the
sake of thy most precious blood and perfect righteousness, note this
covenant with thine own blood in the court of the memorials of forgiving
mercy: attach unto it thy name in which I believe; and here I, this day,
set my unworthy name unto it, with my mortal hand.  Amen.—Christmas
Evans.  Dated, Cardiff, April 24, 1829.”



CARDIFF.


“After having entered into this covenant,” says Mr. Evans in his diary,
“I came to Cardiff, heartily and unhesitatingly, like a merchant that
should send his vessel to sea after it had been registered in the
insurance office.  I had nothing now to lose, for I had given myself up
to the possession of Jesus, the Mediator of the New Testament, for time
and for eternity; and so I have had to abide here in the secret of his
tabernacle for these nine months.”

He removed to Cardiff in the autumn of 1828, and remained there two years
and a half.  During this time, he received into the church about eighty
converts.  He was much in secret prayer, and enjoyed intimate communion
with his God.  He not only retired for devotion several times every day,
but ordinarily rose at midnight to call upon the Lord.  But the whole
period of his residence was not a cloudless day.  Some unpleasant matters
arose in the church, which caused him much sorrow, as is evident from the
following entry in his diary:—

“April 27, 1829.  I earnestly entreat thee, blessed Jesus, for the sake
of thine own name, to regard me in this request. * * * * Let things be
ordered, O Lord, that they may not be impediments and discouragements
unto me, and a hinderance to the progress of religion.  O, interpose
between me and these obstacles, O Lord, that I may have no occasion to
dispute with any, and so embitter my spirit!  Thy power is infinite, and
thy wisdom is infallible.  Stand thou between me and all contention, that
no ill effect come upon me.  I flee to hide myself under the shadow of
thy wings.  Permit nothing to blunt the edge of my talents, my zeal, or
my success,—nor corrupt the church.  Grant me this for the sake of thine
infinitely precious blood.  Set thy name to this request in the court of
heaven, and let Satan’s party grow weaker and weaker, and the cause of
truth and righteousness become like the house of David, and the house of
David like the angel of the Lord.  Deliver me, that my spirit be not
irritated, and I speak unadvisedly with my lips, as Moses did.  Hide me
in thy pavilion from the strife of tongues * * * *.  I am as it were on
the verge of eternity; O save and preserve me by thy boundless power.
Amen, Amen, Amen.  Lord, regard, behold, hear, and spare.—Christmas
Evans.  Write this in thy book, O my Lord, and my God.  Let none be
disappointed that wait upon thee, gracious Lord.—Remember me.”

He adds in another passage:—

“I have given my soul anew to Christ; my body; my talents; my influence
in preaching; my name; my character as a man, as a Christian, and as a
preacher of the gospel; my time, and the remnant of my opportunities; my
success; my peace and comfort as a Christian and a minister.  I have
resigned all afresh into the hands of Christ.  I have commended to his
care, also, my wife, and all the circumstances of my family, and my
friends and assistants in the work of the Lord, for whom I pray earnestly
that they may be blessed, throughout Anglesea, Caernarvon, Caerphilly,
Cardiff, and indeed in all the counties of Wales.  There are many of them
who were helpers to me in my day.  I will say, in the language of Paul,
and I hope with affectionate emotions of love to Jesus Christ, ‘The Lord
grant unto them that they may find mercy of the Lord in that day.’  It is
a great privilege to a minister to retain beloved friends, who have
helped him with their prayers and sympathy.  O bless those whom I have,
and preserve the new race, the new generation of them that I have found
in these parts.  I committed to God, also, those who obstruct the
progress of the cause here, and disturb the unity and brotherly love of
the church.  Let Christ, whose the church is, and let not me, remove
every obstacle, either by changing and melting in the love of the gospel,
or taking them somewhere else, where they shall not be a curse and an
impediment to the cause—and by the means that shall seem fit in his
sight.  A word or a nod of thine shuts and opens heaven and earth, and
all the locks of the land of _Hades_, or the invisible state.  For the
sake of the blood of thy covenant, grant the above things unto me, thine
unworthy servant.”



SERMONS FOR THE PRESS.


During his sojourn at Cardiff, though now sixty-five years old, much
debilitated, and almost blind, he wrote about two hundred sermons for the
press, many of which have since been published.  It is certainly very
remarkable, that he should write, at his advanced age, with all the vigor
and vivacity of his earlier years.  Perhaps, of all the sermons he ever
made, those composed at Cardiff are the best.  Most of them were preached
on the Sabbath, and written out during the following week.  This
circumstance, with their author’s peculiar nearness to God, may account
for their freshness and power.

Mr. Evans was in the habit of referring every important matter to God.
We find in his diary the following paragraph:—

“Cardiff, February 2, 1829.  Lord, I have been importuned by many of my
brethren in the ministry, to prepare a number of my sermons, that have
been in the course of my ministry the most useful in thine hand for the
conversion of sinners, with a view to publication.  I had no time when in
Anglesea to engage in the work, because my circumstances required so much
travelling every week.  I left the work to lie by, the two years I was at
Caerphilly; but here, at Cardiff, I have had a new impulse in my thoughts
to enter upon it; and I come unto thee, my great Lord, to consult thee,
who art the Head of the church, and the Head-Prophet and Teacher of thy
people.  Shall I proceed with the work or not?  Is it a part of my duty,
or is it a useless, foolish notion of my own?  I entreat thy gracious
direction in this matter, for the sake of thy great name.  Suffer me not
to afflict myself, when my eyesight is so weak, with a work that thou
wilt not bless, but which shall be buried in the land of forgetfulness.
If thou wilt not open a door—with thee are the keys of the house of
David—in thy providence, that I may obtain subscribers, and bring the
work through the press, without hazarding myself in such a way as will
involve me in debt and disgrace: and also if thou, the great feeder of
the flock, wilt not direct me to give the true gospel, not only without
error, but with the savor and unction which accompanies the works of
Bunyan and others, which thy Spirit is likely to make use of whilst thou
hast churches in Wales: if they should not be for thy glory in the
building up of thy church, and the calling of sinners,—if these objects
should not be accomplished by the publication of the sermons, dispose my
mind to relinquish the undertaking.  But if thou wilt patronise the work,
strengthen me to accomplish the design.  Lord, thou knowest I feel my own
insufficiency for such an important enterprise, and my unworthiness to
solicit of thee such a favor: but I cannot refrain from making these
requests: therefore, for the sake of thine infinite merits, according to
thy manner unto thy people, grant unto me my request.  Amen.”



WELSH JUMPING.


In the autumn of 1829, Mr. Evans wrote in his diary extensive notes of a
conversation which he had with several ministers in Bristol, on “the
manner of religious rejoicing so remarkable among the Welsh.”  His
friends condemned it in a sweeping sentence, under the name of “Welsh
jumping.”  Mr. Evans attempted its vindication.  We insert his own
account:

“I observed that I could find no account of it among the Welsh until the
time of Harris and Rowlands, Calvinistic Methodists, who flourished in
Wales about the same time as Whitefield and Wesley in England.  The
preaching of these men was the means of producing a religious revival
throughout all the principality, which had sunk into a state of deep
lethargy, since the time of the great awakening under Vavasor Powell,
about one hundred years before.  At this period nothing was to be seen in
almost every parish but young men and young women flocking together into
the churches and church-yards, and engaging in different gambols and
pastimes, such as ball-playing, foot-ball, leaping, fighting, and such
like frolics, as if Wales had been changed into an Olympic mountain, and
old paganism restored again.  It is true, there were some preachers and
churches, both Congregationalists and Baptists, then existing in the
principality; but their talents, their spirits, or their magnanimity
could not storm such a fortress of impiety.  And, besides, there was a
dreadful prejudice still remaining in the country against all sects,
since the days of Charles II.; and they suffered persecution even unto
blood, for about one hundred years previous to the appearing of these
men.  But from the ashes of those sufferers the revival by Harris and
Rowlands sprung up, as did Luther from the ashes of Huss and Jerome of
Prague.

“Mr. Rowlands and Mr. Harris were both of the communion of the Episcopal
church, and, as such, there was not so much enmity against them at first;
but after they had come out, and when the people understood that they
were preachers of the cross of Christ, considerable persecution arose
against them from the multitude; but it was now too late—for the gates of
the city were opened—the leaven was put in the meal—the fire had been
kindled—the sword was drawn from the scabbard, and many had been wounded,
(spiritually,) and were ready to open the door for the gospel in spite of
every danger.  Harris, Rowlands, and the two Williams’s, had been clothed
with power from on high, and the hammer of their ministry was
sufficiently heavy to break in pieces the northern iron. {43}  Several
laymen of powerful minds were also raised up about this time; such as Mr.
David Morris, and others, who were valuable auxiliaries to carry on the
work.  By their ministry, this praising and jumping in religious
enjoyment began in Wales, which has not wholly left it on certain
occasions until this day.

“As an apology for them, granting at the same time the possibility of
extremes even in a good cause in the present state; and that graceless
persons may feel something from these excitements as of the powers of the
world to come, in the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost in the apostolic
age; observe,

“1.  That it appears to me like the residue of the Spirit, and the powers
of the world to come; which were necessary to open a way for the gospel
through the darkness and obduracy of paganism in the days of the
apostles.

“2.  It is no argument of importance against it, that many graceless
persons felt a considerable degree of influence at the time, as well as
others; for so it was in the case of Saul, king of Israel, and some
besides named in Scripture.

“3.  There is no essential difference between religious enjoyment in
Wales and that which is now experienced in America; and that which
accompanied the preaching of Whitefield in England, and even in Scotland:
and that which also followed the ministry of President Edwards, in
America, when whole towns and neighborhoods echoed with the sound of
persons praying and praising God, as if a bursting cloud-shower of the
Spirit of grace and prayer had descended upon them.  Persons under the
ministry of Whitefield wept, cried for mercy, and even fainted by the
power of this influence.

“4.  And such gracious influences are necessary for the spread of the
gospel in every country, and in every land: and therefore the Millennium
is described in the Bible as a period remarkable for the outpouring of
the Holy Ghost—‘that a nation shall be born at once,’ {44a}—and ‘the
flowing of the nations shall be to the mountain of the Lord’s house.’
{44b}  It is this influence that has driven, as it were, the gospel into
every nook of the mountains of Wales, as well as into its cities, towns,
and villages; while in England, with all the advantages of education, the
gospel, in a manner, is hid in a corner; and it has not run through the
country, and searched out, and taken possession of all the inland parts
of that spiritual Africa, and that for the want of these gales of divine
influence, and powers peculiar to the gospel: and it can never be spread
through every part of England as it is in Wales without these gifts.
Common preaching will not do to rouse sluggish districts from the heavy
slumbers into which they are sunk.  Indeed, formal prayers and lifeless
sermons are like bulwarks raised against these things in England; and
this evil genius has also entered the principality under the pretence of
order.  Five or six stanzas will be sung as dry as Gilboa, instead of one
or two verses, like a new song, full of God, of Christ, and the Spirit of
grace, until the heart is attuned for worship.  The burying-grounds are
kept in fine order in Glamorganshire, and green shrubs and herbs grow on
the graves, but all this is of little value, for the inhabitants of them
are all dead—so is every form of godliness where its power is not felt.
Order without life is exceedingly worthless.  You exhibit all the
character of human nature, leaving every bud of the flower to open in the
beams of the sun, except in divine worship.  On other occasions you
appear to have as much fire in your affections as the Welsh have.  If you
are noticed in a court of law, the most efficient advocate, such as
Erskine, will give you the greatest satisfaction; but you are contented
with a preacher, speaking so lifelessly and so low that you can hardly
understand the third part of what he says; and you will call this decency
in the sanctuary.  To-morrow, I shall see you answering fully to the
human character, in your own actions.  When the speakers on the platform
will be urging the claims of missions, you will then beat the boards, and
manifest so much life and cheerfulness, that not one of you will be seen
to take up a note-book, nor any other book, while the speaker shall be
addressing you.  A Welshman might suppose, by hearing your noise, that he
had been silently conveyed to the midst of one of the meetings of the
‘Welsh jumpers,’ with this difference, that you would perceive many more
tears shed, and hear more ‘calves of the lips’ {45} offered up, in the
rejoicing meetings of Wales.  But you will use your heels well on such
occasions, and a little of your tongues.  But even in Wales, in certain
places—that is, places where the fervent gales are not enjoyed which fill
persons with fear and terror and joy in approaching the altar of God—you
may see, while hearing a sermon, one looking into his hymn-book, another
into his note-book, and a third turning over the leaves of his Bible, as
if he were going to study a sermon in the sanctuary, instead of attending
to what is spoken by the preacher as the mouth of God.  If there is joy
and gladness pertaining to many, the light of God’s countenance in the
sanctuary should develope it; until a fire is kindled, and he speak with
his tongue, making melody unto the Lord in his heart, and praising Him
with his lips.

“5.  It is in vain to urge objections against these powerful gales of
divine influence, and allege that it is under the ministry of the
illiterate preachers of Wales only they are experienced.  Harris,
Rowlands, and the two Williamses were not so, for they had been brought
up for the established church.  Whitefield and Edwards were men of
education, and they preached the doctrine which in England is considered
evangelical.

“6.  It is also beside the point to affirm that only persons of no
weight, that is, ignorant boys and girls, are in the habit of thus
rejoicing and praising God in His temple; for it is certain, that those
who express their joy in this manner possess so much sound experimental
knowledge, as to make them eminent in that respect.  I have listened to
many of them in the midst of their enjoyment, and have often been
delighted while they repeated true, evangelical, and substantial stanzas,
replete with profound sentiment: for in such seasons, they could find out
the very best, which made impressions on their memories; and these
rapturous feelings developed them, as if the tongue were moved by the
heat and force of the fire within.  And many other things of an
evangelical and gracious character they will utter on these joyful
occasions, with such heavenly eloquence as would be inimitable, and
impracticable even for themselves to utter with the same effect, without
enjoying these meltings of spirit.  This enjoyment is accompanied by many
tears and much tenderness of heart: nor are persons of a dry spirit and
hard heart ever regarded as fit subjects for this work of praise, in
these blessed seasons of Christian enjoyment.  It does not accord with
any, but with him whose heart melts like wax, and runs in the form and
mould of the gospel.

“7.  There is no way in which churches or particular persons may enjoy
this heavenly ecstasy, but by walking with God, and by cultivating a
spirit of watchfulness and prayer, which shows its pure and holy
character.  It awakens watchfulness against all evil tempers, improper
expressions, and wicked actions, lest the sense of it should be lost.
Such a frame of mind cannot be expected by living in sin.  These
individuals come to the house of God with an earnest desire for this
enjoyment, and dreading lest there should be a something in them which
would cause God to deny them this unspeakable privilege.  It is an
exceedingly easy matter for a minister to manage a congregation while
Christian enjoyment keeps them near to God.  They are diligent and
zealous, and ready for every good work.  But it is very easy to offend
this joyous spirit—or give it what name you please, enthusiasm, religious
madness, or Welsh jumping, (its English name,)—and make it hide itself.
A quarrel and disagreement in the church will occasion it to withdraw
immediately.  Indulging in sin, in word or deed, will soon put it to
flight.  It is like unto the angel formerly, who could not behold the sin
of Israel without hiding himself; so is the angel of the _religious_ life
of Wales, which proves him to be a holy angel, though he has the name of
a ‘Welsh jumper.’  My prayer is, that this angel be a guard upon every
congregation, and that none should do any thing to offend him.  It is an
exceedingly powerful assistant to accompany us through the wilderness.
But the individual that has not felt its happy influences, has nothing to
lose; hence he does not dread a dry meeting and a hard prayer, for they
are all the same to him; but the people of this enjoyment pray before
prayer, and before hearing, that they may meet with God in them.

“8.  The seasons when these blessings are vouchsafed to the churches of
Wales, are to be noticed.  It is generally at a time when the cause of
religion is at a low ebb—all gone to slumber.  This happy spirit of
enjoyment, like the angel of the pillar of fire, appears when there is
distress, and every thing at the worst.  Its approach to the congregation
is like the glory of God returning to the temple of old; it creates a
stir among the brethren,—they have a new prayer, and a new spirit given
them to worship God.  This will lay hold of another,—some new strength
and light will appear in the pulpit, until it will be imagined that the
preacher’s voice is altered, and that his spirit is become more
evangelical, and that he preaches with a more excellent savor than usual.
Tenderness will descend upon the members, and it will be seen that Mr.
Wet-eyes and Mr. Amen have taken their place among them.  The heavenly
gale will reach some of the old backsliders, and they are brought with
weeping to seek their forfeited privilege.  By this time the sound of
Almighty God will be heard in the outer court, beginning to move the
hearers like a mighty wind shaking the forest.  In these seasons of
refreshing from the presence of the Lord some churches will receive, in
the course of a year, additions of one hundred, others a hundred and
fifty, and some others upwards of two hundred new members.  Sometimes,
the gale seems as if it blew upon the outer court—upon the hearers, and
the young people from ten to fifteen years of age—when nothing
extraordinary appears in the light and effect of the ministry, nor in the
church; but afterwards making its way through the outer court to rouse
the inner court, until a great concern is awakened for the state of the
soul.  But observe: The revival that begins in the church, and proceeds
from thence to the world, and not that which commences outside of the
church, is more frequent, and more efficient in its converts, for the
pangs of labor are to begin in Zion.

“9.  Again, it may be remarked that the happy effects which follow these
powerful revivals, evince their nature.  They are certain, where they are
strong, to bend the oaks of Bashan—men of strong and sturdy minds, and
haughty hearts—to attend the ministry of the word.  They will bring all
the ships of Tarshish, the merchants of this world, into the harbor of
hearing.  The power of the day of the Lord will raze all the walls of
bigotry to the foundations.  The thoughts of eternal realities, and the
spirit of worship, are by these blessings diffused abroad, and family
worship is established in scores of families, where a few months before
no regard was had unto it.  The door of such a district, thus opened by
the powers of the world to come, shall not be closed against the hearers
of the gospel, until a goodly number of souls are there converted unto
God.  Where the living waters flow, dead fish are made alive by its
virtues.

“10.  Since the first appearing of these gracious gifts at Llangeitho,
under the ministry of Mr. Rowlands, they have been showers of blessings,
which are poured down on the congregations of the Baptists and
Congregationalists as well as the Calvinistic Methodists; and sometimes
one of these denominations is favored with them, whilst the others are
destitute.  These refreshing seasons were, at times, experienced in a
very powerful manner at Llangeitho, for about fifty years; that is, all
the period of Mr. Rowlands’ ministrations in that church.  About two
thousand persons assembled there for communion once a month, from the
several counties of Wales, even in winter, and about three thousand in
the summer season; which rendered it the most extraordinary place in
Europe, and beyond a doubt, hundreds of those who assembled there, on
such occasions, are now in heaven singing the new song.  If to live on
the merits of Christ, to fear God, and praise him, and lead a sober and
righteous life, is an evidence of a godly state, then this was visible
_at that time_ at Llangeitho.”



CAERNARVON.


Mr. Evans’ next settlement was in Caernarvon.  The Baptist interest in
that town was in a feeble and languishing condition.  The church numbered
about thirty members, but they were chiefly of the lowest class, and
sadly disunited.  They had a decent house of worship, but it was involved
in a debt of £800.  “All things,” said Mr. Evans, “seemed like a waste
howling wilderness; yea, a habitation of dragons, where they made their
rest night and day.”  Some advised the dissolution of the church, but he
thought better to attempt its reformation.  His coming produced quite a
sensation through the town.  His first congregation was very large, and
for some time multitudes flocked to his ministry, but they were only
accidental hearers, generally members of other churches, who, when they
had satisfied their curiosity, returned to their own places of worship.
His Welsh biographer mentions with commendation the sympathy and help
which he received from the Wesleyan and the Calvinistic Methodists, and
Mr. Evans himself calls them the Aarons and the Hurs that sustained his
hands in Caernarvon.

His labors and zeal in this place were not less than in Caerphilly and
Cardiff; but owing to many unfavorable circumstances, his success was far
inferior.  During the first year, however, he reduced the chaos around
him to some incipient order; and was enabled, by the payment of a
mortgage upon the church, to save it from sheriff’s sale.  He employed a
Mr. Edwards to travel into England, Ireland, and Scotland, and make
collections for this purpose.  Mr. Evans was already known extensively,
as the author of the celebrated Specimen of Welsh Preaching, which had
been translated into English, and published in many of the periodicals,
eliciting universal admiration.  Mr. Edwards had this piece reprinted,
and distributed the copies wherever he went, thus making known the pastor
of the church for which he solicited pecuniary aid.

Though the aged servant of God saw few conversions from his labors in
Caernarvon, the seed which he sowed in tears upon that sterile soil has
sprung up since his decease, and others have gathered the harvest.  The
Baptist church there has experienced a gracious revival, and many of the
new converts attribute their salvation, under God, to Christmas Evans.

While in Caernarvon he penned in his journal the following pious
reflections: “I have been thinking of the great goodness of the Lord unto
me throughout my unworthy ministry, and now, in my old age, I see the
work prospering wonderfully in my hand, so that there is reason to think
that I am in some degree a blessing to the church, when I might have been
a burden to it, or rather a curse, by which she might have been induced
to wish me laid in the earth, that I might no longer prevent the progress
of the work.  Thanks be to God, that it is not so! though I deserve no
better; yet I am in the land of mercy.  This is unto me according to the
manner of God unto his people.  My path in the valley, the dangers, and
the precipices of destruction upon which I have stood, rushes into my
thoughts, and also the sinking of many in death, and the downfall of
others by immorality, and their burial in Kibroth-Hattaavah, the graves
of inordinate desire; together with the withering, the feebleness, and
the unfruitfulness of some through the influence of a secret departure
from God, and of walking in the hidden paths that lead to apostasy.”



PULPIT POPULARITY.


Mr. Evans’ popularity in the pulpit was never greater than during the
last few years of his life.  His descriptive powers, which were
transcendent from the first, improved to the day of his death.  His
services were always solicited at the anniversaries of the Missionary and
Bible societies in Caernarvon, and the mayor of that town once made him a
handsome present for a temperance speech which he delivered there.

In 1834, he preached at the Holyhead association.  His text was Heb. vi.
18.  There were many seamen present; and beautifully did the preacher
describe the believer’s hope, “the anchor of the soul;” and eloquently
did he set forth the necessity of its having, not a bare rock, but a rock
covered with clay—not abstract divinity, but “God manifest in the
flesh,”—in order that its hold may be “sure and steadfast,” securing the
Christian against spiritual shipwreck amid the many storms of the World!

The last association he ever attended in Anglesea was held in the same
place, in 1837.  On that occasion he preached from Col. ii. 14, 15.  This
sermon was one of the most effective he ever delivered.  “The powerful
manner,” says one of his friends “in which he described the enemies, who
were like unicorns and strong bulls of Bashan, and all the little
elves—the great roaring lion, together with all the hosts and
principalities and powers of hell, death, and the grave, giving way when
Christ cried, ‘It is finished,’ was indescribably grand and majestic: one
might have thought that the scene was actually before the eye, and that
Jesus could be then seen laying hold of the powers of darkness, casting
them forth, and making a show of them openly.”



INTERESTING LETTER.


We insert in this place an interesting letter written during Mr. Evans’
residence at Caernarvon.

    “Beloved Brother: * * * I write to you, August 5, 1836, in the
    seventieth year of my age, and in the fiftieth of my ministry, after
    conversing much with ministerial brethren, earnestly desiring to see
    our associational union brought into action by representatives of the
    churches, with a view to promote a determination,—1.  To bear each
    other’s burden more efficiently in the denomination to which we
    belong.  I lament the deficiency in this point, and ardently wish to
    see it effectually remedied.  2.  To watch over and promote a holy
    conversation among all the members and all the preachers in a more
    efficient manner, to prevent persons of unbecoming conversation from
    obtaining privileges in any church, when they have been excluded in
    another, for that would occasion spots and blemishes to appear on the
    bright countenance of the ministry.  The associational union, in
    which all the churches of the same faith and order join, should be a
    defence of the independence of the churches through their
    representatives: it should also operate as a sort of check upon
    independency, lest it should become opposed to the general good, and
    frustrate the co-operation of the whole body.  _That they may all be
    one_, is the motto.

    “Respecting church discipline.  We cannot be certain that we are
    doing right by administering the same punishment to all offenders,
    even for the same offence; for the general character weighs heavily
    in the balance of discipline.  Also a distinction should be made
    between the seducer and the seduced; and between being overcome, or
    falling into sin, and living habitually in sin, and following it as a
    slave following his master.  The denial of Peter, from weakness, and
    without previous deliberation, was very different from the betrayal
    of Judas, and his intentional selling of Christ.  The different
    characters of Saul, king of Israel, and that of David, required
    different treatment in discipline on account of their offences.  The
    Lord’s discipline upon Saul was that of a rod of iron, but upon David
    the correcting rod of a father, for his good, that he might be a
    partaker of his holiness.

    “There are two things, brother, which we ought to avoid in the
    exercise of discipline.  1. We should avoid too great severity on the
    one part, and 2, too much leniency on the other part.  Wisdom is
    necessary here to distinguish the different characters, those who
    require severity, and those who claim tenderness: the two are to be
    found blended in the principle of evangelical discipline.  A
    difference is to be made betwixt some who may have been companions in
    the same crime; snatching some of them as brands from the burning.
    The ground of the distinction lies in the different amount of guilt
    which subsists between the seducer and the seduced.

    “I have witnessed danger, and have sustained some harm myself, and
    seen harm done in churches, by exercising tenderness towards some
    persons, in the vain hope of their reformation.  Receiving verbal
    testimony or mere fluent acknowledgments from their lips, without
    waiting for fruit in action also: some having been often accused, and
    as often turning to the refuges frequented by them.  I never
    exercised tenderness towards such as these, without being repaid by
    them afterwards, if they had opportunity.  Shimei-like, they would
    curse me after having shed the best oil of tenderness on their heads.
    There are some in the Christian church like Jezebel; and there are
    some in our congregations like Joab, the son of Zeruiah, that you can
    scarce discipline them without rending the kingdom, until they become
    ripe for judgment; for they hardly ever repent, more than did Joab
    and Shimei; they are ultimately suddenly broken, without any danger
    to the church from their fall.

    “I perceive that the Scriptures make a difference between one that
    falls into sin, and one wallowing in it; between one overtaken by a
    party of marauders, and dragged into the camp, and made drunk at
    supper, and one like Judas, going to the party, and being secretly
    one of them, having pistols as they had: such are hypocrites.  I have
    many times been the advocate of the fallen, and in a variety of
    instances have observed this operating beneficially for the church.
    Sometimes I have found those who had been spared upon their own
    verbal contrition, blessing God for his long forbearance of them, and
    also their spiritual brethren, who had in a manner set their bones;
    as the Scripture hath it, ‘Restore such an one in the spirit of
    meekness.’

    “We should be careful that discretion and love be in exercise, though
    in strife and contention it be not always an easy matter to do this.
    When the beasts of dissension get loose from the caravan, Satan
    sometimes drives them through the streets of Zion, that they may
    enter the houses of the inhabitants; and like the lioness that
    escaped from the keepers at Shrewsbury, and attacked the foremost
    horse in the carriage; {53} so contentions frequently attack the
    leaders, in order to stop the carriage of the ministry as it travels
    on in the labors of the pulpit.  In the midst of the noise of strife,
    the man of God must raise his voice to heaven for courage and
    tenderness, so that the oil of Christ’s love to the souls of men may
    be found in the oil-flagon of reproof, which is poured on the head;
    for if anger and revenge enter in, they will drop, like the spider in
    Germany, into the pot, and that will prevent the salutary effect of
    the oil, because the poison of wrath is mixed with it.  The
    righteousness of God cannot be fulfilled in this manner in the
    discipline.  O! brother, who is sufficient for these things, without
    constant help from heaven?  How awful is this place!  This is the
    house of God and the gate of heaven—and here is a ladder by which we
    may climb up for help; and a school in which we may learn how to
    conduct ourselves in the house of God.

    “You cannot but be conscious, brother, of the great difficulty there
    is not to speak unadvisedly with our lips, as did Moses whilst
    drawing water for the rebellious Israelites.  The rebellion of the
    people had imbittered his spirit, so that his obduracy stood like a
    cloud between the people and the tenderness of the Lord, when he was
    showing mercy upon them by giving them water.  Moses upbraided their
    rebellion instead of showing mercy, as the dispensation of God now
    required; a dispensation which contained in it a secret intimation of
    the great mercy to be shown by the death of Christ on the cross.
    Their strife was the cause of imbittering the spirit of Moses, yet he
    should have possessed his soul in patience.

    “There are two things, brother, which you should observe: First, you
    will be called upon to attend to causes of contention; and you will
    find persons so hardened, that you will not be able to obtain weapons
    in all the armory of God’s word that will terrify them and make them
    afraid of entering their old haunts.  Such are persons without faith,
    and without the fear of God and the love of Christ influencing their
    minds; and though you warn them of the consequences of their
    contentions, that they are likely to deprive them of the privileges
    of the house of God, and thus forfeit the promised land, yet they
    stand unmoved, nothing terrified, for they value the flesh-pots of
    Egypt and their livelihood there, more than the manna and the land of
    promise.  You cannot frighten them by speaking of the danger and loss
    of the immunities of the church below, or that above; Esau-like, they
    will sell their birthright as Christian professors for a mess of
    pottage.  A man who has no money is not afraid to meet with robbers
    in the wood; but the individual that has gold to lose will be
    cautious and watchful, lest he should be robbed of his property.  On
    a night of great storm, when ships are broken to pieces and sinking,
    a person who has no share in any of them will not tremble or feel any
    concern on their account.  Thus there are some men concerning whom it
    is impossible to make them dread going out among the rapacious beasts
    of backslidings, and no storms can keep them in fear.  Their spirit
    is one with the marauders, and they have no care, for they have
    nothing to lose in the tempests that blow upon the cause of the
    religion of Christ.  These are the tares, or the children of the
    wicked one, in the church.

    “Secondly, for your own encouragement, brother, I remark that you
    will have to attend to the exercise of discipline, and to treat with
    persons that may be alarmed, and made to tremble at the word of God,
    and not rush on presumptuously in their evil course.  These are
    professors who possess white garments, and the gold of faith, and
    eye-salve from the unction of the Holy One.  These individuals are
    rich in faith.  They are afraid of revolutions and upsettings of the
    constitutional order of the new covenant, for they have funds
    invested in the stocks of God’s kingdom.  They are afraid that any
    storm or rock of offence should come in the way of the gospel ship,
    for their treasure is on board of it, and they have an interest in
    it.  They dread the thought of walking unwatchfully and licentiously,
    lest they should be robbed of their riches, and forfeit the
    fellowship of God in prayer, lose the light of his countenance, and
    his peace in the means of grace, and lest they should be deprived of
    their confidence in the merits of Christ and a good conscience.  They
    have denied themselves, and have pulled out the right eye, lest they
    should not be acceptable before God.  They dread harboring in their
    bosoms the old guilt and former doubts.  They are cautious not to
    give a night’s lodging to such miscreants as anger, revenge, lust,
    and things which are of the earth; for they know that these are
    robbers, and if they have any indulgence they will steal away the
    _title-deeds_ of assurance to the inheritance.  They are well aware,
    also, that they will sustain the loss of a pure conscience, which has
    been purged by the blood of Christ, and which, as a golden chest, is
    a preserver of our confidence immovable unto the end.  It is
    possible, brother, to manage and discipline such professors.  They
    have something to lose, consequently they will not flee from their
    refuge, lest they should be destroyed.  _Keep that which thou hast_.
    David lost for a season the enjoyment of the above blessings; but he
    was cleansed with hyssop, had his spirit renewed, and his riches were
    restored to him by faith’s view of the Messiah, for which he vowed to
    sing aloud for ever and ever.  He prayed, after this, to be delivered
    from presumptuous sins, lest he should be imprisoned a second time by
    a party so wicked and detestable.  May the spiritual gift be kindled
    in you, brother.  Grace be with you for ever and ever.

                                                          “Affectionately,
                                                         “CHRISTMAS EVANS.

    “_Caernarvon_, _August_ 5, 1836.”



TOUR THROUGH THE PRINCIPALITY.


In April, 1838, when Mr. Evans had been about four years in Caernarvon,
the church under his charge received notice to pay up the £300 yet due on
their house of worship.  He took a tour through the principality, to
collect money for this purpose.  Before he set out, he wrote a circular
to his brethren, which was published in the Welsh Magazine.  We make the
following extract:—

    “The term of the lease of life has expired in my case, even three
    score and ten years, and I am very much afflicted.  I have purposed
    to sacrifice myself to this object, though I am afraid I shall die in
    the journey, and fear I shall not succeed in my errand for Christ.
    We have no source to which we can now repair, but our own
    denomination in Wales, and brethren and friends of other communities
    that may sympathize with us.  O brethren, pray with me for protection
    on the journey—for strength and health this _once_, on occasion of my
    bidding farewell to you all—pray for the light of the Lord’s
    countenance upon me in preaching, pray for his own glory, and that
    his key may open the hearts of the people to contribute towards his
    cause in its present exigency.  O help us, brethren,—when you see the
    old brother, after having been fifty-three years in the ministry,
    now, instead of being in the grave with his colleagues, or resting at
    home with three of them who are yet alive—brethren Lewis of
    Llanwenarth, Davies of Velin Voel, and Thomas of Aberduar {56}—when
    you see him coming, with the furrows of death in his countenance, the
    flowers of the grave on his head, and his whole constitution
    gradually dissolving; having labored fifty years in the ministry in
    the Baptist denomination.  He comes to you with hundreds of prayers
    bubbling as it were from the fountain of his heart, and with a
    mixture of fear and confidence.  O do not frown upon him!—he is
    afraid of your frowns.  Smile upon him by contributing cheerfully to
    his cause this once for all.  If you frown upon me, ministers and
    deacons, by intimating an _irregular case_, I am afraid I shall sink
    into the grave before returning home.  This is my last sacrifice for
    the Redeemer’s cause.”

In this journey, he was cordially received everywhere by the churches,
and very successful in raising money.  At no former period of his life
was his popularity so great as now.  Wherever he preached, the place was
thronged at an early hour; and frequently multitudes remained without,
unable to obtain admittance.



MONMOUTHSHIRE ASSOCIATION.


During this tour, he attended the Monmouthshire Association, and preached
his last associational sermon.  In his introduction, he described a man
whom he had seen in Caernarvon, throwing a few beans to a herd of swine
that followed him, and thus enticing them to the door of the
slaughter-house, where they were to be slain; and said that, in a similar
manner, with one temptation after another, Satan allures deluded sinners
to the very gates of hell, where they are to be tormented for ever and
ever.  He spoke of the gospel on the day of Pentecost, as a great
electrical machine; Christ turning the handle; Peter placing the chain in
contact with the people: and the Holy Ghost descending like a stream of
ethereal fire, and melting the hearts of three thousand at once!

Perhaps no sermon that Mr. Evans ever preached evinced more vigor of
intellect, more power and splendor of genius, than this; and seldom, if
ever, had he a more perfect command over the feelings of an audience.
But the effort was too much for him, and he was afterward confined to his
room by illness for a week.



LAST SERMON, SICKNESS, AND DEATH.


Following this indefatigable man of God, we find him, on Sunday, the
fifteenth of July, notwithstanding his late illness, at Swansea,
preaching like a seraph, on the Prodigal Son in the morning, and in the
evening on the words of St. Paul—“I am not ashamed of the gospel of
Christ,” &c.

The next evening he preached in the church at Mount Pleasant.  He said he
had taken his pulpit model from the day of Pentecost.  He described the
event of that memorable day, as a great naval battle between Emanuel and
the Prince of Darkness.  “The captain of our salvation” sent out twelve
little boats to engage the whole fleet of hell.  For a time all was
enveloped in fire and smoke, and the issue of the day seemed doubtful;
but when the conflict ceased, and the cloud cleared away, it was
ascertained that the twelve little boats had captured three thousand of
Satan’s ships of war.

When the preacher sat down, he said, “_This is my last sermon_.”  And so
it was.  That night he was taken violently ill.  The next day he lay in a
partial stupor, taking but little notice of his friends.  The third day
he seemed somewhat better.  On the morning of the fourth day, Thursday,
he arose and walked in the garden.  Toward evening he sunk again, and
grew worse during the night.  At two of the clock on Friday morning, he
said to his friends:—“I am about to leave you.  I have labored in the
sanctuary fifty-three years; and this is my comfort and confidence, that
I have never labored without blood in the basin”—meaning, evidently, that
he had not failed to preach “Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”  After a
few more remarks of a similar character, he repeated a Welsh stanza,
expressive of his firm trust in the Redeemer; and then, as if he had done
with earth, and desired to depart, exclaimed in English—“GOOD-BYE! DRIVE
ON!”  He now turned over, and seemed to sleep.  His friends tried to
rouse him.  It was too late.  The angelic postillion had obeyed the
order.  The chariot had passed over the everlasting hills.

Thus died Christmas Evans, at the house of his friend, Rev. Daniel
Davies, in Swansea, July 19th, 1838, in the 73d year of his age, and the
54th of his ministry.  His life was blameless, and his end was peace.
“This honor have all his saints!”



FUNEREAL SORROW.


His funeral took place four days after his death.  Never before was there
such a funeral in Swansea, never such a concourse of mourners.  The
people came in crowds, and wept their way to the grave as if they had
been following the bier of their father.  The melancholy tidings of his
departure spread through the principality, and the fountains of sorrow
were everywhere unsealed.  In Anglesea, especially, the grief was deep
and universal.  There he had spent more than half of his ministerial
life, and hundreds owned him as their father in Christ.  The Baptist
pulpits were all clothed in mourning, and funeral sermons were preached
throughout the principality.



PORTRAITURE.


PERSONAL APPEARANCE.


MR. EVANS was a good-looking man, nearly six feet high, and well
proportioned.  His intellectual faculties, phrenologically speaking, were
amply developed.  He had lost one of his eyes in his youth, but the other
was large and bright enough for two.  It had a peculiarly penetrating
glance; and when kindling under the inspiration of the pulpit, added
wonderfully to the effect of his eloquence.  All his features were
expressive of intelligence and love; his whole bearing, dignified and
majestic; and the blending of great and amiable qualities in his
character commanded at once the reverence and the confidence of all who
knew him.



MORAL AND CHRISTIAN CHARACTER.


From the time of his conversion to the day of his death, Mr. Evans
exhibited a consistent and exemplary piety.  Though he several times fell
into darkness and doubt, and lost a portion of his burning zeal, he never
forfeited his place in the church, or tarnished his Christian name.  The
uprightness of his deportment was acknowledged by all his neighbors; and
those of other denominations, differing widely from him in creed and
custom, always accorded to him the reputation of “a holy man of God.”
But his piety was never ostentatious or austere.  Modesty and humility
were among his most prominent qualities, and a high degree of Christian
cheerfulness characterized his conversation.  However low, at times, his
religious enjoyment, he was always careful to walk with becoming
circumspection before the world, that the cause of Christ might suffer no
reproach through his imprudence.



SOCIAL DISPOSITION.


Mr. Evans was naturally of a quick and irritable temper; but Divine Grace
subdued his constitutional impetuosity, made him “gentle toward all men,”
and clothed him with “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.”  He was
eminently social in his feelings, and took great delight in the company
of his friends.  It cost him no effort to render himself agreeable in any
society.  In the cottage and the mansion he was equally at home, and the
unlettered peasant and the erudite philosopher were equally interested by
his conversation.  He never had any children of his own, but was always
remarkably fond of the children of others.  After discoursing for an hour
on the sublimest topics of the Christian faith, in a style befitting
their importance, to the great delight, and often to the amazement of all
who heard him, he would descend to the relation of some pretty story, in
a manner so affectionate and familiar as at once to win the hearts and
enlighten the minds of half a dozen bright-eyed little creatures, grouped
around him like Peter Parley’s scholars in the picture.



READING AND STUDY.


Mr. Evans was a great lover of books.  He seized and devoured with
avidity every interesting volume that fell in his way.  He never resorted
to reading, however, as a mere pastime.  He sought for mental and
spiritual treasures to enrich his sermons.  For this he beat the fields
and dug the wells of knowledge.  Every thing was made subservient to his
holy calling.  Every thing was pressed into his preparations for the
pulpit.  His authors were selected with prudent discrimination, and
perused with earnest attention, indicating an intense desire to be
thoroughly furnished for his work.  He studied what he read.  He was
extensively acquainted with the best theological writers of the age, and
quoted them frequently in his discourses.  But there is one volume to
which he referred more frequently than to all the rest, “the book of
books divine.”  He was emphatically “a man mighty in the Scriptures.”
From the word of God he derived the principal matter of his preaching.
Even that lofty imagery which constituted the peculiar charm of his
ministry, was ordinarily but an amplification of scriptural tropes and
descriptions.  In theology, next to the Bible, Dr. Owen was his favorite
author.  He paid considerable attention to Oriental manners and customs;
was well read in history, ancient and modern; and particularly fond of
tracing the rise and fall of empires.



DEVOTIONAL HABITS.


Mr. Evans was eminently a man of prayer.  Prayer was his daily bread, the
very breath of his spirit.  He considered himself entitled, through
Christ, to all the blessings of the gospel, and came boldly to the throne
of grace in every time of need.  During his whole ministerial life, much
of his time was spent in the closet.  It was his custom for many years,
to retire for devotion three times during the day, and rise regularly for
the same purpose at midnight.  The disorders of the church, the slanders
of his enemies, and the various afflictions of life, all drove him to the
mercy-seat, and made him peculiarly earnest and importunate in
supplication.  After these seasons of agony, he came into the church, or
the social circle, as an angel from the presence of God, and “all his
garments smelt of myrrh and aloes and cassia from the ivory palaces.”

He never undertook a new enterprise, without first asking counsel of the
Lord.  When he had a call to another field of labor, he could not decide
upon the matter till he had spread it repeatedly before the throne.  When
he was about to preach at an association, or on any important occasion,
he wrestled for hours with the angel of the covenant, nor relinquished
his hold till he felt himself “endued with power from on high.”  Then he
came forth to the congregation, as Moses from the Tabernacle, when he had
communed with God.  Just before leaving home on his tour of collection
for the Caernarvon church, the last labor of his life, he penned in his
book of appointments the following paragraph:—

    “O Lord, grant me my desire on this journey, for thy name’s sake.  My
    first petition;—Comfort in Christ—the comfort of love—the bowels of
    love and mercy in the denomination—the fellowship of the
    Spirit.—Amen.  My second petition;—That the sermons I have prepared
    for this journey may increase in their ministration, like the five
    loaves and two fishes.—Amen.  C. E.”



CHRISTIAN BENEFICENCE.


Mr. Evans was a poor man, but “rich in good works.”  Suffering poverty
always excited his pity, and opened his purse.  Wherever he beheld
distress, he was “ready to distribute, willing to communicate,” according
to the ability which God had given him.  His salary in Anglesea, for
twenty years, was only seventeen pounds per annum; and afterward, only
thirty.  With so small an income, he could not be expected to bestow much
upon the various objects of charity.  But he gave annually one pound to
the Bible Society, one pound to the Missionary Society, and ten shillings
to the Baptist Education Society, besides contributing liberally to the
relief of the poor and the sick in his neighborhood.

Sometimes his liberality was larger than his purse.  Once, when a
Protestant Irishman, poorly clad, told him that he spent much time in
reading the Scriptures to his illiterate countrymen, he pulled off his
own coat, and gave it to him.  At another time, he presented a poor Jew,
who had recently been converted to Christianity, a new suit of clothes,
the best he had in his wardrobe.  While in Anglesea, he visited a brother
in the church, who had been reduced by protracted illness to a condition
of great distress; and finding the family almost in a state of
starvation, emptied his pocket of the only pound he had.  His wife
remonstrated with him, told him she had not bread enough in the house to
last twenty-four hours, and demanded what he would do now he had given
away all his money.  His only answer was: “Jehovah-jireh; the Lord will
provide!”  The next day he received a letter from England, enclosing two
pounds as a present.  As soon as he had read it, he called out to his
wife;—“Catherine!  I told thee that Providence would return the
alms-pound, for it was a loan to the Lord; and see, here it is, doubled
in one day!”  It is evident from this incident, that Mr. Evans’
liberality was the fruit of his faith in God; and the good man’s
confidence is never put to shame.  “There is that scattereth, and yet
increaseth.”



SPIRIT OF FORGIVENESS.


“Be ye merciful, even as your Father who is in heaven is merciful.”
There is no virtue more beautiful in its character, or more important to
the Christian, than that thus enjoined by the Son of God.  The spirit of
forgiveness infinitely transcends all the effects of mere human
philosophy, and allies man to his Maker.  In this amiable quality,
Christmas Evans was never wanting.  He took a thousand times more
pleasure in pardoning the offender, than the offender in asking his
pardon.  “It was only,” says his Welsh biographer, “for the person who
had given offence to make some sort of acknowledgment, to say there had
been a misunderstanding.  Mr. Evans would anticipate him with:—‘O, say
nothing about it! let it be buried! very likely I have been in fault
myself!’”  The spirit of Mr. Evans’ diary everywhere corroborates this
description of his character.  We extract a single paragraph:—

    “I trust that by the grace of God, I have overcome my natural
    disposition to anger and revenge.  I have been enabled to forgive my
    greatest enemies, and pray that they may be forgiven of God.  I can
    say from my heart, with Stephen; ‘Lord, lay not this sin to their
    charge!’  I have no wish that any of them should suffer for their
    attempts to injure me, but that they may all be led to repentance,
    and settle their matters at the mercy-seat, where I hope also that
    the multitude of my own trespasses will be covered and forgotten.”

His mercy was as impartial as it was cordial.  He had held a controversy
with a minister of another sect, who, forgetting the rules of Christian
courtesy, treated him very unkindly before the public.  This minister was
afterward arraigned and imprisoned on a very serious allegation.  If he
had been convicted, degradation from the ministry would have been the
smallest part of his punishment.  Mr. Evans, learning the fact, and
believing the prosecution unjust and malicious, felt greatly distressed
for his polemical opponent.  On the day of trial, he retired to his room,
and poured out his heart to God on his behalf, for a long time, and with
peculiar fervor.  Then he waited with great anxiety for the issue.  As he
sat at the table, with several friends and brethren, a minister, who had
been at court, entered the room, and said; “Mr. — is acquitted!”  Mr.
Evans instantly fell upon his knees, with tears streaming down his face,
and exclaimed:—“Thanks be unto thee, O Lord Jesus! for delivering one of
thy servants from the mouth of the lions!”  He then arose, saluted his
friend, and joined in the mutual congratulations of the company.



CATHOLIC GENEROSITY.


That Christmas Evans was no bigot, might be inferred from the above
anecdote.  But we have other and ampler evidence of his Christian
catholicity.  He was a Baptist; and, with the rest of his brethren, a
strenuous advocate for exclusive immersion.  He was a Calvinist, and
thought it very important to vindicate against Arminian views what are
sometimes called “the doctrines of grace.”  But he was also a Christian,
and held all other Christians as brethren.  He did not repudiate the
sincerely pious, because they could not say his “Shibboleth.”  Kind,
candid, and ingenuous, he judged of things according to their real value
and importance, and appreciated true talent and virtue wherever he found
them.  His creed was not; “I am of Paul;” nor, “I am of Apollos;” nor, “I
am of John the Baptist;” but, “We are all of Christ!”  He was not blinded
by the senseless prejudice of sect.  He was influenced less by the
peculiarities of his denomination than by the love of Christ.  Many of
his warmest friends were ministers of other orders; and of the Methodists
and Congregationalists at Caernarvon, he made honorable mention in his
diary.

The most despicable reptile of the moral world is envy, the spirit that
prompted revolt in heaven, and hurled archangels down to hell.  Yet it is
often found among Christians; among the ministers of a religion whose
very principle is charity.  Some men, like king Saul, can never bear a
rival.  If the thousands of Israel raise the voice and tune the lyre in
honor of some victorious David, the evil spirit comes upon them, and they
launch their javelins at the young anointed, and seek “to smite him even
to the wall.”  From such feelings Mr. Evans was always free.  His large
heart was utterly incapable of anything of the kind.  He esteemed others
better than himself, and in honor preferred his brethren.  Wherever he
discovered talent and sanctified ambition in a young preacher, he never
exerted an influence to hinder him, but heartily bade him God speed.  He
did not deem it necessary to smite him on the head with a cudgel to keep
him in his place.  He was not afraid that others would outshine him in
the pulpit.  He would gladly have taken his place at the feet of any of
Christ’s ambassadors.  He was willing to accord due praise to merit, not
only in the dead, but also in the living; not only in those of other
countries and other denominations, but also in those of his native
principality and the Baptist church.  His immediate contemporaries and
neighbors were often the subjects of his highest encomiums.  His heart
was as large as the world!



INGENUOUSNESS AND HONESTY.


A late American writer has said of insincerity, that it is the most
detestable of all vices for which men go unhung.  Yet it must be
admitted, there is no vice more prevalent, even among the professed
followers of Him, “who knew no iniquity, neither was guile found in his
lips.”  The sentiment, that it is right to deceive for the good of the
church, is not peculiar to the Papists.  Perhaps the enlightened
Protestant can scarcely be found, who would verbally avow such a
doctrine; but it is often practically avowed, even by the messenger of
truth; and ecclesiastical elevation is sometimes attributable more to
dishonesty than to real virtue or talent.

Christmas Evans’ popularity, however, could boast a better origin.  It
was the spontaneous fruit of his graces and his gifts.  He was never
indebted to unfair and underhanded measures for his success.  His conduct
was always open and ingenuous.  Of deceit and secret design he was
incapable.  He never attempted to build up his own church by proselyting
the converts of other churches.  In one instance, when a young man, who
had been educated for the ministry in the established church of England,
came to him, desiring baptism by immersion, instead of eagerly seizing
upon so valuable an acquisition to the Baptists, as some doubtless would
have done, he endeavored to dissuade him from his purpose, and yielded at
length only to his fervent importunity.

He deemed the slightest departure from truth, in any instance, a crime,
and a deep disgrace to the Christian character.  He was innocent and
unsuspecting as a child.  His frank and confiding disposition was
unquestionably the occasion of most of his heavy trials.  Jealous and
malicious men took advantage of his Christian simplicity, and made one of
his sweetest virtues a poison to his peace.

He once employed a person to sell a horse for him at a fair.  After some
time, he went out to see if he was likely to succeed.  There was a man
bargaining for the animal, and the contract was nearly completed.

“Is this your horse, Mr. Evans?” said the purchaser.

“Certainly it is,” he replied.

“What is his age, sir?”

“Twenty-three years.”

“But this man tells me he is only fifteen.”

“He is certainly twenty-three, for he has been with me these twenty
years, and he was three years old when I bought him.”

“Is he safe-footed?”

“Very far from that, I assure you, or I would not part with him, and he
has never been put in harness since I have had him either.”

“Please to go into the house, Mr. Evans,” whispered the man whom he had
employed to make the sale, “for I shall never dispose of the horse while
you are present.”

The frank manner, however, in which Mr. Evans told him all the truth,
induced the dealer to make the purchase at a very handsome price; while
it procured for Mr. Evans a good name, which is better than gold.



SARCASTIC REBUKES.


In conversation he was always careful of the feelings of others.  He
would never employ a sarcastic remark, but for the purpose of merited
rebuke.  “It is better,” said he, “to keep sarcasms pocketed, if we
cannot use them without wounding the feelings of a friend.”  But he was
capable, when occasion required, of wielding this weapon with terrible
effect.  Take the following instances:—

Just before his removal from Cardiff to Caernarvon, he was conversing on
the contemplated change in a circle of several ministers.  His labors had
been solicited in two or three other places, and the company were
canvassing the comparative claims of the different churches.  A
feeble-minded young man present, who “thought more highly of himself than
he ought to think,” said:—“It is my opinion, Father Evans, that you had
better go to Caernarvon.  It is not likely your talents would suit either
of the other places, but I think you might do very well at Caernarvon.”
Mr. Evans opened his large eye upon the speaker, and replied;—“And hast
_thou_ peeped?  When didst thou creep from the shell?”

Once, two ministers, of different sects, were disputing in his presence
on what he deemed an unimportant matter of ecclesiastical discipline.
One of them asked:—“What say you, Mr. Evans?”  Mr. Evans replied:—“I saw
two boys quarrelling over two snails.  One of them insisted that his
snail was the better, because it had horns; while the other as
strenuously argued for the superiority of his, because it had none.  The
boys were very angry and vociferous, but the two snails were friends.”
The disputants burst into a hearty laugh, and the debate ended.

A shallow atheist was ridiculing the idea of a God, because, as he
alleged, he had no sensible evidence of his being.  Mr. Evans
answered:—“My friend, the mole in the meadow has never seen a king; shall
he therefore say there is no king?  O thou atheistic mole! thou hast
never travelled out of thy own narrow field; and if thou hadst, thou hast
no eyes to see with; and wilt thou dare to say there is no God?  Dost
thou think all others as blind as thyself?  All that thou canst say is,
that thou dost not see God, and dost not wish to see him.  How dost thou
know that the being of a God is not so manifest on the other side of the
river of death, that no doubt is entertained concerning it throughout all
the expanse of eternity?  Can the earth-mole say there is no grand Lama
in Thibet?  Poor worm! thou must travel through the gates of death, and
fathom the bottomless pit, and measure the land of destruction, and scale
the very heaven of heavens, and surround all the borders of time and
eternity, before thou canst assure thyself there is no God!”



PULPIT TALENTS AND LABORS.


As a preacher, Mr. Evans was very peculiar.  No translation of his
sermons can give the English reader an adequate idea of their force and
beauty in the original.

He was exceedingly methodical and perspicuous.  His arrangement was never
loose and vague; his thoughts never confused and mingled together.  He
was a “wise master-builder,” who took care to lay a broad and firm
foundation, and then “built thereon gold, silver, and precious stones.”
The several parts of his discourse bore a mutual relation of dependence,
and each would have been incomplete without the others.  His order was so
natural, that it was very easy to follow him; and his manner so
impressive, that it was nearly impossible to forget him.

He never spoke on a subject that he did not understand.  Before entering
the pulpit, he invariably measured his text in all its extent, and
considered it in every possible aspect.  “He had a wonderful method,”
says one, “of making the most abstruse passages appear easy and plain.
He interpreted scripture by scripture, and exhibited the component parts
of his subject in a clear and beautiful manner, and illustrated them by
the most appropriate and striking metaphors; and forging link by link,
united them together, and bound the whole up in one glorious chain.  His
talents were such as to enable him to cast a ray of light upon the
darkest points of the Christian system.”

Mr. Evans’ descriptive powers were altogether unique.  He abounded in
allegories of the most forcible character.  In this respect, he was
equaled by none of his contemporaries; transcended by none of his
predecessors.  Passages of this kind will be so frequently met with in
the following selection from his sermons, that it is not necessary to
point them out to the reader.

His happy art of description is attributable chiefly to a very remarkable
imagination.  This is one of the primary qualities of an orator.  When it
is lacking, no depth of learning, no graces of delivery, can compensate
for its lack.  True, argument is important.  There is no eloquence
without argument.  Argument must constitute the bone and the sinew of
every good discourse.  But the bone and the sinew constitute only the
skeleton.  Imagination must supply the muscle and the nerve.  Imagination
must clothe it with beauty, and inspire it with life; give expression to
the features, animation to the eye, and to the tongue motion and melody
articulate.  Argument is the John Baptist of eloquence, after whom there
cometh a mightier, baptizing with fire!

“Logic,” says Carlyle, “is good, but not the best.  The irrefragable
doctor, with his chain of inductions, his corollaries, dilemmas, and
other cunning logical diagrams and apparatus, will cast you a beautiful
horoscope, and speak you reasonable things; nevertheless, the stolen
jewel which you wanted him to find you is not forthcoming.  Often, by
some winged word, winged as the thunderbolt is, of a Luther, Napoleon,
Goethe, shall we see the difficulty split asunder, and its secret laid
bare; while the irrefragable, with all his logical roots, hews at it, and
hovers round it, and finds it on all sides too hard for him.”

Mr. Evans had feeling as well as fancy.  This in a preacher is even more
important than the other.  Here, we conceive, lies the principal
distinction between the orator and the poet.  Poetry is the language of
fancy; eloquence, the language of feeling.  The preacher who operates
only on the judgment and the fancy may instruct and please, and thus
prepare the way for persuasion.  Persuasion itself requires a warm and
glowing heart.  Eloquence has been defined, “the power of imparting one’s
feelings to others.”  “If you want me to weep,” said Horace, “you must
weep yourself.”  The preacher who is himself unmoved, will toil in vain
to move his hearers.  His sermon may be as beautiful as the moon-beams on
the snow; but it will be as powerless and as cold.  As saith
Longinus:—“The orator must have a vehement and enthusiastic passion, a
certain madness, or divine phrensy, breathing into his thoughts, and
inspiring his speech.”  To use the language of another:—“Truth must be
planted in the hot-bed of feeling, if we would witness its flowery
development, and enjoy its fruit.  The orator must be roused and inflamed
by the majesty of his theme; not wrought up into an unmeaning fury, like
a tempest in a tea-pot; but influenced and agitated by solemn
considerations of truth, duty, interest, and moral grandeur.”

If this description of eloquence was ever realized in the pulpit, it was
in the preaching of Christmas Evans.  He spoke what he felt, and because
he felt.  The fountain was in his own soul, and it flowed out upon his
audience in streams of living water.  He was always full of his subject,
and his ordinary manner was exceedingly ardent and pathetic.  Sometimes
he seemed quite overwhelmed with the magnitude and grandeur of his theme,
and then he spoke with such impassioned earnestness as to storm the
hearts of his hearers.  Thus inspired, it was scarcely possible that any
man of ordinary sensibilities should be otherwise than eloquent.  But Mr.
Evans’ talents were of a superior order; and when kindling with the
enthusiasm of his message, he became peculiarly energetic and impressive.
“His words came out,” as Longinus says, “as if discharged from an
engine,” and their influence rested like a spell upon the ear and the
heart.  He transported his hearers beyond the region of argument, and
leaving all their cavils and prejudices immeasurably behind, rapt them
away to the third heaven of ecstasy!

The secret of all this power is found in the preacher’s piety.  He was a
man of eminent faith and holiness.  The “things new and old” for the
edification of his hearers, he “brought forth out of the treasure of his
own heart.”  The love of God within him imparted to his preaching a
wonderful unction.  His splendid mental creations were instinct with the
inspiration of sanctified feeling.  This divine anointing often rendered
him superior to himself, clothed him with a superhuman energy, till he
seemed a messenger from the other world.  The man was lost in his theme.
Art was swallowed up in the whirlpool of excited feeling.  The audience
were swept irresistibly along by the current of the discourse;
acknowledging, by tears and groans, the preacher’s hold upon their
hearts; and sometimes losing all self-control, and bursting into the most
extravagant expressions of wonder and delight.  On this subject take the
language of one, who, from personal acquaintance with Mr. Evans, was
qualified to form a correct estimate of his character as a Christian
minister:—

    “He was also an experimental preacher.  That a preacher feel his
    subject, constitutes one of his excellencies; but that his sermon be
    deeply imbued with the spiritual experience of the preacher, is the
    Crowning point of his excellency.  It is true, a person may speak
    well of the distress of other people, but he will speak more
    powerfully of his own distress.  Persons may expatiate very
    eloquently on the pleasant fragrance of the herbs and flowers of
    foreign lands, but those who have themselves participated in the
    fragrant odors, in the soft breezes of those countries, can describe
    them in an infinitely superior manner, and to much greater advantage.
    Many may speak fluently of the mercies of God, in providence and
    grace—protecting, preserving, pardoning sinners, &c., but those who
    have experienced a sense of the divine mercy in their own souls can
    speak much better of it.  Mr. Evans had an experience of the things
    of God.  Not only had he heard of Calvary, but in Calvary he lived;
    not only had he heard of the bread of angels and of the corn of
    heaven, but this bread and this corn were his daily food; not only
    had he heard of the river of life, the streams whereof make glad the
    city of our God, but the crystal waters of this river were his
    constant drink; not only had he heard of the renewing influences of
    the grace of God, but he himself had been made the subject of these
    influences.  He had experienced the operations of the Spirit
    renovating his own heart, and therefore he could speak of them, not
    as a matter of hearsay, but with the apostle—‘And what our hands have
    handled of the Word of life, declare we unto you.’” {71}

Mr. Evans’ preaching was highly evangelical.  “Jesus Christ and him
crucified,” was the alpha and omega of his ministry.  The character of
the following sermons fully justifies that remarkable saying upon his
death-bed: “I have never labored without blood in the basin.”  Every one
of them is illustrative of some important point in the economy of
salvation.  Every one of them tends to humble the sinner, and exalt the
grace of God.  Every one of them abounds with lofty views of the Divine
Justice and Mercy.

“It is generally allowed,” observes his friend, “that the people who are
trained by a minister, and moulded by his instructions, are a good
evidence of the tendency of his doctrine and ministry.  In this view
then, it is observed, the church where he more statedly labored in
Anglesea, and where the most of his care and efforts were bestowed, were
a people mighty in the Scriptures; that they would converse well and
readily on most of the doctrines of the Christian faith; that they
labored much to improve in knowledge, and were active in the cause of
religion.  These nearly all were Mr. Evans’ own people; they were
nurtured by him, and upon his ministerial food they grew to be men, and
were wholly according to the mold of his doctrine.  It has been remarked,
‘that if volumes upon volumes were written upon the subject of the
tendency of his ministry, it could never be exhibited to greater
advantage than has been done by himself, in those bright, clear, and
golden letters, which he has inscribed upon the people of his charge at
Llangevni.’”

The following extracts from Mr. Evans contain his views of the
evangelical over the legal style of preaching:—

    “While a preacher inculcates duties in any way but with a view to the
    promises of mercy, and of undeserved strength, he is more like to a
    moral philosopher, than to the apostles and preachers that have been
    a blessing unto men, such as Whitefield, and hundreds who have been
    in a degree blessed in the same doctrine, and by the same Spirit.  It
    is not in the duties we are to rest, but in Christ.  ‘Blessed are the
    dead which die in the Lord—that they may rest from their labors, _and
    their works follow them_.’  It was not in reliance upon their works
    they passed through the river of death, as if presumptuously on a
    bundle of rushes, but their works will meet them in the judgment day;
    to be weighed there in the balance of the faith and love of Christ;
    and they will be there as witnesses on the part of the saints,
    bearing testimony that the love of Christ constrained them to live to
    him that died for them and was raised again.”

Again:—

    “By endeavoring to avoid the bog, you sink in the quicksands—while
    you are hiding the system of grace, and casting it, as it were, into
    the shade—duties without faith are not acceptable, for ‘Without faith
    it is impossible to please God.’  I compare you to a dry-goods
    merchant, who should hang up a piece of white cloth over the shelves
    of his store, where the cloths, fine linen, silks, &c., are kept, and
    thus hiding every article in his store, without exposing any thing to
    the view of his customers, yet he would stand at the counter, and
    address them in the language of surprise, Why do you not buy here,
    for I know you have wherewith?  So some preach, standing like the
    store-keeper at the counter, saying, while the doctrine of grace is
    kept put of sight, Why do you not buy here? for we know that you have
    the money of ability; but you spend your money in the shops of the
    lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life.  But
    they reply, What shall we buy, sir? you tell us that there is
    salvation in your store—and fine linen wrought out from Bethlehem to
    Calvary, and white raiment; gold and pearls, and food and drink
    indeed; but you hide them under the vail: bring them to the counter,
    and open them before us; show us, carefully and plainly, whence this
    salvation proceeds, and by what means it has been procured;—has it
    been expensive to some one, seeing it is free for us?”

Once more:—

    “I compare such preachers to a miner, who should go to the quarry
    where he raised the ore, and taking his sledge in his hand, should
    endeavor to form bars of iron of the ore in its rough state, without
    a furnace to melt it, or a rolling-mill to roll it out, or molds to
    cast the metal, and conform the casts to their patterns.  The gospel
    is like a form or mold, and sinners are to be melted, as it were, and
    cast into it.  ‘But ye have obeyed from the heart that form of
    doctrine which was delivered you,’ {73} or into which you were
    delivered, as is the marginal reading, so that your hearts ran into
    the mold.  Evangelical preachers have, in the name of Christ, a mold
    or form to cast the minds of men into; as Solomon, the vessels of the
    temple.  The Sadducees and Pharisees had their forms, and legal
    preachers have their forms; but evangelical preachers should bring
    with them the ‘form of sound words,’ so that, if the hearers believe,
    or are melted into it, Christ may be formed in their hearts—then they
    will be as born of the truth, and the image of the truth will appear
    in their sentiments and experience, and in their conduct in the
    church, in the family, and in the neighborhood.  Preachers without
    the mold, are all those who do not preach all the points of the
    gospel of the grace of God.”

Christmas Evans was in labors more abundant than any of his Welsh
contemporaries.  We have stated in the memoir, that while in Anglesea, he
frequently preached five times a day, and walked twenty miles.  During
his ministry, he made forty journeys from North to South Wales, and
preached one hundred and sixty-three associational sermons.  It is
wonderful that his extensive travels and arduous labors did not hurry him
to the grave before he had lived out half his days.  But he had a firm
and vigorous constitution; and having borne the burden and the heat of
the day, the Master sustained him in the vineyard till the setting of the
sun.

And his labors were as successful as they were extensive.  “The sound of
heaven,” remarks his friend “was to be heard in his sermons.  He studied
his discourses well; he ‘sought to find out acceptable words, even words
of truth;’ and the Holy Ghost attended his ministry in an extraordinary
manner.”

Few men of modern times have had a more numerous spiritual family than
he.  Wherever he went, throughout all Wales, multitudes claimed him as
their father in Christ.  “In his day the Baptist associations acquired
their great popularity, and in his day arose a number of the most
respectable ministers ever known in the principality.”  Some of them were
his own converts, and many of them had their talents inspired and their
zeal inflamed under his powerful ministry.  “Life and evangelical savor,”
said one of them, “attend Christmas Evans, wherever he is.”  “None of
us,” said another, “understand and comprehend the full extent of his
usefulness.”  The celebrated Robert Hall mentioned his talents in terms
of high commendation, and ranked him among the first men of his age.  A
Congregational clergyman, who was well acquainted with him, speaks of him
as follows:—

    “He is a connecting link between the beginning and the ending of this
    century. {74}  He has the light, the talent, and the taste of the
    beginning, and has received every new light that has appeared since.
    He was enabled to accompany the career of religious knowledge in the
    morning, and also to follow its rapid strides in the evening.  In
    this he is unlike every other preacher of the day: the morning and
    evening light of this wonderful century meet in him.  He had strength
    to climb up to the top of Carmel in the morning, and remain there
    during the heat of the day, and see the fire consuming the sacrifice
    and licking up the water; his strength continued, by the hand of the
    Lord, so that he could descend from the mount in the evening, and run
    without fainting before the king’s chariot to Jezreel.”

We conclude this brief and somewhat imperfect portraiture with the
following characteristic paragraph from the pen of Mr. Evans,
illustrative of his views, not only of the right kind of pulpit
ministration, but also of the injurious influence and tendency of the
principal theological controversies which during his day agitated the
Baptist churches in the principality of Wales:—

    “I consider that a remarkable day has begun upon Wales.  The dawn of
    this day was with Vavasor Powell and Walter Caradork; the former
    amongst the Baptists and the latter amongst the Independents
    (Congregationalists).  Several churches were gathered in both
    denominations in the twilight of morning.  But when Rowlands and
    Harris rose—it was the sunrising of this revival day.  Mr. Jones, of
    Pontypool, was one of the sons of the sunrising.  About ten or eleven
    o’clock, a host of Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, and
    Congregationalists, arose; and among this class I had the honor of
    entering the field.  The day was warm—the sermons and prayers were
    short, and the doctrine was evangelical.  But I have reached the
    evening, and the day is greatly cooled.  Power, tenderness, and the
    cross of Christ, marked the sermons in the morning; but length and
    tediousness are the distinguishing features of the prayers and
    sermons in the evening.  It was too warm to preach two hours in the
    heat of the day.  It appears, also, that talents are become much
    weaker and more effeminate as the evening spreads its shades.  Beyond
    a doubt, the preaching of intricate points—something like questions
    concerning the law, and endless genealogies, have been the means of
    cooling the work and the workmen in the evening of the day.  They
    will now lift up their heads and talk to every traveller that passes
    the field; and towards Merionethshire, they will inquire, ‘Dost thou
    know any thing about Sandemanianism?’ and in other districts they
    will ask, ‘Dost thou know something about Williamsism {75} and
    Fullerism?’ and in consequence you may see young doctors many,
    springing up, talking like learned Lilliputians.  ‘Some say that
    Christ died for all, and others that it was for his church he died;
    but the truth is this,’ said the Lilliputians: ‘he did not die for
    any man, _but for the sin of all men_.’  I was there also on the
    great platform of this period, but I dared not condemn all systems by
    a sweeping sentence of infallibility, and take the bagpipe under my
    arm, as some were disposed to do, and cry down every new voice
    without proving it.  ‘Prove all things.’”



SERMONS OF CHRISTMAS EVANS.
A New translation from the Welsh.
INTRODUCTION.


IN presenting to the public a selection from the sermons of Christmas
Evans, we find ourselves embarrassed by two circumstances:

First.—It is impossible to exhibit on paper the peculiarly forcible
elocution of the author.  Some of the most effective discourses ever
delivered seem comparatively powerless when perused afterward in private.
This observation is verified in the case of the two most remarkable
pulpit orators of modern times, George Whitefield and John Summerfield.
Their spoken eloquence was like the breathings of the seraphim, but their
printed sermons are of no very extraordinary character.  Like them, Mr.
Evans was much indebted, for his success, to a very popular and powerful
delivery.  His appearance in the pulpit was fine and commanding; his
voice, one of unrivalled compass and melody; his gesticulation, always
easy, appropriate, and forcible; and when he warmed under the inspiration
of his theme, his large bright eye shot fire through the assembly.  But
the sermons are now divested of all these auxiliary accompaniments; and
without the prophet before us, we may wonder at the effects attributed to
his message.  The following selections will give the reader at least a
tolerable idea of Mr. Evans’ modes of thought and illustration; but if he
would have any adequate conception of the splendid phantasmagora in
process of exhibition, he must imagine the burning lamp within the
scenes.

But the greater difficulty is the impossibility of a perfect translation.
Genius is proverbially eccentric.  Mr. Evans’ style is altogether unique.
The structure of his sentences is very original.  None of his countrymen
approximated his peculiar mode of expression.  It would be exceedingly
difficult for any man, however well qualified to translate other Welsh
authors, to render him into English, with the preservation, everywhere,
of his spirit.  The writer at first thought of publishing a selection
from his sermons as translated by J. Davis; but upon examination, that
translation was found so faulty, that it was deemed expedient, if
possible, to produce a new.  In pursuance of this purpose he obtained the
aid of a friend, whose excellent literary taste, and accurate
acquaintance with both languages, constitute a sufficient guarantee for
the general correctness of the following translation.  It lays no claim
to perfection, though it is at least free from the most obvious and
glaring faults of Mr. Davis’ version.  Some of the nicest shades of
thought are inevitably lost, and many of the startling metaphors and
splendid allegories have doubtless suffered some diminution of their
original force and beauty; but the writer trusts that enough of the
author’s spirit is retained to furnish a pretty correct idea of his
talents, and render the book acceptable to the reader.

With these apologetic remarks, we commit the sermons of Christmas Evans
to the press; praying that they may be accompanied with something of the
same Divine unction, as when, in their original delivery by the author,
they “set the land of Cambria on fire.’”

                                                             JOSEPH CROSS.

_Philadelphia_, May 30, 1846.



SERMON I.
THE TIME OF REFORMATION.


               “_Until the time of reformation_.”—Heb. ix. 10.

THE ceremonies pertaining to the service of God under the Sinaic
dispensation were entirely typical in their character; mere figures of
Christ, the “High-priest of good things to come, by a greater and more
perfect tabernacle, not made with hands;” who, “not by the blood of goats
and calves, but by his own blood, has entered once into the holy place,
having obtained eternal redemption for us.”  Sustaining such a relation
to other ages and events, they were necessarily imperfect, consisting
“only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances,”
not intended for perpetual observance, but imposed upon the Jewish people
merely “until the time of reformation,” when the shadow should give place
to the substance, and a Greater than Moses should “make all things new.”
Let us notice the time of reformation, and the reformation itself.

I.  Time may be divided into three parts; the Golden Age before the fall,
the Iron Age after the fall, and the Messiah’s Age of Jubilee.

In the Golden Age, the heavens and the earth were created; the garden of
Eden was planted; man was made in the image of God, and placed in the
garden to dress and to keep it; matrimony was instituted; and God,
resting from his labor, sanctified the Seventh Day, as a day of holy rest
to man.

The Iron Age was introduced by the temptation of a foreigner, who
obtruded himself into Paradise, and persuaded its happy denizens to cast
off the golden yoke of obedience and love to God.  Man, desiring
independence, became a rebel against Heaven, a miserable captive of sin
and Satan, obnoxious to the Divine displeasure, and exposed to eternal
death.  The law was violated; the image of God was lost, and the enemy
came in like a flood.  All communication between the island of time and
the continent of immortality was cut off, and the unhappy exiles saw no
hope of crossing the ocean that intervened.

The Messiah’s Age may be divided into three parts; the time of
Preparation, the time of Actual War, and the time of Victory and Triumph.

The Preparation began with the dawning of the day in Eden, when Messiah
came in the ship of the Promise, and landed on the island of Time, and
notified its inhabitants of his gracious intention to visit them again,
and assume their nature, and live and die among them; to break their
covenant allegiance to the prince of the iron yoke; and deliver to them
the charter, signed and sealed with his own blood, for the redemption and
renovation of their island, and the restoration of its suspended
intercourse with the land of Eternal Life.  The motto inscribed upon the
banners of this age was,—“He shall bruise thy heel, and thou shalt bruise
his head.”  Here Jehovah thundered forth his hatred of sin from the thick
darkness, and wrote his curse in fire upon the face of heaven; while
rivers of sacrificial blood proclaimed the miserable state of man, and
his need of a costlier atonement than mere humanity could offer.  Here
also the spirit of Messiah fell upon the prophets, leading them to search
diligently for the way of deliverance, and enabling them to “testify
beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should
follow.”

Then came the season of Actual War.  “Messiah the Prince” was born in
Bethlehem, wrapped in swaddling-bands, and laid in a manger.  The Great
Deliverer was “made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem those that
were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”  With an
almighty hand, he laid hold on the works of the devil, unlocked the iron
furnace, and broke the brazen bands asunder.  He opened his mouth, and
the deaf heard, the blind saw, the dumb spake, the lame walked, and the
lepers were cleansed.  In the house of Jairus, in the street of Nain, and
in the burial-ground of Bethany, his word was mightier than death; and
the damsel on her bed, the young man on his bier, and Lazarus in his
tomb, rising to second life, were but the earnests of his future triumph.
The diseases of sin he healed, the iron chains of guilt he shattered, and
all the horrible caves of human corruption and misery were opened by the
Heavenly Warrior.  He took our yoke, and bore it away upon his own
shoulder, and cast it broken into the bottomless pit.  He felt in his
hands and his feet the nails, and in his side the spear.  The iron
entered into his soul, but the corrosive power of his blood destroyed it,
and shall ultimately eat away all the iron in the kingdom of death.
Behold him hanging on Calvary, nailing upon his cross three bills; the
handwriting of the law which was against us, the oath of our allegiance
to the prince of darkness, and the charter of the “everlasting covenant;”
fulfilling the first, breaking the second, and sealing the third with his
blood!

Now begins the scene of Victory and Triumph.  On the morning of the third
day, the Conqueror is seen “coming from Edom, with dyed garments from
Bozrah.”  He has “trodden the wine-press alone.”  By the might of his
single arm, he has routed the hosts of hell, and spoiled the dominions of
death.  The iron castle of the foe is demolished, and the hero returns
from the war, “glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of
his strength.”  He enters the gates of the everlasting city, amid the
rejoicing of angels, and the shouts of his redeemed.  And still he rides
forth in the chariot of his grace, “conquering, and to conquer.”  A
two-edged sword issues from his mouth, and in his train follow the
victorious armies of heaven.  Lo! before him fall the altars of idols,
and the temples of devils; and the slaves of sin are becoming the
servants and sons of the living God; and the proud skeptic beholds,
wonders, believes, and adores; and the blasphemer begins to pray, and the
persecutor is melted into penitence and love, and the wolf comes and lays
him down gently by the side of the Iamb.  And Messiah shall never quit
the field, till he has completed the conquest, and swallowed up death in
victory.  In his “vesture dipped in blood,” he shall pursue the armies of
Gog and Magog on the field of Armageddon, and break the iron teeth of the
beast of power, and cast down Babylon as a millstone into the sea, and
bind the old serpent in the lake of fire and brimstone, and raise up to
life immortal the tenants of the grave.  Then shall the New Jerusalem,
the metropolis of Messiah’s golden empire, descend from heaven, adorned
with all the jewelry of creation, guarded at every gate by angelic
sentinels, and enlightened by the glory of God and of the Lamb; and the
faithful shall dwell within its walls, and sin, and sorrow, and death,
shall be shut out for ever!

Then shall time be swallowed up in eternity.  The righteous shall inherit
life everlasting, and the ungodly shall find their portion in the second
death.  Time is the age of the visible world; eternity is the age of the
invisible God.  All things in time are changeful; all things in eternity
are immutable.  If you pass from time to eternity, without faith in
Christ, without love to God, an enemy to prayer, an enemy to holiness,
“unpurged and unforgiven,” so you must ever remain.  Now is the season of
that blessed change, for which myriads shall sing everlasting anthems of
praise.  “To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
To-day the office is open; if you have any business with the Governor,
make no delay.  Now he has time to talk with the woman of Samaria by the
well, and the penitent thief upon the cross.  Now he is ready to forgive
your sins, and renew your souls, and make you meet to become partakers of
the inheritance of the saints in light.  Now he waits to wash the filthy,
and feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, and raise the humble, and
quicken the spiritually dead, and enrich the poor and wretched, and
reconcile enemies by his blood.  He came to unloose your bands, and open
to you the gates of Eden; condemned for your acquittal, and slain for the
recovery of your forfeited immortality.  The design of all the traveling
from heaven to earth, and from earth to heaven, is the salvation of that
which was lost, the restoration of intercourse and amity between the
Maker and the worm.  This is the chief of the ways of God to man, ancient
in its origin, wise in its contrivance, dear in its accomplishment,
powerful in its application, gracious in its influence, and everlasting
in its results.  Christ is riding in his chariot of salvation, through
the land of destruction and death, clothed in the majesty of mercy, and
offering eternal life to all who will believe.  O captives of evil! now
is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation; now is the year of
jubilee; now is the age of deliverance; now is “the time of reformation!”

II.  All the prophets speak of something within the veil, to be
manifested in due time; the advent of a Divine agent in a future age, to
accomplish a glorious “reformation.”  They represent him as a prince; a
hero; a high-priest; a branch growing out of dry ground; a child toying
with the asp and the lion, and leading the wolf and the lamb together.
The bill of the reformation had been repeatedly read by the prophets, but
its passage required the descent of the Lord from heaven.  None but
himself could effect the change of the dispensation.  None but himself
had the authority and the power to remove the first, and establish the
second.  He whose voice once shook the earth, speaks again, and heaven is
shaken.  He whose footsteps once kindled Sinai into flame, descends
again, and Calvary is red with blood.  The God of the ancient covenant
introduces a new, which is to abide for ever.  The Lord of the temple
alone could change the furniture and the service from the original
pattern shown to Moses in the mount; and six days before the rending of
the veil, significant of the abrogation of the old ceremonial, Moses came
down upon a mountain in Palestine to deliver up the pattern to him of
whom he had received it on Sinai, that he might nail it to his cross on
Calvary; for the “gifts and sacrifices” belonging to the legal
dispensation “could not make him that did the service perfect, as
pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats, and drinks, and
divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of
reformation.”

This reformation signifieth “the removal of those things that are shaken,
as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may
remain;” the abrogation of “carnal ordinances,” which were local and
temporal in their nature, to make room for a spiritual worship, of
universal and perpetual adaptation.  Henceforth the blood of bulls and
goats is superseded by the great reconciling sacrifice of the Lamb of
God, and outward forms and ceremonies give place to the inward operations
of a renovating and purifying Spirit.

To the Jewish church, the covenant of Sinai was a sort of starry heaven.
The Shekinah was its sun; the holy festivals, its moon; and prophets,
priests, and kings, its stars.  But Messiah, when he came, shook them all
from their spheres, and filled the firmament himself.  He is our “Bright
and Morning Star;” the “Sun of Righteousness,” rising upon us “with
healing in his wings.”

The old covenant was an accuser and a judge, but offered no pardon to the
guilty.  It revealed the corruption of the natural heart, but provided no
renovating and sanctifying grace.  It was a national institution, for the
special benefit of the seed of Abraham.  It was a small vessel, trading
only with the land of Canaan.  It secured to a few the temporal blessings
of the promised possession, but never delivered a single soul from
eternal death; never bore a single soul over to the heavenly inheritance.
But the new covenant is a covenant of grace and mercy, proffering
forgiveness and a clean heart, not on the ground of any carnal
relationship, but solely through faith in Jesus Christ.  Christianity is
a personal concern between each man and his God, and none but the
penitent believer has any right to its spiritual privileges.  It is
adapted to Gentiles as well as Jews, “even as many as the Lord our God
shall call.”  Already has it rescued myriads from the bondage of sin, and
conveyed them over to the land of immortality; and its voyages of grace
shall continue to the end of time, “bringing many sons to glory.”

“Old things are passed away, and all things are become new.”  The
circumcision of the flesh, made with hands, has given place to the
circumcision of the heart by the Holy Ghost.  The Shekinah has departed
from Mount Zion, but its glory is illuminating the world.  The sword of
Joshua is returned to its scabbard; and “the sword of the Spirit, which
is the word of God,” issues from the mouth of Messiah, and subdues the
people under him.  The glorious High-priesthood of Christ has superseded
the sacerdotal office among men.  Aaron was removed from the altar by
death before his work was finished; but our High-priest still wears his
sacrificial vestments, and death has established him before the
mercy-seat, “a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.”  The
earthquake which shook mount Calvary, and rent the veil of the temple,
demolished “the middle wall of partition” between Jews and Gentiles.  The
incense which Jesus offered fills the temple, and the land of Judea
cannot confine its fragrance.  The fountain which burst forth in
Jerusalem, has sent out its living streams into every land; and the heat
of summer cannot dry them up, nor the frosts of winter congeal.

In short, all the vessels of the sanctuary are taken away by the Lord of
the temple.  The “twelve oxen,” bearing the “molten sea,” have given
place to “the twelve apostles of the Lamb,” proclaiming “the washing of
regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”  The sprinkled mercy-seat,
with its overshadowing and intensely-gazing cherubim, has given place to
“the throne of grace,” stained with the blood of a costlier sacrifice,
into which the angels desire to look.  The priest, the altar, the
burnt-offering, the table of shew-bread, and the golden candlestick, have
given place to the better things of the new dispensation introduced by
the Son of God, of which they were only the figures and the types.
Behold, the glory is gone up from the temple, and rests upon Jesus on
mount Tabor; and Moses and Elias are there, with Peter, and James, and
John; and the representatives of the old covenant are communing with the
apostles of the new, and the transfigured Christ is the medium of the
communication; and a voice of majestic music, issuing from “the excellent
glory,” proclaims—“This is my beloved Son; hear ye him!”

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake unto our fathers by
the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.”  Behold
him nailed to the cross, and hear him cry—“It is finished!”  The voice
which shook Sinai is shaking Calvary.  Heaven and hell are in conflict,
and earth trembles at the shock of battle.  The Prince of Life expires,
and the sun puts on his robes of mourning.  Gabriel! descend from heaven,
and explain to us the wondrous emblem!  As set the sun at noon on
Golgotha, making preternatural night throughout the land of Palestine; so
shall the empire of sin and death be darkened, and their light shall be
quenched at meridian.  As the Sun of Righteousness, rising from the night
of the grave on the third morning, brings life and immortality to light;
so shall “the day-spring from on high” yet dawn upon our gloomy vale, and
“the power of his resurrection” shall reanimate the dust of every
cemetery!

He that sitteth upon the throne hath spoken—“Behold, I make all things
new!”  The reformation includes not only the abrogation of the old, but
also the introduction of the new.  It gives us a new Mediator, a new
covenant of grace, a new way of salvation, a new heart of flesh, a new
heaven and a new earth.  It has established a new union, by a new medium,
between God and man.  “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we
beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full
of grace and truth.”  “Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh
and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.”  “God was
manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached
unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Here was a new thing under the sun; the “Son of man” bearing the “express
image” of the living God; bearing it untarnished through the world;
through the temptations and sorrows of such a wilderness as humanity
never trod before; through the unknown agony of Olivet, and the
supernatural gloom of Golgotha, and the dark dominion of the king of
terrors; to the heaven of heavens; where he sits, the adorable
representative of two worlds, the union of God and man!  Thence he sends
forth the Holy Spirit, to collect “the travail of his soul,” and lead
them into all truth, and bring them to Zion with songs of everlasting
joy.  See them, the redeemed of the Lord, flocking, as returning doves
upon the wing, “to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God;
and to the spirits of just men made perfect; and to an innumerable
company of angels; and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant; and to
the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel!”

O, join the joyful multitude!  The year of jubilee is come.  The veil is
rent asunder.  The way into the holiest is laid open.  The blood of Jesus
is on the mercy-seat.  The Lamb newly slain is in the midst of the
throne.  Go ye with boldness into his gracious presence.  Lo, the King is
your brother, and for you has he stained his robe with blood!  That robe
alone can clothe your naked souls, and shield them in the day of burning.
Awake! awake! put on the Lord Jesus Christ!  The covenant of Sinai cannot
save you from wrath.  Descent from Abraham cannot entitle you to the
kingdom of heaven.  “Ye must be born again;” “born, not of the flesh, nor
of the will of men, but of God.”  You must have a new heart, and become a
new creation in Christ Jesus.  This is the promise of the Father.

    “This is the dear redeeming grace,
    For every sinner free!”

Many reformations have expired with the reformers.  But our Great
Reformer “ever liveth” to carry on his reformation, till his enemies
become his footstool, and death and hell are cast into the lake of fire.
He will finish the building of his church.  When he laid the “chief
corner-stone” on Calvary, the shock jarred the earth, and awoke the dead,
and shook the nether world with terror; but when he shall bring forth the
top stone with shoutings of “grace!” the dominion of Death and Hades
shall perish, and the last captive shall escape, and the song of the
bursting sepulchre shall be sweeter than the chorus of the morning stars!
Even now, there are new things in heaven; the Lamb from the slaughter,
alive “in the midst of the throne;” worshipped by innumerable seraphim
and cherubim, and adored by the redeemed from earth; his name the wonder
of angels, the terror of devils, and the hope of men; his praise the “new
song,” which shall constitute the employment of eternity!



SERMON II.
THE TRIUMPH OF CALVARY


    “_Who is this that cometh from Edom_, _with dyed garments from
    Bozrah_? _this that is glorious in his apparel_, _travelling in the
    greatness of his strength_?  _I that speak in righteousness_, _mighty
    to save.  Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel_, _and thy garments
    like him that treadeth in the winefat_?  _I have trodden the
    winepress alone_; _and of the people there was none with me_: _for I
    will tread them in mine anger_, _and trample them in my fury_; _and
    their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments_, _and I will stain
    all my raiment_.  _For the day of vengeance is in mine heart_, _and
    the year of my redeemed is come_.  _And I looked_, _and there was
    none to help_; _and I wondered that there was none to uphold_:
    _therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me_: _and my fury_,
    _it upheld me.  And I will tread down the people in mine anger_, _and
    make them drunk in my fury_, _and I will bring down their strength to
    the earth_.”—Isaiah lxiii. 1–6.

THIS passage is one of the sublimest in the Bible.  Not more majestic and
overwhelming is the voice of God issuing from the burning bush.  It
represents “the Captain of our salvation,” left alone in the heat of
battle, marching victoriously through the broken columns of the foe,
bursting the bars asunder, bearing away the brazen gates, and delivering
by conquest the captives of sin and death.  Let us first determine the
events to which our text relates, and then briefly explain the questions
and answers which it contains.

I.  We have here a wonderful victory, obtained by Christ, in the city of
Bozrah, in the land of Edom.  Our first inquiry concerns the time and the
place of that achievement.

Some of the prophecies are literal, and others are figurative.  Some of
them are already fulfilled, and others are in daily process of
fulfilment.  Respecting this prophecy, divines disagree.  Some think it
is a description of Christ’s conflict and victory, without the gates of
Jerusalem, eighteen centuries ago; and others understand it as referring
to the great battle of Armageddon, predicted in the Apocalypse, and yet
to be consummated before the end of the world.

I am not willing to pass by mount Calvary, and Joseph’s new tomb, on my
way to the field of Armageddon; nor am I willing to pause at the scene of
the crucifixion and the ascension, without going farther on to the final
conquest of the foe.  I believe Divine inspiration has included both
events in the text; the victory already won on Calvary, and the victory
yet to be accomplished in Armageddon; the finished victory of Messiah’s
passion, and the progressive victory of his gospel and his grace.

The chief difficulty, in understanding some parts of the word of God,
arises from untranslated words; many of which are found in our own
version, as well as in that of our English neighbors.  For instance—in
Mat. ii. 23, it is said, “He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth,
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, He shall be
called a Nazarene.”  Where in the prophets is it predicted that Christ
shall be called a Nazarene?  Nowhere.  When the proper names are
translated, the difficulty vanishes.  “He came and dwelt in a city called
_plantation_, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,
He shall be called _the Branch_.”  This name is given him by Isaiah,
Jeremiah, and Zechariah.  Now this is precisely the difficulty that
occurs in our text, and the translation of the terms unties the
knot:—“Who is this that cometh from Edom,” _red earth_—“with dyed
garments from Bozrah,” _tribulation_?

The former part of the text has reference to the victory of Calvary; the
latter part anticipates the battle and triumph of Armageddon, mentioned
in Rev. xvi. 16.  The victory of Calvary is consummated on the morning of
the third day after the crucifixion.  The Conqueror comes up from the
earth, exclaiming:—“I have trodden the winepress alone on Calvary; and I
will tread them in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, at the
battle of Armageddon.  I will overtake and destroy the beast, and the
false prophet, and that old serpent the devil, with all their hosts.”

When the tide of battle turned, on the field of Waterloo, the Duke of
Wellington mounted his horse, and pursued the vanquished foe.  So
Isaiah’s Conqueror, having routed the powers of hell on Calvary, pursues
and destroys them on the field of Armageddon.  Here he is represented as
a hero on foot, a prince without an army; but John, the revelator, saw
him riding on a white horse, and followed by the armies of heaven, all on
white horses, and not a footman among them.

The victory of Calvary is like the blood of atonement in the sanctuary.
The cherubim were some of them looking one way, and some the other, but
all were looking on the atoning blood.  Thus all the great events of
time—all the trials and triumphs of God’s people—those which happened
before, those which have happened since, and those which are yet to
happen, are all looking toward the wrestling of Gethsemane, the conflict
of Golgotha, and the triumph of Olivet.  The escape from Egypt, and the
return from Babylon, looked forward to the cross of Christ; and the faith
of the perfect man of Uz hung on a risen Redeemer.  The Christian martyrs
overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and all their victories were in virtue
of one great achievement.  The tomb of Jesus is the birthplace of his
people’s immortality, and the power which raised him from the dead shall
open the sepulchres of all his saints.  “Thy dead men shall live;
together with my dead body shall they arise.  Awake and sing, ye that
dwell in the dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth
shall cast forth her dead.”

Christ offered himself a sacrifice for us, and drank the cup of God’s
righteous indignation in our stead.  He was trodden by Almighty justice,
as a cluster of grapes, in the winepress of the law, till the vessels of
mercy overflowed with the wine of peace and pardon, which has made
thousands of contrite and humble spirits “rejoice with joy unspeakable
and full of glory.”  He suffered for us, that we might triumph with him.
But our text describes him as a king and a conqueror.  He was, at once,
the dying victim and the immortal victor.  In “the power of an endless
life,” he was standing by the altar, when the sacrifice was burning.  He
was alive in his sacerdotal vestments, with his golden censer in his
hand.  He was alive in his kingly glory, with his sword and his sceptre
in his hand.  He was alive in his conquering prowess, and had made an end
of sin, and bruised the head of the serpent, and spoiled the
principalities and powers of hell, and turned the vanquished hosts of the
prince of darkness down to the winepress of the wrath of Almighty God.
Then, on the morning of the third day, when he arose from the dead, and
made a show of them openly—then began the year of jubilee with power!

After the prophets of ancient times had long gazed through the mists of
futurity, at the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow, a
company of them were gathered together on the summit of Calvary.  They
saw a host of enemies ascending the hill, arrayed for battle, and most
terrific in their aspect.  In the middle of the line was the law of God,
fiery and exceeding broad, and working wrath.  On the right wing, was
Beelzebub with his troops of infernals; and on the left Caiaphas with his
Jewish priests, and Pilate with his Roman soldiers.  The rear was brought
up by Death, the last enemy.  When the holy seers had espied this army,
and perceived that it was drawing nigh, they started back, and prepared
for flight.  As they looked round, they saw the Son of God advancing with
intrepid step, having his face fixed on the hostile band.  “Seest thou
the danger that is before thee,” said one of the men of God.  “I will
tread them in mine anger,” he replied, “and trample them in my fury.”
“Who art thou?” said the prophet; He answered: “I that speak in
righteousness, mighty to save.”  “Wilt thou venture to the battle alone?”
asked the seer.  The Son of God replied: “I looked, and there was none to
help; and I wondered there was none to uphold; therefore mine own arm
shall bring salvation unto me; and my fury it shall uphold me.”  “At what
point wilt thou commence thy attack?” inquired the anxious prophet.  “I
will first meet the Law,” he replied, “and pass under its curse: for lo!
I come to do thy will, O God.  When I shall have succeeded at the centre
of the line, the colors will turn in my favor.”  So saying he moved
forward.  Instantly the thunderings of Sinai were heard, and the whole
band of prophets quaked with terror.  But he advanced, undaunted, amidst
the gleaming lightnings.  For a moment he was concealed from view; and
the banner of wrath waved above in triumph.  Suddenly the scene was
changed.  A stream of blood poured forth from his wounded side, and put
out all the fires of Sinai.  The flag of peace was now seen unfurled, and
consternation filled the ranks of his foes.  He then crushed, with his
bruised heel, the old serpent’s head; and put all the infernal powers to
flight.  With his iron rod he dashed to pieces the enemies on the left
wing, like a potter’s vessel.  Death still remained, who thought himself
invincible, having hitherto triumphed over all.  He came forward,
brandishing his sting, which he had whetted on Sinai’s tables of stone.
He darted it at the Conqueror, but it turned down, and hung like the
flexible lash of a whip.  Dismayed, he retreated to the grave, his
palace, into which the Conqueror pursued.  In a dark corner of his den,
he sat on his throne of moldering skulls, and called upon the worms, his
hitherto faithful allies, to aid him in the conflict; but they
replied—“His flesh shall see no corruption!”  The scepter fell from his
hand.  The Conqueror seized him, bound him, and condemned him to the lake
of fire; and then rose from the grave, followed by a band of released
captives, who came forth after his resurrection to be witnesses of the
victory which he had won. {94}

John in the Apocalypse did not look so far back as the treading of this
winepress; but John saw him on his white horse, decked with his many
crowns, his eyes like flames of fire, a two-edged sword in his hand, in
the van of the armies of heaven, going forth conquering and to conquer.
This is the fulfilment of his declaration in our text:—“For I will tread
them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury.”  This is the beginning
of the jubilee, the battle of Armageddon, wherein all heathen idolatry
and superstition shall be overthrown, and the beast and the false prophet
shall be discomfited, and the devil arid his legions shall be taken
prisoners by Emmanuel, and shut up in the bottomless pit.  He who hath
conquered principalities and powers on Calvary, will not leave the field,
till he make all his enemies his footstool, and sway his scepter over a
subject universe.  Having sent forth the gospel from Jerusalem, he
accompanies it with the grace of his Holy Spirit; and it shall not return
unto him void, but shall accomplish that which he pleaseth, and prosper
in the thing whereto he hath sent it.

The victory of Armageddon is obtained by virtue of the victory of
Calvary.  It is but the consummation of the same glorious campaign; and
the first decisive blow dealt on the prince of darkness is a sure
precursor of the final conquest.  “I will meet thee again at Philippi!”
said the ghost of Julius Cæsar to Brutus.  “I will meet thee again at
Armageddon!” saith the Son of God to Satan on Calvary—“I will meet thee
in the engagement between good and evil, grace and depravity, in every
believer’s heart; in the contest of Divine Truth with human errors, of
the religion of God with the superstitions of men; in every sermon, every
revival, every missionary enterprise; in the spread and glory of the
gospel in the latter day, I will meet thee; and the heel which thou hast
now bruised, shall crush thy head for ever!”

Man’s deliverance is of God.  Man had neither the inclination nor the
power.  His salvation originated in the Divine Love, and burst forth like
an ocean from the fountains of eternity.  Satan, as a ravenous lion, had
taken the prey, and was running to his den with the bleeding sheep in his
mouth; but the Shepherd of Israel pursues him, overtakes him, and rends
him as if he were a kid.  The declaration of war was made in Eden:—“I
will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her
seed; thou shalt bruise his heel, and he shall bruise thy head.”  It
shall be fulfilled.  The league with hell, and the covenant with death
shall not stand.  The rebellion shall be quelled, the conspiracy shall be
broken, and the strong man armed shall yield the citadel to a stronger.
The works of the devil shall be destroyed, and the prey shall be taken
from the teeth of the terrible.  The house of David shall grow stronger
and stronger, and the house of Saul shall grow weaker and weaker, till
the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our God and of his
Christ, and Satan shall be bound in chains of darkness, and cast into the
lake of fire.  All the enemies of Zion shall be vanquished, and the
forfeited favor of God shall be recovered, and the lost territory of
peace and holiness and immortality shall be restored to man.

This campaign is carried on at the expense of the government of heaven.
The treasury is inexhaustible; the arms are irresistible; therefore the
victory is sure.  The Almighty King has descended; he has taken the city
of Bozrah; he has swayed his scepter over Edom; he has risen
victoriously, and gone up with a shout, as the leader of all the army.
This is but the pledge and the earnest of his future achievements.  In
the battle of Armageddon, he shall go forth as a mighty man; he shall
stir up jealousy as a man of war; and he shall prevail against his
enemies.  They shall be turned back—they shall be greatly ashamed, that
trust in graven images—that say unto molten images, “Ye are our gods!”
Then he will open the blind eyes, and bring the prisoners from the
prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.  He will
make bare his holy arm—he will show the sword in that hand which was
hidden under the scarlet robe—he will manifest his power in the
destruction of his enemies, and the salvation of his people.  As
certainly as he hath shed his blood on Calvary, shall he stain all his
raiment with the blood of his foes on the field of Armageddon.  As
certainly as he hath drained the cup of wrath, and received the baptism
of suffering, on Calvary, shall he wield the iron rod of justice, and
sway the golden sceptre of mercy, on the field of Armageddon.  Already
the sword is drawn, and the decisive blow is struck, and the helmet of
Apollyon is cleft, and the bonds of iniquity are cut asunder.  Already
the fire is kindled, and all the powers of hell cannot quench it.  It has
fallen from heaven; it is consuming the camp of the foe; it is inflaming
the hearts of men; it is renovating the earth, and purging away the
curse.  “The bright and Morning Star” has risen on Calvary; and soon “the
Son of Righteousness” shall shine on the field of Armageddon; and the
darkness that covers the earth, and the gross darkness that covers the
people, shall melt away; and Mohammedism, and Paganism, and Popery, with
their prince, the devil, shall seek shelter in the bottomless pit!

After a battle, we are anxious to learn who is dead, who is wounded, and
who is missing from the ranks.  In the engagement of Messiah with Satan
and his allies on Calvary, Messiah’s heel was bruised, but Satan and his
allies received a mortal wound in the head.  The head denotes wisdom,
cunning, power, government.  The devil, sin, and death have lost their
dominion over the believer in Christ, since the achievement of Calvary.
There is now no condemnation, no fear of hell.  But the serpent, though
his head is bruised, may be able to move his tail, and alarm those of
little faith.  Yet it cannot last long.  The wound is mortal, and the
triumph is sure.  On Calvary the dragon’s head was crushed by the Captain
of our salvation; after the battle of Armageddon, his tail shall shake no
more!

There is no discharge in this war.  He that enlisteth under the banner of
the cross must endure faithful until death—must not lay aside his arms
till death is swallowed up in victory.  Then shall every conqueror bear
the image of the heavenly, and wear the crown instead of the cross, and
carry the palm instead of the spear.  Let us be strong in the Lord, and
in the power of his might, that we may be able to stand in the evil day;
and after all the war is over, to stand accepted in the Beloved, that we
may reign with him for ever and ever!

II.  It remains for us to explain, very briefly, the glorious colloquy in
the text—the interrogatives of the church, and the answers of Messiah.

How great was the wonder and joy of Mary, when she met the Master at the
tomb, clothed in immortality, where she thought to find him shrouded in
death!  How unspeakable was the astonishment and rapture of the
disciples, when their Lord, whom they had so recently buried, came into
the house where they were assembled, and said—“Peace be unto you!”  Such
are the feelings which the church is represented as expressing in this
sublime colloquy with the Captain of her salvation.  He has travelled
into the land of tribulation; he has gone down to the dust of death; but
lo, he returns a conqueror, the golden sceptre of love in his left hand,
the iron rod of justice in his right, and on his head a crown of many
stars.  The church beholds him with great amazement and delight.  She
lately followed him, weeping, to the cross, and mourned over his body in
the tomb; but now she beholds him risen indeed, having destroyed death,
and him that had the power of death—that is, the devil.  She goes forth
to meet him with songs of rejoicing, as the daughters of Israel went out
to welcome David, when he returned from the valley, with the head of the
giant in his hand, and the blood running down upon his raiment.  The
choir of the church is divided into two bands; which chant to each other
in alternate strains.  The right hand division begins the glorious
colloquy—“Who is this that cometh from Edom?” and the left takes up the
interrogative, and repeats it with a variation—“with dyed garments from
Bozrah?”  “This that is glorious in his apparel?” resumes the right-hand
company—“glorious notwithstanding the tribulations he hath endured?”
“Travelling in the greatness of his strength?” responds the
left—“strength sufficient to unbar the gates of the grave, and liberate
the captives of corruption?”  The celestial Conqueror pauses, and casts
upon the company of the daughters of Zion a look of infinite benignity;
and with a voice of angel melody, and more than angel majesty, he
replies—“I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save!”  Now bursts the
song again, like the sound of many waters, from the right—“Wherefore art
thou red in thine apparel?” and the response rolls back in melodized
thunder from the left—“And thy garments like him that treadeth in the
wine-fat?”  The Divine hero answers:—“I have trodden the wine-press
alone; and of the people there was none with me.  Even Peter has left me,
with all his courage and affection; and as for John, to talk of love is
all that he can do.  I have triumphed over principalities and powers.  I
am wounded, but they are vanquished.  Behold the blood which I have lost!
behold the spoils which I have won!  Now will I mount my white horse, and
pursue after Satan, and demolish his kingdom, and send him back to the
land of darkness in everlasting chains, and all his allies shall be
exiles with him for ever.  My own arm, which has gained the victory on
Calvary, and brought salvation to all my people from the sepulchre, is
still strong enough to wield the golden sceptre of love, and break my
foes on the field of Armageddon.  I will destroy the works of the devil,
and demolish all his hosts; I will dash them in pieces like a potter’s
vessel.  For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my
redeemed is come.  My compassion is stirred for the captives of sin and
death; my fury is kindled against the tyrants that oppress them.  It is
time for me to open the prisons, and break off the fetters.  I must
gather my people to myself.  I must seek that which was lost, and bring
again that which was driven away.  I must bind up that which was broken,
and strengthen that which was weak; but I will destroy the fat and the
strong; I will feed them with judgment; I will tread them in mine anger,
and trample them in my fury, and bring down their strength to the earth,
and stain all my raiment with their blood!”

Let us flee from the wrath to come!  Behold, the sun is risen high on the
day of vengeance!  Let us not be found among the enemies of Messiah, lest
we fall a sacrifice to his righteous indignation on the field of
Armageddon!  Let us escape for our lives, for the fire-storm of his anger
will burn to the lowest hell!  Let us pray for grace to lay hold on the
salvation of his redeemed!  It is a free, full, perfect, glorious, and
eternal salvation.  Return, ye ransomed exiles from happiness, return to
your forfeited inheritance!  Now is the year of jubilee.  Come to Jesus,
that your debts may be cancelled, your sins forgiven, and your persons
justified!  Come, for the Conqueror of your foes is on the throne!  Come,
for the trumpets of mercy are sounding!  Come, for all things are now
ready!



SERMON III.
THE SMITTEN ROCK.


    “_For they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them_, _and
    that rock was Christ_.”—1 Cor. x. 4.

IN this chapter the apostle solemnly cautions his brethren against
apostasy, and consequent shipwreck of their spiritual privileges.  His
admonitions are educed from important events in the history of the
journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the land of Canaan.  He speaks of
the march of the twelve tribes out of the scene of their bondage, under
the uplifted banner of God; of their baptism unto Moses in the cloud and
in the sea, when Jehovah gloriously displayed his power in preserving
their lives between the watery ramparts which shut them in like the solid
walls of the sepulchre, while the cloud rested upon them through the deep
night, like the marble covering of the tomb; of their safe emerging on
the other side of the flood, a type of the resurrection, leaving Pharaoh
and his host to sleep in the waters till the morning of the last day,
when they shall rise without their chariots and their horses; of their
miraculous supply in the wilderness, with bread from heaven, and water
from the smitten rock, which he calls spiritual meat and spiritual drink,
because of their typical reference to the sacrificial death of Christ,
which is the spiritual life of the world; and of their subsequent
ingratitude and forgetfulness of God, notwithstanding these great
deliverances and mercies, their murmurings, idolatries, fornications, and
tempting of Christ, for which they were destroyed by the plague, slain by
fiery serpents, smitten by the angel of the Lord, and fell to the number
of three and twenty thousand in one day.  “Now all these things,” he
adds, “happened unto them for ensamples, and are written for our
admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come; wherefore, let him
that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.”  Thus he opens the
graves of ancient sinners, and brings before his brethren the carcasses
of those “who fell in the wilderness;” brings them into our solemn
assemblies, and hangs them up over the pulpit, the baptistery, and the
communion-table, terrible warnings against departing from the living God;
even as the censers of Korah, Dathan and Abiram were beaten up, and made
a covering for the altar, for a perpetual sign and memorial to Israel, to
keep them from the sin of those men, that they might not share their
fate.

In speaking of the smitten rock, which the apostle authorizes us to
regard as a type of Christ, we shall consider:—_First_, Its smiting by
Moses; and _Secondly_, The consequent flowing of the waters.

I.  The smitten rock was a type of Christ.  Messiah is the “Rock of Ages”
to his church.  He is the foundation of her hope, sure and steadfast, and
her protection in times of danger and of dread.  The armor and the
prowess of Egypt constituted no rock like this rock.  Edom, and Moab, and
Philistia, and the seven nations of Canaan, had their gods and their
heroes; but their rock was not able to shelter them from the wrath of
Jehovah, when it came upon them like a tempest of hail.  The gods that
made not the heavens and the earth are far off in the day of trouble; but
the God of Israel is “nigh at hand,” and his arm is strong to deliver.
He is the rock that stood firm and immovable, for the defence of his
people, amid the ragings of the Red Sea.  Messiah is the man, who is
predicted as “a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the
tempest, and the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”  He can shield,
not only from the scorching sun and the scathing simoom of the desert;
but also from the fiery torments of remorse, and the ruinous judgments of
heaven.  Our Lord is a rock, also, on account of the blessings which flow
from him, for the refreshment of his Israel; as “the droppings of honey
from the rock;” as “springs of water in a dry place;” as “living streams
in the desert,” and “rivers from the mountains of Lebanon.”

There are two accounts of the smiting of the rock; one in the seventeenth
chapter of Exodus, and the other in the twentieth chapter of Numbers.
From a comparison of these two accounts, it appears that the rock was
smitten at two different times; the first, as is supposed, about a year
after the egress from Egypt, and the other about a year before the
entrance into Canaan; making an intervening period of about thirty-eight
years.  The war with Amalek succeeded the first; the embassy to Edom
followed the second.  At the first, Miriam was alive; just before the
second is the record of her death.

It seems that the people murmured bitterly against Moses, spoke of their
superior fare in Egypt, and accused him of bringing them out into the
wilderness to kill them with thirst.  This is ever the spirit of
backsliding.  Those who are under its influence are apt to complain of
the burdens imposed upon them by their religion, and the injuries
occasioned to them by their brethren; and to speak uncharitably of their
spiritual leaders, instead of crying to God for help.  To ask, “Is the
Lord among us?” when his word and his works, indicating either his
pleasure or his displeasure, testify that he is, is tempting God, with a
dreadful presumption.

It does not appear that Moses sinned the first time he smote the rock;
but the second time, the servant of God was evidently off his guard, and
the meekest of men “spake unadvisedly with his lips;” on account of
which, both he and Aaron were shut out of the promised land.  His sin
consisted in entering into a quarrel with the people, instead of asking
God for water to quench their thirst.  It appears that their chidings had
provoked him to anger, and he had lost the spirit of sympathy for their
sufferings, and his hard feelings stood like a thick wall between him and
the miracle which God was about to work for his own glory and his
people’s relief.  Neither did he as God commanded him; for instead of
simply speaking to the rock, as he was bidden, he smote it twice, with
evident agitation of mind; and at the same time, bitterly reproached the
people with their rebellion.

Every minister of the gospel is a “drawer of water,” to his congregation,
from the “Spiritual Rock” which follows the church.  He must be clothed
with meekness from Heaven, or the provocations of the people will be apt
to embitter his spirit.  God would have us minister mercy, in the spirit
of his own mercy.  “The servant of God must not strive, but be gentle
toward all men; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if,
peradventure, God would grant them repentance unto the acknowledging of
the truth: and that they might recover themselves out of the snare of the
devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

The smiting of the rock was intended to open it, that the water might
flow.  This prefigured the smiting of Christ, “the Rock of Ages,” and
“the Shepherd of the sheep.”  The shedding of the blood of lambs, and
goats, and calves, and bullocks, for the space of four thousand years,
faintly shadowed forth the sacrificial passion of our blessed Lord.
Their groans and struggles under the slaughtering knife; the sound of the
blood, falling into the golden basins, and poured into the flames upon
the altar; the noise occasioned in cutting up the victim, and piling the
pieces upon the fire and the smoke and vapor ascending from the consuming
sacrifice to heaven; all, all, in their own way, foreshadowed the
necessity of mangling the body and shedding the blood of Messiah, that
pardoning mercy might have an open way to flow to sinners, like the water
from the smitten rock; and the agonies of those slaughtered victims were
an imperfect type of the agonies of the soul of Jesus, in the garden and
on the cross.

The smiting of a flinty rock, for the purpose of obtaining water, was a
scheme of the Divine Mind, whose ways are higher than our ways, and his
thoughts than our thoughts.  It was certainly the last place to which
Moses would have gone for water; and he might have expected the stroke to
elicit sparks of fire, rather than cool refreshing streams.  What eye had
not seen and ear had not heard, either of men or of angels—what had not
entered into the heart of any created being to conceive, terrestrial or
celestials—was, that the smiting of the Shepherd should save the sheep;
that the condemnation of the just should bring the unjust to God; that
the making of Messiah a curse should secure infinite blessings to
mankind; that the poverty of Jesus should enrich us, and his death raise
us to life eternal.  Consuming flames of Divine indignation might have
been expected to flash upon the guilty world from every wound of the
thorns, the nails and the spear, in the sacred person of Emmanuel; but,
to the astonishment of men and angels, a tide of love and mercy ran
freely from every bleeding vein, to wash away the guilt and pollution of
human crimes, according to the determinate counsel and immutable promise
of our God.

The rock must be smitten by a rod.  Had Moses been left to choose his own
instrument, he would probably have taken a hammer, or perhaps a lever;
but God commands him to take the rod.  The rock would not have yielded
water to any other instrument than the rod that smote the waters of
Egypt, and turned them into blood.  This rod was an emblem of the
sovereignty of God over Israel, and is therefore called “the rod of God,
which the Lord gave unto Moses”—as his deputy governor—“to lead Israel,
and to work miracles before their eyes.”  It was also a symbol of the
royal law of Heaven; which, prior to the fall, was a rod of life; but
afterward became a rod of iron, to break in pieces the offender—an angry
serpent, to sting the transgressor with dreadful torments; and finally,
when Christ endured the curse, and honored the violated mandate, by his
death upon the tree, it was transformed again into a guiding and
correcting rod.  As the rock would have yielded water under no other
stroke than that of “the rod of God,” so the sufferings of Christ would
have been ineffectual, had they not happened under the law of the Father,
and according to the counsel of Infinite Wisdom.  When Isaac was about to
be offered up on mount Moriah, the wood, the fire, and the knife, must
all come from his father’s house, and the dreadful deed must be done by
his father’s hand.  So Jesus must die in no ordinary or accidental way.
He must not suffer himself to be slain by the sword of Herod, nor cast
over the brow of the hill by the people.  He must receive the mortal cup
from no other hand than that of the Father.  He must die the appointed
death; at the appointed time; in the appointed place, without the camp;
and in the appointed manner, by hanging on a tree.  The wreath of thorns,
the scarlet robe, the nails, the cross, the spear, and even the vinegar
offered him in his agony, were all according to his Father’s counsel.  He
knew the necessity, and said—“Thy will be done!”  The Shepherd of Israel
would bow under no other stroke than that of the Lord of Hosts.  A
cradle, a cross, and a grave, all of his Father’s appointing, must Jesus
have, in order to open a fountain of living water to the world.

The rock must be smitten in a public manner, in the sight of the sun, and
before all the elders of Israel, that God might be sanctified in the eyes
of his people.  This was intended to foreshadow the publicity of the
death of Christ, which took place during one of the great public
festivals of the Jews, in the presence of nearly the whole nation, and on
the hill Calvary; and to denote the proclamation of Christ crucified
throughout the world, as the true propitiation and object of faith, to be
looked upon by Jews and Gentiles, to the softening of the heart, and the
flowing of repentant tears, according to the prophecy—“They shall look on
him whom they have pierced, and mourn for him, as one mourneth for an
only son.”  The Spirit of grace directs the eyes of men to the cross,
upon which the prophet Isaiah, with transcendent sublimity of language,
describes the Saviour as passing from Calvary to the grave, from the
grave to the empyrean, and thence back again to earth, crying—“Look unto
me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth; for I am God, and beside
me there is no Savior!”

The rock must be smitten in the presence of God.  “Behold, I will stand
before thee there on the rock in Horeb.”  (Ex. xvii. 6.)  He stood upon
the rock in Horeb, though invisible, in the glory of his loving-kindness
and his power, to guide the hand of his servant Moses, and open a source
of timely succor to his perishing people.  But when the rod of the law
smote the Rock of our salvation, when the curse fell upon the sinner’s
Substitute and Surety, then God stood forth before the world upon the
rock of Calvary, amid the darkened heavens, the trembling earth, and the
opening sepulchres, as if all the machinery of nature had been suddenly
disordered and disorganized—stood forth in the plenitude of his power,
his wisdom, his justice, his mercy, and his truth, to prosper the work of
man’s redemption, and open a channel through which the river of life
might flow out to a famishing race.  On Calvary still he stands, with the
cup of salvation in his hand, and streams of living water rolling at his
feet, and cries—“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters!”

According to the command of God, the rock was to be smitten but once.
Once smitten, it needed only to be spoken to; and, though it was more
than thirty years afterward, it would yield forth its water.  But Moses,
provoked to anger by the murmurings and complainings of the people,
transcended the Divine injunction, and though he had once smitten the
rock, smote it again; yea, when he should have spoken to it only, smote
it twice with his rod.  This was his sin, for which God would not permit
him to enter the promised land.  Christ has been once smitten, and wo to
those who smite him again!  He has once offered himself a sacrifice, and
once entered into the holy place, having finished his work of atonement,
and made an end of sin, and superseded the sacrifices of the law.
Henceforth, ye Jews, relinquish your burnt-offerings, your
meat-offerings, your drink-offerings, your peace-offerings; and trust no
longer in beasts, and birds, and flour, and oil; but in “the Lamb of God,
that taketh away the sin of the world.”  Crucify him afresh no more, O ye
backsliders; for “there remaineth no other sacrifice for sin!”  Smite him
not again, lest he swear unto you in his wrath, as unto Moses, that ye
shall not enter into his rest!

II.  Having spoken of the smiting, let us now look at the result, the
flowing of the waters; a timely mercy to “the many thousands of Israel,”
on the point of perishing in the desert; shadowing forth a far greater
mercy, the flowing of living waters from the “spiritual rock,” which is
Christ.

In the death of our Redeemer, we see three infinite depths moved for the
relief of human misery; the love of the Father, the merit of the Son, and
the energy of the Holy Spirit.  These are the depths of wonder whence
arise the rivers of salvation.

The waters flowed in the presence of the whole assembly.  The agent was
invisible, but his work was manifest. * * * * * * * * * *

The water flowed in great abundance, filling the whole camp, and
supplying all the people.  Notwithstanding the immense number, and the
greatness of their thirst, there was enough for each and for all.  The
streams ran in every direction to meet the sufferers, and their rippling
murmur seemed to say—“Open thy mouth, and I will fill it.”  Look to the
cross!  See there the gracious fountain opened, and streams of pardoning
and purifying mercy flowing down the rock of Calvary, sweeping over the
mount of Olives, and cleaving it asunder, to make a channel for the
living waters to go out over the whole world, that God may be glorified
among the Gentiles, and all the ends of the earth may see his salvation!

The water flowed from the rock, not pumped by human labor, but drawn by
the hand of God.  It was the same power, that opened the springs of mercy
upon the cross.  It was the wisdom of God that devised the plan, and the
mercy of God that furnished the victim.  His was the truth and love that
gave the promise by the prophet—“In that day there shall be a fountain
opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for
sin and uncleanness.”  His was the unchanging faithfulness that fulfilled
it in his Son—“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and
renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus
Christ our Lord.”  Our salvation is wholly of God; and we have no other
agency in the matter, than the mere acceptance of his proffered grace.

The water flowed in twelve different channels; and, according to Dr.
Pococke, of Scotland, who visited the place, the deep traces in the rock
are visible to this day.  But the twelve streams, one for each tribe, all
issued from the same fountain, in the same rock.  So the great salvation
flowed out through the ministry of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and
went abroad over all the earth.  But the fountain is one.  All the
apostles preached the same Savior, and pointed to the same cross.
“Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name
under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  We must come
to this spring, or perish.

The flowing of the waters was irresistible by human power.  Who can close
the fountain which God hath opened?  Can Edom, or Moab, or Sihon, or Og,
dam up the current which Jehovah hath drawn from the rock?  Can Caiaphas,
and all the Jews, aided by the Prince of this world—can all the powers of
earth and hell combined—arrest the work of redemption, and dry up the
fountain of mercy that Christ is opening on Calvary?  As soon might they
dry up the Atlantic, and stop the revolutions of the globe.  It is
written, and must be fulfilled.  Christ must suffer, and enter into his
glory—must be lifted up, and draw all men unto him—and repentance and
remission of sins must be preached in his name among all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem.

The water flowing from the rock was like a river of life to the children
of Israel.  Who can describe the distress throughout the camp; and the
appearance of the people, when they were invited to approach a flinty
rock, instead of a fountain or a stream, to quench their thirst?  What
angry countenances were there, what bitter censures, and ungrateful
murmurings, as Moses went up to the rock, with nothing in his hand but a
rod!  “Where is he going,” said they, “with that dry stick?  What is he
going to do on that rock?  Does he mean to make fools of us all?  Is it
not enough that he has brought us into this wilderness to die of thirst?
Will he mock us now by pretending to seek water in these sands, or open
fountains in the solid granite?”  But see! he lifts the rod, he smites
the rock; and lo, it bursts into a fountain; and twelve crystal streams
roll down before the people!  Who can conceive the sudden transport?
Hear the shout of joy ringing through the camp, and rolling back in
tumultuous echoes from the crags and cliffs of Horeb!  “Water! water!  A
miracle! a miracle!  Glory to the God of Israel!  Glory to his servant
Moses!”  It was a resurrection day to Israel, the morning light bursting
upon the shadow of death.  New life and joy are seen throughout the camp.
The maidens are running, with cups and pitchers, to the rock.  They fill
and drink; then fill again, and haste away to their respective tents,
with water for the sick, the aged, and the little ones, joyfully
exclaiming—“Drink, father!  Drink, mother!  Drink, children!  Drink, all
of you!  Drink abundantly!  Plenty of water now!  Rivers flowing from the
rock!”  Now the oxen are coming, the asses, the camels, the sheep, and
the goats—coming in crowds to quench their thirst, and plunging into the
streams before them.  And the feathered tribes are coming, the
turtle-dove, the pigeon, the swallow, the sparrow, the robin, and the
wren; while the croaking raven and the fierce-eyed eagle, scenting the
water from afar, mingle with them around the rock.

Brethren, this is but a faint emblem of the joy of the church, in
drinking the waters that descend from Calvary, the streams that gladden
the city of our God.  Go back to the day of Pentecost for an instance.  O
what a revolution of thought, and feeling, and character!  What a change
of countenance, and conscience, and heart!  Three thousand men, that
morning full of ignorance, and corruption, and guilt—idolaters,
sensualists, blasphemers, persecutors—before night were perfectly
transformed—the lions converted into lambs—the hard heart melted, the
dead conscience quickened, and the whole man become a new creature in
Christ Jesus!  They thirsted, they found the “Spiritual rock,” tasted its
living waters, and suddenly leaped into new life, like Lazarus from the
inanition of the grave!

This is the blessing which follows the church through all her wanderings
in the wilderness; accompanies her through the scorching desert of
affliction, and the valley of the shadow of death; and when at last she
shall come up out of great tribulation, her garments shall be found
washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb; and the Lamb who is in
the midst of the throne shall lead her to everlasting fountains, and she
shall thirst no more!



SERMON IV.
FALL AND RECOVERY OF MAN.


    “_For if_, _through the offence of one_, _many be dead_; _much more
    the grace of God_; _and the gift by grace_, _which is by one man_,
    _Jesus Christ_, _hath abounded unto many_.”—Rom. v. 15.

MAN was created in the image of God.  Knowledge and perfect holiness were
impressed upon the very nature and faculties of his soul.  He had
constant access to his Maker, and enjoyed free communion with him, on the
ground of his spotless moral rectitude.  But alas! the glorious diadem is
broken; the crown of righteousness is fallen.  Man’s purity is gone, and
his happiness is forfeited.  “There is none righteous; no, not one.”
“All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  But the ruin is
not hopeless.  What was lost in Adam, is restored in Christ.  His blood
redeems us from bondage, and his gospel gives us back the forfeited
inheritance.  “‘For if, through the offence of one, many be dead; much
more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus
Christ, hath abounded unto many.”  Let us consider;—_First_, The
corruption and condemnation of man; and _Secondly_, His gracious
restoration to the favor of his offended God.

I.  To find the cause of man’s corruption and condemnation, we must go
back to Eden.  The eating of the “forbidden tree” was “the offence of
one,” in consequence of which “many are dead.”  This was the “sin,” the
act of “disobedience,” which “brought death into the world, and all our
wo.”  It was the greatest ingratitude to the Divine bounty, and the
boldest rebellion against the Divine sovereignty.  The royalty of God was
contemned; the riches of his goodness slighted; and his most desperate
enemy preferred before him, as if he were a wiser counselor than Infinite
Wisdom.  Thus man joined in league with hell, against Heaven; with demons
of the bottomless pit, against the Almighty Maker and Benefactor; robbing
God of the obedience due to his command, and the glory due to his name;
worshipping the creature, instead of the Creator; and opening the door to
pride, unbelief, enmity, and all wicked and abominable passions.  How is
the “noble vine,” which was planted “wholly a right seed,” “turned into
the degenerate plant of a strange vine!”

Who can look for pure water from such a fountain?  “That which is born of
the flesh is flesh.”  All the faculties of the soul are corrupted by sin;
the understanding dark; the will perverse; the affections carnal; the
conscience full of shame, remorse, confusion, and mortal fear.  Man is a
hard-hearted and stiff-necked sinner; loving darkness rather than light,
because his deeds are evil; eating sin like bread, and drinking iniquity
like water; holding fast deceit, and refusing to let it go.  His heart is
desperately wicked; full of pride, vanity, hypocrisy, covetousness,
hatred of truth, and hostility to all that is good.

This depravity is universal.  Among the natural children of Adam, there
is no exemption from the original taint.  “The whole world lieth in
wickedness.”  “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness
is as filthy rags.”  The corruption may vary in the degrees of
development, in different persons; but the elements are in all, and their
nature is everywhere the same; the same in the blooming youth, and the
withered sire; in the haughty prince, and the humble peasant; in the
strongest giant, and the feeblest invalid.  The enemy has “come in like a
flood.”  The deluge of sin has swept the world.  From the highest to the
lowest, there is no health or moral soundness.  From the crown of the
head to the soles of the feet, there is nothing but wounds, and bruises,
and putrefying sores.  The laws, and their violation, and the punishments
everywhere invented for the suppression of vice, prove the universality
of the evil.  The bloody sacrifices, and various purifications, of the
pagans, show the handwriting of remorse upon their consciences; proclaim
their sense of guilt, and their dread of punishment.  None of them is
free from the fear which hath torment, whatever their efforts to overcome
it, and however great their boldness in the service of sin and Satan.
“Mene! Tekel!” is written on every human heart.  “Wanting! wanting!” is
inscribed on heathen fanes and altars; on the laws, customs, and
institutions of every nation; and on the universal consciousness of
mankind.

This inward corruption manifests itself in outward actions.  “The tree is
known by its fruit.”  As the smoke and sparks of the chimney show that
there is fire within; so all the “filthy conversation” of men, and all
“the unfruitful works of darkness” in which they delight, evidently
indicate the pollution of the source whence they proceed.  “Out of the
abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”  The sinner’s speech
betrayeth him.  “Evil speaking” proceeds from malice and envy.  “Foolish
talking and jesting,” are evidence of impure and trifling thoughts.  The
mouth full of cursing and bitterness, the throat an open sepulchre, the
poison of asps under the tongue, the feet swift to shed blood,
destruction and misery in their paths, and the way of peace unknown to
them, are the clearest and amplest demonstration that men “have gone out
of the way,” “have together become unprofitable.”  We see the bitter
fruit of the same corruption in robbery, adultery, gluttony, drunkenness,
extortion, intolerance, persecution, apostasy, and every evil work—in all
false religions; the Jew, obstinately adhering to the carnal ceremonies
of an abrogated law; the Mohammedan, honoring an impostor, and receiving
a lie for a revelation from God; the Papist, worshipping images and
relics, praying to departed saints, seeking absolution from sinful men,
and trusting in the most absurd mummeries for salvation; the Pagan,
attributing divinity to the works of his own hands, adoring idols of wood
and stone, sacrificing to malignant demons, casting his children into the
fire or the flood as an offering to imaginary deities, and changing the
glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the beast and the
worm.

“For these things’ sake the wrath of God cometh upon the children of
disobedience.”  They are under the sentence of the broken law; the
malediction of Eternal Justice.  “By the offence of one, judgment came
upon all men unto condemnation.”  “He that believeth not is condemned
already.”  “The wrath of God abideth on him.”  “Cursed is every one that
continueth not in all things written in the book of the law, to do them.”
“Wo unto the wicked; it shall be ill with him, for the reward of his
hands shall be given him.”  “They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness
shall reap the same.”  “Upon the wicked the Lord shall rain fire, and
snares, and a horrible tempest; this shall be the portion of their cup.”
“God is angry with the wicked every day; if he turn not, he will whet his
sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.”

Who shall describe the misery of fallen men!  His days, though few, are
full of evil.  Trouble and sorrow press him forward to the tomb.  All the
world, except Noah and his family, are drowning in the deluge.  A storm
of fire and brimstone is fallen from heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah.  The
earth is opening her mouth to swallow up alive Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
Wrath is coming upon “the Beloved City,” even “wrath unto the uttermost.”
The tender and delicate mother is devouring her darling infant.  The
sword of man is executing the vengeance of God.  The earth is emptying
its inhabitants into the bottomless pit.  On every hand are “confused
noises, and garments rolled in blood.”  Fire and sword fill the land with
consternation and dismay.  Amid the universal devastation, wild shrieks
and despairing groans fill the air.  God of mercy! is thy ear heavy, that
thou canst not hear? or thy arm shortened, that thou canst not save?  The
heavens above are brass, and the earth beneath is iron; for Jehovah is
pouring his indignation upon his adversaries, and he will not pity or
spare.

Verily, “the misery of man is great upon him!”  Behold the wretched
fallen creature!  The pestilence pursues him.  The leprosy cleaves to
him.  Consumption is wasting him.  Inflammation is devouring his vitals.
Burning fever has seized upon the very springs of life.  The destroying
angel has overtaken the sinner in his sins.  The hand of God is upon him.
The fires of wrath are kindling about him, drying up every well of
comfort, and scorching all his hopes to ashes.  Conscience is chastising
him with scorpions.  See how he writhes!  Hear how he shrieks for help!
Mark what agony and terror are in his soul, and on his brow!  Death
stares him in the face, and shakes at him his iron spear.  He trembles,
he turns pale, as a culprit at the bar, as a convict on the scaffold.  He
is condemned already.  Conscience has pronounced the sentence.  Anguish
has taken hold upon him.  Terrors gather in battle-array about him.  He
looks back, and the storms of Sinai pursue him; forward, and hell is
moved to meet him; above, and the heavens are on fire; beneath, and the
world is burning.  He listens, and the judgment trump is calling; again,
and the brazen chariots of vengeance are thundering from afar; yet again,
and the sentence penetrates his soul with anguish unspeakable—“Depart! ye
accursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!”

Thus, “by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so
death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  They are “dead in
trespasses and sins;” spiritually dead, and legally dead; dead by the
mortal power of sin, and dead by the condemnatory sentence of the law;
and helpless as sheep to the slaughter, they are driven fiercely on by
the ministers of wrath to the all-devouring grave, and the lake of fire!

But is there no mercy?  Is there no means of salvation?  Hark! amidst all
this prelude of wrath and ruin, comes a still small voice, saying: “much
more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus
Christ, hath abounded unto many.”

II.  This brings us to our second topic, man’s gracious recovery to the
favor of his offended God.

I know not how to represent to you this glorious work, better than by the
following figure.  Suppose a vast graveyard, surrounded by a lofty wall,
with only one entrance, which is by a massive iron gate, and that is fast
bolted.  Within are thousands and millions of human beings, of all ages
and classes, by one epidemic disease bending to the grave.  The graves
yawn to swallow them, and they must all perish.  There is no balm to
relieve, no physician there.  Such is the condition of man as a sinner.
All have sinned; and it is written, “The soul that sinneth shall die.”
But while the unhappy race lay in that dismal prison, Mercy came and
stood at the gate, and wept over the melancholy scene, exclaiming—“O that
I might enter!  I would bind up their wounds; I would relieve their
sorrows; I would save their souls!”  An embassy of angels, commissioned
from the court of Heaven to some other world, paused at the sight, and
Heaven forgave that pause.  Seeing Mercy standing there, they
cried:—“Mercy! canst thou not enter?  Canst thou look upon that scene and
not pity?  Canst thou pity, and not relieve?”  Mercy replied: “I can
see!” and in her tears she added, “I can pity, but I cannot relieve!”
“Why canst thou not enter?” inquired the heavenly host.  “Oh!” said
Mercy, “Justice has barred the gate against me, and I must not—cannot
unbar it!”  At this moment, Justice himself appeared, as if to watch the
gate.  The angels asked, “Why wilt thou not suffer Mercy to enter?”  He
sternly replied: “The law is broken, and it must be honored!  Die they or
Justice must!”  Then appeared a form among the angelic band like unto the
Son of God.  Addressing himself to Justice, he said: “What are thy
demands?”  Justice replied: “My demands are rigid; I must have ignominy
for their honor, sickness for their health, death for their life.
Without the shedding of blood there is no remission!”  “Justice,” said
the Son of God, “I accept thy terms!  On me be this wrong!  Let Mercy
enter, and stay the carnival of death!”  “What pledge dost thou give for
the performance of these conditions?”  “My word; my oath!”  “When wilt
thou perform them?”  “Four thousand years hence, on the hill of Calvary,
without the walls of Jerusalem!”  The bond was prepared, and signed and
sealed in the presence of attendant angels.  Justice was satisfied, the
gate was opened, and Mercy entered, preaching salvation in the name of
Jesus.  The bond was committed to patriarchs and prophets.  A long series
of rites and ceremonies, sacrifices and oblations, was instituted to
perpetuate the memory of that solemn deed.  At the close of the
four-thousandth year, when Daniel’s “seventy weeks” were accomplished,
Justice and Mercy appeared on the hill of Calvary.  “Where,” said
Justice, “is the Son of God?”  “Behold him,” answered Mercy, “at the foot
of the hill!”  And there he came, bearing his own cross, and followed by
his weeping church.  Mercy retired, and stood aloof from the scene.
Jesus ascended the hill, like a lamb for the sacrifice.  Justice
presented the dreadful bond, saying, “This is the day on which this
article must be cancelled.”  The Redeemer took it.  What did he do with
it?  Tear it in pieces, and scatter it to the winds?  No! he nailed it to
his cross, crying, “It is finished!”  The Victim ascended the altar.
Justice called on holy fire to come down and consume the sacrifice.  Holy
fire replied: “I come!  I will consume the sacrifice, and then I will
burn up the world!”  It fell upon the Son of God, and rapidly consumed
his humanity; but when it touched his Deity, it expired.  Then was there
darkness over the whole land, and an earthquake shook the mountain; but
the heavenly host broke forth in rapturous song—“Glory to God in the
highest! on earth peace! good will to man!” {114}

Thus grace has abounded, and the free gift has come upon all, and the
gospel has gone forth proclaiming redemption to every creature.  “By
grace ye are saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the
gift of God; not of works, least any man should boast.”  By grace ye are
loved, redeemed and justified.  By grace ye are called, converted,
reconciled and sanctified.  Salvation is wholly of grace.  The plan, the
process, the consummation, are all of grace.

    “Grace all the work shall crown,
       Through everlasting days;
    It lays in heaven the topmost stone,
       And well deserves the praise!”

“Where sin abounded, grace hath much more abounded.”  “Through the
offence of one, many were dead.”  And as men multiplied, the offence
abounded.  The waters deluged the world, but could not wash away the
dreadful stain.  The fire fell from heaven, but could not burn out the
accursed plague.  The earth opened her mouth, but could not swallow up
the monster sin.  The law thundered forth its threat from the thick
darkness on Sinai; but could not restrain, by all its terrors, the
children of disobedience.  Still the offence abounded, and multiplied as
the sands on the sea-shore.  It waxed bold, and pitched its tents on
Calvary, and nailed the Lawgiver to a tree.  But in that conflict sin
received its mortal wound.  The Victim was the Victor.  He fell, but in
his fall he crushed the foe.  He died unto sin, but sin and death were
crucified upon his cross.  Where sin abounded to condemn, grace hath much
more abounded to justify.  Where sin abounded to corrupt, grace hath much
more abounded to purify.  Where sin abounded to harden, grace hath much
more abounded to soften and subdue.  Where sin abounded to imprison men,
grace hath much more abounded to proclaim liberty to the captives.  Where
sin abounded to break the law and dishonor the Lawgiver, grace hath much
more abounded to repair the breach and efface the stain.  Where sin
abounded to consume the soul as with unquenchable fire and a gnawing
worm, grace hath much more abounded to extinguish the flame and heal the
wound.  Grace hath abounded!  It hath established its throne on the merit
of the Redeemer’s sufferings.  It hath put on the crown, and laid hold of
the golden scepter, and spoiled the dominion of the prince of darkness,
and the gates of the great cemetery are thrown open, and there is the
beating of a new life-pulse throughout its wretched population, and
Immortality is walking among the tombs!

This abounding grace is manifested in the gift of Jesus Christ, by whose
mediation our reconciliation and salvation are effected.  With him,
believers are dead unto sin, and alive unto God.  Our sins were slain at
his cross, and buried in his tomb.  His resurrection hath opened our
graves, and given us an assurance of immortality.  “God commendeth his
love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us;
much more, then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from
wrath through him; for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to
God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be
saved by his life.”

“The carnal mind is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of
God, neither indeed can be.”  Glory to God, for the death of his Son, by
which this enmity is slain, and reconciliation is effected between the
rebel and the law!  This was the unspeakable gift that saved us from
ruin; that wrestled with the storm, and turned it away from the devoted
head of the sinner.  Had all the angels of God attempted to stand between
these two conflicting seas, they would have been swept to the gulf of
destruction.  “The blood of bulls and goats, on Jewish altars slain,”
could not take away sin, could not pacify the conscience.  But Christ,
the gift of Divine Grace, “Pascal Lamb by God appointed,” “a sacrifice of
nobler name and richer blood than they,” bore our sins, and carried our
sorrows, and obtained for us the boon of eternal redemption.  He met the
fury of the tempest, and the floods went over his head; but his offering
was an offering of peace, calming the storms and the waves, magnifying
the law, glorifying its Author, and rescuing its violator from wrath and
rain.  Justice hath laid down his sword at the foot of the cross, and
amity is restored between heaven and earth.

Hither, O ye guilty! come and cast away your weapons of rebellion!  Come
with your bad principles, and wicked actions; your unbelief, and enmity,
and pride; and throw them off at the Redeemer’s feet!  God is here,
waiting to be gracious.  He will receive you; he will cast all your sins
behind his back, into the depths of the sea; and they shall be remembered
against you no more for ever.  By Heaven’s “Unspeakable Gift,” by
Christ’s invaluable atonement, by the free and infinite grace of the
Father and the Son, we persuade you, we beseech you, we entreat you, “be
ye reconciled to God!”

It is by the work of the Holy Spirit within us, that we obtain a personal
interest in the work wrought on Calvary for us.  If our sins are
cancelled, they are also crucified.  If we are reconciled in Christ, we
fight against our God no more.  This is the fruit of faith.  “With the
heart man believeth unto righteousness.”  May the Lord inspire in every
one of us that saving principle!

But those who have been restored to the Divine favor may sometimes be
cast down and dejected.  They have passed through the sea, and sung
praises on the shore of deliverance; but there is yet between them and
Canaan “a waste howling wilderness,” a long and weary pilgrimage, hostile
nations, fiery serpents, scarcity of food, and the river Jordan.  Fears
within and fightings without, they may grow discouraged, and yield to
temptation, and murmur against God, and desire to return to Egypt.  But
fear not, thou worm Jacob!  Reconciled by the death of Christ; much more,
being reconciled, thou shalt be saved by his life.  His death was the
price of our redemption; his life insures liberty to the believer.  If by
his death he brought you through the Red Sea in the night, by his life he
can lead you through the river Jordan in the day.  If by his death he
delivered you from the iron furnace in Egypt, by his life he can save you
from all the perils of the wilderness.  If by his death he conquered
Pharaoh, the chief foe, by his life he can subdue Sihon, king of the
Amorites, and Og, the king of Bashan.  “We shall be saved by his life.”
“Because he liveth, we shall live also.”  “Be of good cheer!”  The work
is finished; the ransom is effected; the kingdom of heaven is opened to
all believers.  “Lift up your heads and rejoice,” “ye prisoners of hope!”
There is no debt unpaid, no devil unconquered, no enemy within your own
hearts that has not received a mortal wound!  “Thanks be unto God, who
giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ!”



SERMON V.
ONE GOD AND ONE MEDIATOR.


    “_For there is one God_, _and one Mediator between God and man_, _the
    man Christ Jesus_.”—1 Tim. ii. 5.

THE apostle Paul urges the propriety, and importance of praying for all
men, in the several conditions and relations of life, from a
consideration of God’s merciful intentions toward all men, as exhibited
in the sufficiency of the gospel provision for their salvation.  But if
any are saved, it must be through the medium which God has ordained, and
in the manner which God has prescribed.  Therefore the apostle adds: “For
there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ
Jesus.”  “There is one God,” to whom sinners have to be reconciled; “and
one Mediator,” through whom that reconciliation is to be effected.  We
have a nearly parallel passage in another epistle: “To us there is but
one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”  The unity of God,
and the mediation of Christ, are the two great topics of the text, to
which we solicit your attention.

I.  “For there is one God.”  Two infinite beings cannot co-exist, unless
they are one in essence and in operation.  The God of Israel pervades the
universe of matter, and fills the immensity of space.  There is no room
for another God, possessing the same ubiquity.  “There is one God and
Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”  In
him alone, all things live, move, and have their being.

This doctrine is stamped on all the works of nature.  They all exhibit
unity of design, and must have been contrived by the same infinite
wisdom, and executed by the same infinite power.  The hand which created
and arranged them is constantly seen in their preservation.  The Maker of
all things continues to uphold all things by the word of his power.  The
great Architect still presides over the immense fabric which he has
reared.  The universe, from age to age, is governed by the same unvarying
laws.  All things remain as they were from the beginning.  The earth, the
air, and the sea, sustain the same mutual relations, and answer the same
important ends; and the sun, the moon, and the stars, shine on for ever.
The same order and regularity everywhere prevail, as when the chorus of
the morning stars welcomed the new creation into being.  Nature proclaims
aloud: “There is one God.”

The same doctrine is impressed upon the Bible.  It is not only the book
of God, but evidently the book of “one God.”  It is a series of Divine
Revelations, reaching from Eden to Calvary, and from Calvary onward to
the end of the world.  It is a golden chain, passing through all time,
and uniting the two eternities; and all its links are similar, and depend
upon each other.  Its several parts are perfectly harmonious, proving
them to have emanated from the same infinite mind.  Everywhere we find
the same character of God and of man; the same description of the law and
of sin; the same way of pardon, and holiness, and immortal life.  The
same Eternal Spirit, that inspired the Historian of Creation, speaks in
the Apocalypse of St. John, and in all the intervenient books of the
Bible.  It was the same Sun of Righteousness, that rose in Eden, and set
on Calvary; and thence rose again the third day, to set no more for ever.

“The world by wisdom knew not God.”  The heathen lost the doctrine of the
unity of God; not because it was difficult to preserve, but because they
did not love the character of God, “did not like to retain God in their
knowledge.”  The pride of the carnal mind led them to turn away from the
light of heaven, to walk amid sparks of their own kindling.  They boasted
of their wisdom; they boasted of their philosophy.  And what gained they
by the exchange?  The most absurd and stupid notions of the Great First
Cause; almost total ignorance of his attributes.  “Professing themselves
to be wise, they became fools; and changed the glory of the incorruptible
God into an image made with hands, like unto corruptible man, and to
birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”  Shame to
philosophic Greece and Rome!

No nation, having once lost the doctrine of the unity of God, ever
regained it by the light of nature.  If the light of nature is sufficient
to preserve it in possession, it is not sufficient to restore it lost.
It is restored only by the gospel.  The gospel has restored it in India,
in Otaheite, and other heathen lands.  It has done more; it has revealed
to the savage the only way of salvation; it has “brought life and
immortality to light.”

    “Fly abroad, thou mighty gospel!
       Win and conquer! never cease!”

Lift up thy voice with strength, and proclaim to Greece and Rome, and to
all the ends of the earth, as well as to the cities of Judah, that the
Son of Mary is the God of Israel, “God manifest in the flesh,” “God
blessed forever!”  “The man Christ Jesus” is “the brightness of the
Father’s glory, and the express image of His person, in whom dwelleth all
the fulness of the Godhead bodily;” “in whom also we have redemption
through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of
his grace.”

II.  But this leads us to our second topic: “And one Mediator between God
and man, the man Christ Jesus.”  The two doctrines, you perceive, are
intimately related to each other.  “One God”—“One Mediator.”  As we have
but “one God,” we need but “one Mediator.”  As that Mediator is himself
God, the merit of his mediation is sufficient for the salvation of all
them that believe.

The office of a Mediator supposes two parties at variance, between whom
he interposes to produce a reconciliation.  It is thus “between God and
man.”  God gave man a law, “holy, and just, and good;” man revolted, and
“there is wrath.”  Reconciliation is impossible, without the intervention
of a mediator.  Let us look at the parties engaged in this dreadful
controversy.

On one side we see Jehovah, possessed of infinite perfections, and
clothed with uncreated excellence and glory.  He is self-existent,
independent and eternal.  Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Almightiness are
his.  He is great in wisdom, full of goodness, slow to anger, and ready
to pardon.  His love is ineffable, and “his mercy endureth for ever.”  He
is “glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders.”  These
perfections are the pearls and diamonds in his crown.  “With him also is
terrible majesty.”  Life and joy are in his smile, but the angel of
destruction waits upon his frown.  One beam of his love can raise
thousands of men to heaven: one glance of his anger, sink myriads of
angels to hell.  “He sitteth upon the circles of the earth, and the
inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers.”  “All nations before him are as
nothing; they are counted less than nothing and vanity.”  “He doeth
according to his will among the children of men, and ruleth the armies of
heaven.”  “At his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall
not be able to abide his indignation.”  O what majesty and power belong
unto the Lord our God!

With this imperfect view, contrast the impotence and insignificance of
sinful man.  What is he?  A being of yesterday, “whose breath is in his
nostrils,” and “whose foundation is in the dust.”  A frail, helpless,
perishing thing; dependent upon God, the Creator, for all his comforts,
for life itself.  What is man?  A fool; an alien from all good; an
embodiment of all evil.  His understanding is dark; his will perverse;
his affections carnal.  His “throat is an open sepulchre;” swallowing up
“whatsoever things are true, pure, lovely, or of good report;” emitting a
pestilential vapor, which withers every green herb, and sweet flower, and
delicious fruit, of honor to God, and happiness to man.  “The poison of
asps is under his tongue;” an inflaming poison, affecting all the
members, and “setting on fire the whole course of nature, and it is set
on fire of hell.”  “His heart is fully set in him to do evil;” “deceitful
above all things, and desperately wicked.”  He is an enemy to his Maker;
a rebel against Jehovah; a blank—nay, worse—a blot in God’s creation;
dead to every virtue, dead to every thing but sin; lost to every gracious
purpose of his being; a withered branch, fit only to be plucked off, and
cast into the fire; stubble, ready for the burning.  “Let him alone!”
said Reason.  “Cut him down!” cried Justice.  “I hate the workers of
iniquity!” added Holiness.  “He or I must perish!” exclaimed Truth.
“Spare him!  Spare him!  Spare him!” pleaded weeping Mercy.  And Wisdom
came forth, leading the Son of God, and said: “I have found a ransom!
Behold the Mediator!”  And all the attributes met and embraced at the
manger, and kissed each other at the cross!

It was man’s place, as the offender, to seek a reconciliation.  God was
under no obligation.  But, alas! man had neither the means nor the
inclination.  What could be done?  Hear, O ye heavens! and be astonished!
Listen, O earth! and wonder and adore!  While man was far from God, an
enemy in his heart by wicked works, rushing on in determined hostility to
his Maker’s government, and there was no sacrifice found for his sin, and
no disposition in him to seek a sacrifice, God sought within himself the
adequate and only means of pardon and peace.  He found in his own bosom
the Lamb for the altar; exhibited him to Israel in the predictions and
promises of the Old Testament; and in the fulness of time, sent him forth
to expiate sin, by the offering of himself, once for all.  “For the Word
was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld his glory, the glory as
of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  “And being
found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto
death, even the death of the Cross.”

God provided a Mediator.  Why?  Did he fear that the deserved ruin of the
human race would dethrone eternal Justice?  No.  Eternal Justice would
have been honored as much in their destruction as in their salvation.
The law would have been as fully vindicated in the infliction of its
penalty upon the transgressor, as in the reparation of its breach by a
vicarious atonement.  The glory of the Divine government would have been
untarnished, as when the rebel angels were cast down from heaven, and
locked up in everlasting darkness.  This wondrous provision was not the
result of necessity, but the prompting of Infinite Love.  Divine Mercy
sought to remove the barrier interposed by Divine Justice.  The sinner
cannot be pardoned, till his Great Substitute has met the demands of the
law.  There must be a full satisfaction and settlement of its claims, as
the only ground on which the rebel can be acquitted.

Love is the “Alpha and Omega” of redemption, the love of God to man.
Read it in the journey of the Mediator from heaven to earth!  Read it in
his pilgrimage through the land of sorrow!  Behold him “nailed to the
shameful tree!”  See the blood and water gushing from his side!  Hear the
sound of the water-spouts, as the floods of wrath rollover him!  Then ask
the reason.  The answer is: “God is love.”  “He is not willing that any
should perish.”  It seemed good in his sight to save his rebel children,
whatever it might cost him.  “God so loved the world, that he gave his
only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have eternal life.”  “Herein is love, not that we loved God”—no; we hated
him; we were his sworn, inveterate foes; “but that he loved us”—loved us
while we were yet enemies—loved us with an ineffable love; “and sent his
Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Wonderful must be the qualifications of such a Mediator.  He fills with
his own merit the gap between two worlds.  He bows the heavens, and lifts
up the earth to meet them.  He takes hold of God and man, and brings them
together in himself.  He reconciles the rebel and the law, glorifies the
Father by humbling himself, and his cross becomes our life, and his tomb
the birthplace of our immortality.

England and Wales could not be united till the son of the king of England
was born in Wales, and became Prince of Wales.  The English regarded him
as heir to the throne of England; while the Welsh claimed him as their
brother, a native of their own country, born in the castle of Caernarvon.
Behold “the well beloved”—“the only begotten of the Father,” “heir of all
things,” “Lord of lords, and King of kings,” born “in Bethlehem of
Judea;” “the Son of God—the Son of man;” partaking of both natures, and
representing both parties in the great controversy.  He is “the Mighty
God, and the Everlasting Father;” yet he is our near kinsman—bone of our
bone, and flesh of our flesh.  In his person, heaven and earth are
joined; by his blood, God and man are reconciled.  Heaven is his throne,
for God is his father; earth is his principality, for it is the land of
his nativity.  In him angels recognise their King, and men behold their
brother.

I gaze on the cross, and methinks I hear the victim say: “Look unto me,
and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth; for I am God, and beside me
there is none else.  I opened a way for my people of old, by dividing the
waters, to the Canaan of Promise; I am now preparing a path for
believers, through the red sea of my blood, to the inheritance in heaven.
I gave the law amid fire and smoke on Sinai, and thundered forth my curse
upon its violater; I am here on Calvary, to honor that violated law, and
remove that curse from its violater by taking it upon myself.  Behold my
hands, my feet, my side!  This blood, O men! is your sacrifice.  I will
expiate your sin by my sufferings.  I will magnify the law, and make it
honorable.  And though in your nature I hang on this tree to-day, I will
revive, and live for ever, to make intercession for the transgressors,
and save to the uttermost all that come unto God by me!”

The mediatorial office of “the man Christ Jesus” consists of two parts,
sacrifice and intercession.  They are equally important, and mutually
dependent.  Without sacrifice, there is no ground of intercession;
without intercession, there is no benefit in sacrifice.  The former
renders the latter influential with God; the latter renders the former
available to man.  The one removes the obstacles to reconciliation, the
other brings the adverse parties together.

The first part of the mediatorial office is sacrifice.  In order to
understand this aright, we must have correct views of God, of man, and of
sin.  We must consider God as the lawgiver and governor of the universe,
eternally hostile to all iniquity, and determined to sustain his just
administration.  We must consider man as a guilty and polluted creature,
a rebel in arms against his Maker, a prisoner under sentence and
deserving punishment.  We must consider sin as an inexcusable omission of
duty, and a flagrant transgression of the law, under circumstances of
peculiar aggravation.  The debt must be paid, or the sinner must perish.
An atonement must be made, of merit equal to the turpitude of our crimes.
The stain which we have cast upon the law, must be washed out by blood of
infinite preciousness.  This is the work of our Mediator.  He “gave
himself a ransom for all.”  He made a perfect satisfaction for our sins.
“He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities;
the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are
healed.”  It is not by blood of bulls and goats, slain on Jewish altars,
but by a nobler and costlier sacrifice—the paschal “Lamb of God,” that
heaven and earth are reconciled—God and man united.

The second part of the mediatorial office is intercession.  It was
through the High-priest, the typical mediator, that God communicated with
Israel, and Israel communicated with God; it is through “the man Christ
Jesus,” the real Mediator, that God speaks to the world, and receives the
prayers of his people.  Having “borne the sins of many,” he “maketh
intercession for the transgressors.”  “He hath entered into heaven
himself, there to appear in the presence of God for us.”  He has gone
into the holy of holies, with “the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh
better things than the blood of Abel.”  “If any man sin, we have an
advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”  “Through him we
both”—that is, both Jews and Gentiles—“have access by one Spirit unto the
Father.”  He holds in his hand the golden censer, and offers much incense
before the throne.  It is this that perfumes our prayers, and renders
them acceptable to God.  He pleaded for his murderers when he hung upon
the cross, and now he pleads in heaven for those who crucify him afresh.
And what is the ground of his plea?  Not the merit of our works, but the
merit of his own sufferings.  Not the infinitude of the Father’s mercy,
but the sufficiency of his own sacrifice.  This is the sure foundation of
a sinner’s hope.  If Satan suggests that his crimes are too great to be
forgiven, he may reply: “The man Christ Jesus” is my advocate, the
advocate of “the chief of sinners;

    And should I die with mercy sought,
       When I his grace have tried,
    I sure should die—delightful thought!—
       Where sinner never died!”

“One Mediator.”  There is no choice.  You must accept of him, or remain
unreconciled, and be cast into hell.  Israel found but one path through
the Red Sea; the church shall never find more than one way to the
heavenly Canaan.  It is only by faith in the “One Mediator,” that you can
obtain the favor of the “One God.”  He is the elect and beloved of the
Father, the appointed medium of man’s approach, the designated channel of
God’s communication.  “Neither is there salvation in any other.”  No
other has been provided.  No other is suited to our necessities.  O
sinner! come through this “new and living way!”  Christ invites your
confidence.

    “Venture on him; venture freely;
       Let no other trust intrude!
    None but Jesus, none but Jesus,
       Can do helpless sinners good.”

These glorious truths, we cannot read too often, or meditate too much.
They represent to us the great evil of sin, the infinite mercy of God,
the inflexible character of the law, and the incalculable preciousness of
the gospel.  Such is the Father’s estimate of the Mediator, that he will
be reconciled to sinners only through his blood.  He is well pleased with
his Son, and well pleased with all who seek him through his Son, and
nothing is more offensive to him than the rejection of his Son.  May
these remarks preserve you from despair under a sense of your guilt and
wretchedness; drive you from all false refuges to the cross, with a
penitent and grateful heart; induce you to trust; not in your own
strength, or wisdom, or righteousness, but in the adorable name of Jesus;
to live a life of faith in him, of love towards him, and of patient
waiting for his mercy unto eternal salvation!

If you are already partakers of these blessings, how transcendent is your
privilege!  “Ye are come unto mount Zion, the city of the living God, the
heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; and to the
spirits of just men made perfect; and to the general assembly and church
of the first-born, which are written in heaven; and to God, the judge of
all; and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant; and to the blood of
sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”  Follow the
Captain of your salvation.  Cleave to him in the fire and the flood.
Turn not aside to the lying vanities of the world, lest you drink the cup
of its eternal sorrows.  Remember that those who suffer with the
crucified shall reign with the glorified; that such as are faithful unto
death shall receive the crown of life.  Be careful to “keep the unity of
the spirit in the bond of peace.”  Endure unto the end, and ye shall be
saved.

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting
covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in
you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ our
Lord, to whom be glory for ever and ever.”  Amen.



SERMON VI.
THE LIVING REDEEMER.


    “_Oh that my words were now written_! _oh that they were printed in a
    book_! _that they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock
    for ever_!  _For I know that my Redeemer liveth_, _and that he shall
    stand at the latter day upon the earth_: _and though after my skin
    worms destroy this body_, _yet in my flesh shall I see God_: _whom I
    shall see for myself_, _and mine eyes shall behold_, _and not
    another_; _though my reins be consumed within me_.”—Job xix. 23–27.

IT is the common opinion of learned divines, that Job was an ancient
prince in some part of Arabia, known in his day by the name of Uz.  His
three friends also—“Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar
the Naamathite”—were neighboring princes.  In their visit of condolence,
they were accompanied by Elihu, who seems to have been a young man of
extraordinary intelligence and virtue.  The occasion of this visit was
the apparent judgments of God upon the patriarch.  They held a long
controversy with him, in which they insisted that his unparalleled
calamities and sufferings proved him the chief of hypocrites.  Job as
strenuously maintained his innocence and integrity, and argued that his
providential afflictions were intended only for the proof and the
improvement of his piety; and that when this purpose should be
accomplished, he would come forth as gold purified from the furnace.
God, answering out of the whirlwind, settled the dispute, deciding in
favor of his servant Job; his three friends were required to offer
sacrifice for their faults, and Job must pray for their forgiveness.
Then the wheel of fortune turned in his favor, and he was restored to his
former prosperity.

Job and his friends evidently had a clear understanding of the evil of
sin, the wickedness of hypocrisy, the importance of the fear of God, and
the doctrine of an allwise superintending providence; and knew how to
approach Jehovah through sacrifice, in anticipation of the promised
Messiah.

We shall offer a few general remarks on Job’s faith in a living Redeemer,
as expressed in our text.

I.  Our minds are struck with wonder and pleasure, in beholding the
patriarchs and prophets of ancient times, moved by the Spirit of God,
searching diligently for the person and grace of the Messiah; like
miners, opening an entrance to a precious treasure, which is to redeem
them and their brethren from bondage.

Job has no reference here to any temporal deliverer, nor to any other
than the Messiah himself.  He evidently saw what he needed, when he was
speaking of the Daysman, the Umpire, one that might argue and settle the
case between him and his Maker, one that might lay his hand alike on God
and man.  With the eye of faith, he saw the Messiah, setting one foot on
the continent of eternity, and the other on the sea of human misery, and
lifting up his hand and saying—“Time and eternity are mine!  I am God,
and beside me there is no Saviour!”  Elihu also speaks of the same
person, under the name of “a messenger,” “an interpreter,” “one of a
thousand,” that might commune with both God and man, concerning
atonement, and justifying righteousness, and deliverance from the pit of
eternal destruction.

The promise of a Redeemer descended from Eden like a precious ark,
containing, for all mankind, the bread of life, and the unsearchable
riches of Divine grace.  It was conveyed from the house of Adam to the
house of Seth, from the house of Seth to the house of Noah, from the
house of Noah to the house of Abraham, and thence down through successive
generations to the time of Messiah’s advent.  The patriarchs, before
their departure, received from this ark invaluable spiritual blessings,
and a passport to the everlasting city; but the ark itself they left
behind for the benefit of their posterity, who found therein the balm of
life, and died in the faith of a Saviour to come, according to the
promise.

Job’s living Redeemer is none other than the promised “Seed,” that should
“bruise the serpent’s head”—Jacob’s “Lion,” “stooping down” to the “new
tomb hewn out of a rock,” aiming at the King of Terrors, and on the third
morning leaping and “rushing upon the prey,” and becoming the plague of
death, and the destruction of the grave—the “Jehovah-jireh” of
Abraham—the “I Am,” who appeared to Moses in the burning bush—the
“Wonderful,” the “Councillor,” the “Child-born,” and “the Everlasting
Father,” predicted by Isaiah—Jeremiah’s “Jehovah our Righteousness”—the
“Branch” and “Fountain” of Zachariah—the “Shepherd and Stone of
Israel”—the “Shiloh,” to whom should be “the gathering of the people”—the
“Governor,” who should “come out of Bethlehem”—Malachi’s “Sun of
Righteousness”—Paul’s “Captain of our Salvation,” “bringing many sons to
glory;” opening a tunnel under the river of his own sufferings, and the
seas of human guilt and wo, through which his redeemed might go home to
their Father’s house—Peter’s “Prince of Life,” “slain and hung on a
tree”—John’s “Word,” that “was in the beginning with God, and was God;”
but “was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.”

II.  The word here rendered Redeemer, is Goel in the original; and in the
book of Ruth, is translated kinsman, one who has a right to redeem.  The
Redeemer is our near kinsman; for “he that sanctifieth, and they that are
sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call
them brethren.”

An individual in this country returned from India so rich that he
conferred upon all his relatives an independent fortune.  To us also a
brother was born against the day of adversity, who is able to enrich us
all with eternal riches.  You know not what hardships your brother
endured in the East, while gathering the wealth you now enjoy; but we
know that our brother, “though he was rich, for our sakes became poor,
that we through his poverty might be rich.”

When Naomi returned from the land of Moab, Elimelech, her husband, was
dead, and the inheritance greatly involved in debt.  According to the law
of the tribes, the nearest kinsman of the deceased debtor was obliged to
marry the widow, and redeem the inheritance, so as to retain it in the
same tribe.  The purchaser was sought in the land of Bethlehem.  One was
found, sufficiently rich, but unwilling.  He preferred to take off his
own shoes, before the elders, at the gate of the city, rather than stand
in the shoes of his deceased brother.  It was done, however, by another,
of the name of Boaz.  But who will stand in the place of sinners, who
have forfeited all claim to the heavenly inheritance, and deserve eternal
damnation?  Let heaven and earth meet in council, and see who is able and
willing to “redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him.”  Earth
replies—“There is no such person here.”  All the angels around the throne
answer—“There is none in the celestial city.”  Search the streets of
Jerusalem; go to the garden of Gethsemane; inquire on the hill of
Calvary.  Who is willing to die for sinners to-day?  There is the tree.
There is the executioner, with hammer and nails.  Who will offer himself
a sacrifice there, for the redemption of man?  None but Jesus.  None but
Jesus was able; none but Jesus was willing.  “Here am I,” said he; “if ye
seek me, let these go their way.”  And without the gates of Jerusalem, he
honored the law, spoiled principalities, and redeemed his people.  He
suffered the curse in the sinner’s stead, and swallowed up all its
plagues in himself.  As your representative, he endured all the agony and
ignominy you justly deserved. {132}  And when you by faith lay hold of
his atonement, you shall be made the righteousness of God in him—shall be
dealt with, not according to your deserts, but according to his merit and
his mercy.  He was humbled that you might be exalted, impoverished that
you might be enriched, bound that you might be released, punished that
you might be spared, condemned that you might be acquitted, wounded that
you might be healed, cursed that you might be blessed, and slain that you
might live for ever.

III.  Job’s faith anticipated a Living Redeemer.  “I know that my
Redeemer liveth”—is the Living One—he that has life, underived and
independent, in himself—the agent and source of all life in the universe,
who will at last quicken the dead.

The first woman was called Eve—that is, Life—because she was the mother
of all living—the mother of him who is the life of the world.  This was
fulfilled four thousand years afterward in one of her daughters, a
virgin, who brought forth a son, whose name is Jesus, Emmanuel, the
Living God, the true God, and eternal Life.  He is the Lord of life, and
the life of all that believe.  “Because I live, ye shall live also.”
With the flame of one candle you may light many others, and the light of
all is the same.  Christ is the source whence all his people derive their
light, the great central luminary of his church.  “In him was life, and
the life was the light of men.”

When the prophet stood in the valley of dry bones and prophesied, there
was a wonderful agitation, and the bones came together, and formed
themselves into skeletons, and sinews and flesh covered them, and each
form was enclosed with a skin; but they were still dead, and it was not
till the breath of God blew upon them, and kindled the flame of life
within them, that they “stood up an exceeding great army.”  So Christ is
the resurrection and life alike of the soul and of the body.  “He that
believeth on him, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”  He is the
bread and the water of life.  “He that cometh unto him, shall never
hunger; and he that believeth on him, shall never thirst.”  “He that hath
the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son, hath not life.”  “We
are dead; and our life is hid with Christ in God; when Christ who is our
life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.”

IV.  The Living Redeemer of Job was to appear in this world.  “He shall
stand at the latter day upon the earth.”

A woman who is travelling, and has no money to bear her expenses, obtains
credit on her husband’s account, who afterward passes that way, and
discharges the obligation.  So ancient saints went home to glory on
credit: and in the fulness of time, Christ came and paid their debt; not
by installments, but all at once; and the virtue of his own offering went
up to the gate of Eden, and down to the end of the world.  As on both
sides of the altar of burnt-offering, were pipes, conveying the blood
into the basins, till they were full; so the great altar on Calvary
communicates with past generations, and generations yet to come; and the
saving merit of the one sacrifice runs back to Abel and to Adam, and
forward to the last believer.

Whom do I see in the garden yonder, in such agony of soul, prostrate in
prayer, and sweating great drops of blood?  Job’s Living Redeemer.  Why
is his heart thus wrung with anguish?  Is there a dark register of sins
in his conscience, like the fiery handwriting of God upon the wall?  No,
he has not a single crime to confess.  He has done no iniquity, neither
is guile found in his mouth.  Why then does he suffer?  He is bearing our
griefs, carrying our sorrows, and receiving the chastisement of our
peace.  Behold him on the mountain, “wounded for our transgressions, and
bruised for our iniquities.”  “All we like sheep have gone astray; we
have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the
iniquity of us all.”  “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a
sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”  “Who
shall declare his generation?”  Who shall give us his pedigree, his
history, his character?  Will none of the angels of heaven make the air
of Calvary ring with the sufferer’s name?  Behold! the darkened sun and
quaking earth proclaim him God!  Hark! he speaks—“I am the true God, and
eternal life.  I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning of the
Creator’s way, or ever the earth was.  When there was no depths, nor
fountains of water; before the mountains were settled, before the hills
was I brought forth; while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the
fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.  When he prepared
the heavens, I was there; when he set a compass upon the deep; when he
established the clouds above; when he strengthened the foundations of the
deep; when he gave the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass
his commandment; when he established the foundations of the earth; then I
was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable parts of his
earth, and my delights were with the sons of men; and therefore I am
here, hanging on the cross to-day!”

V.  Job’s Living Redeemer was to deliver him from the power of death.

Job anticipated the coming of “the last enemy,” who should give his flesh
to be food for worms.  The Sabeans had taken away the oxen and the asses,
and slain the servants with the edge of the sword.  The fire had fallen
from heaven, and burnt up the sheep and the shepherds.  The Chaldeans had
robbed him of his camels, and murdered his domestics.  The whirlwind had
killed his sons and his daughters in the house of their feasting.  His
body was covered with putrid ulcers, from head to foot.  His best friends
turned against him, and even his wife tempted him to “curse God and die.”
But amid all his calamities, he saw another enemy, ready to assail his
body, and drag it away to the tomb, and reduce it to dust and ashes.  At
the same time, his faith beheld the Messiah swallowing up death in
victory.  He saw the Son of Mary in the house of Jairus, where the lion
had just slain his victim; and on the street of Nain, where he was taking
the prey to his den; and at the grave in Bethany, where he was banqueting
with worms in the joy of victory.  Death could not stand before the
Prince of Life.  The spoiler yielded up his spoil.  Christ sailed on the
open channel like a man of war, delivering the hapless captives of the
great pirate Death, to the astonishment and joy of the people, from
Samaria to the borders of Tyre and Sidon.  But on a certain day, ever to
be remembered, as he drew near the ramparts of Sinai, all its batteries
were opened upon him.  He stood in the fire all night, and fought till he
sweat great drops of blood.  He threw himself between his friends and the
fort, and sustained the shock of its heaviest artillery, which played
upon him without intermission, especially the old cannon of Eden—“Dying
thou shalt die”—until three o’clock in the afternoon of the next day,
when he received a shot in the heart, and, crying, “It is finished!” gave
up the ghost.  The whole creation trembled when he fell, and was
swallowed up in the horrible abyss.  But on the morning of the third day,
the earth was seized with new spasms, and he that was dead came forth to
be the life of his people; and the cable of faith, the anchor of hope,
and the sails of love, ascended with him from the deep, never to go down
again.  He is alive for evermore, and has the keys of hell and of death.

VI.  Job speaks of the period of Messiah’s advent, under the term of “the
latter day.”  This may refer, either to the end of the Jewish
dispensation, or to the end of the world.

Christ has already once appeared on earth, fulfilled the types and
shadows, made an end of sins, and brought in everlasting righteousness;
“and to them that look for him, he shall appear the second time, without
a sin-offering, unto salvation.”  “When the Son of man shall come in his
glory, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory, and before him
shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them as the shepherd
divideth the sheep from the goats.”  Then shall God have finished his
work in mount Zion, and the trumpets of the gospel shall cease to sound,
and the great net shall be taken up from the sea, and the laborers in the
vineyard shall receive their wages, and the tares shall be cast into the
unquenchable fire.

Wonderful shall be the glory and the terror of that day; “when the Lord
Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming
fire; taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the
gospel; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come
to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe.”
What a glorious army shall attend him down the sky—myriads of his saints,
and all the celestial powers and principalities!  “Fire shall devour
before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.  He shall
call to the heavens above, and to the earth, that he may judge his
people.”  His throne shall be “like a fiery flame, and his wheels like a
burning furnace.”  He “shall descend with a shout, and the voice of the
archangel, and the trump of God.”  The sound of the trumpet on Sinai was
long and loud, and “exceeding terrible;” but how much more powerful shall
be the voice of “the last trumpet,” penetrating the cold ear of death,
and awaking into immortality the dust of the grave!  Then the Messiah
shall not appear “as a root out of dry ground;” but shall stand forth
before heaven and earth “in the glory of the Father, and of his holy
angels;” in addition to the glory of his own person as God-man, and the
glory of his work as Mediator.  Before him, “the heavens shall pass away
with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the
earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up;” and
death and hell shall deliver up their dead; and all men shall stand and
receive their sentence from him who was an infant in Bethlehem—“a man of
sorrows, and acquainted with grief”—condemned by Pilate, mocked by the
multitude, and nailed upon the cross.  This is Job’s living Redeemer, the
resurrection and life of all who believe.

VII.  Our text contains Job’s confession of faith.  It is brief, but very
comprehensive, and may be called an epitome of the gospel.  Here we have
the Divinity and the humanity of Christ, his work of redemption, his
victory over death and hell, his second advent, and the resurrection of
the dead.

The Athenians mocked when they heard of the resurrection of the dead; and
the Sadducees greatly erred on this subject, “not knowing the scriptures,
nor the power of God,” and many of the Corinthians imbibed the same
poison of unbelief.  But the patriarch of Uz thought it not “a thing
incredible that God should raise the dead.”  He firmly believed the
doctrine, and gave it a prominent place in his confession.  He knew that
God is able to watch and preserve the dust of his saints; has his eye
upon every particle, throughout all the periods of time; and through the
Divine Mediator, “will raise it up at the last day.”  This doctrine was
to him a great consolation in his unparalleled afflictions.  “Though my
skin,” says he, “is a tissue of disease and corruption—yea, though my
body sink into the earth, and be eaten up of the worms, and my very reins
be consumed within me—yet in my flesh, in this same body, reorganized,
reanimated, and made immortal from the tomb, I shall see God—shall see
him for myself, with these self-same eyes.”

Yes, brethren; the souls and bodies of all the human race shall be
reunited; and with our own eyes, we shall see the judge of quick and
dead, with his fan in his hand, thoroughly purging his floor, gathering
the wheat into his garner, and burning up the chaff with unquenchable
fire.  In that day, the tares and the wheat shall be for ever separated,
and there shall be no more foolish virgins among the wise.  “For we must
all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that we may receive the
things done in the body, according to that we have done, whether it be
good or evil.”

How vast the difference between Messiah’s first and second advents!  When
he “tabernacled and dwelt among us,” he appeared “in the form of a
servant;” but when he shall come again, he shall come as a judge, and
“sit upon the throne of his glory;” and “all that are in their graves
shall hear his voice, and come forth; they that have done good, unto the
resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection
of damnation.”  “For the Son of man shall send forth his angels; and they
shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them that do
iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall he
weeping and gnashing of teeth; then shall the righteous shine forth as
the Sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

VIII.  I call your attention to one other topic suggested by the text—the
confidence with which Job speaks of his interest in the living Redeemer.
“For I know that my Redeemer liveth.”  It was not a mere conjecture.
There was no doubt in the case.  The patriarch had reached the assurance
of faith; and so perfectly satisfied was he of the fact, that he
expressed an intense desire that his words might be recorded on the most
durable materials, that they might be read by generations to come.

How may we acquire the same confidence?  What is the evidence of our
interest in Job’s living Redeemer?  The nature and effects of the change
which has taken place in our hearts.  You that “were sometime darkness,
are now light in the Lord;” have been “called out of darkness into his
marvellous light;” and can say—“One thing I know, that whereas I was once
blind, now I see.”  “The carnal mind is enmity against God;” but those
that are born of the Spirit love God; and love and hatred are not so much
alike, that you cannot tell by which principle you are governed.  While
the strong man armed kept the palace, his goods were in peace; but when a
stronger than he came and cast him out, there was a warfare commenced
between the old man and the new.  You were formerly dead in trespasses
and sins; but are now alive to God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.  You
were once destitute of faith in the Redeemer; but now you believe in him,
and rely upon his righteousness alone, as the ground of your acceptance
and salvation.  How can you experience such a transformation, and know
nothing of the matter?  As well might the sick, when Christ healed
them—as well might the blind, when Christ opened their eyes—as well might
the dead, when Christ raised them to second life from the bed, the bier,
or the grave—have been ignorant of the mighty change.

In the word of God, we have the testimony of many who had obtained the
assurance of faith.  “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall
stand upon the earth at the latter day”—was the testimony of Job.  “The
Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, and the horn of my
salvation, in whom I will trust”—was the testimony of David.  “I will
greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in God; for he hath
clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath covered me with the
robe of righteousness”—was the testimony of Isaiah.  “I know in whom I
have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have
committed unto him against that day”—was the testimony of the apostle
Paul.  “We know that we are of God; we know that we have passed from
death unto life; we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is”—was the testimony of John, “the beloved
disciple.”

“These things,” saith the apostle, “have I written unto you that believe
in the name of the Son of God, that ye might know that ye have eternal
life.”  This is the design of God, in revealing his will to the church.
We may—we should know that we have eternal life.  “He that believeth on
the Son of God hath the witness in himself.”  But this assurance of faith
is not a mere imagination of the brain.  It is not founded on a vague
notion of your being one of the elect, without any other evidence.  It is
not founded on a voice from heaven, bidding you be of good cheer, and go
in peace, because your sins are forgiven you.  It is founded on the
fruits of the Spirit, and the testimony of Divine Revelation.  True
believers are “created anew in Christ Jesus, unto good works;” evincing
the reality of their love to God by keeping his commandments.

Let us, therefore, give all diligence to make our calling and election
sure.  Let us examine ourselves, whether we are in the faith.  Let us
compare our religion with the precepts of the Bible, and the example of
ancient saints.  But as our hearts are so wicked and deceitful, let us
not trust them, but pray to God for the aid of his Holy Spirit, in this
important work of self-examination.  Behold “the Sweet Singer of Israel,”
praying—“Search me, O God, and try me; prove me, and know my heart.”  The
Holy Spirit has given you a rule by which you are to examine yourselves;
and he works in you a conformity to that rule, and bears witness with
your spirits that you are the children of God.  In proportion to his
operation upon the heart, will be the assurance of faith; and in
proportion to the assurance of faith, will be your spiritual comfort and
joy.  The Lord grant us that “faith which worketh by love, and purifieth
the heart!”

Are you stript of property, bereft of children, afflicted in body,
forsaken of friends, persecuted and insulted by relatives?  Think of Job,
and of Job’s living Redeemer!  Imitate the patriarch’s patience and
confidence amid all the troubles and conflicts of life!  Go your way
until the end; for ye shall rest, and stand in your several lots at last!



SERMON VII.
MESSIAH’S KINGDOM.


    “_And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a
    kingdom_, _which shall never be destroyed_: _and the kingdom shall
    not be left to other people_, _but it shall break in pieces and
    consume all these kingdoms_, _and it shall stand for ever_.
    _Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain
    without hands_, _and that it brake in pieces the iron_, _the brass_,
    _the clay_, _the silver_, _and the gold_; _the great God hath made
    known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter_; _and the dream
    is certain_, _and the interpretation thereof sure_.”—Dan. ii. 44, 45.

IN these words we have a prophetic description of the kingdom of Christ,
as the fifth empire that should arise after the date of this prophecy.
The wonderful image which so troubled the king of Babylon in his dream,
and occasioned him so much solicitude when he awoke, denoted four of the
great empires of the world.  The head of gold represented the Babylonian
empire; the breasts and arms of silver, the Medo-Persian empire; the
belly and thighs of brass, the Grecian empire, under Alexander the Great;
the legs and feet of iron, the Roman empire in its strength and glory;
and the ten toes of mingled iron and clay, the same empire in its divided
and enfeebled state.  The last circumstance was intended to denote the
same thing as the ten horns on the head of the Beast in the book of
Revelation.  As iron is firm and strong, and able to bruise and break all
materials of a softer quality; so the Roman empire once crushed beneath
its power all other kingdoms, and dictated laws to the world.  As the
beast with iron teeth trampled and rent to pieces all that came in its
way; so the Roman tyrant, like a lion among the lambs of the flock, tore
and devoured the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus.

The kingdom of Christ is represented under the figure of “a stone cut out
of the mountain without hands:” that is, without human agency—without any
wisdom or power of man, but by the Spirit of God; smiting the feet of the
image, and shattering it into fragments; then becoming a great mountain,
and filling the whole earth.  In the history of Christianity we have the
counterpart of the emblem.  Messiah appeared in the form of a servant;
born of a poor virgin, in the despised town of Bethlehem; lived a life of
poverty, persecution, and various sorrow, from the manger to the tree;
died the most painful and ignominious of deaths, even the accursed death
of the cross; but rose from the dead on the predicted morning, the
morning of the third day; commissioned his apostles, the fishermen of
Galilee, to “go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every
creature;” ascended on high, and sent down the Holy Spirit, the promised
Comforter, to give energy and efficacy to the word, to prove its
divinity, and convince and save mankind.  The apostles immediately
commenced their work; persevered in the divine employment; were prospered
by the power of God; and the stone, rolling forth from Mount Zion, and
raising a dust which darkened the very heavens, smote the feet and legs
of the image, until it shook, and the earth trembled around it; and that
stone is still rolling on, and shall crush and demolish the image, and
grind it to powder, and scatter it to the winds of heaven; and shall
increase, till it becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth for
ever.

In speaking of the accomplishment of this prophecy, we will notice—its
certainty, its attendant glory, and the nearness of its approach.

I.  The certainty of the accomplishment of this prophecy is founded,
_first_, on the Father’s promise to the Son, made on the express
condition of his pouring out his soul unto death.  “I the Lord have
called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee,
and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles,
to open the blind eyes, to bring forth the prisoners from the prison, and
them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.”  Christ’s universal
dominion is the promised reward of his sufferings, and the Father speaks
as if he intended to raise his wages.  “Thus saith the Lord; It is a
light thing that thou shouldst be my servant, to raise up the tribes of
Jacob, and restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a
light of the gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of
the earth.”  “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine
inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”
Such is the promise.  All nations shall come and worship before him.  All
that the Father hath given shall come unto him, and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against them.

The certainty of Messiah’s universal dominion is founded, _secondly_, on
his perfect qualification to accomplish the work which the Father hath
given him to do.  “No one knoweth the Father,” in all the perfection of
his nature, all the wisdom of his counsels, and all the immutability of
his purposes, “but the Son; and no one knoweth the Son, but the Father,”
as he alone is of the same essence, and exhibits the same attributes.
Christ is “God manifest in the flesh;” “the brightness of the Father’s
glory, and the express image of his person.”  None but a divine person
could give, and none but a divine person could receive, such a privilege
as is here promised.  None but a divine person could be competent to the
eternal redemption of countless millions of the human race.  Christ “is
the true God, and Eternal Life”—“the Faithful Witness, the First Begotten
from the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth”—“the Alpha and
Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last”—“the Root
and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star”—“Over all,
God, blessed for ever.”  These are Messiah’s titles, which evince his
equality to the work which he has undertaken—the salvation of the world,
and the subjugation of all things unto himself.  He is able, not only to
set up his kingdom, but also to establish it for ever.  It shall never be
destroyed, nor left to other people; but shall break in pieces and
destroy all other kingdoms, and the kingdoms of this world shall become
the kingdom of our God and of his Christ.

Take courage, ye fearful saints!  Your king is the Almighty God.  He
shall conquer all your enemies.  The victory of Calvary is the pledge and
earnest of his universal dominion.  You shall soon be more than
conquerors, through him that hath loved you, and given himself for you.
He is able to protect you against the combined powers of earth and hell.
Omniscient, he is well acquainted with all the plots of his enemies;
Almighty, he can at any moment frustrate them.  The prince of darkness,
with all his hosts, cannot impede the progress of his kingdom.  In all
their councils, he is present, hearing their deliberations and
discovering their malice.  He overturns their schemes, or employs them
for the accomplishment of his own gracious purposes.  “His counsel shall
stand, and he will do all his pleasure.”  Too wise to err, and too
powerful to be overcome, he marches in the van of battle, and will never
forsake his soldiers.  The very sight of his helmet and his plume is
victory to his followers, and death to his foes.

Courage, ye friends of Zion!  “Lift up your hearts and rejoice, for your
redemption draweth nigh.”  Take the whole armor of God; quit you like
men; be strong; for the decisive conflict is at hand.  Behold your
General, clothed with a garment white as snow, girt about the loins with
a golden girdle, his feet as fine brass burning in a furnace, his
countenance as the sun shining in his strength, his eyes as a flame of
fire, his voice as the sound of many waters, a sharp two-edged sword
proceeding out of his mouth, seven stars in his right hand, and at his
girdle the keys of death and hell.  This is the Captain of your
salvation, of whom the Evangelical Prophet inquires—“Who is this that
cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious
in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?”  This is
Emmanuel; mighty to conquer, and mighty to save.  Who can stand before
the glory of his power?  Who can hinder the universal triumph of his
cause?  The government shall be upon his shoulder, and he shall reign for
ever and ever.

What has been said is deemed sufficient to show the certainty of
Messiah’s universal empire.  The promises of the Father to the Son are so
many drafts of immense amount, upon the bank of heaven, which will be
paid without discount at the appointed time; and the character of Christ
is a sufficient guarantee that he will carry forward to its completion
the work which he has begun.  Having secured a title to the kingdom by
his sufferings, he shall certainly come, and take possession, and reign
for ever.  The gospel is a lever, whose fulcrum is the Rock of Ages, and
it shall yet lift our fallen world to heaven.  Balaam knew that his
curses could not injure Israel, whom Jehovah had blessed.  The kingdom of
Messiah is mightier than Moab.  The people beloved of the Lord shall
prosper in spite of their enemies—as gardens by the rivers, and willows
by the water-courses.  “There shall be a handful of corn,” not a sackful,
only so much as the sower may hold in his hand—not on the bank of the
Nile, nor in the valley of the Jordan, but “on the top of the
mountain”—the wild, high, rocky, uncultivated mountain; “the fruit
thereof shall shake like Lebanon,” and the wind shall carry the seed to
the uttermost parts of the earth, and young Lebanons shall grow up
everywhere, and even the barren rocks and sands of Arabia shall become as
the garden of God.  It was but a handful of the seed of the kingdom,
which Peter cast abroad on the day of Pentecost; it was but a handful he
sowed in the house of Cornelius, the captain of the Italian band; but it
soon spread throughout Judea, and even to the isles of the sea, so that
nothing was more manifest or more abundant than its fruit.  But the
prevalence of Christ’s millennial kingdom shall be still more rapid and
glorious; and “from the rising to the setting of the sun, his name shall
be great among the Gentiles.”

Already the church is singing—“Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O thou Most
Mighty; and in thy majesty, ride prosperously, because of truth, and
meekness, and righteousness.  Thine arrows are sharp in the hearts of the
king’s enemies, whereby the people fall under thee.”  The song has
reached the ear of the Prince of Darkness, and he “hath come in great
wrath” to the battle, “for he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”  He
knows that “the Desire of nations” is come; and that his kingdom, already
begun, shall be established for ever, and extend from sea to sea, till
the knowledge of his glory and the victories of his grace shall cover the
earth.  He sees the Stone rolling against the idols of India, and Africa,
and the islands of the sea, and feels his kingdom shake beneath its
progress.  He sees the Bramins, the Karens, the worshippers of Juggernaut
and the Ganges, plucked as brands out of the burning.  He trembles to
anticipate the announcement—“The kingdoms of this world are become the
kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ!”  He beholds the mighty angel,
with the keys of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand,
descending from heaven, to bind him in his prison.  He hates the church,
with her various benevolent enterprises; for he sees in them the
artillery of Heaven, playing upon his fortresses of infidelity, and
idolatry, and vice—the enginery of God, setting up a kingdom which shall
consume all others, and stand for ever.  “The dream is certain, and the
interpretation thereof is sure.”

II.  We call your attention to the glory of Messiah’s universal reign.
It includes three things; the victory obtained, the blessings bestowed,
and the duration of the kingdom.  Let us consider them distinctly.

_First_.  The victory obtained.  Here we behold the “stone cut out of the
mountain,” rolling down the steep, rushing and leaping toward the great
image, and smiting and breaking its feet of iron and clay, so that it
falls like Dagon before the ark.  And still the Stone, instinct with the
power of God, and increasing in size and velocity, keeps rolling to and
fro, bounding and rebounding, till it grinds the fallen image to powder,
and scatters it as the dust of the summer thrashing-floor.  It is endued
with perpetual motion; keeping up a constant action and reaction,
crushing whatever opposes its progress, and growing to such a magnitude
as shall shortly fill the whole earth.  This is the salt of Galilee,
seasoning the nations—the leaven of Jerusalem, spreading through the
world.  This is the victorious reign of Christ, from the Tiber to the
Thames, from the Euphrates to the Ganges, from Britain to Japan, from sea
to sea, and from pole to pole.  This glorious conquest is to be obtained
by “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” in connection
with the vast machinery of Divine Providence, all the wheels of which are
under the direction of Jesus the Christ.  It is a victory over Satan, by
bruising his head; a victory over sin, by destroying its power; a victory
over death, by swallowing it up for ever.  Emmanuel has already
successfully engaged all these foes; and having routed them on Calvary
eighteen hundred years ago, he still pursues their flight; and shall not
turn again, till he has trampled “the last enemy” under his feet.

Satan is the prince and the god of this world.  In the management of his
affairs, he employs a policy similar to that of the Sultan of
Constantinople, who sets up many pashas or governors under him, as the
Pasha of Egypt, the Pasha of Aleppo, the Pasha of Damascus, all
possessing the same despotic spirit, and carrying out the same tyrannical
measures.  The devil has established a great number of pashas throughout
his dominion.  Three of them are described by the Revelator, as unclean
spirits, like frogs; one of them issuing from the mouth of Satan himself,
representing undisguised Paganism; another from the mouth of the Beast,
representing a persecuting civil power; the third from the mouth of the
False Prophet, representing abominable and damnable heresies.  But these
shall all be conquered; these, and every other enemy of Messiah upon
earth.  Jewish impenitence and unbelief, which, for a period of eighteen
centuries, has ruled with an absolute sceptre the lineal descendants of
Abraham, shall be overcome.  Mohammedism, the “king of fierce
countenance, understanding dark sentences,” that has reigned over so
large a portion of the world, practicing and prospering, deceiving
millions of souls, and destroying the holy people, shall be broken
without hand, and his kingdom shall come to naught.  The drunken harlot
of Rome, riding on her scarlet beast, that is, a cruel and persecuting
civil government, and making all nations drink of the wine of her
fornication, shall be obliged to drink the wine of the wrath of Almighty
God; and all the saints shall clap their hands at her overthrow, and
shout hallelujah to the Captain of their salvation.  And all those
Protestant pashas of Satan, who would undermine the gospel by denying its
peculiar and fundamental doctrines—such as the Divinity of Christ, the
merit of his sacrifice, the excellency of his offices, the personality
and work of the Holy Spirit—and even the existence of his own infernal
majesty, shall be destroyed by the brightness of Emmanuel’s coming, when
he shall appear in the glory of his millennial kingdom.  Then shall the
song of the heavenly host break once more upon the ear of Zion—“Arise,
shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon
thee!”  And “the Gentiles shall come to her light, and kings to the
brightness of her rising.”  “Her sons shall come from far, and her
daughters shall be nursed at her side.”  “The glory of the Lord shall be
displayed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

_Secondly_.  The blessings bestowed.  Christ “hath ascended on high, and
received gifts for men; yea for the rebellious also, that God may dwell
among them.”  The celestial reservoir is full; and the golden pipes are
laid, for conveying the waters of life to every soul of man; and the time
shall yet come, when all shall know the Lord, from the least to the
greatest.  The gospel salvation shall be an ocean, spreading over the
whole earth; and there shall be no more ebbing and flowing of the waters,
but a continual full tide from shore to shore.  The Chinese, the
Hottentot, and the American Indian, shall be as thoroughly instructed in
Divine things as the Welshman; and the Welshman shall be seven times more
intelligent than now.  And this universally prevalent knowledge of Christ
shall be, not merely nominal and theoretical, but experimental and
practical.  It shall be a “faith unfeigned,” “of the operation of God,”
“working by love, and purifying the heart.”  The light of the gospel
shall be “as the sun shining in his strength,” scattering all clouds from
the face of the world, and the moon and the stars shall be lost in its
effulgence.  Living waters shall flow out from the spiritual Jerusalem in
summer and winter; neither frozen by the cold, nor evaporated by the
heat.  Like the deluge of Noah, they shall cover the mountains; but they
shall save, and not destroy, all whom they shall overwhelm.  “In that
day, there shall be one Lord, and his name shall be one;” and he “shall
be king over all the earth.”  The cause of Christ shall be pre-eminent in
the estimation of mankind.  The duties and interests of Christianity
shall constitute no secondary concern.  “The mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established in the tops of the mountains, and exalted above the
hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.”

Among the blessings of this happy period, shall be that of a universal
and everlasting peace.  There shall be no more contention and bloodshed
upon earth.  “Nation shall no more lift up sword against nation, neither
shall they learn war any more.”  The arsenals shall empty their contents
into the foundries and blacksmith-shops, and the weapons of war shall be
converted into scythes and plowshares.  O, glorious day! when heaven
shall be seen upon earth, and earth itself shall seem like heaven!
Behold the ferocious wolf dwelling with the gentle lamb; the furious
leopard lying down with the innocent kid; the cow and the bear feeding in
the same pasture; the infant leading the lion by the mane, and playing
upon the den of the adder and the asp; and no disposition to hurt or
destroy.  These are the scriptural emblems of that blessed peace.
Holiness and happiness, more united than David and Jonathan, more
inseparable than Ruth and Naomi, hand in hand, two heavenly twins, shall
go singing over the world.  All envy and jealousy and hostility, whether
of nations, of churches, or of individuals, shall perish before Messiah’s
kingdom, as perished the image in the vision before that wondrous stone.

_Thirdly_.  The duration of the kingdom.  This is the crowning
circumstance of its glory.  It “shall not be destroyed, nor left to other
people.”  Its enemies, however numerous and mighty, cannot overthrow it;
and it “shall stand for ever.”  Where now are the illustrious empires of
Babylon, and Persia, and Greece, and Rome?  Where are the Pharaohs, the
Ptolemies, the Alexanders, the Cæsars, the Napoleons, whose voice
terrified nations, and whose tread shook the world?  Where—with all their
power and splendor, their iron sceptres and golden crowns?  Gone;
mouldering in the dust; and their magnificence nourishes the worm.  They
are utterly demolished, and shall rise no more.  But the King of Zion
liveth through all time, and is himself “the Father of Eternity,” “the
Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last.”
“His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and of his dominion there shall
be no end.”

III.  Let us consider the nearness of its approach.  The language of
prophecy, viewed in connection with the signs of the times, will lead us
to the conclusion that it is nigh at hand, even at the door.

Many learned divines are of opinion that Popery and Mohammedism, the
Antichrists of the east and the west, must fall about the year 1866.
This notion is founded on the following words: “From the time that the
daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh
desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and threescore
days—Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred
and five and thirty days.” {148}  Different writers on the prophecies,
however, differ in opinion concerning the times of their fulfilment.  All
these speculations are very uncertain, if not utterly unprofitable.  What
matters it, if our watches do not exactly agree?  We all know that the
night is far spent, and the day is at hand, and the magnitude and
importance of our duty requires prompt and earnest attention.

Five men were determined to rise early in the morning, to engage in a
great work, upon which depended their future fortunes.  The first was up
before the morning star; and though uncertain as to the hour, immediately
prepared for business.  The second, when he rose, saw the star just above
the horizon, and hastened to his work with animation and joy.  The third
slept a little too long, and awoke in great confusion and alarm; but
hurrying through the day as well as he could, though with a heavy heart
and many a blunder, he made out partially to redeem his delinquency.  The
fourth heard the cock crowing, but thought there was no need of being in
a hurry, and composed himself to sleep again; and when his neighbors
called him, turned in his bed, and answered—“A little more slumber;” and
awaking about nine of the clock, found the day too far advanced, and
abandoned his purpose in despair.  The fifth, disturbed by the bustle of
the others before daylight, got up and looked out of the window; and
finding it as dark as it was at midnight, was very angry, called his
neighbors a set of fools, and declared he would have nothing to do with
the enterprise; and while all the others made themselves rich, he lived
and died in deserved poverty; and some pitied him for his misfortune, and
others ridiculed him for his folly.  Mark the wise man, and follow his
example.

The kingdom of Antichrist has of late been greatly weakened in many parts
of the world.  Providence is pouring the vials of wrath upon the Beast
and the False Prophet.  The idols and altars of Paganism fall before the
advancing ark of God.  The church, with its train of benevolent
institutions—like the bride, with her attendant virgins, going forth to
meet the royal bridegroom—proclaims the coming of the Prince of Peace.
The Bible, Missionary, Sabbath-school, and Tract societies, are four
heralds, running before Messiah’s chariot; rather, the four wheels of
that chariot in which he rides victoriously.

The rise and progress of the British and Foreign Bible Society remind me
of the stream in Ezekiel’s vision.  This great river had its source in
one of the mountains of Wales.  In the year 1802, the Rev. Mr. Charles of
Bala, an ordained minister of the established church, officiating in
connection with the Calvinistic Methodists, deeply impressed with the
preciousness of the Bible, and aware of the scarcity of copies throughout
the principality, felt that some measures ought to be adopted to furnish
it at a reduced price, and circulate it gratuitously among the poor.  He
wrote concerning it to his countryman, the Rev. Mr. Owen, an Episcopal
clergyman in London.  The subject was subsequently introduced to a circle
of Christian gentlemen, who had met to transact other business.  It
elicited much conversation, and excited a lively interest.  The Rev.
Joseph Hughes, a Welshman, and Baptist minister at Battersea, near
London, suggested that Wales was not the only part of the world that felt
a want of the Bread of Life; and that it was desirable to awaken, if
possible, a more extensive interest on the subject among Christians of
every name; and stir them up to the adoption of some measure, which might
lead to a general circulation of the Scriptures.  The suggestion was
heartily entertained, and warmly supported by the rest of the company;
and its discussion led to those incipient efforts, which, in 1804, issued
in the organization of the British and Foreign Bible Society.  The little
spring of Bala soon became a stream large enough for a man to swim in;
and now it widens and deepens into a great river, on which float the
merchandise of Zion, and the navies of God.

Welshmen! it is your privilege and honor, as well as your duty, to
sustain this excellent institution.  It is a native of Wales, born in
your northern mountains.  It is your own child, and you are bound to
protect and support it to the extent of your ability.  I call upon you as
Welshmen, to aid an institution originating in Welsh philanthropy.  I
call upon you as Welsh Baptists, to help forward an enterprise which
sprang from the heart of a Welsh Baptist minister.  I appeal to you in
the language of another:—

“The cause in which we are engaged is the cause of God, and must succeed.
Divine goodness has inspired, divine wisdom and power will sustain it.
The Bible will be carried throughout the habitable globe.  Nor
deserts—nor oceans—nor Alpine solitudes—nor Himalayan heights, will
obstruct its progress.  It will go through polar ice and equatorial fire,
wherever a soul may possibly be saved.  It will go on victorious, like
the sword of the Lord and of Gideon, carrying every thing before it.
Error and delusion must vanish as the mists of the morning before the
rising splendor of the sun.  The powers of darkness must recede like
spectres before the bursting of the day-spring from on high.  False gods
and their altars must fall together in the dust.  The followers of
Confucius and Zoroaster will take up their cross and follow Christ.  The
wandering Arab will sit and sing at Messiah’s feet; and the deluded
disciples of Mohammed, instead of going in painful pilgrimage to Mecca,
will turn their penitent eyes to Calvary.  The dark places of the earth
will be enlightened, and the habitations of cruelty will become the
abodes of love.  Rivers will no longer roll with human blood, nor
sacrificial fires be fed with human victims.  Mothers will no longer
destroy their innocent children, nor aged parents be immolated by their
inhuman offspring.  Marriage will be instituted in places where it is now
unknown, and savage practices be supplanted by the virtuous institutions
of the gospel.  The Cannibal of New Zealand will be humanized, and the
Caffre and the Hottentot clothed and in their right minds.  The
descendants of Abraham must be gathered from the four quarters of the
earth; Jerusalem arise and shine; and the dejected Jordan roll his
streams with joy.  Barren climes will teem with life—dreary deserts
blossom as the rose.  Rivers of salvation will run down the hills, and
fertilize the plains.  The Saviour will ride forth in the chariot of the
everlasting gospel, conquering and to conquer.  Nations will fall down
before him, and mountains melt at his approach.  And thus nation after
nation will be converted, and empire upon empire will be conquered; and
Christianity will spread from clime to clime, and from pole to pole;
until the final arrival of the blessed day, when the knowledge of the
Lord shall literally cover the earth as the waters cover the deep—when
there shall be but one people and one God—when the millennial day shall
burst upon the earth, like a flood of glory from on high—when the trump
of Jubilee shall sound, and countless millions of the redeemed shall
sing, Hallelujah! the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!”

Such, brethren, is the approaching triumph of Emmanuel.  The mighty
angel, having found an old copy of the everlasting gospel, which the Pope
had kept locked up in his bureau for many centuries, is flying in the
midst of heaven, in sight of all the world.  His progress is rapid as the
wings of the wind, and his sweet strong voice is publishing the glad
tidings to all people.  But we look for greater things than these.
Following, comes another mighty angel, casting a great millstone into the
sea, and saying—“Thus shall Babylon, that great city, be thrown down, and
found no more at all.”  Another follows, crying with a loud
voice—“Babylon is fallen, is fallen!”  Another descends with the key and
the chain, and binds the dragon in the bottomless pit.  Then appears one
“like unto the Son of Man,” sitting upon a white cloud, and wearing a
golden crown.  He thrusts in his sharp sickle, and reaps the harvest of
the earth, and gathers the wheat into his garner, the church.  Again the
sickle falls, and the vintage of wickedness is gathered, and cast into
the wine-press of the wrath of Almighty God.  Then comes the voice of a
great multitude, as of many waters and mighty thunderings—the blended
minstrelsy of earth and heaven—ascribing salvation and dominion and glory
to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.

The Prince of Darkness, with all his infernal hosts, and all his allies
upon earth, is fearfully agitated, as he witnesses the preparation for
the great decisive battle.  “Why so much benevolence?  Why so many
societies?  Why such extraordinary schemes and efforts?”  Nothing
disturbs them so much as the sight of Emmanuel’s troops, with their faces
toward the field of Armageddon, led on by the Captain of their Salvation,
on his white horse, with his vesture dipped in blood.  They know that
this is the Lion of the tribe of Judah; and the redness of his apparel,
reminding them of their defeat when he bruised their heads on Calvary,
shoots consternation and anguish through all their ranks; and the gates
of hell tremble at the shaking of the iron rod in his hand, which shall
dash them in pieces as a potter’s vessel.  But the saints are rejoicing
in his train; for they know that not one of the faithful shall
perish—that not one of them shall be wounded—that each shall be more than
conqueror, and all shall appear with songs of everlasting joy at the
marriage supper of the Lamb.

And now, my brethren, children of my heavenly Father, of every name and
order, loved with the same love, redeemed with the same blood, called by
the same Spirit, clothed with the same garment, fed on the same manna,
engaged in the same cause—the great Missionary enterprise—as you love the
Savior, as you appreciate his salvation, as you desire the introduction
of his millennial kingdom, we beseech you to give us a liberal
contribution!

We are now ready to receive your money for Missionary purposes; and while
you are casting it into the treasury, let me remind you that your gold
and your silver are beautiful birds plumed for flight, that Christian
liberality is the scissors with which you may clip their wings, and a
short winged bird is better than none.  May we all act to-day as stewards
of the Lord, in the immediate presence of our Master, before whom we must
soon appear to account for the use made of our talents; and when the time
of reckoning shall come, may each receive the gracious plaudit—“Well
done, good and faithful servant! thou hast been faithful over a few
things, I will make thee ruler over many!  Enter thou into the joy of thy
Lord!”  Amen.



SERMON VIII.
THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST.


    “_Who_, _his own self_, _bore our sins_, _in his own body_, _on the
    tree_; _that we_, _being dead to sins_, _should live unto
    righteousness_; _by whose stripes ye were healed_.”—I Peter ii. 24.

WHAT great encouragement to patience and fortitude is afforded the
followers of Jesus, by the apostle’s contrast of the light and transient
afflictions of the present time, with the eternal weight of glory
reserved for them in heaven!  How forcible the argument which he draws
from the approaching scenes of another world, to urge Christians in this
to a life of holiness and self-denial!  How vivid and terrible his
picture of the dissolution of nature by the great conflagration!  Imagine
the heavens wrapped in dissolving flames, and the elements melting to the
centre of the globe.  The victorious and inextinguishable fire towers to
the empyrean; the magnificent palace of creation is lost in the smoke of
its own burning; and the ear is stunned, and the soul is horrified, by
the crash of its final fall.  “Seeing then, that all these things must be
dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation
and godliness; looking for, and hasting unto the coming of the day of
God;” “using all diligence to make your calling and election sure;” “that
ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless;” that “so
an abundant entrance may be ministered unto you, into the everlasting
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!”

Such, substantially, is the argument.  But the apostle employs another;
the Christian’s obligation to imitate Christ, suffering for him as he
suffered for us, with the same fortitude and resignation, though not to
the same extent, nor for the same purpose.  It is in this connection he
uses the language of the text:—“Servants, be subject to your masters with
all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.  For
this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief,
suffering wrongfully.  For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for
your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and
suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  For
even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin,
neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled
not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to
him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own
body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto
righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”  We are to suffer for
Christ as his disciples and confessors; he suffered for us as our
substitute, our atoning sacrifice and Saviour.  Let us attend, first, to
this description of his sufferings; and then to the end for which he
endured them.

I.  The text describes Christ in his vicarious sufferings, as _bearing
our sins_; bearing our sins, _his own self_; bearing our sins, his own
self, _in his own body_; and bearing our sins, his own self, in his own
body, _on the tree_,

1.  _He bore our sins_.  To get a correct understanding of this
expression, we must turn to the record of the ordinance to which it
alludes, which is as follows:—“And when he hath made an end of
reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and
the altar, he shall bring the live goat, and Aaron shall lay both his
hands upon the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the
children of Israel, and all their transgressions, in all their sins,
putting them on the head of the goat; and shall send him away, by the
hand of a fit man, into the wilderness; and the goat shall bear upon him
all their iniquities into a land not inhabited; and he shall let go the
goat in the wilderness.”  But this part of the ceremony was preceded by
another, of very solemn import.  A goat was selected for a sin-offering.
He was brought before the Lord, and Aaron put his hands upon him, and
devoted him to death.  He was slain, and his blood was sprinkled upon the
altar and the mercy-seat.  Then the sins of the children of Israel were
laid upon the head of the other goat, and he was led forth, and sent away
into the wilderness, to return no more.  Both these goats represented
Christ; who, as our Savior, answers to both; at once, suffering for our
sins, and bearing them away into the land of forgetfulness.

Three things were found continually in the temple; fire, and blood, and
sweet incense.  The fire denoted the wrath of God against sin; the blood
prefigured the sacrificial sufferings of Christ; and the sweet incense
typified his intercession at the right hand of the Father, on the ground
of his vicarious death upon the cross.  The goat of the sin-offering was
bound and slain; and then burnt up, with the fat thereof, upon the altar.
So Christ was crucified for us without the gates of Jerusalem; and his
humanity was consumed by the fire of God’s holy indignation against sin,
on the altar of his Divinity; while from that altar ascended a column of
the sweetest incense to the heaven of heavens—“Father, forgive them!”  In
hell also there is fire, where sinners suffer upon the altars of eternal
justice.  Every sacrifice is salted with fire, and the smoke of their
torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.  But the black and sulphurous
smoke of the bottomless pit is not a sweet smelling savor unto God, like
the fumes of the sacrifice once offered on Calvary—a sacrifice which
satisfied the claim of Heaven, and expiated the offence of earth.

The form of expression used in our text is one which frequently occurs in
the Old Testament, and signifies the enduring of punishment.  Of the
impenitent sinner it is said, “He shall bear his iniquity”—that is, he
shall endure the just punishment of his sins.  He shall carry the burden
alone, and for ever sink beneath the load, and mercy shall never come to
his relief.  Christ’s bearing our sins, then, signifies his enduring, the
punishment in our stead.  Glory to God, that every poor trembling sinner
may cast his burden upon one who is able to sustain it, who has already
sustained it in his stead!  The law passed the guilty, and arrested the
guiltless.  Jesus willingly gave himself up as the victim, saying—“I am
he; if ye seek me, let these go their way.”  His sufferings constitute
the sea, in which are buried for ever the sins of his people; sins of the
greatest magnitude; sins of the deepest dye.  The Father, who turned his
back upon the sufferings of his Son, hath said—“I will cast all thy sins
behind my back, into the depth of the sea.”  This is the abyss, in which
they are swallowed up, and seen no more.

2.  He bore our sins, _his own self_.  God and man were parties at
variance.  There was but one who could stand between them as mediator,
and he gave himself a substitute and sacrifice for the sinner.  Uniting
in his person the two natures, human and Divine, he was fully qualified
for his work; and by once offering himself, he satisfied the demands of
the insulted law, and “became the author of eternal salvation to all them
that obey him.”  He offered up himself, without the aid of another; and
it was his own blessed person that he threw between you and the
destroying angel, between you and the mortal plague of sin, between you
and the unquenchable fires of hell.

None but Moses, the mediator, could penetrate the thick darkness in
which, as in a pavilion, God dwelt, upon the mount of terror; and none
but Aaron, the high-priest, dared enter the holy of holies, and he only
once a year, on the great day of atonement, with trembling steps, and
sacrificial blood.  So Jesus, the mediator of a better covenant, and
high-priest of the true sanctuary, the sum and substance of all the types
and shadows of the old dispensation, when, in the garden of Gethsemane,
he approached the black and terrible cloud, where God revealed the
terrors of his justice, and the fierceness of his wrath, said to his
disciples:—“Tarry ye here, while I go yonder.  Ye cannot go; the place is
too dreadful.  I will go alone.”  Alone he went; and as he drew near the
furnace, his countenance was marvellously altered, his heart melted in
the midst of his bowels, and the very substance of his life pressed
through the pores of his skin.  All the visible fire which flamed on the
summit of Sinai, now breaks forth anew on Calvary; and though unseen by
man, envelopes in its burning the soul and the body of our glorious
Substitute.  Behold him rushing between you and the flames, shielding
you, and quenching the flames in his blood!

3.  He bore our sins, his own self, _in his own body_.  Atonement was
made for the sins of Israel by the blood of slaughtered beasts.  But “the
blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the
unclean, sanctified only to the purifying of the flesh.”  The blood of
Christ alone has power to “purge the conscience from dead works, to serve
the living God.”  It was his own body, that our blessed Redeemer offered
as a sacrifice for our sins, a sacrifice of a sweet savor unto God.  The
Divine person bore the punishment of sins in human nature.  “It was not
possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.”  We
hear the Son saying to the Father:—“Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest
not, but a body hast thou prepared for me.  I see that the services of
the altar are of no avail, and are passing away.  In burnt-offerings and
sacrifices for sin thou hast no pleasure.  At this moment, the great
cause of difference between heaven and earth remains untaken away.  The
bills are all uncancelled.  The handwriting in the book of the law, and
in the book of conscience, continues in full force unto this day.  But
lo, I come to do thy will, O my God.  Yea, thy law is within my heart.  I
delight to honor its claims, while I save its violaters.  I will obey,
even unto the death of the cross, and expiate human transgression by my
meritorious sufferings.  Then, as first begotten from the dead, will I
declare the decree which thou didst read to me before the foundation of
the world—‘Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.  Because I
have bruised thee, and put thee to grief, thou shalt see thy seed, and
prolong thy days; and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in thy hand.
Because thou hast borne the sins of many, thou shall justify many.
Because thou hast been numbered with the transgressors, and made
intercession for them, thou shalt see of the travail of thy soul, and be
satisfied.  Because thou hast made thy soul an offering for sin, pouring
it out unto death, I will divide thee a portion with the great, and thou
shalt divide the spoil with the strong.  I will make thee king in Zion,
and thou shalt reign for ever and ever!’”

The sufferings of the Son are accomplished, and the promise of the Father
is receiving its fulfilment.  The law of the Spirit of Life hath gone
forth; and sinners, with songs of salvation, are crowding to the cross!

4.  He bore our sins, his own self, in his own body, _on the tree_.  In
Deut. xxi. 22, 23, we find that death by hanging on a tree was deemed an
accursed death.  Paul refers to this passage in the third chapter of his
epistle to the Galatians:—“As it is written; cursed is every one that
hangeth on a tree.”  By consenting to crucifixion, Christ was “made a
curse for us.”  What shame and ignominy did he endure in our behalf!  See
him arrayed in royal purple, the reed of scorn in his hand, the crown of
thorns upon his head, and the cross of infamy upon his back.  He grows
faint beneath his burden.  His murderers, fearing lest his woes should
pass endurance before their cruel thirst for his blood could be satiated,
compel Simon of Cyrene to carry one end of the cross.  Thus they move on
to the summit of Calvary.  They lay the tree upon the ground, and stretch
the Son of God upon it, and nail his hands and his feet to the wood.  It
is reared on high, with its bleeding victim; and there he hangs, before
the gazing world, and the wondering heavens; suffering the most
excruciating death ever invented, the most shameful in the sight of man,
the most accursed in the sight of God.  All the springs of consolation
are sealed to the glorious sufferer; and he finds not a single drop of
comfort in his great extremity.  True, the fountains of the deep are
broken up, and the windows of heaven are opened; but not to supply him
with drink who saith—“I thirst!”  From below burst forth upon him the
streams of hellish rage, a fiery deluge from the mouth of the dragon;
while from above Divine Justice pours down a cataract of wrath,
overwhelming his soul with agony, and baptizing his body with blood.
This is the baptism which he anticipated in talking with his
disciples:—“I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened
till it be accomplished!”  Let us pause a moment to contemplate this
baptism.  It was the anguish of his soul, wringing the blood from his
person, till the crimson dew stood thick upon his brow, and rolled down
in great drops to the ground.  The sufferings of his soul constituted the
soul of his sufferings.  “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto
death.”  It was not the taunt of the rabble, the derision of the
governors, nor the cruelly lacerating scourge, that Jesus dreaded in the
garden, and deprecated in that mysterious agony.  Nor was it the thorns,
the nails, the tree, or the spear.  It was the burden, O man! of thy
guilt; the flaming curse of the law; the felt displeasure of the Father
against sin.  When the martyrs suffered death for Jesus’ sake, they
rejoiced in the midst of the fire, for the Son of man was there to
sustain them; but when Christ suffered, the Just for the unjust, he felt
the hidings of his Father’s face, and cried after him through the
blackening heavens—“My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me!”

In the Bible we read of two very remarkable trees; “the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden,” and the tree of
redemption high planted on “the place of skulls.”  Milton has made the
former the theme of his majestic song, which he opens with the following
strain:—

    “Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
    Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
    Brought death into the world, and all our wo,
    With loss of Eden, * * * * *
    * * * * * sing, Heavenly Muse!”

But let me extol that mysterious tree of life on Golgotha, by which,—

    —“One Greater Man
    Restores us, and regains the blissful seat!”

“Sing, Heavenly Muse,” of Jesus and his cross!  Sing of the wormwood and
the gall, of the strife and the triumph of Calvary!  Let us compare these
two trees.  By the former, “the first Adam” transgressed, and entailed
ruin upon his posterity; by the latter, “the second Adam” “became
obedient unto death,” and “brought life and immortality to light.”  By a
forbidden approach to the one, the chain of the covenant was broken,
Paradise forfeited, God’s image and favor lost, the league with hell
signed, and sealed, and ratified, and the whole earth converted into a
province of the Prince of Darkness, and delivered up to the despotism of
Sin and Death; but four thousand years afterward, the Son of God took his
stand on the other, wrestled gloriously with the tyrant usurpers,
dethroned Satan, condemned and abolished Sin, swallowed up Death in
victory, disannulled the league of earth with hell, restored to believers
the favor and image of God, reopened the gates of the forfeited Eden to
the exiles, and established a new and everlasting covenant of grace.  The
blood of Jesus cancelled the debt of man, and quenched the wrath of God;
and from all them that obey him, it will ultimately wash away all the
stains of sin, and all the dust of death.  This is the newly consecrated
way into the holy of holies; this is eternal life!  “Sing, Heavenly
Muse,” once more!

    “We too with him are dead,
       And shall with him arise:
    The cross on which he bows his head
       Shall lift us to the skies!”

Thus, the Son of God, “his own self, bore our sins, in his own body, on
the tree.”  The burden beneath which he fainted was our burden, and would
have sunk us to perdition.  It was for us he suffered and died.  Though
our iniquities were laid on him, they were yet our iniquities.  He
endured the punishment in our stead.  He stood between us and the
uplifted arm of Justice; and the sword which would have cleft our souls
asunder, was sheathed in Emmanuel’s heart.  His righteousness, imputed to
us, and appropriated by faith, is “the righteousness of God, which is
unto all and upon all them that believe,” covering their sins, and
rendering them “accepted in the Beloved.”

Can we pass by mount Calvary, and gaze upon that wondrous sight, and
still remain unmoved?  Have we no tears of gratitude and love?  Pause we
not to wonder and adore?  O the depth of the riches! the riches of his
wisdom! the riches of his grace!

II.  Having thus spoken of Christ’s vicarious sufferings, let us notice a
little more particularly the end for which he endured them.  “That we,
being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye
were healed.”

This death unto sin, and this new life unto righteousness, denote the
sanctification of the soul “by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.”  The
“spiritually minded” man is made, through the grace of God, a “partaker
of the Divine nature.”  He has received a new principle, whereby his
lusts and corruptions are mortified, crucified, and slain.  The right
hand that offended is cut off; the right eye that offended is plucked
out.  He delights in the law of God; he feels a strong desire, and makes
strenuous efforts, to conform himself, in heart and life, to its holy
requirements.  Made free from the dominion and condemning power of sin,
he still needs, however, the aid of the Holy Spirit, to crucify the old
man; to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present evil world;
to die to sins, and live unto righteousness.  In the court of heaven, he
is justified by the righteousness of Christ; but before men, he is
justified by his own righteousness.  “Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in
heaven.”  Be as a candle, not under a bushel, but on a candlestick,
enlightening all around you.  Paul to the Ephesians says that Christ
loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and
cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that he might present
it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such
thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.  God hath not
called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness.  Let us, therefore cleanse
ourselves from all filthiness—from all manner of pollution—of the flesh
and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  For it is written,
Be ye holy, for I am holy; holy in all manner of conversation; holy in
all stations, relations, and conditions of life—as husbands and wives,
parents and children, masters and servants; and this always, and in all
places—at home and abroad, in private and in public, in prosperity and
adversity.  Our conversation should be such as becometh the nature and
requirements of the gospel of Christ.  Forgetting the things that are
behind, we should be ever pressing forward towards those things that are
before—not as though we had already attained, either were already
perfect; but making perfection our mark; for we know not yet what we
shall be, but one thing we do know—that when he shall appear, we shall be
like him!  Then, and not till then, shall we be satisfied, when we awake
in his likeness.  We must be conformed to the image of God’s Son in this
world, otherwise we cannot have the enjoyment of him in the world to
come.  We must have the spirit of Christ, to love righteousness, and to
hate iniquity.  We must imitate his example in zeal and activity, doing
our Father’s work while the day lasts.  Die to sin, we must.  “For if ye
live after the flesh, ye shall die, but if ye through the spirit do
mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”  Mortify therefore your
members which are upon the earth.  Put off the old man with all his
deceitful lusts, and put on the new man, which, after God, is created in
righteousness and true holiness.  Abstain from those fleshy lusts that
war against the soul; always keeping in mind, that they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.  To die to sin,
implies a perfect hatred of it, deep sorrow and contrition on account of
it, and a constant desire and effort to forsake it.  We should
conscientiously use all the means of grace, and depend entirely upon the
grace of God, as that by which alone we can obtain a victory—final and
complete,—over all our enemies, the flesh, the world, and the devil.  Be
sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion
goeth about, seeking whom he may devour.  Good reason have you to pray
without ceasing, that you may be made strong in the Lord and in the power
of his might.  You must put on the whole armor of God, that you may be
able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  Your loins must be girt
about with truth.  The breast-plate of righteousness you must wear.  Your
heart must be protected by the shield of faith, and your feet shod with
the preparation of the gospel of peace.  Forget not the helmet of
salvation, nor the sword of the Spirit, nor to write often to the
King—directing to the care of Jesus, that your petitions may not
fail—“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and
watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all
saints.”  As ye formerly yielded your members servants to uncleanness,
even so now yield your members servants of righteousness unto holiness.
Live unto righteousness.  Yield yourselves up unto God, as those that are
alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness
unto God.  Conform to his revealed will, and keep an eye single to his
glory in the performance of every duty.

To produce in his people this happy change, was the end of Messiah’s
sufferings.  But this was not all, for the apostle adds,—“By whose
stripes ye were healed.”  Divine philosophy! supernatural science!
transcending all original conception of men and angels!  Who could ever
have dreamed of healing by his stripes, soundness by his wounds, pleasure
by his pains, and life eternal by his death!  We are afflicted by the old
inveterate plague of sin, but there is balm in Gilead, and a Physician
there.  His blood alone can cure the malady, and that is infallible.  All
the way from Bethlehem to Calvary, he was employed in preparing his
materia medica.  The Gospel is the great store-house of this precious
preparation.  It is always full; it is always free; and the sign over its
entrance is—“Able to save to the uttermost.”  The Holy Spirit is
continually making the application, and all who come are cured.

It is a matter of all others the most momentous, that we know our
personal interest in these things.  If we be not dead to sins, and alive
unto righteousness—if we be not healed by the stripes of Jesus—his
sufferings upon the cross, and our theoretical faith in their vicarious
character and saving power, will profit us nothing.  “If any man have not
the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  There is a vast difference
between sanctification and morality.  A man may perform many excellent
deeds, while the principle that actuates him is averse to true godliness.
Happy are they, whose sins are pardoned, whose persons are justified, and
whose bodies are become temples of the Holy Ghost.  The Lord is their God
and Father.  They have passed from death unto life, and shall not come
into condemnation.  “There is now no condemnation to them that are in
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; for the
law of the Spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the
law of sin and death.”



SERMON IX.
THE PURIFICATION OF CONSCIENCE.


    “_How much more shall the blood of Christ_, _who_, _through the
    eternal Spirit_, _offered himself without spot to God_, _purge your
    conscience from dead works to serve the living God_?”—Heb. ix. 14.

THE Hebrew Christians, to whom the apostle wrote, were well acquainted
with the laws of ceremonial purification by the blood of beasts and
birds, for by blood almost every thing was purified in the service of the
temple.  But it is only the blood of Christ that can purge the human
conscience.  In speaking of this purification, as presented in our text,
let us notice—_the object_, _the means_, and _the end_.

I.  The object of this purification is the conscience; which all the
sacrificial blood shed, from the gate of Eden, down to the extinction of
the fire on the Jewish altar, was not sufficient to purge.

_What is the conscience_?  An inferior judge, the representative of
Jehovah, holding his court in the human soul; according to whose decision
we feel either confidence and joy in God, or condemnation and tormenting
fear.  His judicial power is graduated by the degree of moral and
evangelical light which has been shed upon his palace.  His knowledge of
the will and the character of God is the law by which he justifies or
condemns.  His intelligence is the measure of his authority; and the
perfection of knowledge would be the infallibility of conscience.

This faithful recorder and deputy judge is with us through all the
journey of life, and will accompany us with his register over the river
Jordan, whether to Abraham’s bosom or the society of the rich men in
hell.  While conscience keeps a record on earth, Jehovah keeps a record
in heaven; and when both books shall be opened in the final judgment,
there shall be found a perfect correspondence.  When temptations are
presented, the understanding opposes them, but the carnal mind indulges
them, and there is a contest between the judgment and the will, and we
hesitate which to obey, till the warning bell of conscience rings through
the soul, and gives distinct notice of his awful recognition; and when we
turn away recklessly from his faithful admonitions, we hear low
mutterings of wrath stealing along the avenues, and the quick sound of
writing-pens in the recording office, causing every denizen of the mental
palace to tremble.

There is _a good conscience_, _and an evil conscience_.  The work of
both, however, is the same; consisting in keeping a true record of the
actions of men, and passing sentence upon them according to their
deserts.  Conscience is called good or evil only with reference to the
character of its record and its sentence.  If the record is one of
virtues, and the sentence one of approval, the conscience is good; if the
record is one of vices, and the sentence one of condemnation, the
conscience is evil.

Some have a _guilty conscience_; that is, a conscience that holds up to
their view a black catalogue of crimes, and rings in their ears the
sentence of condemnation.  If you have such a conscience, you are invited
to Jesus, that you may find peace to your souls.  He is ever in his
office, receiving all who come, and blotting out with his own blood the
handwriting which is against them.

But some have a _despairing conscience_.  They think that their crimes
are too great to be forgiven.  The registry of guilt, and the decree of
death, hide from their eyes the mercy of God, and the merit of Christ.
Their sins rise like mountains between them and heaven.  But let them
look away to Calvary.  If their sins are a thousand times more numerous
than their tears, the blood of Jesus is ten thousand times more powerful
than their sins.  “He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto
God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

And others have a _dark and hardened conscience_.  They are so deceived,
that they “cry peace and safety, when destruction is at the door.”  They
are “past feeling, having the conscience seared as with a hot iron.”
They have sold themselves to work evil; to eat sin like bread, and drink
iniquity like water.  They have bribed or gagged the recorder and accuser
within them.  They will betray the just cause of the righteous, and slay
the messengers of salvation, and think that they are doing God service.
John the Baptist is beheaded, that Herod may keep his oath of honor.  A
dead fish cannot swim against the stream; but if the king’s conscience
had been alive and faithful, he would have said:—“Girl, I promised to
give thee thy request, even to the half of my kingdom; but thou hast
requested too much; for the head of Messiah’s herald is more valuable
than my whole kingdom, and all the kingdoms of the world!”  But he had
not the fear of God before his eyes, and the proud fool sent and beheaded
the prophet in his cell.

A _good conscience_ is a faithful conscience, a lively conscience, a
peaceful conscience, a conscience void of offence toward God and man,
resting in the shadow of the cross, and assured of an interest in its
infinite merit.  It is the victory of faith unfeigned, working by love,
and purifying the heart.  It is always found in the neighborhood and
society of its brethren; “a broken heart, and a contrite spirit;” an
intense hatred of sin, and an ardent love of holiness; a spirit of
fervent prayer and supplication, and a life of scrupulous integrity and
charity; and above all, an humble confidence in the mercy of God, through
the mediation of Christ.  These constitute the brotherhood of
Christianity; and wherever they abound, a good conscience is never
lacking.  They are its very element and life; its food, its sunshine, and
its vital air.

Conscience was a faithful recorder and judge under the law; and
notwithstanding the revolution which has taken place, introducing a new
constitution, and a new administration, Conscience still retains his
office; and when “purged from dead works to serve the living God,” is
appropriately called a _good conscience_.

II.  The means of this purification is “the blood of Christ, who through
the Eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God.”

Could we take in, at a single view, all the bearings of “the blood of
Christ,” as exhibited in the gospel, what an astonishing light would it
cast upon the condition of man; the character of God; the nature and
requirements of his law; the dreadful consequences of sin; the wondrous
expiation of the cross; the reconciliation of Heaven and earth; the
blessed union of the believer with God in Christ, as a just God and a
Savior; and the whole scheme of our justification, sanctification, and
redemption, through free, sovereign, infinite, and unspeakable grace!

There is no knowledge like the knowledge of Christ, for the excellency of
which the apostle counted all things but loss.  Christ is the Sun of
Righteousness, in whose light we see the tops of the mountains of
immortality, towering above the dense clouds which overhang the valley of
death.  All the wisdom which philosophers have learned from nature and
providence, compared with that which is afforded by the Christian
Revelation, is like the ignis fatuus compared with the sun.  The
knowledge of Plato, and Socrates, and all the renowned sages of
antiquity, was nothing to the knowledge of the feeblest believer in “the
blood of Christ.”

“The blood of Christ” is of infinite value.  There is none like it
flowing in human veins.  It was the blood of a man, but of a man who knew
no iniquity; the blood of a sinless humanity, in which dwelt all the
fullness of the Godhead bodily; the blood of the second Adam, who is the
Lord from heaven, and a quickening spirit upon earth.  It pressed through
every pore of his body in the garden; and gushed from his head, his
hands, his feet, and his side, upon the cross.  I approach with fear and
trembling, yet with humble confidence and joy.  I take off my shoes, like
Moses, as he draws near the burning bush; for I hear a voice coming forth
from the altar, saying—“I and my Father are one; I am the true God, and
eternal life.”

The expression, “the blood of Christ,” includes the whole of his
obedience to the moral law, by the imputation of which we are justified;
and all the sufferings of his soul and his body as our Mediator, by which
an atonement is made for our sins, and a fountain opened to wash them all
away.  This is the spring whence rise the rivers of forgiving and
sanctifying grace.

In the representation which the text gives us of this redeeming blood,
are several points worthy of our special consideration:—

1.  It is _the blood of Christ_; the appointed Substitute and Saviour of
men; “the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.”

2.  It is the blood of Christ, _who offered himself_.  His humanity was
the only sacrifice which would answer the demands of justice, and atone
for the transgressions of mankind.  Therefore “he made his soul an
offering for sin.”

3.  It is the blood of Christ, who offered himself _to God_.  It was the
eternal Father, whose broken law must be repaired, whose dishonored
government must be vindicated, and whose flaming indignation must be
turned away.  The well beloved Son must meet the Father’s frown, and bear
the Father’s curse for us.  All the Divine attributes called for the
offering; and without it, could not be reconciled to the sinner.

4.  It is the blood of Christ, who offered himself to God, _without
spot_.  This was a perfect sacrifice.  The victim was without blemish or
defect; the altar was complete in all its appurtenances; and the
high-priest possessed every conceivable qualification for his work.
Christ was at once victim, altar, and high-priest; “holy, harmless, and
undefiled;” “God manifest in the flesh.”  Being himself perfect God, and
perfect man, and perfect Mediator between God and man, he perfects for
ever all them that believe.

5.  It is the blood of Christ, who offered himself to God, without spot,
_through the eternal Spirit_.  By the eternal Spirit here, we are to
understand, not the third person of the Godhead, but the second; Christ’s
own Divine nature, which was co-eternal with the Father before the world
was; and which, in the fulness of time, seized on humanity, sinless and
immaculate humanity, and offered it body and soul, as a sacrifice for
human sins.  The eternal Spirit was at once the priest that offered the
victim, and the altar that sanctified the offering.  Without this agency,
there could have been no atonement.  The offering of mere humanity,
however spotless, aside from the merit derived from its connection with
Divinity, could not have been a sacrifice of sweet-smelling savor unto
God.

6.  It is the blood of Christ, who offered himself to God, without spot,
through the eternal Spirit, _that he might purge your conscience_.  As
the typical sacrifices under the law purified men from ceremonial
defilement, so the real sacrifice of the Gospel saves the believer from
moral pollution.  Blood was the life of all the services of the
tabernacle made with hands, and gave significance and utility to all the
rites of the former dispensation.  By blood the covenant between God and
his people was sealed.  By blood the officers and vessels of the
sanctuary were consecrated.  By blood the children of Israel were
preserved in Egypt from the destroying angel.  So the blood of Christ is
our justification, sanctification, and redemption.  All the blessings of
the gospel flow to us through the blood of the Lamb.  Mercy, when she
writes our pardon, and when she registers our names in “the Book of
Life,” dips her pen in the blood of the Lamb.  And the vast company that
John saw before the throne had come out of great tribulation, having
“washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

The children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, on the very night that
the paschal lamb was slain, and its blood sprinkled upon the doorposts,
as if their liberty and life were procured by its death.  This typified
the necessity and power of the atonement, which is the very heart of the
gospel, and the spiritual life of the believer.  In Egypt, however, there
was a lamb slain for every family; but under the new covenant God has but
one family, and one Lamb is sufficient for their salvation.

In the cleansing of the leper, several things were necessary; as running
water, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop, and the finger of the priest; but
it was the blood that gave efficacy to the whole.  So it is in the
purification of the conscience.  Without the shedding of blood, the leper
could not be cleansed; without the shedding of blood, the conscience
cannot be purged.  “The blood of Christ” seals every precept, every
promise, every warning, of the New Testament.  “The blood of Christ”
renders the Scriptures “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness.”  “The blood of Christ”
gives efficiency to the pulpit; and when “Jesus Christ and him crucified”
is shut out, the virtue is wanting which heals and restores the soul.  It
is only through the crucifixion of Christ, that “the old man” is
crucified in the believer.  It is only through his obedience unto death,
even the death of the cross, that our dead souls are quickened, to serve
God in newness of life.

Here rest our hopes.  “The foundation of God standeth sure.”  The bill of
redemption being presented by Christ, was read by the prophets, and
passed unanimously in both houses of parliament.  It had its final
reading in the lower house, when Messiah hung on Calvary; and passed
three days afterward, when he rose from the dead.  It was introduced to
the upper house by the Son of God himself, who appeared before the throne
“as a lamb newly slain,” and was carried by acclamation of the heavenly
hosts.  Then it became a law of the kingdom of heaven, and the Holy Ghost
was sent down to establish it in the hearts of men.  It is “the perfect
law of liberty,” by which God is reconciling the world unto himself.  It
is “the law of the Spirit of Life,” by which he is “purging our
conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

III.  The end of this purification is twofold:—that we may cease from
dead works, and serve the living God.

1.  The works of unrenewed souls are all “dead works,” can be no other
than “dead works,” because the agents are “dead in trespasses and sins.”
They proceed from “the carnal mind,” which “is enmity against God,” which
“is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”  How can a
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit, or a corrupt fountain send forth
pure water?

But the blood of Christ is intended to “purge the conscience from dead
works.”  The apostle says—“Ye are not redeemed with corruptible things,
as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition
from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb
without blemish, and without spot.”  The Jews were in a state of bondage
to the ceremonial law, toiling at the “dead works,” the vain and empty
forms, which could never take away sin; and unjustified and unregenerate
men are still captives of Satan, slaves of sin and death, tyrannized over
by various evil habits and propensities, which are invincible to all
things but “the blood of Christ.”  He died to redeem, both from the
burdens of the Mosaic ritual, and from the despotism of moral evil—to
purge the conscience of both Jew and Gentile “from dead works, to serve
the living God.”

2.  We cannot “serve the living God,” without this preparatory
purification of conscience.  If our guilt is uncancelled—if the love of
sin is not dethroned—the service of the knee and the lip is nothing but
hypocrisy.  “If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear
us.”  Cherishing what he hates, all our offerings are an abomination to
him; and we can no more stand in his holy presence than the dry stubble
can stand before a flaming fire.  He who has an evil conscience, flees
from the face of God, as did Adam in the garden.  Nothing but “the blood
of Christ,” applied by the Holy Spirit, can remove the sinner’s guilty
fear, and enable him to draw nigh to God in the humble confidence of
acceptance through the Beloved.

The service of the living God must flow from a new principle of life in
the soul.  The Divine word must be the rule of our actions.  The Divine
will must be consulted and obeyed.  We must remember that God is holy,
and jealous of his honor.  The consideration that he is everywhere, and
sees every thing, and will bring every work into judgment, must fill us
with reverence and godly fear.  An ardent love for his law and his
character must supplant the love of sin, and prompt to a cheerful and
impartial obedience.

And let us remember that he is “the _living_ God.”  Pharaoh is dead,
Herod is dead, Nero is dead; but Jehovah is “the living God,” and it is a
fearful thing to have him for an enemy.  Death cannot deliver from his
hand.  Time, and even eternity, cannot limit his holy anger.  He has
manifested, in a thousand instances, his hatred of sin; in the
destruction of the old world, the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, the
drowning of Pharaoh and his host in the sea; and I tell thee, sinner,
except thou repent, thou shalt likewise perish!  O, think what punishment
“the living God” can inflict upon his adversaries—the loss of all
good—the endurance of all evil—the undying worm—the unquenchable fire—the
blackness of darkness for ever!

The gods of the heathen have no life in them, and they who worship them
are like unto them.  But our God is “the living God,” and “the God of the
living.”  If you are united to him by faith in “the blood of Christ,”
your souls are “quickened together with him,” and “the power which raised
him from the dead shall also quicken your mortal body.”

May the Lord awaken those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and revive
his work in the midst of the years, and strengthen the feeble graces of
his people, and bless abundantly the labors of his servants, so that many
consciences may be purged from dead works to serve the living God!

    “There is a fountain filled with blood,
       Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins,
    And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
       Lose all their guilty stains.

    “The dying thief rejoiced to see
       That fountain in his day;
    And there may I, as vile as he,
       Wash all my sins away.

    “Dear dying Lamb! thy precious blood
       Shall never lose its power,
    Till all the ransomed sons of God
       Are saved to sin no more!”



SERMON X.
THE CEDAR OF GOD.


    “_Thus saith the Lord God_; _I will also take of the highest branch
    of the high cedar_, _and will set it_; _I will crop off from the top
    of his young twigs a tender one_, _and plant it upon a high mountain
    and eminent_; _in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant
    it_; _and it shall bring forth boughs_, _and bear fruit_, _and be a
    goodly cedar_; _and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing_; _in
    the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell_; _and all the
    trees of the field shall know that I_, _the Lord_, _have brought down
    the high tree_, _and have exalted the low tree_—_have dried up the
    green tree_, _and have made the dry tree to flourish_.  _I_, _the
    Lord_, _have spoken_, _and I have done it_.”—Ezek. xvii. 22–24.

YOU perceive that our text abounds in the beautiful language of allegory.
In the context is portrayed the captivity of the children of Israel, and
especially the carrying away of the royal family, by the king of Babylon.
Here God promises to restore them to their own land, in greater
prosperity than ever; and to raise up Messiah, the Branch, out of the
house of David, to be their king.  All this is presented in a glowing
figurative style, dressed out in all the wealth of poetic imagery, so
peculiar to the orientals.  Nebuchadnezzar, the great eagle—the
long-winged, full-feathered, embroidered eagle—is represented as coming
to Lebanon, and taking the highest branch of the tallest cedar, bearing
it off as the crow bears the acorn in its beak, and planting it in the
land of traffic.  The Lord God, in his turn, takes the highest branch of
the same cedar, and plants it on the high mountain of Israel, where it
flourishes and bears fruit, and the fowls of the air dwell under the
shadow of its branches.

We will make a few general remarks on the character of the promise, and
then pass to a more particular consideration of its import.

I.  This is an _evangelical_ promise.  It relates to the coming and
kingdom of Messiah.  Not one of the kings of Judah since the captivity,
as Boothroyd well observes, answers to the description here given.  Not
one of them was a cedar whose branches could afford shadow and shelter
for all the fowls of heaven.  But the prophecy receives its fulfilment in
Christ, the desire of all nations, to whom the ends of the earth shall
come for salvation.

This prophecy bears a striking resemblance in several particulars, to the
parable of the mustard-seed, delivered by our Lord.  The mustard-seed,
said Jesus, “is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown, it is the
greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air
come and lodge in the branches thereof.”  So the delicate twig of the
young and tender branch becomes a goodly cedar, and under its shadow
dwell all fowl of every wing.  The prophecy and the parable are alike
intended to represent the growth and prosperity of Messiah’s kingdom, and
the gracious protection and spiritual refreshment afforded to its
subjects.  Christ is the mustard plant, and cedar of God; and to him
shall the gathering of the people be; and multitudes of pardoned sinners
shall sit under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit shall be
sweet to their taste.

This prophecy is a promise of the true, and faithful, and immutable God.
It begins with—“Thus saith the Lord God, I will do thus and so;” and
concludes with—“I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it.”  There is
no peradventure with God.  His word is for ever settled in heaven, and
cannot fail of its fulfilment.  When he says—“I promise to pay,” there is
no failure, whatever the sum.  The bank of heaven cannot break.  It is
the oldest and best in the universe.  Its capital is infinite; its credit
is infallible.  The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of
Peace, is able to fulfil to the utmost all his engagements.  He can do
any thing that does not imply a contradiction, or a moral absurdity.  He
could take upon himself the form of a servant, and become obedient unto
death, even the death of the cross; but he can never forget or disregard
his promise, any more than he can cease to exist.  His nature renders
both impossible.  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but his word shall
not pass away.  Every jot and tittle shall be fulfilled.  This is the
consolation of the church.  Here rested the patriarchs and the prophets.
Here reposes the faith of the saints to the end of time.  God abideth
faithful; he cannot deny himself.  Our text is already partially verified
in the advent of Christ, and the establishment of his church; the
continuous growth of the gospel kingdom indicates its progressive
fulfilment; and we anticipate the time, as not far distant, when the
whole earth shall be overshadowed by the branches of the cedar of God.

II.  We proceed to consider, with a little more particularity, the import
of this evangelical prophecy.  It describes the character and mediatorial
kingdom of Christ, and the blessings which he confers upon his people.

1.  His character and mediatorial kingdom.  “I will take of the highest
branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top
of his young twigs a tender one, and plant it upon a high mountain and
eminent; in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it.”

Christ, as concerning the flesh, is of the seed of Abraham—a rod issuing
from the stem of Jesse, and a branch growing out of his root.  “As the
new vine is found in the cluster, and one saith, destroy it not, for a
blessing is in it;” so the children of Israel were spared,
notwithstanding their perverseness and their backslidings, because they
were the cluster from which should be expressed in due time the new wine
of the kingdom—because from them was to come forth the blessing, the
promised seed in whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
The Word that was in the beginning with God, one with God in essence and
in attributes, in the fulness of time assumed our nature, and tabernacled
and dwelt among us.  Here is the union of God and man.  Here is the great
mystery of godliness—God manifest in the flesh.  But I have only time now
to take off my shoes, and draw near the burning bush, and gaze a moment
upon this great sight.

The Father is represented as preparing a body for his Son.  He goes to
the quarry to seek a stone, a foundation stone for Zion.  The angel said
to Mary:—“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the
Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore that Holy Thing which shall be
born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”  The eternal lays hold on
that nature which is hastening downward, on the flood of sin, to the gulf
of death and destruction, and binds it to himself.  Though made in the
likeness of sinful flesh, he was holy, harmless, and undefiled.  He did
no iniquity, neither was guile found in his mouth.  The rod out of the
stem of Jesse is also Jehovah our righteousness.  The child born in
Bethlehem is the mighty God.  The Son given to Israel is the everlasting
Father.  He is of the seed of Abraham, according to the flesh; but he is
also the true God and eternal life.  Two natures and three offices meet
mysteriously in his person.  He is at once the bleeding sacrifice, the
sanctifying altar, the officiating priest, the prophet of Israel, and the
Prince of Peace.  All this was necessary, that he might become “the
author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him.”

Hear Jehovah speaking of Messiah and his kingdom:—“Why do the heathen
rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set
themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and
against his anointed.  Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree by which he is to rule his redeemed empire.”
That decree, long kept secret, was gradually announced by the prophets;
but at the new tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, Jehovah himself proclaimed it
aloud, to the astonishment of earth, the terror of hell, and the joy of
heaven:—“Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.  Come forth from
the womb of the grave, thou whose goings forth have been from of old,
even from everlasting.  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for
thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy
possession.  I will exalt thee to the throne of the universe, and thou
shalt be chief in the chariot of the gospel.  Thou shalt ride through the
dark places of the earth, with the lamps of eternal life suspended to thy
chariot, enlightening the world.  Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings; be
instructed ye judges of the earth.  Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice
with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the
way when his wrath is kindled but a little.  Let no man withstand him.
Let no man seek to stay his progress.  Herod, Pilate, Caiaphas, stand
off! clear the way! lest ye be crushed beneath the wheels of his chariot!
for that which is a savor of life to some, is to others a savor of death;
and if this stone shall fall upon you, it shall grind you to powder!”

Behold, here is wisdom!  All other mysteries are toys in comparison with
the mystery of the everlasting gospel—the union of three persons in the
Godhead—the union of two natures in the Mediator—the union of believers
to Christ, as the branches to the vine—the union of all the saints
together in him, who is the head of the body, and the chief stone of the
corner—the mighty God transfixed to the cross—the son of Mary ruling in
the heaven of heavens—the rod of Jesse becoming the sceptre of universal
dominion—the Branch growing out of his root, the little delicate branch
which a lamb might crop for its food, terrifying and taming the serpent,
the lion, the leopard, the tiger, and the wolf, and transforming into
gentleness and love the wild and savage nature of all the beasts of prey
upon the mountain!  “And such,” old Corinthian sinners, “were some of
you; but ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified, in the name
of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God.”  And such, my brethren,
were some of you; but ye have been made a new creation in Christ Jesus;
old things are passed away, and all things are become new.  Ye are dead,
and your life is hid with Christ in God.  He is one with the Father, and
ye are one in him; united and interwoven, like the roots of the trees in
the forest of Lebanon; so that none can injure the least disciple of
Christ, without touching the apple of his eye, and grieving all his
members.

2.  The blessings which he confers upon his people.  “It shall bring
forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar, and under it shall
dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall
they dwell; and all the trees of the field shall know that I, the Lord,
have brought down the high tree, and have exalted the low tree—have dried
up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish.”

_Christ is a fruitful tree_.  “The tree is known by his fruit.  Men do
not gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles.  Every good tree
bringeth forth good fruit, and every evil tree bringeth forth evil
fruit.”  This is a singular, supernatural tree.  Though its top reaches
to the heaven of heavens, its branches fill the universe, and bend down
to the earth, laden with the precious fruits of pardon, and holiness, and
eternal life.  On the day of Pentecost, we see them hang so low over
Jerusalem, that the very murderers of the Son of God reach and pluck and
eat, and three thousand sinners feast on more than angels’ food.  That
was the feast of first-fruits.  Never before was there such a harvest and
such a festival.  Angels know nothing of the delicious fruits of the tree
of redemption.  They know nothing of the joy of pardon, and the spirit of
adoption.  The bride of the Lamb alone can say:—“As the apple tree among
the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the sons.  I sat down
under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me also to his banqueting house, and his banner over me was
love.”

These blessings are the precious effects of Christ’s mediatorial work;
flowing down to all believers, like streams of living water.  Come, ye
famishing souls, and take, without money and without price.  All things
are now ready.  “The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all
manner of pleasant fruits, both new and old.”  Here is no scarcity.  Our
Elder Brother keeps a rich table in our Father’s house.  Hear him
proclaiming in the streets of the city, in the chief places of
concourse:—“Come to the festival.  There is bread enough, and to spare.
My oxen and my fatlings are killed.  My board is spread with the most
exquisite delicacies—wine on the lees well refined, and fruits such as
angels never tasted.”

_Christ is a tree of protection to his people_.  This cedar not only
beautifies the forest, but also affords shade and shelter for the fowls
of the air.  We have the same idea in the parable of the mustard
seed:—“the birds of the air came and lodged in the branches thereof.”
This is the fulfilment of the promise concerning the Shiloh:—“to him
shall the gathering of the people be.”  It is the drawing of sinners to
Christ; and the union of believers with God.

“All fowl of every wing.”  Sinners of every age and every degree—sinners
of all languages, colors, and climes—sinners of all principles, customs,
and habits—sinners whose crimes are of the blackest hue—sinners carrying
about them the savor of the brimstone of hell—sinners deserving eternal
damnation—sinners perishing for lack of knowledge—sinners pierced by the
arrows of conviction—sinners ready to sink under the burden of
sin—sinners overwhelmed with terror and despair—are seen flying to Christ
as a cloud, and as doves to their windows—moving to the ark of mercy
before the door is shut—seeking rest in the shadow of this goodly cedar!

Christ is the sure defence of his church.  A thousand times has she been
assailed by her enemies.  The princes of the earth have set themselves in
array against her, and hell has opened upon her all its batteries.  But
the Rock of Ages has ever been her strong fortress and high tower.  He
will never refuse to shelter her from her adversaries.  In the time of
trouble, he shall hide her in his pavilion; in the secret of his
tabernacle shall he hide her.  When the heavens are dark and angry, she
flies, like the affrighted dove, to the thick branches of the “Goodly
Cedar.”  There she is safe from the windy storm and tempest.  There she
may rest in confidence, till these calamities be overpast.  The tree of
her protection can never be riven by the lightning, nor broken by the
blast.

_Christ is the source of life and beauty to all the trees in the garden
of God_.  Jehovah determined to teach “the trees of the forest” a new
lesson.  Let the princes of this world hear it, and the proud
philosophers of Greece and Rome.  “I have brought down the high tree, and
exalted the low tree—have dried up the green tree, and made the dry tree
to flourish.”  Many things have occurred, in the providence of God, which
might illustrate these metaphors; such as the bringing of Pharaoh down to
the bottom of the sea, that Israel might be exalted to sing the song of
Moses; and the drying up of the pride and pomp of Haman, that Mordecai
might flourish in honor and esteem.  But for the most transcendent
accomplishment of the prophecy, we must go to Calvary.  There is the high
tree brought down to the dust of death, that the low tree might be
exalted to life eternal; the green tree dried up by the fires of Divine
wrath, that the dry tree might flourish in the favor of God for ever.

To this, particularly, our blessed Redeemer seems to refer, in his
address to the daughters of Jerusalem, as they follow him, weeping, to
the place of crucifixion.  “Weep not for me,” saith he.  “There is a
mystery in all this, which you cannot now comprehend.  Like Joseph, I
have been sold by my brethren; but like Joseph, I will be a blessing to
all my Father’s house.  I am carrying this cross to Calvary that I may be
crucified upon it between two thieves; but when the lid of the mystical
ark shall be lifted, then shall ye see that it is to save sinners I give
my back to the smiters, and my life for a sacrifice.  Weep not for me,
but for yourselves and your children; for if they do these things in the
green tree, what shall be done in the dry?  I am the green tree to-day;
and behold, I am consumed that you may flourish.  I am the high tree, and
am prostrated that you may be exalted.”

The fire-brands of Jerusalem had wellnigh kindled to a flame of
themselves, amid the tumult of the people, when they cried out—“Away with
him!  Crucify him!  His blood be on us, and on our children!”  O wonder
of mercy! that they were not seized and consumed at once by fire from
heaven!  But he whom they crucify prays for them, and they are spared.
Hear his intercession:—“Father, forgive them!  Save these sinners, ready
for the fire.  On me, on me alone, be the fierceness of thy indignation.
I am ready to drink the cup which thou hast mingled.  I am willing to
fall beneath the stroke of thy angry justice.  I come to suffer for the
guilty.  Bind me in their stead, lay me upon the altar, and send down
fire to consume the sacrifice!”

It was done.  I heard a great voice from heaven:—“Awake, O sword, against
my shepherd!  Kindle the flame!  Let off the artillery!”  Night suddenly
enveloped the earth.  Nature trembled around me.  I heard the rending of
the rocks.  I looked, and lo! the stroke had fallen upon the high tree,
and the green tree was all on fire!  While I gazed, I heard a voice,
mournful, but strangely sweet:—“My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken
me?  My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.  My
strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws.
One may tell all my bones.  Dogs have compassed me about; strong bulls of
Bashan have beset me.  They stare at me; they gape upon me with their
mouths; they pierce my hands and my feet.  Deliver my soul from the
lions; my darling from the power of the dogs!”

“It is finished!”  O with what majestic sweetness fell that voice upon my
soul!  Instantly the clouds were scattered.  I looked, and saw, with
unspeakable wonder, millions of the low trees shooting up, and millions
of the dry trees putting forth leaves and fruit.  Then I took my harp,
and sang this song:—“Worthy is the Lamb! for he was humbled that we might
be exalted; he was wounded that we might be healed; he was robbed that we
might be enriched; he was slain that we might live!”

Then I saw the beam of a great scale; one end descending to the abyss,
borne down by the power of the atonement; the other ascending to the
heaven of heavens, and lifting up the prisoners of the tomb.  Wonderful
scheme!  Christ condemned for our justification; forsaken of his Father,
that we might enjoy his fellowship; passing under the curse of the law,
to bear it away from the believer forever!  This is the great scale of
redemption.  As one end of the beam falls under the load of our sins,
which were laid on Christ; the other rises, bearing the basket of mercy,
full of pardons, and blessings, and hopes.  “He who knew no sin was made
sin for us”—that is his end of the beam; “that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him”—this is ours.  “Though he was rich, yet for
our sakes he became poor”—there goes his end down; “that we, through his
poverty, might be rich”—here comes ours up.

O sinners! ye withered and fallen trees, fuel for the everlasting
burning, ready to ignite at the first spark of vengeance!  O ye faithless
souls! self-ruined and self-condemned! enemies in your hearts by wicked
works! we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God!  He has
found out a plan for your salvation—to raise up the low tree by humbling
the high, and save the dry tree from the fire by burning up the green.
He is able to put, at the same time, a crown of glory on the head of the
law, and a crown of mercy on the head of the sinner.  One of those hands
which were nailed to the cross blotted out the fiery handwriting of
Sinai, while the other opened the prison-doors of the captives.  From the
mysterious depths of Messiah’s sufferings flows the river of the water of
life.  Eternal light rises from the gloom of Gethsemane.  Satan planted
the tree of death on the grave of the first Adam, and sought to plant it
also on the grave of the second; but how terrible was his disappointment
and despair, when he found that the wrong seed had been deposited there,
and was springing up unto everlasting life!  Come! fly to the shelter of
this tree, and dwell in the shadow of its branches, and eat of its fruit,
and live!

To conclude:—Is not the conversion of sinners an object dear to the
hearts of the saints?  God alone can do the work.  He can say to the
north, give up; and to the south, keep not back.  He can bring his sons
from afar, and his daughters from the ends of the earth.  Our Shiloh has
an attractive power, and to him shall the gathering of the people be.
Pray, my brethren, pray earnestly, that the God of all grace may find
them out, and gather them from the forest, and fish them up from the sea,
and bring them home as the shepherd brings the stray lambs to the fold.
God alone can catch these “fowl of every wing.”  They fly away from us.
To our grief, they often fly far away, when we think them almost in our
hands; and then the most talented and holy ministers cannot overtake
them.  But the Lord is swifter than they.  His arrows will reach them and
bring them from their lofty flight to the earth.  Then he will heal their
wounds, and tame their wild nature, and give them rest beneath the
branches of the “Goodly Cedar.”



SERMON XI.
THE PRINCE OF SALVATION.


    “_For it became him_, _for whom are all things_, _and by whom are all
    things_, _in bringing many sons to glory_, _to make the captain of
    their salvation perfect through sufferings_.”—Heb. ii. 10.

    “_And being made perfect_, _he became the author of eternal salvation
    unto all them that obey him_.”—Heb. v. 9.

I HAVE put these passages together because of their similarity.  In
discussing the doctrine which they contain—the doctrine of salvation
through the mediatorial work of Christ, I purpose to consider—_First_,
His relation to believers, as the author, captain, or prince of their
salvation; _Secondly_, His perfect qualification, through meritorious
sufferings, to sustain that relation; and _Thirdly_, The character of
those who are interested in him as a Saviour.

I.  Christ is the prince of our salvation.  He is the great ante-type of
Moses, Joshua, Samson, and David.  Their deeds of pious valor faintly
foreshadowed the glorious achievements of the Captain of our salvation.

He is a prince in our nature.  The Lord from heaven became the second
Adam, the seed of the woman, the offspring of David.  Divinity and
humanity were mysteriously united in his person.  The Word that was in
the beginning was made flesh, and tabernacled among us.  God is now
nearer to his people than ever.  The Lamb’s bride is bone of his bone and
flesh of his flesh.  As the children were partakers of flesh and blood,
he himself took part of the same.  By taking human nature into union with
himself, he has imparted to believers a new and divine life.

Our Prince has conquered our adversaries.  His name is Michael, the power
of God.  He is the mighty prince that stood up on behalf of his people,
and bruised Satan under their feet.  He has cast out the strong man, and
his goods.  He has demolished the kingdom of darkness, spoiled
principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly.  He has proved
to earth and heaven that the devil is a usurper, and has no claim
whatever to the title, “God of this world,” and “Prince of this world.”
When Christ was crucified, hell quaked to its centre.  Then he obtained
liberty for the captives, and the opening of the prisons to them that are
bound.  His victory is our manumission from the slavery of sin and death;
and if the Son make us free, we are free indeed.

Three offices meet in the Author of our salvation; the prophetic, the
priestly, and the regal.  He wears three crowns upon his head; a crown of
gold, a crown of silver, and a crown of precious stones.  He “shall bear
the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne, and shall be a priest
upon his throne, and the covenant of peace shall be between them both.”
This prophecy is fulfilled in Messiah’s mediatorial relations.  The house
was purified, the altar was consecrated, on the morning of his
resurrection.  This is the Prince of life, who was dead, and is alive for
evermore, and hath the keys of hell and of death.  That he might sanctify
the people with his own blood, he suffered without the gate; and by
suffering, he opened a way for believers into the holiest of all; and lo!
his people are standing before the mercy-seat within the vail, and
worshipping in open sight of the glory of God that dwelleth between the
cherubim.  If God smelled “a savor of rest” in the sacrifice of Noah,
much more in the sacrifice of his beloved Son, in whom he is ever well
pleased.  His sinless soul and body were offered once for all upon the
cross.  “He bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the
transgressors.”  The Father proclaims the demands of his law fully
answered, and invites sinners to come and rest in the Beloved.  This is
he of whom it was said—“A man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind,
and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the
shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”  This is the Author and Captain
of our salvation.

II.  Let us consider how he is qualified for that relation—made perfect
through sufferings.

His sufferings were necessary to constitute him a complete Saviour.
“Without the shedding of blood is no remission;” the blood of Jesus is “a
fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.”  It was threatened—“In the day
thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die;” but Christ, by dying in our
stead, delivered us from the sentence.

In order that he might bear our sins, it was necessary for him to assume
our nature.  The Priest must have somewhat to offer as a sacrifice.
Divinity could not suffer and die.  “A body hast thou prepared for me.”
The Son of God took that body as his own, and offered it to the Father
upon the cross.  The blood which he shed was his own blood; the life
which he laid down was his own life; the soul which he poured out unto
death was his own soul.  Moses saw an emblem of this mystery in Mount
Horeb—a bush burning with fire, yet unconsumed.  “Our God is a consuming
fire,” dwelling in a tabernacle of clay.  The human nature, though slain,
is not consumed.  On the third day the bush is found still flourishing
and fruitful.

It was necessary that the precept of the law should be obeyed, and the
penalty of the law endured, in the very nature of its violater.  Christ
answered the demands of both tables on behalf of his people, in the
purity of his life, and the merit of his obedience unto death.  He
displayed all the fruits of holiness.  He loved righteousness and hated
iniquity.  He paid our debt, a debt which he never contracted; he endured
our curse, a curse which he never deserved.  He took the cup of the wine
of wrath out of our hand, and drained its very dregs upon the cross.  In
hell, every one drinks his own cup, and can never exhaust its contents;
but behold, on Calvary, one man drains the cup of millions, and cries—“It
is finished!”  Not a drop is left, not a particle of any of its
ingredients, for his people.  God hath condemned and punished sin in the
human nature of Christ, and all who believe are justified freely by his
blood.

But the author of our salvation is God as well as man.  The Divinity
often shone out through the humanity, controlling the elements,
quickening the tenants of the tomb, and compelling the very devils to
obey him.  Had he been less than “God manifest in the flesh,” he must
have been incompetent to the work of redemption.  The Divine nature was
necessary to sustain the human nature under its immense burden of
sufferings, and render those sufferings sufficiently meritorious to atone
for the transgressions of mankind.  Christ endured more of the Divine
displeasure “from the sixth to the ninth hour,” than all the vessels of
wrath could endure to all eternity; {185} and but for the union of the
two natures in his person, he could not have borne his unparalleled woes.
But while the man suffered, the God sustained.  While the God-man offered
up his humanity, his Divinity was the altar that sanctified the gift, and
rendered it a sacrifice of sweet smelling savor to the Father.  It was
man that died upon the cross, but it was man in mysterious union with
God, so that the two natures constituted but one person, and the dignity
of the Godhead gave infinite value to the tears and sweat and blood of
the manhood.  No wonder that the cross of Christ is the admiration of men
and angels; and—“worthy is the Lamb that was slain!” the ultimate theme
of earth and heaven!

“And being made perfect.”  In the twentieth chapter of Exodus, we read of
“the ram of consecration”—the ram of perfection in the original, or full
ram, as the word full signifies complete, mature, perfect.  The two rams
mentioned in that chapter represent the atonement and intercession of
Christ.  He is our full, complete, or perfect sacrifice.  “In him
dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead;” and he has the hand of a man to
bestow blessings upon his brethren.  “Of his fulness have all we
received, and grace upon grace.”  Our wisdom, righteousness,
sanctification, and redemption are all in the Son of man.  Aaron never
entered the holy place with empty hands, and our great High-priest hath
gone into the celestial sanctuary, bearing with him his own most precious
blood, wherewith to sprinkle the mercy-seat, and make it approachable to
man.  Thus suffering on earth, and pleading the merit of his suffering in
heaven, “he becomes the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey
him.”

III.  This leads us to our third topic.  The character of those who are
interested in him as a Saviour—“all them that obey him.”

To obey is to submit to authority—to do what is commanded.  What is the
command of God the Father?  That ye should believe on the name of his
Son.  What is the command of Christ, the Captain of our salvation?  “Ye
believe in God; believe also in me.”  It is said that he is precious to
them that believe, but unbelievers are disobedient.  They are all a
disaffected and rebellious army, who will not obey their Captain.  They
have made God a liar, and are condemned for their unbelief.  The Father
saith—“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry!” but they reply—“Away with him!
away with him! we will not have him to reign over us!”

Is this your character?  You are commanded to “behold the Lamb of God,
that taketh away the sin of the world.”  Have you obeyed?  What are you
doing?  Are you determined to rebel?  Will you risk the consequences of
disobedience?  O, you are reading the book of election, are you?  You are
looking for your names in the book of election; but lo! you find them
written in the book of damnation, under the article—“He that believeth
not shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him!”  What shall
be done in such a case?  Obey the Captain of your salvation.  Do ye not
hear him, as he rides along the ranks, proclaiming—“To-day, if ye will
hear my voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation!  Incline
your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live!”  Obey, obey
this gracious exhortation.  Come, with your petitions for pardon.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.  Behold a door
of hope opening for you in the blood of atonement.  There is forgiveness
and sanctification for all that believe.  Does your sense of guilt
overwhelm you with gloomy fears, and plunge you in despair?  Do you
tremble at the thought of the multitude and enormity of your crimes?  Cry
aloud, with all your hearts—“God be merciful to me a sinner!”  Remember
that your Prince “is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto
God by him.”  Hear him calling you—“Come unto me, all ye that labor and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!  Take my yoke upon you, and
learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest to
your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light!”  Who, then,
would not obey thee, blessed Jesus?

    “Had I, dear Lord, a thousand hearts,
       I’d give them all to thee;
    A thousand tongues, they all should join
       The grateful harmony!”

We have a remarkable instance of faith and obedience in Abraham.  There
was no natural probability, there was no apparent possibility of the
fulfilment of the promise; but Abraham believed, rested on the naked word
of God, and went to mount Moriah to offer up his only son.  Here was the
triumph of faith, and it is recorded for our encouragement.  Did the
patriarch firmly believe the promise—“In Isaac shall thy seed be called?”
Yes verily, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  Did the
patriarch believe, on the strength of that promise, that God would not
permit him to offer up his only son?  No, verily; but he was determined
to obey God, and leave the event with him, well assured that God would
fulfil his word, though it should require the miracle of Isaac’s
resurrection.  Thus your faith must soar above nature, and lay hold on
the righteousness of Christ, which justifieth the ungodly.  When you
believe with all your heart, God will smile upon you, and calm your
troubled soul, and hush the raging storms of a guilty conscience, for the
sake of the satisfaction which he received in the obedience of Christ, as
the substitute and surety of his people.  This is the Urim and
Thummim—light and perfection—of the gospel, beaming upon us through the
twelve stars—the apostles of the Lamb, pacifying the conscience, and
answering the important question—“What shall I do to be saved?”  I feel
within me a sea of corruption, but I know that the blood of Jesus Christ
cleanseth from all sin.

Faith and obedience are inseparable, and the former is dead without the
latter.  They wrought together in Abel, and therefore he offered a more
excellent sacrifice than Cain.  They wrought together in Noah, and led
him to prepare an ark to the saving of his house.  Abraham not only
believed that God would give him and his seed the land of Canaan; but he
set forth at the Divine command, not knowing whither he went.  Moses not
only believed that God would deliver Israel out of Egypt; but, in
obedience to his command, he “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s
daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God,
than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”  Thus, true faith
always leads to obedience.  It is a living principle, by which the soul
is quickened from the death of sin to a new life of holiness.  It is the
means through which, by the Holy Ghost, we are created anew in Christ
Jesus unto good works.  It works by love, and love is always the great
motive to obedience.  It gives us large and clear views of the love of
God in Christ; then “we love him because he first loved us;” and “this is
the love of God, that we keep his commandments.”  Thus, by faith, “the
love of God is shed abroad in our hearts,” leading us to a holy life.
Such is the connection between faith and obedience, and the necessity of
one to the other.

And now, brethren, let us trust in the Captain of our salvation.  In the
ages before his advent, many sons were brought to glory through faith in
his future sufferings.  In the fulness of time, he visited our world;
assumed our nature; atoned for our transgressions; and, ascending to the
right hand of the Father, as our representative and intercessor, “became
the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him.”

    “O Captain of salvation! make
       Thy power and glory known,
    Till clouds of willing captives come,
       And worship at thy throne!”



SERMON XII.
FINISHED REDEMPTION


    “_It is finished_.”—John xix. 30.

THIS exclamation derives all its importance from the magnitude of the
work alluded to, and the glorious character of the agent.  The work is
the redemption of the world; the agent is God manifest in the flesh.  He
who finished the creation of the heavens and the earth in six days, is
laying the foundation of a new creation on Calvary.  Four thousand years
he has been giving notice of his intention to mankind; more than thirty
years he has been personally upon earth, preparing the material; and now
he lays the chief corner stone in Zion, exclaiming—“It is finished.”

We will first consider the special import of the exclamation, and then
offer a few remarks of a more general character.

I.  “It is finished.”  This saying of the Son of God is a very striking
one; and, uttered, as it was, while he hung in dying agonies upon the
cross, cannot fail to make a strong impression upon the mind.  It is
natural for us to inquire—“What does it mean?  To what does the glorious
victim refer?”  A complete answer to the question would develope the
whole scheme of redemption.  We can only glance at a few leading ideas.

The sufferings of Christ are ended.  Never again shall he be persecuted
from city to city, as an impostor and servant of Satan.  Never again
shall he say—“My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.”  Never
again shall he agonize in Gethsemane, and sweat great drops of blood.
Never again shall he be derided by the rabble, and insulted by men in
power.  Never again shall he be crowned with thorns, lacerated by the
scourge, and nailed to the accursed tree.  Never again shall he cry out,
in the anguish of his soul, and the baptism of blood—“My God! my God! why
hast thou forsaken me!”

The predictions of his death are fulfilled.  The prophets had spoken of
his crucifixion many hundred years before his birth.  They foresaw the
Governor who was to come forth from Bethlehem.  They knew the babe in the
manger, as he whose goings forth are of old, even from everlasting.  They
drew an accurate chart of his travels, from the manger to the cross, and
from the cross to the throne.  All these things must be fulfilled.  Jesus
knew the necessity, and seemed anxious that every jot and tittle should
receive an exact accomplishment.  His whole life was a fulfilment of
prophecy.  On every path he walked, on every house he entered, on every
city he visited, and especially on the mysterious phenomena which
accompanied his crucifixion, it was written—“that the Scriptures might be
fulfilled.”

The great sacrifice for sin is accomplished.  For this purpose Christ
came into the world.  He is our appointed high-priest, the elect of the
Father, and the desire of nations.  He alone who was in the bosom of the
Father, could offer a sacrifice of sufficient merit to atone for human
transgression.  But it was necessary also that he should have somewhat to
offer.  Therefore a body was prepared for him.  He assumed the seed of
Abraham, and suffered in the flesh.  This was a sacrifice of infinite
value, being sanctified by the altar of Divinity on which it was offered.
All the ceremonial sacrifices could not obtain the bond from the hand of
the creditor.  They were only acknowledgments of the debt.  But Jesus, by
one offering, paid the whole, took up the bond—the handwriting that was
against us, and nailed it to his cross; and when driving the last nail,
he cried—“It is finished!”

The satisfaction of Divine justice is completed.  The violated law must
be vindicated; the deserved penalty must be endured; if not by the sinner
himself, yet by the sinner’s substitute.  This was the great undertaking
of the Son of God.  He “bore our sins”—that is, the punishment of our
sins—“in his own body on the tree.”  He was “made a curse for us, that we
might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  There was no other way
by which the honor of God and the dignity of his law could be sustained,
and therefore “the Lord laid upon him the iniquities of us all.”  He
“died unto sin once;” not merely for sin, enduring its punishment in our
stead; but also “unto sin,” abolishing its power, and putting it away.
Therefore it is said, he “made an end of sin”—destroyed its condemning
and tormenting power on behalf of all them that believe.  His sufferings
were equal to the claims of justice; and his dying cry was the voice of
Justice himself proclaiming the satisfaction.  Here, then, may the dying
thief, and the persecutor of the holy, lay down their load of guilt and
wo at the foot of the cross.

The new and living way to God is consecrated.  A vail has hitherto
concealed the holy of holies.  None but the high-priest has seen the ark
of the covenant, and the glory of God resting upon the mercy-seat between
the cherubim.  He alone might enter, and he but once a year, and then
with fear and trembling, and the sprinkling of atoning blood, after the
most careful purification, and sacrifice for himself and the people.  But
our great High-priest has made an end of sacrifice by the one offering of
himself.  He has filled his hands with his own blood, and entered into
heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God for us.  The sweet
incense which he offers fills the temple, and the merit of his sacrifice
remains the same through all time, superseding all other offering for
ever.  Therefore we are exhorted to come boldly to the throne of grace.
The tunnel under the Thames could not be completed on account of an
accident which greatly damaged the work, without a new subscription for
raising money; but Jesus found infinite riches in himself, sufficient for
the completion of a new way to the Father—a living way through the valley
of the shadow of death to “the city of the Great King.”

The conquest of the powers of darkness is achieved.  When their hour was
come, the Prince and his hosts were on the alert to accomplish the
destruction of the Son of God.  They assailed him with peculiar
temptations, and leveled against him their heaviest artillery.  They
instigated one disciple to betray him and another to deny him.  They
fired the rage of the multitude against him, so that the same tongues
that lately sung—“Hosanna to the Son of David!” now shouted—“Crucify him!
Crucify him!”  They filled the priests and scribes with envy, that they
might accuse him without a cause; and inspired Pilate with an accursed
ambition, that he might condemn him without a fault.  They seared the
conscience of the false witnesses, that they might charge the Just One
with the most flagrant crimes; and cauterized the hearts of the Roman
soldiers, that they might mock him in his sufferings, and nail him to the
cross.  Having succeeded so far in their hellish plot, they doubtless
deemed their victory certain.  I see them crowding around the cross,
waiting impatiently to witness his last breath, ready to shout with
infernal triumph to the depths of hell, till the brazen walls should send
back their echoes to the gates of the heavenly city.  But hark! the dying
Saviour exclaims—“It is finished!” and the great dragon and his host
retreat, howling, from the cross.  The Prince of our salvation turned
back all their artillery upon themselves, and their own stratagems become
their ruin.  The old serpent seized Messiah’s heel, but Messiah stamped
upon the serpent’s head.  The dying cry of Jesus shook the dominions of
death, so that the bodies of many that slept arose; and rang through all
the depths of hell, the knell of its departed power.  Thus the Prince of
this world was foiled in his schemes, and disappointed in his hopes; like
the men of Gaza, when they locked up Samson at night, thinking to kill
him in the morning; but awoke to find that he was gone, with the gates of
the city upon his shoulders.  When the Philistines caught Samson, and
brought him to their temple, to make sport for them, they never dreamed
of the disaster in which it would result—never dreamed that their triumph
over the poor blind captive would be the occasion of their destruction.
Suffer me, said he, to lean on the two pillars.  Then he bowed himself,
and died with his enemies.  So Christ on Calvary, while the powers of
darkness exulted over their victim, seized the main pillars of sin and
death, and brought down the temple of Satan upon its occupants; but on
the morning of the third day, he left them all in the ruins, where they
shall remain for ever, and commenced his journey home to his Father’s
house.

II.  So much concerning the import of our Saviour’s exclamation.  Such
was the work which he finished upon the cross.  We add a few remarks of a
more general character.

The sufferings of Christ were vicarious.  He died, not for his own sins,
but for ours.  He humbled himself, that we might be exalted.  He became
poor, that we might be made rich.  He was wounded, that we might be
healed.  He drained the cup of wrath, that we might drink the waters of
salvation.  He died the shameful and excruciating death of the cross,
that we might live and reign with him for ever.

“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to have entered into
his glory?”  This “ought” is the ought of mercy and of covenant
engagement.  He must discharge the obligation which he had voluntarily
assumed.  He must finish the work which he had graciously begun.  There
was no other Saviour—no other being in the universe willing to undertake
the work; or, if any willing to undertake, none able to accomplish it.
The salvation of one human soul would have been too mighty an achievement
for Gabriel—for all the angels in heaven.  Had not “the Only Begotten of
the Father” become our surety, we must have lain for ever under the wrath
of God, amid “weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.”  None but the
Lion of the tribe of Judah could break the seals of that mysterious book.
None but “God manifest in the flesh” could deliver us from the second
death.

The dying cry of Jesus indicates the dignity of his nature, and the power
of life that was in him to the last.  All men die of weakness—of
inability to resist death—die because they can live no longer.  But this
was not the case with the Son of God.  He speaks of laying down his life
as his own voluntary act;—“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of
myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”
He “poured out his soul unto death”—did not wait for it to be torn from
him—did not hang languishing upon the cross, till life “ebbed out by slow
degrees;” but poured it out freely, suddenly, and unexpectedly.  As soon
as the work was done for which he came into the world, he cried—“It is
finished!” “bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”  Then the sun was
darkened, the earth quaked, the rocks rent, the graves opened, and the
centurion said—“Truly, this man was the Son of God!”  He cried with a
loud voice, to show that he was still unconquered by pain, mighty even
upon the cross.  He bowed his head that death might seize him.  He was
naturally far above the reach of death, his Divine nature being
self-existent and eternal, and his human nature entitled to immortality
by its immaculate holiness; yet “he humbled himself, and became obedient
unto death, even the death of the cross”—“He bowed his head, and gave up
the ghost.”

We may regard his last exclamation, also, as an expression of his joy, at
having accomplished the great “travail of his soul,” in the work of our
redemption.  It was the work which the Father had given him, and which he
had covenanted to do.  It lay heavy upon his heart; and O, how was he
straitened till it was accomplished!  His “soul was exceeding sorrowful,
even unto death;” “and his sweat as it were great drops of blood, falling
down to the ground.”  But upon the cross, he saw of the travail of his
soul, and was satisfied.  He saw that his sacrifice was accepted, and the
object of his agony secured—that death would not be able to detain him in
the grave, nor hell to defeat the purposes of his grace—that the gates of
the eternal city would soon open to receive him as a conqueror, and
myriads of exultant angels shout him to his throne; whither he would be
followed by his redeemed, with songs of everlasting joy.  He saw, and he
was satisfied; and, not waiting for the morning of the third day, but
already confident of victory, he uttered this note of triumph, and died.

And if we may suppose them to have understood its import, what a source
of consolation must it have been to his sorrowing disciples!  The sword
had pierced through Mary’s heart, according to the prediction of old
Simeon over the infant Jesus.  Her affections had bled at the agony of
her supernatural Son, and her wounded faith had wellnigh perished at his
cross.  And how must all his followers have felt, standing afar off, and
beholding their supposed Redeemer suffering as a malefactor!  How must
all their hopes have died within them, as they gazed on the accursed
tree!  The tragedy was mysterious, and they deemed their enemies
victorious.  Jesus is treading the winepress in Bozrah, and the earth is
shaking, and the rocks are rending, and the luminaries of heaven are
expiring, and all the powers of nature are fainting, in sympathy with his
mighty agony.  Now he is lost in the fire and smoke of battle, and the
dread artillery of justice is heard thundering through the thick
darkness, and shouts of victory rise from the troops of hell, and who
shall foretell the issue of the combat, or the fate of the Champion?  But
lo! he cometh forth from the cloud of battle, with blood upon his
garments!  He is wounded, but he hath the tread and the aspect of a
conqueror.  He waves his crimsoned sword, and cries—“It is finished!”
Courage, ye weepers at the cross!  Courage, ye tremblers standing afar
off!  The Prince of your salvation is victor, and this bulletin of the
war shall cheer myriads of believers in the house of their pilgrimage,
and the achievement which it announces shall constitute an everlasting
theme of praise!

“It is finished!”  The word smote on the walls of the celestial city, and
thrilled the hosts of heaven with ecstasy unspeakable.  How must “the
spirits of just men made perfect” have leaped with joy, to hear that the
Captain of their salvation was victorious over all his enemies, and that
the work he had engaged to do for them and their brethren was completed!
and with what wonder and delight must the holy angels have witnessed the
triumph of him, whom they were commanded to worship, over the powers of
darkness!  It was the commencement of a new era in heaven, and never
before had its happy denizens seen so much of God.

“It is finished!”  Go, ye heralds of salvation, into all the world, and
proclaim the joyful tidings!  Cry aloud, and spare not; lift up your
voice like a trumpet, and publish to all men, that the work of the cross
is finished—that the great Mediator, “made perfect through sufferings,”
has become “the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey
him”—“is of God made unto us, wisdom, and righteousness, and
sanctification, and redemption!”  Go, teach the degraded Pagan, the
deluded Mohammedan, and the superstitious Papist, that the finished work
of Jesus is the only way of acceptance with God!  Go, tell the polished
scholar, the profound philosopher, and the vaunting moralist, that the
doctrine of Christ crucified is the only knowledge that can save the
soul!  Go, say to the proud skeptic, the bold blasphemer, and the
polluted libertine, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of
the world!”  Preach it to the gasping sinner upon his death-bed, and the
sullen murderer in his cell!  Let it ring in every human ear, and thrill
in every human heart, till the gladness of earth shall be the counterpart
of heaven!



SERMON XIII.
THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS.


    “_He is not here_; _for he is risen_, _as he said_.  _Come_, _see the
    place where the Lord lay_.”—Matt. xxviii. 6.

THE celebrated Jonathan Edwards of America begins his History of
Redemption with an account of the Lord’s visit to Adam and Eve at the
cool of the day in Eden.  All the wonderful works of God toward the
children of men, since the seed of the woman was promised to bruise the
serpent’s head, are to be considered as so many parts of the same great
machinery of providence, whose wheels, like those of Ezekiel’s vision,
all move in majestic harmony, though their thousand revolutions may seem
to us discordant and confused.  The chief design of all the Divine
manifestations recorded in the Old Testament was to prepare the way for
the Redeemer’s appearance upon earth.  Jehovah often suffered his people
to be in great distress and perplexity; he lengthened the chain of Satan
and his angels, allowed a partial success of their infernal schemes, and
permitted them to prevail for a season against his people, and pride
themselves in their power and their skill, in order to make their defeat
the more signal, and gather more glory to himself from their final
overthrow.  During the engagement, the victory often seemed to be on the
side of the enemy; but when the smoke of battle cleared away, the pillar
of God was seen upon the camp of Israel.  If his people are besieged
between Pi-hahiroth and Baal-zephon, he raises the siege by dividing the
sea, and making a highway through the deep, while the waters rise up in a
solid wall on the right and the left, and roll back in ruin on the
pursuing foe.  If an army comes to arrest Elisha on Carmel, the mountain
is covered with celestial warriors, and the surrounding heavens teem with
horsemen and chariots of fire, and the enemy are smitten with blindness,
and taken captive by the prophet.  If Goliath of Gath confronts the camp
of Israel with his challenge, roaring like a lion, till the valley
resounds with his voice, a little shepherd-boy goes forth with his sling,
and the vaunting blasphemer is smitten to the ground, and slain with his
own sword.  If the worshippers of the true God are cast into the fiery
furnace, or the den of lions, to show the power and gratify the pride of
an infamous tyrant, there is one among them “like unto the Son of Man,”
and the violence of the fire is quenched, and the mouths of the lions are
stopped.

But when Messiah was slain and buried, the enemies of God boasted more
than ever in their crafty and malicious schemes.  This was the great
decisive engagement between Heaven and hell.  The enemy imagined “the
Captain of our salvation” vanquished and destroyed.  But his fall was no
defeat.  He yielded to the powers of darkness apparently, that he might
triumph over them openly.  He suffered himself to be taken prisoner by
death, that he might seize the tyrant on his throne, demolish his empire,
and deliver his captives.  And if none of his friends on earth had
courage to proclaim his resurrection, a preacher descended from heaven to
announce the joyful fact:—“He is not here; for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

Wonderful message, and wonderful messenger!  On the morning of the third
day after his crucifixion, Jesus revived in his tomb, and the sound of
the earthquake reached the heaven of heavens, and a mighty angel, swifter
than the light, descended straight to the new grave in Joseph’s garden,
calling on no one for the key, instantly rolled away the stone from the
door, and sat upon it, and made it his pulpit, from which he preached to
the women the doctrine of our Lord’s resurrection.

Let us consider, _first_, the testimony by which this fact is sustained,
and _secondly_, the fact itself, as the sure basis of Christianity.

I.  It appears from the record of the evangelist Luke, that the women
were much perplexed at finding the stone rolled away from the mouth of
the sepulchre, and the body of Jesus gone.  Then they were saluted by two
angels in shining apparel, who said;—“Why seek ye the living among the
dead?  He is not here, but is risen.  Remember how he spake unto you
while he was yet in Galilee, saying—The Son of Man must be delivered into
the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
And they remembered his words.”

Here is the testimony of two credible witnesses, a sufficient number to
attest the truth of our Lord’s resurrection; who testified to nothing but
what they had personally witnessed, and knew to be fact; and delivered
their testimony in simple and unambiguous language, that could not well
be misunderstood.

While the women went to inform the disciples of what they had seen and
heard, “behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the
chief priests all the things that were done.”  And what was done?  What
can be the testimony of these enemies of Christ concerning his
resurrection?  That “an angel, whose countenance was like lightning, and
his garments white as snow, descended from heaven, and rolled away the
stone from the door, and sat upon it;” which so terrified them that they
“became as dead men.”

To confirm these testimonies, our blessed Lord himself “appeared unto
many after his resurrection, who were witnesses of all things which he
did, both in the land of the Jews, and at Jerusalem; and how he was
slain, and hanged on a tree; and how God raised him up the third day, and
showed him openly; not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before
of God; even to the disciples, who did eat and drink with him after he
rose from the dead; whom he commanded to preach unto the people, and to
testify that it is he who is ordained of God to be the judge of quick and
dead”—“to whom he showed himself alive after his passion by many
infallible proofs; being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the
things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

Here we may observe, that he appeared to those who knew him best, and
gave them satisfactory and incontestible evidence of his resurrection.
And he appeared, not only to the apostles, but to more than five hundred
brethren at once.  We have an account of his appearing at ten or eleven
different times.  On these occasions, he conversed with his disciples,
reminded them of what he had said to them before his crucifixion, showed
them his hands and his feet, and besought them to touch arid examine his
person, and satisfy themselves as to his identity.  So that they had
ample opportunity, and every facility that could be desired, for
ascertaining whether he was indeed Jesus of Nazareth, their master, who
was lately crucified before their eyes.

It was therefore with great power that the apostles bore witness of the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  And the Holy Spirit corroborated their
testimony.  Our faith in this distinctive doctrine of Christianity rests
on a Divine foundation.  “If we receive the witness of men, the witness
of God is greater.”  “And the apostles went forth, and preached
everywhere, the Lord also working with them, and confirming the word with
signs following.”  In a few weeks after the resurrection of their Master,
their testimony concerning it was received and firmly believed by many
thousands, not in some distant and desert part of the world, but in
Jerusalem, where he had been crucified.

How nobly the apostle Peter reasoned on this subject when he said:—“Ye
men of Israel, hear these words.  Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of
God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him
in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; him, being delivered by
the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by
wicked hands have crucified and slain; whom God hath raised up, having
loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be
holden of it.”

Such was the evidence of our Lord’s resurrection, that among those who
were living at the time, and even those of them who so strenuously
opposed the gospel, it appears to have been scarcely doubted.  Pilate, in
a letter to Tiberius, the Roman emperor, said, that Jesus, being raised
from the dead, was believed by many to be God; whereupon the Roman Senate
expressed no doubt of his resurrection, but debated the question of
receiving him as one of the gods of Rome; which, however, was overruled
by Divine Providence, for the honor of Christianity; for he who is higher
than heaven, and the heaven of heavens, was not to be ranked with dumb
idols upon earth.

II.  Let us now consider the fact of our Lord’s resurrection, and its
bearing upon the great truths of our holy religion.

This most transcendent of miracles is sometimes attributed to the agency
of the Father; who, as the Lawgiver, had arrested and imprisoned in the
grave the sinner’s Surety, manifesting at once his benevolence and his
holiness; but by liberating the prisoner, proclaimed that the debt was
cancelled, and the claims of the law satisfied.  It is sometimes
attributed to the Son himself; who had power both to lay down his life,
and to take it again; and the merit of whose sacrifice entitled him to
the honor of thus asserting his dominion over death, on behalf of his
people.  And sometimes it is attributed to the Holy Spirit, as in the
following words of the apostle:—“He was declared to be the Son of God
with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from
the dead.”

_The resurrection of Christ is clear and incontestible proof of his
Divinity_.

He had declared himself equal with God the Father, and one with him in
nature and in glory.  He had told the people that he would prove the
truth of this declaration, by rising from the grave three days after his
death.  And when the morning of the third day began to dawn upon the
sepulchre, lo! there was an earthquake, and the dead body arose,
triumphant over the power of corruption.

This was the most stupendous miracle ever exhibited on earth, and its
language is:—“Behold, ye persecuting Jews and murdering Romans, the proof
of my Godhead!  Behold, Caiaphas, Herod, Pilate, the power and glory of
your victim!  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and lo!  I am alive for
evermore!  I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and
morning star!  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth;
for I am God, and besides me there is none else!”

_Our Lord’s resurrection affords incontrovertible evidence of the truth
of Christianity_.

Pilate wrote the title of Christ in three languages on the cross; and
many have written excellent and unanswerable things, on the truth of the
Christian Scriptures, and the reality of the Christian religion; but the
best argument that has ever been written on the subject, was written by
the invisible hand of the Eternal Power, in the rocks of our Saviour’s
sepulchre.  This confounds the skeptic, settles the controversy, and
affords an ample and sure foundation for all them that believe.

If any one asks whether Christianity is from heaven or of men, we point
him to the “tomb hewn out of the rock,” and say—“There is your answer!
Jesus was crucified, and laid in that cave; but on the morning of the
third day, it was found empty; our Master had risen and gone forth from
the grave victorious.”

This is the pillar that supports the whole fabric of our religion; and he
who attempts to pull it down, like Samson, pulls down ruin upon himself.
“If Christ is not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is
also vain, ye are yet in your sins;” but if the fact is clearly proved,
then Christianity is unquestionably true, and its disciples are safe.

This is the ground on which the apostle stood, and asserted the divinity
of his faith:—“Moreover, I testify unto you the gospel, which I preached
unto you; which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which
also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless
ye have believed in vain; for I delivered unto you first of all that
which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the
Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day,
according to the Scriptures.”

_The resurrection of Jesus is the most stupendous manifestation of the
power of God_, _and the pledge of eternal life to his people_.

The apostle calls it “the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who
believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in
Christ when he raised him from the dead.”  This is a river overflowing
its banks—an idea too large for language.  Let us look at it a moment.

Where do we find “the exceeding greatness of his power?”  In the creation
of the world? in the Seven Stars and Orion? in the strength of Behemoth
and Leviathan?  No!  In the deluge? in the fiery destruction of Sodom? in
the overthrow of Pharaoh and his host? in hurling Nebuchadnezzar like
Lucifer from the political firmament?  No!  It is the power which he
wrought in Christ.  When?  When he healed the sick? when he raised the
dead? when he cast out devils? when he blasted the fruitless fig-tree?
when he walked upon the waters of the Galilee?  No!  It was “when he
raised him from the dead.”  Then the Father placed the sceptre in the
hand of the Son, “and set him above all principality, and power, and
might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this
world, but also in that which is to come; and put all things under his
feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church.”

This is the source of our spiritual life.  The same power that raised the
dead body of our Lord from the grave, quickens the soul of the believer
from the death in trespasses and sins.  His riven tomb is a fountain of
living waters; whereof if a man drink, he shall never die.  His raised
and glorified body is the sun, whence streams eternal light upon our
spirits; the light of life, that never can be quenched.

Nor here does the influence of his resurrection end.  He who raised up
Jesus from the dead shall also quicken our mortal bodies.  His
resurrection is the pledge and the pattern of ours.  “Because he liveth
we shall live also.”  “He shall change our vile body, that it may be
fashioned like unto his glorious body.”  We hear him speaking in the
prophet:—“Thy dead men shall live; together with my dead body shall they
arise.  Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is as the
dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead.”

How divinely does the apostle speak of the resurrection-body of the
saints!  “It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is
sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is
raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual
body.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal
must put on immortality.  Then shall be brought to pass the saying that
is written—Death is swallowed up in victory!  O death, where is thy
sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?  Thanks be unto God, that giveth
us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ever since the fall in Eden, man is born to die.  He lives to die.  He
eats and drinks, sleeps and wakes, to die.  Death, like a dark steel-clad
warrior, stands ever before us; and his gigantic shadow comes continually
between us and happiness.  But Christ hath “abolished death, and brought
life and immortality to light through the gospel.”  He was born in
Bethlehem, that he might die on Calvary.  He was made under the law, that
he might bear the direst penalty of the law.  He lived thirty-three
years, sinless among sinners, that he might offer himself a sin-offering
for sinners upon the cross.  Thus he “became obedient unto death,” that
he might destroy the power of death; and on the third morning, a mighty
angel, rolling away the stone from the mouth of the sepulchre, makes the
very door of Death’s castle the throne whence he proclaims “the
resurrection and the life.”

The Hero of our salvation travelled into Death’s dominion, took
possession of the whole territory on our behalf, and returning laden with
spoils, ascended to the heaven of heavens.  He went to the palace, seized
the tyrant, and wrested away his sceptre.  He descended into the
prison-house, knocked off the fetters of the captives; and when he came
up again, left the door of every cell open, that they might follow him.
He has gone over into our promised inheritance, and his glory illuminates
the mountains of immortality; and through the telescope which he has
bequeathed us, we “see the land that is very far off.”

I recollect reading in the writings of Flavel this sentiment—that the
souls in paradise wait with intense desire for the reanimation of their
dead bodies, that they may be united to them in bliss for ever.  O, what
rapture there shall be among the saints, when those frail vessels, from
which they escaped with such a struggle, as they foundered in the gulf of
death, shall come floating in, with the spring-tide of the resurrection,
to the harbor of immortality!  How glorious the reunion, when the seeds
of affliction and death are left behind in the tomb!  Jacob no longer
lame, nor Moses slow of speech, nor Lazarus covered with sores, nor Paul
troubled with a thorn in the flesh!

“It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”  The glory
of the body of Christ is far above our present conception.  When he was
transfigured on Tabor, his face shone like the sun, and his raiment was
white as the light.  This is the pattern shown to his people in the
mount.  This is the model after which the bodies of believers shall be
fashioned in the resurrection.  “They that be wise shall shine as the
brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as
the stars for ever and ever.”

In conclusion:—The angel said to the women—“Go quickly, and tell his
disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you
into Galilee; there shall ye see him; lo! I have told you.  And they
departed quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy; and did run
to bring his disciples word.”

Brethren! followers of Jesus! be ye also preachers of a risen Saviour!
Go quickly—there is no time for delay—and publish the glad tidings to
sinners!  Tell them that Christ died for their sins, and rose again for
their justification, and ascended to the right hand of the Father to make
intercession for them, and is now able to save unto the uttermost all
that come unto God by him!

And you, impenitent and unbelieving men! hear this blessed message of
salvation!  Do you intend ever to embrace the proffered mercy of the
gospel?  Make haste!  Procrastination is ruin!  Now is the accepted time!
O, fly to the throne of grace!  Time is hastening; you will soon be
swallowed up in eternity!  May the Lord have mercy upon you, and rouse
you from your indifference and sloth!  It is my delight to invite you to
Christ; but I feel more pleasure and more confidence in praying for you
to God.  I have besought and entreated you, by every argument and every
motive in my power; but you are yet in your sins, and rushing on toward
hell.  Yet I will not give you up in despair.  If I cannot persuade you
to flee from the wrath to come, I will intercede with God to have mercy
upon you for the sake of his beloved Son.  If I cannot prevail in the
pulpit, I will try to prevail at the throne!



SERMON XIV.
THE ASCENSION.


    “_Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all
    things_.”—Acts iii. 21.

THESE words are part of St. Peter’s sermon to the people of Jerusalem, on
occasion of the cure of the lame man, at the “Beautiful Gate” of the
temple, shortly after the day of Pentecost.

This, and the sermon recorded in the preceding chapter, were perhaps the
most effective ever delivered on earth.  As the fruit of Peter’s ministry
in these two discourses, about five thousand souls were converted to
Christianity. {205}

It is recorded, that, on the day of Pentecost, the hearers “were pricked
in their hearts, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles—Men and
brethren, what shall we do?”  An inquiry which indicates the utmost
solicitude and distress.  A sense of sin overwhelmed them, especially of
their guilt in rejecting the Son of God; and they pressed around the
preacher and his colleagues with this earnest interrogative.

The answer was ready.  True ministers of Christ are never at a loss in
answering the inquiries of awakened sinners.  When the Philippian jailer
came trembling to Paul and Silas, and fell down before them,
exclaiming—“What must I do to be saved?”  “Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” was the prompt and appropriate answer.

So Peter, on the day of Pentecost, when three thousand conscience-smitten
and heart-broken hearers cried out under the sermon—“What shall we do?”
immediately replied—“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the
name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the
gift of the Holy Ghost; for the promise is unto you, and to your
children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God
shall call.”

And so in the sermon whence we have taken our text, when he saw that the
truth had found its way to the understanding, and the conscience, and the
heart—that many were awakened, and convinced of sin—he exhorted them to
repentance and faith in Christ, as the condition of salvation:—“Repent
ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when
the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he
shall send Jesus Christ, who before was preached unto you; whom the
heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things.”

The doctrine of this text is—the necessity of Christ’s return to heaven
till the consummation of his mediatorial work.

It is generally admitted, that the twenty-second psalm has particular
reference to Christ.  This is evident from his own appropriation of the
first verse upon the cross:—“My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?”
The title of that psalm is—“Aijeleth Shahar;” which signifies—A hart,
or—the hind of the morning.  The striking metaphors which it contains are
descriptive of Messiah’s peculiar sufferings.  He is the hart, or hind of
the morning, hunted by the black prince, with his hell-hounds—by Satan,
and all his allies.  The “dogs,” the “lions,” the “unicorns,” and the
“strong bulls of Bashan,” with their devouring teeth, and their terrible
horns, pursued him from Bethlehem to Calvary.  They beset him in the
manger, gnashed upon him in the garden, and wellnigh tore him to pieces
upon the cross.  And still they persecute him in his cause, and in the
persons and interests of his people.

The faith of the church anticipated the coming of Christ, “like a roe or
a young hart,” with the dawn of the day promised in Eden; and we hear her
exclaiming in the Canticles—“The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh,
leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the hills!”  She heard him
announce his advent in the promise—“Lo, I come to do thy will, O God!”
and with prophetic eye, saw him leaping from the mountains of eternity to
the mountains of time, and skipping from hill to hill throughout the land
of Palestine, going about doing good.  In the various types and shadows
of the law, she beheld him “standing by the wall, looking forth at the
windows, showing himself through the lattice;” and then she sung—“Until
the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou
like the roe or the young hart upon the mountains of Bether!”  Bloody
sacrifices revealed him to her view, going down to the “vineyards of red
wine;” whence she traced him to the meadows of gospel ordinances, where
“he feedeth among the lilies”—to “the gardens of cucumbers,” and “the
beds of spices;” and then she sung to him again—“Make haste”—or, flee
away—“my beloved! be thou like the roe or the young hart upon the
mountains of spices!”

Thus she longed to see him, first “on the mountain of Bether,” and then
“on the mountain of spices.”  On both mountains she saw him eighteen
hundred years ago, and on both she may still trace the footsteps of his
majesty and his mercy.  The former he hath tracked with his own blood,
and his path upon the latter is redolent of frankincense and myrrh.

Bether signifies division.  This is the craggy mountain of Calvary;
whither the “Hind of the morning” fled, followed by all the wild beasts
of the forest, and the hunting-dogs of hell; summoned to the pursuit, and
urged on, by the prince of perdition; till the victim, in his agony,
sweat great drops of blood—where he was terribly crushed between the
cliffs, and dreadfully mangled by sharp and ragged rocks—where he was
seized by Death, the great greyhound of the bottomless pit—whence he
leaped the precipice, without breaking a bone; and sunk in the dead sea,
sunk to its utmost depth, and saw no corruption.

Behold the “Hind of the morning” on that dreadful mountain!  It is the
place of skulls, where death holds his carnival in companionship with
worms, and hell laughs in the face of heaven.  Dark storms are gathering
there—convolving clouds, charged with no common wrath.  Terrors set
themselves in battle-array before the Son of God; and tempests burst upon
him, which might sweep all mankind in a moment to eternal ruin.  Hark!
hear ye not the subterranean thunder?  Feel ye not the tremor of the
mountain?  It is the shock of Satan’s artillery, playing upon the Captain
of our salvation.  It is the explosion of the magazine of vengeance.  Lo,
the earth is quaking, the rocks are rending, the graves are opening, the
dead are rising, and all nature stands aghast at the conflict of divine
mercy with the powers of darkness.  One dread convulsion more, one cry of
desperate agony, and Jesus dies—an arrow has entered into his heart.  Now
leap the lions, roaring, upon their prey; and the bulls of Bashan are
bellowing; and the dogs of perdition are barking; and the unicorns toss
their horns on high; and the devil, dancing with exultant joy, clanks his
iron chains, and thrusts up his fettered hands in defiance toward the
face of Jehovah!

Go a little farther upon the mountain, and you come to “a new tomb hewn
out of the rock.”  There lies a dead body.  It is the body of Jesus.  His
disciples have laid it down in sorrow, and returned weeping to the city.
Mary’s heart is broken, Peter’s zeal is quenched in tears, and John would
fain lie down and die in his Master’s grave.  The sepulchre is closed up
and sealed, and a Roman sentry placed at its entrance.  On the morning of
the third day, while it is yet dark, two or three women come to anoint
the body.  They are debating about the great stone at the mouth of the
cave.  “Who shall roll it away?” says one of them.  “Pity we did not
bring Peter or John with us.”  But arriving, they find the stone already
rolled away, and one sitting upon it, whose countenance is like
lightning, and whose garments are white as the light.  The steel-clad,
iron-hearted soldiers lie around him, like men slain in battle, having
swooned with terror.  He speaks:—“Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here; he is risen; he is gone forth from this cave
victoriously.”

It is even so; for there are the shroud, and the napkin, and the heavenly
watchers; and when he awoke, and cast off his grave-clothes, the
earthquake was felt in the city, and jarred the gates of hell.  “The Hind
of the morning” is up earlier than any of his pursuers, “leaping upon the
mountains, and skipping upon the hills.”  He is seen first with Mary at
the tomb; then with the disciples in Jerusalem; then with two of them on
the way to Emmaus; then going before his brethren into Galilee; and
finally, leaping from the top of Olivet to the hills of Paradise; fleeing
away to “the mountains of spices,” where he shall never more be hunted by
the black prince and his hounds.

Christ is perfect master of gravitation, and all the laws of nature are
obedient to his will.  Once he walked upon the water, as if it were
marble beneath his feet; and now, as he stands blessing his people, the
glorious form so recently nailed to the cross, and still more recently
cold in the grave, begins to ascend like “the living creature” in
Ezekiel’s vision, “lifted up from the earth,” till nearly out of sight;
when “the chariots of God, even thousands of angels,” receive him, and
haste to the celestial city, waking the thrones of eternity with this
jubilant chorus—“Lift up your heads, O ye gates! and be ye lifted up, ye
everlasting doors! and the King of glory shall come in!”

Christ might have rode in a chariot of fire all the way from Bethlehem to
Calvary; but he preferred riding in a chariot of mercy, whose lining was
crimson, and whose ornament the malefactor’s cross.  How rapidly rolled
his wheels over the hills and the plains of Palestine, gathering up
everywhere the children of affliction, and scattering blessings like the
beams of the morning!  Now we find him in Cana of Galilee, turning water
into wine; then treading the waves of the sea, and hushing the roar of
the tempest; then delivering the demoniac of Gadara from the fury of a
legion of fiends; then healing the nobleman’s son at Capernaum; raising
the daughter of Jairus, and the young man of Nain; writing upon the grave
at Bethany—“I am the resurrection and the life;” curing the invalid at
the pool of Bethesda; feeding the five thousand in the wilderness;
preaching to the woman by Jacob’s well; acquitting the adulteress, and
shaming her accusers; and exercising everywhere, in all his travels, the
three offices of Physician, Prophet, and Saviour, as he drove on toward
the place of skulls.

Now we see the chariot surrounded with enemies—Herod, and Pilate, and
Caiaphas, and the Roman soldiers, and the populace of Jerusalem, and
thousands of Jews who have come up to keep the Passover, led on by Judas
and the devil.  See how they rage and curse, as if they would tear him
from his chariot of mercy.  But Jesus maintains his seat, and holds fast
the reins, and drives right on through the angry crowd, without shooting
an arrow, or lifting a spear upon his foes.  For in that chariot the King
must ride to Calvary—Calvary must be consecrated to mercy for ever.  He
sees the cross planted upon the brow of the hill, and hastens forward to
embrace it.  No sacrifice shall be offered to Justice on this day, but
the one sacrifice which reconciles heaven and earth.  None of those
children of Belial shall suffer to-day.  The bribed witnesses, and
clamorous murderers, shall be spared—the smiters, the scourgers, the
spitters, the thorn-platters, the nail-drivers, the head-shakers for
Jesus pleads on their behalf—“Father, forgive them! they know not what
they do.  They are ignorant of thy truth and grace.  They are not aware
whom they are crucifying.  O, spare them!  Let Death know that he shall
have enough to do with me to-day!  Let him open all his batteries upon
me!  My bosom is bare to the stroke!  I will gather all the lances of
hell in my heart!”

Still the chariot rushes on, and “fiery darts” are falling thick and
fast, like a shower of meteors, on Messiah’s head, till he is covered
with wounds, and the blood flows down his garments, and leaves a crimson
track behind him.  As he passes, he casts at the dying malefactor a
glance of benignity, and throws him a passport into Paradise, written
with his own blood; stretches forth his scepter, and touches the
prison-door of death, and many of the prisoners come forth, and the
tyrant shall never regain his dominion over them; rides triumphant over
thrones and principalities, and crushes beneath his wheels the last enemy
himself, and leaves the memorial of his march engraven on the rocks of
Golgotha!

Christ is everywhere in the Scriptures spoken of as a blessing; and
whether we contemplate his advent, his ministry, his miracles, his agony,
his crucifixion, his interment, his resurrection, or his ascension, we
may truly say, “all his paths drop fatness.”  All his travels were on the
road of mercy; and trees are growing up in his footsteps, whose fruit is
delicious food, and whose “leaves are for the healing of the nations.”
He walketh upon the south winds, causing propitious gales to blow upon
the wilderness, till songs of joy awake in the solitary place, and the
desert blossoms as the rose.

If we will consider what the prophets wrote of Messiah, in connection
with the evangelical history, we shall be satisfied that none like him,
either before or since, ever entered our world, and departed from it.
Both God and man—at once the Father of eternity and the son of time—he
filled the universe, while he was imbodied upon earth; and ruled the
celestial principalities and powers, while he wandered—a persecuted
stranger—in Judea.  “No man,” saith he, “hath ascended up to heaven, but
he that came down from heaven—even the Son of man, who is in heaven.”

Heaven was no strange place to Jesus.  He talks of the mansions in his
Father’s house as familiarly as one of the royal family would talk of
Windsor Castle, where he was born; and saith to his disciples—“I go to
prepare a place for you; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  The
glory into which he entered was his own glory—the glory which he had with
the Father before the world was.  He had an original and supreme right to
the celestial mansions; and he acquired a new and additional claim by his
office as mediator.  Having suffered for our sins, he “ought to enter
into his glory.”  He ought, because he is “God, blessed for ever”—he
ought, because he is the representative of his redeemed people.  He has
taken possession of the kingdom in our behalf, and left on record for our
encouragement this cheering promise—“To him that overcometh will I grant
to sit with me in my throne; even as I also have overcome, and am set
down with my Father in his throne.”

The departure of God from Eden, and the departure of Christ from the
earth, were two of the sublimest events that ever occurred, and fraught
with immense consequences to our race.  When Jehovah went out from Eden,
he left a curse upon the place for man’s sake, and drove out man before
him into an accursed earth.  But when Jesus ascended from Olivet, he
lifted the curse with him, and left a blessing behind him—sowed the world
with the seed of eternal blessings; “and instead of the thorn shall come
up the fir-tree; and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle-tree;
and it shall be to the Lord for a name, and an everlasting sign, that
shall not be cut off.”  He ascended to intercede for sinners, and reopen
paradise to his people; and when he shall come the second time, according
to the promise, with all his holy angels, then shall we be “caught up to
meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

“The Lord is gone up with a shout,” and has taken our redeemed nature
with him.  He is the head of the church, and her representative at the
right hand of the Father.  “He hath ascended on high; he hath led
captivity captive; he hath received gifts for men; yea, for the
rebellious also, that God may dwell among them.”  “Him hath God exalted,
with his own right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance
to Israel, and remission of sins.”  This is the Father’s recognition of
his “Beloved Son,” and significant acceptance of his sacrifice.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which
is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of
things in heaven, and things in the earth, and things under the earth;
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the
glory of God the Father.”

The evidence of our Lord’s ascension is ample.  He ascended in the
presence of many witnesses, who stood gazing after him till a cloud
received him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly
toward heaven, two angels appeared to them, and talked with them of what
they had seen.  Soon afterward, on the day of Pentecost, he fulfilled, in
a remarkable manner, the promise which he had made to his people:—“If I
go away, I will send you another Comforter, who shall abide with you for
ever.”  Stephen, the first of his disciples that glorified the Master by
martyrdom, testified to his murderers—“Lo, I see the heavens opened, and
the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God!”  And John, “the
beloved disciple,” while an exile “in Patmos, for the word of God, and
the testimony of Jesus Christ,” beheld him “in the midst of the throne,
as a Lamb that had been slain!”  These are the evidences that our Lord is
in heaven; these are our consolations in the house of our pilgrimage.

The apostle speaks of the _necessity_ of this event:—“Whom the heaven
_must_ receive.”

Divine necessity is a golden chain, reaching from eternity to eternity,
and encircling all the events of time.  It consists of many links, all
hanging upon each other; and not one of them can be broken, without
destroying the support of the whole.  The first link is in God, “before
the world was;” and the last is in heaven, when the world shall be no
more.  Christ is its Alpha and Omega, and Christ constitutes all its
intervenient links.  Christ in the bosom of the Father, receiving the
promise of eternal life, before the foundation of the world, is the
beginning; Christ in his sacrificial blood, atoning for our sins, and
pardoning and sanctifying all them that believe, is the middle; and
Christ in heaven, pleading the merit of his vicarious sufferings, making
intercession for the transgressors, drawing all men unto himself,
presenting the prayers of his people, and preparing their mansions, is
the end.

There is a necessity in all that Christ has done as our Mediator, in all
that he is doing on our behalf, and all that he has engaged to do—the
necessity of Divine love manifested, of Divine mercy exercised, of Divine
purposes accomplished, of Divine covenants fulfilled, of Divine
faithfulness maintained, of Divine justice satisfied, of Divine holiness
vindicated, and of Divine power displayed, Christ felt this necessity
while he tabernacled among us, often declared it to his disciples, and
acknowledged it to the Father in the agony of the garden.

Behold him wrestling in prayer, with strong crying and tears:—“Father,
save me from this hour!  If it be possible, let this cup pass from me!”
Now the Father reads to him his covenant engagement, which he signed and
sealed with his own hand before the foundation of the world.  The
glorious Sufferer replies:—“Thy will be done!  For this cause came I unto
this hour.  I will drink the cup which thou hast mingled, and not a dreg
of any of its ingredients shall be left for my people.  I will pass
through the approaching dreadful night, under the hidings of thy
countenance, bearing away the curse from my beloved.  Henceforth,
repentance is hidden from mine eyes!”  Now, on his knees, he reads the
covenant engagements of the Father, and adds:—“I have glorified thee on
the earth.  I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  Now
glorify thou me, according to thy promise, with thine own self, with the
glory which I had with thee before the world was.  Father, I will also
that they whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may
behold my glory.  Thine they were, and thou hast given them to me, on
condition of my pouring out my soul unto death.  Thou hast promised them,
through my righteousness and meritorious sacrifice, the kingdom of
heaven, which I now claim on their behalf.  Father, glorify my people,
with him whom thou lovedst before the foundation of the world!”

The intercession of Christ for his saints, begun on earth, is continued
in heaven.  This is our confidence and joy in our journeyings through the
wilderness.  We know that our Joshua has gone over into the land of our
inheritance, where he is preparing a place of habitation for Israel, for
it is his will that all whom he has redeemed should be with him for ever!

The text speaks of the period when the great purposes of our Lord’s
ascension shall be fully accomplished:—“until the times of restitution of
all things.”

The period here mentioned is “the dispensation of the fulness of time,”
when “the fulness of the gentiles shall come in,” and “the dispersed of
Judah” shall be restored, and Christ shall “gather together in himself
all things in heaven and in earth,” overthrow his enemies, establish his
everlasting kingdom, deliver the groaning creation from its bondage,
glorify his people with himself, imprison the devil and his angels in the
bottomless pit, and punish with destruction from his presence them that
obey not the gospel.

To this glorious consummation, the great travail of redemption, and all
the events of time, are only preparatory.  It was promised in Eden, and
the promise was renewed and enlarged to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
It was described in gorgeous oriental imagery by Isaiah, and “the sweet
psalmist of Israel;” and “spoken of by all the prophets, since the world
began.”  Christ came into the world to prepare the way for his future
triumph—to lay on Calvary the “chief corner-stone” of a temple, which
shall be completed at the end of time, and endure through all eternity.
He began the great restitution.  He redeemed his people with a price, and
gave them a pledge of redemption by power.  He made an end of sin,
abolished the Levitical priesthood, and swallowed up all the types and
shadows in himself.  He sent home the beasts, overthrew the altars, and
quenched the holy fire; and, upon the sanctifying altar of his own
divinity, offered his own sinless humanity, which was consumed by fire
from heaven.  He removed the seat of government from Mount Zion in
Jerusalem, to Mount Zion above, where he sits—“a priest upon his
throne”—drawing heaven and earth together, and establishing “the covenant
of peace between them both.”  Blessed be God! we can now go to Jesus, the
mediator; passing by millions of angels, and all the spirits of just men
made perfect; till we “come to the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh
better things than that of Abel.”  And we look for that blessed day, when
“this gospel of the kingdom” shall be universally prevalent; “and all
shall know the Lord, from the least even to the greatest”—when there
shall be “a new heaven, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth
righteousness”—when both the political and the moral aspects of our world
shall be changed; and a happier state of things shall exist than has ever
been known before—when the pestilence, the famine, and the sword shall
cease to destroy; and “the saints of the Most High shall possess the
kingdom,” in “quietness and assurance for ever.”  “Then cometh the end,”
when Emmanuel “shall destroy in this mountain the vail of the covering
cast over all people, and swallow up death in victory!”

But what will it avail you to hear of this glorious restitution, if you
are not partakers of its incipient benefits, and happily interested in
its consummation?  Has it begun in your own hearts?  Are you restored to
God in Christ?  Have you a place in his house, and a name among his
people?  Are your feet running the way of his commandments, and your
hands diligent in doing his work?  If not, “it is high time to awake out
of sleep.”  “Repent and believe the gospel!”  “Let the wicked forsake his
way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the
Lord, who will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will
abundantly pardon!”



SERMON XV.
TRIBULATION CONQUERED.


    “_These things have I spoken unto you_, _that in me ye might have
    peace_.  _In the world ye shall have tribulation_; _but be of good
    cheer_; _I have overcome the world_.”—John xvi. 33.

THE last sayings of those we love are not soon forgotten.  These words
form the conclusion of our Lord’s valedictory to his disciples.  They did
not yet understand that the redemption of man was to be obtained by the
death of their Master.  When Christ was put to death, he descended to the
lower parts of the earth, in order to raise up sinners; but their faith
could not follow him into the deep.  Nicholas Pisces sunk into the sea to
raise a golden cup, but neither he nor the cup ever came up again.  A man
clothed in glass went down to prepare for raising the Royal George; the
man came up, but the ship remains in the bottom.  But our blessed
Redeemer, clothed in humanity, descended to the deeps of death, and
raised the church from the pit of perdition, and founded her upon a rock,
against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.

We would notice, _first_, the peace that is in Christ, in opposition to
the tribulation that is in the world; and _secondly_, the victory of
Christ over the world, as the source of comfort and joy to believers.

I.  “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.
I know what you will have in the world—mountains of tribulation—nothing
but tribulation.  I will put my peace in the other end of the scale.”

Peace in Christ is “the peace of God which passeth all understanding”—an
ocean sufficiently deep and large to swallow up millions of fiery
mountains.  See the awakened sinner, overwhelmed with the terrors of God.
His inflexible justice and spotless holiness seem to him like a mountain
of flame, which he cannot approach without being consumed.  But the Holy
Spirit shows him the reconciling blood of the cross.  He sees the
crucified God-man rising from the grave, and ascending on high, “to be a
Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and remission of sins.”
Instantly the terrible mountain sinks and is lost in the sea of his
Redeemer’s merit.  His faith has conquered his fears.  His burden of
guilt is gone.  He is a new creature in Christ Jesus, and in Christ Jesus
there is no condemnation.  The deluge of tribulation may swell and roar
around him, but he is securely enclosed in the ark.

A man in a trance saw himself locked up in a house of steel, through the
walls of which, as through walls of glass, he could see his enemies
assailing him with swords, spears, and bayonets; but his life was safe,
for his fortress was locked within.  So is the Christian secure amid the
assaults of the world.  His “life is hid with Christ in God.”

The psalmist prayed—“When my heart is overwhelmed within me, lead me to
the Rock that is higher than I.”  Imagine a man seated on a lofty rock in
the midst of the sea, where he has every thing necessary for his support,
shelter, safety, and comfort.  The billows heave and break beneath him,
and the hungry monsters of the deep wait to devour him; but he is on
high, above the rage of the former, and the reach of the latter.  Such is
the security of faith.

But why need I mention the rock and the steel house? for the peace that
is in Christ is a tower ten thousand times stronger, and a refuge ten
thousand times safer.  Behold the disciples of Jesus exposed to famine,
nakedness, peril, and sword—incarcerated in dungeons; thrown to wild
beasts; consumed in the fire; sawn asunder; cruelly mocked and scourged;
driven from friends and home, to wander among the mountains, and lodge in
dens and caves of the earth; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
sorrowful, but always rejoicing; cast down, but not destroyed; an ocean
of peace within, which swallows up all their sufferings.

“Neither death,” with all its terrors; “nor life,” with all its
allurements; “nor things present,” with all their pleasure; “nor things
to come,” with all their promise; “nor height” of prosperity; “nor depth”
of adversity; “nor angels” of evil; “nor principalities” of darkness;
“shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
Jesus.”  “God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the
mountains be carried into the midst of the sea—though the waters thereof
roar and be troubled—though the mountains shake with the swelling
thereof.”  This is the language of strong faith in the peace of Christ.
How is it with you amid such turmoil and commotion?  Is all peaceful
within?  Do you feel secure in the name of the Lord, as in a strong
fortress—as in a city well supplied and defended?

“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacles of the most high.  God is in the midst
of her; she shall not be moved.  God shall help her, and that right
early.”  “Unto the upright, there ariseth light in the darkness.”  The
bright and morning star, shining upon their pathway, cheers them in their
journey home to their Father’s house.  And when they come to pass over
Jordan, the Sun of Righteousness shall have risen upon them, with healing
in his wings.  Already they see the tops of the mountains of immortality,
gilded with his beams, beyond the valley of the shadow of death.  Behold,
yonder, old Simeon hoisting his sails, and saying—“Lord, now lettest thou
thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have
seen thy salvation.”  Such is the peace of Jesus, sealed to all them that
believe, by the blood of his cross.

When we walk through the field of battle, slippery with blood, and strewn
with the bodies of the slain—when we hear the shrieks and the groans of
the wounded and the dying—when we see the country wasted, cities burned,
houses pillaged, widows and orphans wailing in the track of the
victorious army, we cannot help exclaiming—O, what a blessing is peace!
When we are obliged to witness family turmoils and strifes—when we see
parents and children, brothers and sisters, masters and servants,
husbands and wives, contending with each other like tigers—we retire as
from a smoky house, and exclaim as we go—O, what a blessing is peace!
When duty calls us into that church, where envy and malice prevail, and
the spirit of harmony is supplanted by discord and contention—when we see
brethren, who ought to be bound together in love, full of pride, hatred,
confusion, and every evil work—we quit the unhallowed scene with painful
feelings of repulsion, repeating the exclamation—O, what a blessing is
peace!

But how much more precious in the case of the awakened sinner!  See him
standing, terror-stricken, before mount Sinai.  Thunders roll above
him—lightnings flash around him—the earth trembles beneath him, as if
ready to open her mouth and swallow him up.  The sound of the trumpet
rings through his soul—“Guilty! guilty! guilty!”  Pale and trembling, he
looks eagerly around him, and sees nothing but revelations of wrath.
Overwhelmed with fear and dismay, he cries out—“O wretched man that I am!
Who shall deliver me!  What shall I do?”  A voice reaches his
ear—penetrates his heart—“Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the
sin of the world!”  He turns his eyes to Calvary.  Wonderous vision!
Emmanuel expiring upon the cross! the sinner’s Substitute satisfying the
demand of the law against the sinner!  Now all his fears are hushed, and
rivers of peace flow into his soul.  This is the peace of Christ.

How precious is this peace, amid all the dark vicissitudes of life!  How
invaluable this jewel, through all the dangers of the wilderness!  How
cheering to know that Jesus, who hath loved us even unto death, is the
pilot of our perilous voyage; that he rules the winds and the waves, and
can hush them to silence at his will, and bring the frailest bark of
faith to the desired haven!  Trusting where he cannot trace his Master’s
footsteps, the disciple is joyful amid the darkest dispensations of
Divine Providence; turning all his sorrows into songs, and all his
tribulations into triumphs.  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose
mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”

II.  The victory of Christ over the world, the source of comfort and joy
to believers.  “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good
cheer; I have overcome the world.”

The world is the great castle of Belial, containing three temples; “the
lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life;” in one or
another of which every unconverted soul is a worshipper.  But Jesus has
demolished that castle, and abolished the service of its several temples.

The world has two modes of warfare.  Sometimes it puts on the apparent
mildness of a lamb, and allures to destruction with the song of a siren.
Again it leaps upon its prey like an angry lion, or pursues its victim
like an exasperated dragon.  Its frown has destroyed thousands; its
smile, tens of thousands.

A certain man has laid it down as a rule, that all must take the world as
it is.  But all general rules have their exceptions.  Christ is the
exception here.  Christ conquered the world.  The Prince of this world
met him in the wilderness, when he was alone, in poverty and
distress—weary, hungry, and thirsty—and offered him all the kingdoms of
the world, for which have been fought so many battles.  But Jesus refused
the offer; choosing rather to be poor, that we might be made rich.  He
detected the lion in his affectation of the lamb, and stripped from the
angel of darkness his garment of light.

Then the enemy assumed another aspect—assailed him with the rage of a
wild beast, and the malice of a fiend.  No sooner had he preached his
first sermon, than there was an attempt to hurl him down the precipice.
“The archers sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him.”  Judea
became to him a mountain of leopards, and humanity seemed infernalized.
He was stigmatized as a hypocrite—an impostor—a demoniac.  He was falsely
accused before rulers, and insult was added to perjury.  “But his bow
abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the
hands of the mighty God of Jacob.”  “He was tempted in all things like as
we are, yet without sin.”  “He did no iniquity, neither was guile found
in his mouth.”  He went through the wilderness without contracting any of
its defilement.

But this was comparatively a small part of his victory.  A more glorious
conquest of the world was achieved by his death upon the cross, and his
resurrection from the grave.  It is here we behold him “glorious in his
apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength,” trampling the hosts
of hell, till his raiment is red with blood.  It is here we behold him
“spoiling principalities and powers, and making a show of them
openly—triumphing over them” in his atonement.  It is here we behold the
Prince of this world cast out and judged.  The Prince of Peace has broken
his sceptre, demolished his throne, and established upon the ruins of his
empire an everlasting kingdom of grace.

Caiaphas rejoiced that Christ was under the king’s seal in the grave; but
his unholy joy was brief as “the crackling of thorns under a pot.”  At
the dawning of the third day, Cæsar’s seal is broken, the stone rolled
away, the tomb deserted of its occupant, Caiaphas’ feast of joy turned to
lamentation and mourning, and the eternal power and Godhead of him whom
they crucified engraved for ever on the rent rocks of Calvary.

Alexander conquered the world, but did not live to enjoy the fruits of
his victory.  But the Captain of our salvation, though he was dead, is
alive for evermore.  He shall prosecute his conquests, and put all
enemies under his feet, and retain his dominion for ever.  “He shall see
of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied.”  He lives to confer upon
his people the riches which he procured for them by his death.  He lives
to defend his redeemed, and draw all men unto himself.  He lives to
perpetuate in the church the peace which he bequeathed to her in his last
will and testament.

A servant of Julian the Apostate asked one of the martyrs—“What is thy
God, the carpenter, doing now in heaven?”  He answered—“Making a coffin
for thy master!”  Julian was soon afterward mortally wounded by an arrow
from one of the Scythians.  When he was expiring, he waved his hand
sorrowfully, and exclaimed—“O Galilean, thou hast conquered!”

“Be of good cheer,” therefore, ye trembling disciples!  Christ has
vanquished all your enemies.  Ye are more than conquerors, through him
that loved you, and gave himself for you.  “In those things wherein they
were proud, he was above them.”  When Pharaoh exulted to overtake Israel,
shut in between Pi-hahiroth and Baal-zephon, with the sea before them,
Jehovah was higher than the Egyptian.  His sight was clearer—his arm was
stronger—his purpose was firmer.  He said to his people—“Stand still! you
are not able to raise this rampart.  I must do it for you.  I will divide
the sea, and lead you through on dry land, and drown those who have
drowned so many of your infants.  Every one of them shall perish, from
the king to the last footman.”  Thus the Prince of Peace has triumphed
over your foes, and you may conquer through faith in his conquest.
“Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory
that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

John in the Apocalypse saw the army of the victors—a great multitude, out
of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues—standing before
the throne, and before the Lamb; clothed with white robes, and palms in
their hands; and crying with a loud voice—“Salvation to our God, who
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb!”  And one of the elders asked
him—“Who are these, and whence came they?”  But so wonderfully were they
changed, since he saw them on earth—in exile, in prison, in torture and
death—that he confessed he knew them not.  Then answered the elder—“These
are they that came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes,
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before
the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that
sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.  They shall hunger no more,
neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any
heat.  For the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them,
and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe
away all tears from their eyes.”

Thus, ye saints, shall you “overcome by the blood of the Lamb;” “for
greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world;” and your
sorrows shall be lost in unspeakable joy, and your disgrace in eternal
glory!



SERMON XVI.
THE GLORY OF THE GOSPEL.


    “_According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God_.”—1 Tim. i.
    11.

THE being of God, and some of his attributes, are revealed to us by
natural religion.  The proof is seen in all his works, commending itself
to the reason and conscience even of pagan nations.  “Because that which
may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath showed it unto
them; for the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world,
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his
eternal power and godhead; so that they are without excuse, because that
when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful,
but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was
darkened.” {223}

Paul’s sermon in Athens was founded on the revelations of natural
religion:—“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men
of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious; for as
I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this
inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD; whom therefore ye ignorantly worship,
him declare I unto you.  God that made the world and all things therein,
seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made
with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed
any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and
hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of
the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds
of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might
feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us;
for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your
own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” {224}

But natural religion, though it reveals the being and attributes of God,
cannot teach the way of salvation, nor lead us in the path of holiness.
It may excite a thousand fears, not one of which can it allay; and
suggest a thousand questions, not one of which can it answer.  It leaves
us, with the deist, in a region of doubt and perplexity; and neither of
its four oracles—creation, providence, reason, and conscience—can satisfy
the soul that inquires, “What must I do to be saved?”  Its light affords
us no guidance in the path of virtue; no certain indications of duty,
either to God or man.  Our understandings are so darkened, our wills so
perverted, our affections so carnal, that we can depend upon no
suggestions of external nature, or of reason and conscience, for the
regulation of our moral conduct.  God, therefore, of his infinite mercy,
has given us his written word—a perfect rule both of faith and practice—a
law by which we ought to live, and by which we shall be judged—a
revelation of the mystery which had been hidden for ages, but is now made
manifest to the saints, dispelling the fears of conscience, soothing the
sorrows of the heart, and bringing life and immortality to light.

Divine revelation, though infinitely above human reason, does not in the
least oppose it.  That God should clearly make known his will to man, is
so far from being contrary to reason, that we may truly say, nothing is
more reasonable.  The deductions of reason from the insufficiency of
natural religion strongly indicate the necessity of such a revelation;
and as to its possibility, we know that there can be no impossibility on
the part of God to give it, and there is no impossibility on the part of
man to receive it.  God is able to communicate his will to his creatures
in any way he pleases.  He can stamp it on the mind, and make us know
that it is he who speaks to us.  But he has chosen another method.  He
has given us a record of his will in the Holy Scriptures.  “God who, at
sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers
by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom
he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we
have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”

Is the gospel the truth of God or not?  Much has been written on this
question.  The arguments that have been advanced in support of the
affirmative have never been overthrown, and never can be, by all the
skeptics in the world.  The revelation of the method of salvation was
given in the garden of Eden to our first parents.  Since that period
great talents have been employed, talents worthy of a better cause, in
ridiculing the Bible; but to very little purpose.  The character of the
Book of God stands firm as a mountain amid the clouds, the thunders, and
the whirlwinds; and all the opposition of infidels and blasphemers,
instead of tarnishing, have only brightened its lustre; and from every
trial through which it has passed, it has come forth as fine gold from
the furnace.  The religions of the world, the vices and virtues of the
world, all its wisdom and sagacity, and all its power and authority, in
league with the demons of the pit, have not been able to destroy the
gospel, or stay the wheels of its chariot.  Though they were headed by
the prince of darkness—the prince of this world—the prince of the power
of the air, that worked mightily in the children of disobedience, in
Palestine, in Greece and Rome, and all over the world; yet the gospel has
proved triumphant.  Its enemies, human and infernal, may wonder and be
amazed at its prosperity; but let them remember that its author is the
living God, and liveth for ever.  Though its ministers have been
persecuted and imprisoned, stoned, sawn asunder, slain with the sword,
and burnt in the flames; yet the word of the Lord is not bound, but is
freely preached in many parts of the world, and its doctrines and
practices maintained in their purity by multitudes of Christians,
notwithstanding the most dreadful attempts that have been made at
different times to corrupt and destroy them.  “For all flesh is as grass,
and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth and
the flower thereof falleth away; but the word of the Lord endureth for
ever.  And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

We would now call your attention to the Divine authority of the gospel,
and its characteristic glory.

I.  It is “the gospel of the blessed God”—a message from God to man—a
revelation of God’s gracious method of saving sinners through the death
of his Son—a declaration of his sovereign love and mercy to the utterly
wretched and perishing children of men.  It testifieth of the coming of
the promised Messiah; of the glory of his person as God-man; of the
excellency of his offices, as our Prophet, Priest, and King; the honor
which he has conferred upon the law that we have violated, and the
satisfaction which he has given to the Divine justice that we have
insulted.  It records the sufferings and death of Christ, his victory
over the powers of darkness, his resurrection from the grave, his
ascension to glory, his session at the right hand of the Father, and his
intercession for sinners on the ground of his vicarious sufferings; and
predicts his second coming in glory, on the clouds of heaven, to judge
the quick and the dead.

I do not mean to say that there is no other truth necessary to be
preached and believed, but all the truths of Divine revelation are
immediately connected with the doctrine of the cross.  This is the
testimony that the Father hath testified of his Son.  This is the glad
tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people.  This is the
faithful saying, or true report, that is worthy of all acceptation, that
Christ Jesus came into the world to save the chief of sinners.  This is
“the glorious gospel of the blessed God;” emanating from his spirit, and
conducting to his kingdom.  Let us consider the evidences of its Divine
authority.

The perfections of God, in some degree, are manifested in all his works
and words; his character is stamped on every thing that his hands hath
formed, and his mouth hath spoken; so that there is a vast difference
between the work and language of God, and the work and language of men.
This is especially the case in reference to the Christian revelation.  It
is “the gospel of the blessed God,” and bears throughout the impress of
its author.  When John saw the Lamb in the midst of the throne, he had no
difficulty in determining that he was a proper object of adoration and
praise.  As soon as any one sees the stone with seven eyes laid before
Zerubabel, he knows that it is not a common stone.  When you look to the
book of the firmament, the fingers of the Creator’s eternal power and
Godhead are evidently seen in the sun, the moon and the stars.  So, in
the Bible, we trace the same Divine hand.  As often as I read it, I see
eternity, with its flaming eye, gazing upon me.  It unfolds to me the
mysteries of creation and providence.  It informs me who made, and still
sustains and governs the universe.  It leads me to the spring and
original cause of all things; and places me immediately before the eyes
of the eternal God; and I find myself, in his presence, both killed and
made alive—most dreadfully oppressed, and set at perfect liberty—sunk in
the valley of repentance and humiliation, and lifted upon the top of
Pisgah—full of fears, and full of joy—desiring to hide myself from his
sight, yet wishing to abide in the light of his countenance for ever!

I see the eye of Omniscience looking out upon me from every chapter of
the Bible—from every doctrine, every precept, every promise, every
ordinance of the gospel—penetrating alike the darkness and the
light—searching me through and through, till I can hide nothing from its
gaze—giving me a faithful representation of my conscience and my
heart—making me hate myself, and confess my uncleanness, and cry out for
the creation of a right spirit within me.  And then I see it looking far
into futurity—discovering, many hundreds of years beforehand, the
smallest circumstances in the life and death of Jesus, even to the price
of his betrayal, the gall mingled with his drink, and the lot cast for
his vesture.  How can I doubt that this is the eye of God?

Again: I see Holiness, Justice, and Truth, gazing upon me from the very
heart of the gospel, like so many eyes of consuming fire.  I tremble
before them, like Moses before the burning bush, or Israel at the base of
Sinai.  Yet do I wish to behold this terrible glory, for it is mingled
with milder beams of mercy.  I take off my shoes, and approach that I may
contemplate.  “Truly, God is in this place!”  I cannot live in sin under
the intense blaze of his countenance.  But here also I find the cleft of
the Rock, even the Rock of Ages, wherein he hides me with his hand, while
he makes all his goodness pass before me, and proclaims to me his
name—“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity,
and transgression, and sin, and by no means clearing the guilty!”

“The word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword;
piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints
and marrow; and discerning”—revealing—condemning—correcting—“the thoughts
and intents of the heart.”  It unlocks my soul, and sits upon its throne;
an infallible judge over all my secret imaginations, purposes, and
feelings; bringing them under its own perfect law; examining them in the
light of spotless holiness, inflexible justice, and eternal truth.  And
when I shrink from the scrutiny, overwhelmed with a sense of my
corruption, and confessing my guilt with a broken and contrite heart,
then it speaks to me of the boundless love of God, and the infinite merit
of Christ; and “a still small voice” directs my sight to the holy of
holies; where I see, through the rent vail, the King of Zion, sitting
upon his throne of grace, more glorious than the ancient Shekinah upon
the mercy-seat.  I approach with joyful confidence, and find him invested
with my own nature, “God manifest in the flesh,” his royal garments red
with sacrificial blood; and again I hear the still small voice—“Thy faith
hath saved thee; go in peace!”  And when the dark mountains of
tribulation rise up before me, I see their tops gilded with beams of
love; and when I look into the valley of the shadow of death, I see it
brightening with the footsteps of the Son of God; and when the soul sits
solitary and dejected in her mortal prison, longing for the wings of a
dove, that she may fly away and be at rest, she sees the eyes of her
Deliverer looking through the crevices of the wall, and hears his voice
at the grated window—“Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for
I am thy God!”

Thus the gospel commends itself to my conscience and my heart, as “the
gospel of the blessed God.”  But there is other, and if possible still
stronger, proof of its divinity; namely, its power to renew the human
soul, and reform the human character.  The Earl of Rochester was a great
skeptic, and one of the most witty and sarcastic men of his age.  In his
last sickness, he was reading the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah; where
the prophet, in so graphic and touching a manner, describes the vicarious
sufferings of Christ.  It scattered all his deistical doubts, as the sun
scatters the mist of the morning; led him with a broken and believing
heart to the atoning Lamb of God; and converted his death-bed into a
vestibule of heaven.  This is not a solitary case.  Thousands and
millions have been, in like manner, awakened and converted through the
gospel, and brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.  It
is “mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong-holds; casting down
imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God; and bringing into captivity every thought to the
obedience of Christ”—turning men from darkness to light, and from the
power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins, and an
inheritance among all them that are sanctified through faith in Jesus.
Matthew at the custom-house, the woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well, the
dying malefactor upon the cross, the penitent jailor at Philippi, the
blasphemous persecutor on the road to Damascus, and three thousand souls
under Peter’s preaching at the Pentecost, all found it “the power of God
unto salvation.”  And still it retains its convincing and quickening
virtue.  Wherever it is proclaimed in its purity, and accompanied with
the power of the Holy Ghost, proud and hardened sinners are pricked in
their hearts, and forced to cry out—“Men and brethren, what must we do?”
It answers the question.  It points to the crucified and saith—“Believe
and be saved!”  It reconciles the enemy unto God.  It makes the
blasphemer a man of prayer, the sensualist a man of purity, the inebriate
a man of sobriety; and where sin abounded, grace much more abounds.  The
dead whom Jesus quickened had no time to inquire into the mysterious
process by which the work was wrought.  They sprang instantly into life
by the power of God.  Yet the evidence of the change was clear and
incontestible.  So it is with the transforming effects of the gospel.  We
cannot rationally doubt its power to raise the soul from death in
trespasses and sins.  Suppose I have been long afflicted with a cancer,
or have been bitten by a mad-dog, or a rattlesnake; and I find a
sovereign and instantaneous remedy; but after I am cured, a skeptic calls
upon me, and tries to convince me that the remedy is good for nothing,
insists that it is a cheat lately invented by a villain, demands of me to
prove that such things were used before the deluge, and asks me a
thousand questions about the cure which Solomon could not answer; how can
I look upon such a man as better than a maniac?  I have tried the
experiment, and found it successful; and all his pretended philosophical
reasoning rings in my ears like a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
The wisdom of men has invented many remedies for the guilt and the love
of sin; but the vain philosophy of the world has never, like the gospel,
restored a single soul to peace, purity, and happiness.  I can truly say,
after the most careful self-examination, and millions more can testify
the same thing, that the gospel, in the hand of the Spirit of God, has
subdued the love of sin, and quenched the fire of guilt within me; and
has taken away the sting of death, and the terrors of the grave.  If the
infidel will allow that I am a sane man, and a man of truth, what farther
proof does he want that this is “the gospel of the blessed God?”

Once more: The character of God, as exhibited in the gospel, is perfect,
every way worthy of himself, infinitely above any original conception of
the human mind.  The gods of Homer and Virgil are cruel and revengeful.
The god of Mohammed delights in pollution and crime.  The god of Voltaire
is a buffoon, and the god of Paine a tyrant.  But the gospel represents
the Deity in his true character, as the concentration and the fountain of
all moral excellence.

All this evidence of the Divine authority of the gospel is corroborated
by an overwhelming array of external proof.  It was certainly written by
the men whose names it bears.  They were men of irreproachable character.
Their declarations were confirmed by the testimony of miracles, and the
fulfilment of prophecy.  Jesus of Nazareth was crucified on Calvary, rose
from the dead the third day, and ascended to heaven, according to the
Scriptures.  These were facts believed by the primitive Christians, and
admitted by their enemies.  They were received with the most perfect
confidence by the immediate successors of the original witnesses; and
farther corroborated by the testimony of neutrals, apostates, and the
most inveterate opponents.  The question therefore is settled; all is
admitted that is necessary to prove that the Christian’s gospel is “the
gospel of the blessed God.”

II.  It is “the _glorious_ gospel”—emphatically and pre-eminently
glorious; and this is our second topic of discourse.

It is a wonderful exhibition of the glory of God—the most perfect
revelation of the Divine attributes ever granted to man—displaying the
sovereign mercy of the Father, in the gift of his beloved Son; the
infinite compassion of Christ, in offering himself upon the cross for our
sins; and the gracious power of the Holy Spirit, in turning us from
darkness to light, and renewing us in righteousness and true holiness
after the image of God.

But it is chiefly from a comparison of the gospel with the law, both in
its dispensation and its character, that we see its transcendent glory.
On this point let us fix our attention.

“The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
The ministration of the law brought the angels from heaven to earth, but
the ministration of the gospel required the incarnation of the God of
angels.  The Mediator of the new covenant is Jehovah enshrined in
humanity—“Emmanuel”—“God with us”—“God manifest in the flesh”—“the
fulness of the Godhead,” that “filleth all in all,” imbodied and made
visible in the lowly Son of David.

This is the foundation of the apostle’s argument, by which he convicts
the despisers of the gospel of greater guilt than the transgressors of
the law.  “If the word spoken by angels”—that is, the law given upon
Sinai—“was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a
just recompense of reward; how shall we escape”—we who have heard the
glad tidings of the gospel—“if we neglect so great salvation; which at
first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them
that heard him; God also bearing them witness, with signs, and wonders,
and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost?”  If God is greater
than man, then the gospel is greater than the law; and its superior
excellence constitutes for it a superior claim upon our faith and our
affections; and the strength of that claim graduates the guilt of its
rejection.  There is a fire more intense than that which flamed on Sinai,
and a judgment more terrible than that of Korah and his confederates.
“He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy, under two or three
witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought
worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the
blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the
Spirit of grace!”

The ceremonial law contained many a type and shadow of Messiah; but the
gospel is the history of his advent and mediatorial work.  The ceremonial
law pointed to the coming Prince of Peace; but the gospel brings him to
his throne, and puts the crown upon his head.  Christ is “the brightness
of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person;” and Moses
and Aaron are lost in his light, as the moon and the stars in the blaze
of the rising sun.  The excellence of his person, the merit of his
sacrifice, and the utility of his offices, give him an immense
superiority.  The many prophets, priests, and kings, of the former
dispensation, were but the shadows cast by the one great Prophet, Priest,
and King, which indicated his coming.  A light arose from the cross of
Calvary which turned the black cloud on Sinai into a pillar of glory.

Typical blood shielded the children of Israel from the arm of the
destroying angel, healed the leper, anointed to holy offices, atoned for
ceremonial sins, and sealed the covenant of God with his people; but
never cancelled the sinner’s debt, nor satisfied his conscience, nor
sanctified his affections, nor calmed his trembling spirit in the hour of
death.  All these blessings, however, flow from the blood of
Christ—these, and infinitely more—more than tongue can tell, or heart
conceive.

The gospel is emphatically the ministration of mercy—the covenant of
grace, “ordered in all things and sure”—a goodly ship, freighted with the
bread of life, and commanded by the Son of God, who has steered into the
harbor of our famishing world, and is dispensing the precious provision
to all who will accept.  These arc “the sure mercies of David.”

The law is only a partial revelation of the Divine attributes, which, in
the gospel, are all equally exhibited, and all equally glorified.  Here,
“Mercy and Truth are met together; Righteousness and Peace have kissed
each other.”  The justice of God looks more terrible at the cross of
Christ than at the gate of hell; and is more glorified in the sufferings
of his Son than in the eternal agonies of all the damned; while his mercy
is more beautiful, because more honorable to his administration, than if
sinners had been saved without an atonement.

Thus, while the law reveals the righteousness of God, the gospel
brightens the revelation of his righteousness, and adds the revelation of
his grace.  While the law imprisons the sinner, the gospel liberates him,
yet liberates him according to law.  While the law shows the malignity of
sin, and dooms the sinner to death, the gospel assents to both, but
conquers the one and counteracts the other.

The law convinces us of our fall; the gospel assures us of our
redemption.  The law shows us what we are, and what we ought to be; the
gospel tells us what we may become, and now the change must be effected.
The law tears open our wounds; the gospel pours in the healing balm.  The
law makes known our duty; the gospel aids us to perform it.  The law
plunges us in the ditch; the gospel opens to us the purifying fountain.
The law is a mirror in which we behold our own filthiness and deformity;
the gospel is a mirror which reflects the glory of God in Christ, and
transforms the believer into the same image.

The law has no fellowship with the sinner—offers no pardon to the
sinner—cannot cure the love of sin in his heart—cannot give a spark of
life, without perfect obedience, and full satisfaction for past offences.
Therefore some accuse the law of cruelty—cannot set forth the superior
glory of the gospel, without representing the law as a tyrant or a
vagrant.  But it is not the cruelty of the law, but the righteousness of
the law, that condemns the sinner.  This is the reason that it has no
alms-house, nor city of refuge, in its dominion.  Yet “the law is our
schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ.”  By convincing us of sin, it shows
us our need of a Saviour.  It meets the sinner on his way to hell, and
drives him back to Calvary!

But the gospel is more glorious.  It enters the sinner’s heart, and casts
out the love of sin, and scourges the traffickers from the temple of God.
It enters the prisoner’s cell, knocks off his fetters, and bids him go
free.  It descends into the valley of dry bones, makes the mouldering
skeletons living men, and leads them to Mount Zion with songs of
everlasting joy.  It gives eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, feet to
the lame, tongues to the dumb, health to the sick, life to the dead, and
revives such as are fainting under the terrors of the law.  It is “the
power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”

The Moravian missionaries in Greenland preached several years on the
great doctrines of natural religion, and the requirements of the moral
law, without producing any visible reformation in their hearers; but
under the very first sermon which exhibited “Jesus Christ and him
crucified,” many were pricked in their hearts, and led effectually to
repentance.

We have a striking illustration of the distinguishing glory of the
gospel—its mercy—in the parable of the prodigal son.  The young man,
having received his portion from his Father, went into a far country, and
spent all his substance in drunkenness and debauchery.  Reduced to the
last extremity of want, the proud young nobleman hired himself to a
citizen of that country, and became a feeder of swine—the meanest
employment to which a Jew could be degraded.  On the very verge of
starvation, we see him snatching the husks from the mouths of the
detested animals to satisfy his hunger.  Now he contrasts the present
with the past.  “My father’s house!  O, my father’s house!”  A trembling
hope springs up in his bosom, “I will arise and go!”  I see him coming,
full of guilt and shame—halting—trembling—ready to turn back, or lie down
by the wayside and die.  While yet a great way off, the father beholds
him—O, not with an eye of anger and revenge! and runs to meet him—O, not
with a drawn sword, or an uplifted rod!  He feels within him the yearning
of a father’s heart, leaps to embrace the prodigal, and pours upon him a
mingled shower of kisses and tears.  Not a reproachful word is
uttered—not the slightest censure—nothing but love.  “Father, I have
sinned!  I am not worthy to be”—“Peace, my son!  Servants, bring a robe,
a ring, a pair of shoes; and haste to kill the fatted calf; and let us
eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive, was lost and is
found!”  “And they began to be merry.”

Such, my brethren, is the unspeakable mercy of the gospel, which
constitutes its distinguishing glory.  It is the law that creates the
famine in the “far country” of sin.  The poor prodigal goes about,
begging for bread; but none will give him a crust, or a crumb.  The
desert of Mount Sinai is a poor country for a starving soul.  There is no
bread in all that region, and no toleration for beggars.  If the sinner
offers to work for any of the citizens—either for Mr. Holiness, or Mr.
Justice, or Mr. Truth—he is sent into the fields to feed swine, till he
is thoroughly convinced of the nakedness of the land, and the misery of
his lot; and if he faints through famine or fatigue, and fails to perform
his task, he is thrust into the house of correction, and placed upon the
tread-wheel of remorse, till the ministers of mercy come to his relief.
It is the gospel that whispers—“Return to thy father!”  It is the gospel
that inspires the hope of acceptance.  It is the gospel that meets him
with more than paternal welcome, and rains upon him the baptism of
blessings and tears.  It is the gospel that brings its robe of
righteousness, and its ring of favour, and spreads its feast of joy, and
calls the angels to merry-making “over one sinner that repenteth.”

O, the love of God!  O, the riches of Christ!  His salvation is more than
a restoration to the joys of Eden.  He came that we might have life, and
that we might have it more abundantly.  Where sin abounded under the law,
grace hath much more abounded under the gospel.  It is an ocean of
blessings—“blessings of the heaven above, and of the deep that lieth
under”—the blessings of Jacob, “prevailing above the blessings of his
progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills”—blessings
which cannot be circumscribed by time, passing over the mountains which
now divide us from the promised land, and flowing down on the other side
into the pacific vales of immortality!

Such is “the glorious gospel of the blessed God.”  You have seen the
evidence of its divinity, and the peculiar excellence of its character.
Suffer me to ask, do you believe its doctrines? do you obey its precepts?
do you enjoy its blessings? do you delight in its promises?  It commends
itself every way to your faith, and your affections.  It is worthy of all
acceptation.  It is the light of the world—walk ye in it!  It is a feast
for the soul—eat and be satisfied!  It is a river of living water—drink
and thirst no more!

How miserable is that man who rejects alike its evidences and its offers!
How miserable in the hour of death!  As Thistlewood said of himself, when
on the drop at Newgate, he is “taking a leap in the dark!”  How miserable
in the day of judgment!  God saith—“Because I have called, and ye
refused; I have stretched out my hands all the day long, and no man
regarded; but ye have set at naught my counsel, and would none of my
reproof; therefore I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when
your fear cometh—when your fear cometh as desolation, and your
destruction cometh as a whirlwind—when distress and anguish cometh upon
you!”



SERMON XVII.
THE SONG OF THE ANGELS.


    “_Glory to God in the highest_, _and on earth peace_, _good will
    toward men_.”  Luke ii. 14.

THE most important event recorded in the annals of time, is the
incarnation of the Son of God.  Anointed to be “the Apostle and High
Priest of our profession,” it was necessary that he should humble
himself, to assume our degraded nature, and enter into our suffering
condition.  Had he appeared on earth in the unmitigated glory of his
Godhead, the children of men could not have borne the revelation, and
could not have been benefited by his personal ministry; neither could he
have been “touched with the feeling of our infirmities,” nor have offered
himself a sacrifice for our sins.  His manifestation in the flesh was
essential to the great objects of his advent; and no wonder the heavenly
host descended to announce his coming, and poured forth their delight in
this joyful strain;—“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
good will toward men.”

Let us consider, _first_, The incarnation of the Eternal Word; and,
_secondly_, The song of the angels on the occasion of his birth.

I.  Though it is impossible for the immutable God to be made a creature,
yet the Divine nature was so closely and mysteriously joined to the
human, that the same person was “a child born,” and “the Mighty God”—“a
son given,” and “the Everlasting Father.”  The Divinity did not become
humanity, and the humanity did not become Divinity; but the two were so
united as to constitute but one glorious Mediator.

Though his incarnation did not destroy, or even tarnish in the least, the
essential glory of the Deity; yet was it a mighty and marvellous
condescension, for him who is “over all, God, blessed for ever,” thus to
assume our frail and suffering flesh.  Solomon asked—“Will God in very
deed dwell with men upon the earth?”  A question which neither men nor
angels could answer.  But God hath answered it himself, and answered it
in the affirmative.  “The Word” that “was in the beginning with God, and
was God,” in the fulness of time, “was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth.”

We can form no idea of the natural distance between God and man.  But the
infinite vacuum is filled up by the Messiah.  He is “Emmanuel”—“the true
God,” and “the Son of Man.”  “He thought it not robbery to be equal with
God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of
a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh.”  Passing by the
nobler nature of angels, “he took on him the seed of Abraham.”  Nor did
he join himself to humanity in its original perfection and glory.  He
came into the mean condition of fallen creatures, sharing with us our
various infirmities and sufferings.  Yet he was free from all moral
contamination.  He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from
sinners.”  He “knew no sin.”  He “did no iniquity, neither was guile
found in his mouth.”

But notwithstanding the humility of his appearance in Bethlehem, such was
the dignity of his person, and such the magnitude and grandeur of the
work for which he came into the world, that angels descended from heaven
to publish the glad tidings to the children of men.  True, no ambassadors
were sent to the Sanhedrim at Jerusalem—none to the Senate of Rome, to
proclaim the coming of the Prince of Peace; but never was there such an
embassage on earth, to announce the birth of a royal son, as that which
came to the shepherds of Bethlehem.  When he appeared among men, the
order was given in heaven, that all the angels of God should worship him;
and their example was followed by wise men upon earth.  The prophet
Isaiah said that his name should be called Wonderful; and the angel
informed Mary that he should be great, and should be called the Son of
the Highest; and that God should give unto him the throne of his father
David, and he should reign over the house of Jacob for ever.  “Though he
was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, that we through his poverty
might be rich.”  He humbled himself that we might be exalted—was bruised
and wounded that we might be healed—died the most shameful death that men
could inflict, that we might live the most glorious life that God can
confer!

II.  Let us now consider the import of the anthem, sung by the heavenly
host, when he was born in Bethlehem.  “Glory to God in the highest, and
on earth peace, good will toward men.”

1.  “Glory to God in the highest.”  The shining light between the
cherubim, on the mercy-seat, was called “the glory of the Lord,” being a
supernatural representation of his presence in the sanctuary.  Three of
the apostles saw the same glory upon the mount of transfiguration, and
all believers have seen it by faith.  The word “glory,” in the anthem of
the angels, refers to the divine honor and praise resulting from the
humiliation of Christ.  The redemption of sinners, through the blood of
the cross, and by the grace of the Holy Spirit, is not only consistent
with the glory of God, but highly promotive of his glory, as our Creator
and Lawgiver.  It brightens all the gems previously visible in his crown,
and reveals others that were concealed.  His glory, as seen in the works
of creation and providence, is the glory of wisdom, power, and love.  His
glory, as seen in his law and its administration, is the glory of
holiness, justice, and truth.  These are essential to his nature and his
government.  But in the incarnation and the cross of Christ, we behold a
new glory, a glory nowhere else displayed, the glory of mercy.  God was
known before to be the friend of saints, but here he shows himself the
friend of sinners.  His character as previously revealed was matter of
admiration and praise in earth and heaven, but this new revelation
occasions new wonder and rejoicing to men and angels.  Angels delighted
to bear the joyful news to men, and this was the burden of their
message:—“Behold, we bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be
unto”—the righteous? the benevolent and charitable? no; but—“unto all
people.”  And what are these tidings?  “To you is born, this day, in the
city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”  Here is the Lawgiver
embracing the rebels; his the glory, theirs the benefit; while angels
participate the joy of both, singing—“Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace.”

2.  “On earth peace.”  Not by a compromise with Satan, as he proposed
when he tempted the Son of God in the wilderness.  Not at the expense of
the Divine law, but by magnifying and making it honorable.  Not a peace
with enmity, for Christ hath slain the enmity by his cross.  Our peace
flows from the reconciling blood of Jesus.  Nothing else could satisfy
the claims of Divine justice, and procure pardon for the penitent
believer.

Without the atonement, there is no peace for sinners.  There is an
accusing witness within.  Behold that king in the banqueting-house!  Why
changes his countenance?  Why tremble his knees?  Have the wise men of
Babylon interpreted the mystic writing upon the wall?  No; but conscience
has.  Conscience has given dreadful intimations of its meaning, before
Daniel comes into the presence of the king, and the Hebrew prophet only
confirms the previous interpretation.  Every sinner bears about with him
that internal tormentor.  It may be bribed; but not for ever.  It may be
lulled to sleep; but it will awake with increased energy, and augmented
wrath.  The gnawing worm may be stupified for a season, but cannot be
killed.  The devouring fire may be temporarily stifled, but cannot be
quenched.  How dreadful are its torments, when it wreaks all its anger
upon the guilty!  To be drowned in the Red Sea, like Pharaoh—to be
swallowed up by the earth, like Korah—to be hewn in pieces, like Agag—to
be eaten of worms, like Herod—is nothing in the comparison.

Where shall we find peace?  We have heard of a stone which nothing but
blood can dissolve.  Such a stone is the human conscience.  But all the
blood shed on Jewish altars could never effect the work.  It must be the
blood of Jesus.  He is “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the
world.”  At his cross, the believer’s conscience finds assurance and
repose.  He is the good physician, and his blood is the sovereign balm.
Come to his extended arms!  Come, for he waits to be gracious!

3.  “Good will toward men.”  The “good will” of whom?  Of God, blessed
for ever.  The funds of a benevolent society may be exhausted, so that
its members in distress can receive no benefit.  But in the “good will”
of God we find unsearchable riches of grace, sufficient to pay off our
whole debt to the law, and restore our forfeited inheritance; to bring
forth the prisoners, and them that sit in darkness, out of the
prison-house; to support the believer through life, and comfort him in
death, and raise him from the grave not a beggar, or a pensioner, but a
prince, clothed in white, and entitled to an everlasting kingdom.

Did I possess the nature of angels, with my present sinfulness, I should
have no hope of salvation, for God hath provided no mercy for fallen
angels; but, in his infinite wisdom, he hath devised a method for the
consistent display of his “good will toward men,” by assuming their
nature, and in that nature atoning for their sins.  This is a wonderful
scheme, whereby God can be just, and yet justify the ungodly.  His law is
honoured, though its violater be acquitted; and his government is secure,
though the rebel be forgiven.

Methinks I hear the Infant in Bethlehem, speaking from the manger, in the
strain of the Evangelical Prophet:—“Is my hand shortened at all, that I
cannot redeem; or have I no power to deliver?  Behold, at my rebuke I dry
up the sea, and make the rivers a wilderness; I clothe the heavens with
blackness, and make sackcloth their covering.  Though ye see me in human
flesh, I am still Lord of all, and can save unto the uttermost.  Though
ye do not hear me, I have the tongue of the learned, to speak a word in
season to him that is weary.  I have taken upon myself your nature, that
I may be able to sympathize in your sufferings, and make satisfaction for
your sins.  For you will I give my back to the smiters, and my cheek to
them that pluck off the hair; and I will not hide my face from shame and
spitting.  Calvary and Joseph’s grave shall manifest my benevolence, and
it shall be seen that my mercy is mightier than death.  Who will contend
with me?  Let him come near!  Let us stand together!  I challenge all the
powers of darkness to defeat the purposes of my grace.  I will triumph by
suffering.  I will dash them in pieces as a potter’s vessel.  Hell shall
tremble at the report; and on every gate and door-post, in all my journey
from this place to Golgotha, and thence home to my Father’s house, shall
be inscribed the record of my good will toward men!”

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ
Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”  Behold him pressing the wine
of eternal life for us from the cup of his own mortality; demolishing the
kingdom of darkness on earth, and establishing in its stead the kingdom
of heaven; destroying the works of the devil, delivering the captives
from his iron yoke, and uniting sinners to himself in everlasting
fellowship and love.  The whole economy of Divine grace, based on the
incarnation of the Son of God, is like a complicated piece of machinery,
consisting of many wheels, all revolving in harmony, and impelled by the
same power.  Salvation is a river, flowing from the manger in Bethlehem,
conveying eternal life to millions, and bearing away many a precious gem
from the dominions of death and hell.  It has already swept from the
earth more false gods than would have filled the Roman Pantheon; and
carried multitudes of human souls, pardoned and purified, to Abraham’s
bosom.  No opposition of men or devils can stand before “the glorious
gospel of the blessed God.”  O that its light may shine into the heart
and the conscience of every hearer!  May the goodness of God lead you all
to repentance, and fill you with peace in believing!  Then will you go
forth with joy, and publish his “good will toward men;” and when the
purposes of his mercy are accomplished in your hearts, you shall be
removed from grace to glory—from peace to perfect love—and sin and sorrow
shall be shut out for ever!  Amen.



SERMON XVIII.
THE STONE OF ISRAEL.


    “_Behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua_.  _Upon one stone
    shall be seven eyes_.  _Behold_, _I will engrave the graving
    thereof_, _saith the Lord of hosts_, _and I will remove the iniquity
    of that land in one day_.”—Zech. iii. 9.

AMID all the tribulations which the church has suffered, she has ever
been preserved and sustained by the gracious providence of God; like the
bush in Horeb—burning, yet unconsumed.

In the days of this prophet, the church was feeble and afflicted.  Having
just returned from the captivity in Babylon, by which she had been
greatly reduced, she resembled the myrtle among the oaks, the firs, and
the cedars.  But the Messiah appears to the prophet, standing among the
myrtle-trees, and encouraging the children of Israel to proceed in
rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple.  The good success of Zerubbabel is
represented by a golden candlestick, with a bowl at the top, and seven
lamps for the light, and seven pipes to convey the oil to the lamps, and
two olive-trees—one on each side—pouring the oil into the pipes.  This
was intended also to set forth the relation of Christ to his church, as
her head, and the fountain whence she derives strength and nourishment,
enabling her to grow in grace, and the saving knowledge of God.  As they
bring forth the foundation and the corner-stones with joy, wondering at
the Divine goodness and mercy, Jehovah shows them that he is about to lay
in Zion the foundation and chief corner-stone of a spiritual temple:
“Behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua.  Upon one stone shall
be seven eyes.  Behold I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord
of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.”

Let us consider the important truths taught us in this metaphorical
description of Christ and his mediatorial work.

I.  Christ is the foundation and chief corner-stone of his church.  This
figure is often used in the Holy Scriptures.  “From hence is the
Shepherd, the Stone of Israel”—said Jacob in the blessing of Joseph.
“The stone which the builders refused,” said the Psalmist, “is become the
head-stone of the corner.”  And Isaiah said—“Thus saith the Lord God:
Behold, I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a
precious corner-stone, a sure foundation.”  All these predictions were
appropriated by Messiah, to whom they were intended to apply.  Christ is
the foundation and chief corner-stone.  “Other foundation can no man lay
than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  “Ye are built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets”—that is, the foundation which
they recognized and recommended—“Jesus Christ himself being the chief
corner-stone.”  He is indeed the foundation of the world; and in the
fulness of time, was declared the foundation of the church.  All the
buildings of mercy that have ever been erected stand firm and immovable
on this Rock of Ages.

In the architecture of the first covenant in Eden, there was a Stone
under one end, and earth under the other.  “The first man was of the
earth, earthy.”  And when the storm and the flood came, the earth gave
way, and the building fell.  But in the architecture of the second
covenant upon Calvary, God laid help upon one that was mighty.  “The
second man is the Lord from heaven.”  A stone suitable for the foundation
of a royal palace is very valuable, because the safety of the building
depends upon the firmness of the foundation.  This Stone is “chosen of
God and precious.”  It is long and broad enough for the whole edifice,
stretching from eternity to eternity; and sufficiently strong to sustain
it, though millions of living stones be built into the spiritual temple;
and such is its firmness, that time, with all its storms, shall never
destroy it, or injure its beauty.  It is a tried and precious stone,
composed of all that is excellent on earth, and all that is glorious in
heaven—a sinless specimen of humanity, possessing “all the fulness of the
Godhead bodily.”  As a foundation, it is laid deep in the earth; as a
corner-stone, it rises above the stars, and binds the whole building in
heaven and earth together.

II.  This Stone is “laid before Joshua.”  God has revealed his Son, as
the only foundation, and chief corner-stone, to the wise master-builders
of his church, in every age of the world.  The seed was promised in Eden.
Holy men of old beheld the promises afar off.  Abraham desired to see his
day; he saw it, and was glad.  This was the foundation of the prophets
and apostles.  As Moses found so much of God in the rod that was in his
hand, that he could think of no other means for working a miracle; so the
prophets and apostles saw and felt so much of Christ in the revelations
of which they were made the media, that they could never think of
salvation from sin and hell but through his meritorious death; and the
most dreadful tortures, and even martyrdom itself, lost their terrors in
“the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus
Christ.”

This Stone was laid also before Wickliff and Luther.  The office and work
of Christ had been lost sight of, in the intercession of saints, and the
merit of human works.  But “the foundation of God standeth sure;” and all
the rubbish which Roman monks had heaped upon it could not hide it from
the reformers, whose vision had been cleared and quickened by light from
heaven.  And it was laid before Wesley and Whitefield in England, who
built upon it “gold, silver, and precious stones;” and before Powell,
Erbery, and Wroth—before Rowlands, Harris, Jones, Evans, Thomas, and
Francis—as the foundation of that wonderful revival in Wales, the blessed
effects of which we feel to this day.

We are now endeavoring to exhibit the glory and excellency of this Stone,
as the foundation of your hopes.  Will you build upon Christ?  Can you
venture your eternal salvation upon the merit of his sacrifice?  “He that
believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

III.  It is said that “upon one stone shall be seven eyes;” by which we
may understand, either seven eyes of others, looking upon the stone; or
seven eyes in the stone, looking upon others.

If we take the former idea, there are many eyes looking upon this “One
Stone;” some from envy, malice, and wrath; others from astonishment,
gratitude, and love.  It attracts the gaze of heaven, earth, and hell.
The eternal Lawgiver looks to Messiah for satisfaction on behalf of
guilty man.  Mercy and Truth look upon him as the foundation of their
palaces.  Righteousness and Peace look upon him as the only place where
they can salute each other with a kiss.  The devil and his angels, sin,
death, and the grave, look upon him with eyes of anger and revenge;
determined, if possible, to bruise him with their weapons, and cast him
among the rubbish, into the pit of corruption.  Celestial spirits look
upon him with eyes of wonder and delight; announce his coming to Joseph
and Mary, sing his advent to the shepherds of Judea, accompany him
through all his pilgrimage of sorrow, minister to him after the
temptation in the wilderness, talk with him on the mount of
transfiguration, sustain him in the agony of the garden, gather unseen
around his cross, roll away the rock from the entrance of his tomb, and
attend him with songs as he ascends to glory.  And believers look upon
him with eyes of faith and love, as the foundation of all their hopes, in
this world, and that which is to come—as their “wisdom, righteousness,
sanctification, and redemption.”

The other interpretation refers these “seven eyes” to the perfection of
our Lord’s mediatorial character.  The priest under the law was to
sprinkle the blood seven times upon the mercy-seat, and seven times upon
the leper; the first to typify a perfect atonement for sin; the second, a
perfect application of its benefits to the believer.  When the Lamb of
God revived from the ashes on the altar of Calvary, he appeared “in the
midst of the throne,” having seven horns and seven eyes, to denote the
completeness of his prophetic wisdom, and the fulness of his regal
authority.  He sustains to his people the threefold relation of
high-priest, prophet, and king.  He is our high-priest, not after the
order of Aaron, whom death robbed of his sacerdotal vesture; but “a
high-priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedec.”  He is our
prophet, speaking with the tongue of the learned, and as one having
authority—speaking to the conscience and the heart, and the dead hear his
voice and live.  He is our king, according to the decree, “on the holy
hill of Zion;” exalted by the right-hand of the Father, and “declared to
be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.”
Methinks I hear the Father speaking to Caiaphas:—“Have you a law, and do
you say that by your law he ought to die?  I will read to you the law on
the morning of the third day, and you shall see that he is the
resurrection and the life—that I have made him both Lord and Christ!”
And methinks I hear the voice of the risen Messiah:—“I have travelled
through the forest of the world’s temptations, through the dens of lions,
the mountains of leopards, the dark haunts of devils, and the dominions
of death and the grave; and have opened, through all the desert, a new
and living way to my Father’s house.  The powers of darkness thought to
strip me of my official regalia, and bind me for ever in the grave; but I
have broken Cæsar’s seal, and rent the rocks of Joseph’s sepulchre, and
am alive for evermore—the high-priest, prophet, and king of Israel.
Though I gave myself up to death upon the cross, death could not deprive
me of my threefold office.  I died with my vesture on, my miter and
breastplate, as high-priest over the house of God.  I died with the book
of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven in my hand, as a prophet to
instruct my people, and lead them into all truth.  I died with the crown
upon my head, and all my enemies beneath my feet, as a king, whose
dominion is everlasting, and whose glory shall never end.  Death and hell
could not take from me my triple diadem; and I came forth from the place
of the dead in the power of an endless life; and will continue to wear my
robes unspotted, till I have finished my mediatorial work, and gathered
all the saints unto myself!”

IV.  This stone is fitted and prepared by God himself.  “I will engrave
the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts.”

This figure evidently refers to the sufferings of Christ, by which he was
made perfect for his mediatorial work.  Many hammers and chisels were
upon him from Bethlehem to Calvary; but they were all appointed of God,
as the instruments of his preparation to be the sure foundation and chief
corner-stone of the church.  The Scribes and the Pharisees, Caiaphas,
Judas, Pilate, the Jewish populace, and the Roman soldiery, whatever
their malicious designs, only accomplished “the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God” upon his well-beloved Son.  All was appointed by
the Father; all was understood by the Messiah; all was necessary to
secure the great objects of his advent.  It pleased the Father to bruise
him, and put him to grief; and he cheerfully submitted to suffer, that we
might be spared.  O, wonder of wonders!  Emmanuel wounded, that sinners
might be healed! the Golden Vessel marred, that the earthen vessels might
be saved! the Green Tree dried up, that the dry tree might grow as the
lily, and cast forth its roots like Lebanon!  According to another
metaphor, “the plowers plowed upon his back; they made long their
furrows.”  And they were deep as well as long.  They plowed into his very
heart, and his body was covered with blood, and his cry of agony pierced
the supernatural gloom of Golgotha, and soured the wine of dragons
throughout the region of Gehenna!

Thus the foundation was fitted and prepared; and wicked men and devils
but blindly did the work which God had before determined to be done.  It
is fixed in its place, firm and immovable; and the chief Architect is
raising other stones from the quarry, and building them thereon, “for a
habitation of God through the Spirit.”  Brethren, “look unto the rock
whence ye are hewn, and the hole of the pit whence ye are digged”—even
the flinty rock of impenitence, and the horrible pit of corruption.  I
have known men relinquish the hewing of stones from the quarry, because
it was more expense than profit; and I have known men abandon the digging
of ore from the mine, because it was too deep in the mountain.  But
Christ “descended into the lower parts of the earth,” and imbibed the gas
of death.  He carried in his hand the hammer of the word, which breaketh
the flinty rock in pieces.  He expelled the deadly vapor, blasted the
solid adamant, and prepared the way for the workmen; and when he
ascended, he sent down the apostles, to gather stones for his spiritual
temple; while he stands at the top of the shaft, and turns the windlass
of intercession, by which he draws up all to himself.

The work was gloriously begun on the day of Pentecost, and men and demons
have never yet been able entirely to stop its progress.  The pope and the
devil tried their best, for a long time, to keep the digging and hewing
tools of the twelve wise master-builders concealed in the vaults of the
monasteries; but Luther, with the lamp of God in his hand, discovered
them, brought them forth, and set them at work; and millions of lively
stones have since been dug out, and sent up from the pit, to be placed in
the walls of “God’s building.”

And still the gospel is mighty in the salvation of souls, of which we
have abundant evidence in the principality.  What multitudes were
converted at Langeiththo in the days of Rowlands and Williams; when two
thousand communicants in the winter, and three thousand in the summer,
met every month in the same place around the table of the Lord!  And
there are now in Wales hundreds of large and flourishing churches among
the Baptists and Independents.  Glory to God, that I have in my own
possession the register of hundreds, who have been hewn from the flinty
rock, and raised from the horrible pit, to a place in the Lord’s holy
temple—from drunkenness to sobriety, from unbelief to faith in Christ,
from enmity to reconciliation to God, from persecution to patient
suffering for righteousness’ sake, from disobedience to the filial temper
of “sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty;” and many of them I have
seen going home, rejoicing, to their Father’s house above!

Hark! what do I hear?  The hammers and chisels of mercy all over the
mountain of the militant church.  The great Architect is building up
Zion.  He is gathering his materials from Europe, and Asia, and Africa,
and America.  Glory to God!  I hear his footsteps to-day in this
mountain; I see his hand in this congregation.  Brethren in the ministry,
we are workers together with him.  Delightful work!  How easy it is to
preach, when the hand of God is with us!  Let us labour on!  The topstone
will soon be brought forth with shouting, the sound of the building shall
cease, and we shall receive our reward!

V.  The gracious design for which this Divine Foundation is prepared, is
the justification and sanctification of sinners.  “I will remove the
iniquity of that land in one day.”

Christ came to destroy the works of the devil—to take away sin by the
offering of himself.  As the moon is illuminated by the sun, so the rites
and ceremonies of the old testament are illustrated by the facts and
doctrines of the new.  The priesthood of Jesus explains the priesthood of
Aaron.  The one sacrifice of Calvary explains all the sacrifices that
went before.  The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ enters the
windows of Solomon’s temple, and penetrates the Holy of Holies within the
vail.  All the bloody offerings of the Mosaic ritual were intended only
as types of him who “removed the iniquity of that land in one day.”

What land?  Emmanuel’s land—a garden enclosed, and measured by the line
of God’s eternal purpose; including all the redeemed of the Lord, who
will ultimately be brought to glory.  The map of “that land” was in the
mind of Jehovah, when he made this promise through the prophet.  He
remembered his covenant engagement before the foundation of the world in
reference to its redemption.  He saw it encumbered by mountains of sin,
and blasted by the fiery curse of the law; and in the fulness of time, he
sent his Son to deliver it.

To remove iniquity is to remove its penalty and its pollution.  Christ
hath accomplished both for believers.  He “bore our sins in his own body
on the tree!”  He carried upon his own shoulder the burden which must
have sunk the whole human race to eternal perdition.  By enduring our
punishment, he provided for our purification.  In his own wounds a
fountain was opened wherein we may wash and be clean.  From his own heart
the balm was extracted whereby our moral leprosy may be cured.  “Behold
the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.”  See how our
great High-priest removes the iniquity of his people; not, like Aaron, by
many sacrifices; but by the single offering of himself, “in one day.”

The word which is here rendered “remove” is in the original the same as
that which is used to express the translation of Enoch.  As Enoch was
removed from the earth, beyond the sight of man, and the power of death;
so sin is removed by the Mediator—removed for ever from the believer’s
heart and conscience—blotted out—cast into the depth of the sea—carried
away into the land of forgetfulness.  The removal is perfect and
everlasting.

This was a work which Jewish sacrifices were too weak to accomplish.  For
two thousand years the victims bled upon the altar, and not a single sin
was actually removed.  Every year the goat of the burnt-offering must
bleed afresh, and the scape-goat must be sent away into the wilderness.
But Jesus, the great ante-type of all these emblems, removed in one day,
by a single offering, the iniquities of all who believe in him, from the
fall to the end of time.

All the sacrifices that preceded his coming were intended only to remind
men that they were sinners, that they needed an atonement, and that
justification and eternal life could flow only from the meritorious
sufferings of the future Christ.  But when the substance came, the
shadows passed away, and the promised work was at once accomplished; and
all our iniquities were lost in the sea of mercy, which rose to a full
tide in the Mediator’s merit.

Sinners, do you expect ever to be made free from sin?  Would you have
your leprosy cured, your impurity cleansed, and the curse removed?  Come
to our great High-priest!  Lo, he stands by the altar, and the blood is
on his hands!  He waits to be gracious!  Come, for he has virtually
removed your iniquity, and it requires in you but a simple act of faith
to realize the benefit!  “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved!”



SERMON XIX.
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.


    “_But how should man be just with God_?”—Job ix. 2.

THE Almighty proclaimed himself to Moses, “the Lord, merciful and
gracious;” and in the New Testament, he is called “the God of all grace.”
“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin reigned unto
death, even so might grace reign, through righteousness, unto eternal
life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.”  God is determined to glorify the
unsearchable riches of his grace in the salvation of sinners.  But how
can this be done, without casting a cloud over the Divine throne, and
bringing into contempt the Divine law?  How can the guilty be considered
and treated as innocent, without an apparent indifference to the evil of
sin, and a total disregard of the claims of eternal justice?  How can the
rebel be acquitted in the court of Heaven, with honor to the character of
God, and safety to the interests of his moral government?  This is a
question which angels could not answer; but it has been answered by the
God of angels.  The light of nature and reason is too feeble to afford us
any aid in this inquiry; “but we have a more sure word of prophecy,
whereunto we do well that we take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a
dark place;” for “God hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Following, then, the guidance of the New Testament, let us consider the
nature and the ground of a sinner’s justification with God.

I.  To justify is the public act of a judge, declaring a person innocent,
not liable to punishment.  “It is God that justifieth” the ungodly.
Justification, in its strict sense, and remission of sins, are two very
different things.  Job could forgive his friends; but he could not
justify them.  But in the gracious economy of the gospel, these are
always immediately connected; nor these alone, but other and superior
mercies—mercies infinite and unspeakable.  Those whom God justifieth are
not only forgiven, but also purified and renewed—not only delivered from
condemnation, but also entitled to eternal life—not only redeemed from
the curse of the law, but also blessed with the spirit and the privilege
of adoption—not only liberated from bondage and imprisonment, but also
constituted heirs “to an inheritance that fadeth not away.”  They are
“heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”  They are kings and priests,
and shall reign for ever and ever.  God having given his Son as our
surety, and published “the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus,”
and taken his seat upon the throne of grace in the character of a
merciful judge, he proclaims the believer free from condemnation, and
“accepted in the Beloved.”

In a human court, a man may be either justified or forgiven.  Sometimes
the jury find the prisoner innocent, and he is acquitted; sometimes they
find him guilty, and he is forgiven.  The former is an act of justice;
the latter, an act of mercy.  No earthly court can go farther; no earthly
court can justify the guilty.  But God is able, through the wonderful
economy of substitution and atonement revealed in the gospel, in the same
court, from the same throne, by the same law, and in the same sentence,
to proclaim full pardon and free justification to the sinner.  By virtue
of the obedience and suffering of Christ on his behalf, he is at once
forgiven and justified.  Faith unites us to Christ, and gives us an
interest in him, as our Mediator, who “bore our sins in his own body on
the tree.”  “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man to
whom God imputeth righteousness without works:—Blessed are they whose
iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man
to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

The righteousness by which the sinner is justified infinitely transcends
all other righteousness in earth or heaven.  It is the righteousness of
the Second Adam—an invaluable pearl, to which all the members of Christ’s
mystical body are equally entitled.  It is the pure gold of the gospel,
which cannot be mixed with the works of the law, or derive any increase
of value from human merit.  It lies upon the very surface of evangelical
truth, like oil upon the water.  It is the righteousness finished upon
the cross—a complete wedding garment furnished by the Son of God, which
the sinner has only to put on to be prepared for the marriage supper of
the Lamb.

How cold and cheerless is the doctrine of the mere moralist, leaving the
poor sinner wallowing in the mire, and weltering in his blood, with
nothing but his own works to depend upon for salvation!  But the doctrine
of justification through the satisfying righteousness of Jesus Christ
warms the heart, and quickens the soul of the believer into a new and
heavenly life.  Here is our deliverance from the curse of the law.  Here
the relation between us and Adam is annihilated, and another relation is
established between us and Christ.  Here is the sea into which our sins
are cast to rise no more.  “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to
them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the
spirit;” and they may boldly say—“O Lord, I will praise thee; for though
thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest
me!”

II.  The ground of our justification now claims a more particular
attention.

This is a subject of the greatest importance; for if we build upon the
sand, the whole superstructure inevitably falls, and great must be the
fall thereof.  The Jews, being ignorant of God’s righteousness—the
righteousness of faith—went about to establish their own, which was by
the works of the law.  Let us examine these two foundations—the
righteousness which is of the law, and that which is of faith.

What sort of righteousness does the law demand, as the ground of our
acceptance with God?  It must originate in the heart.  It must be
commensurate with life, and not a broken link in the chain, for he that
offendeth in one point is guilty of all.  It must be so comprehensive as
to include all your duties to God, your neighbor and yourself.  It must
engage all the powers of your mind, without the least imperfection, in
thought, word, or deed.  The coin must be pure gold, of full weight and
measure, and bearing the right and lawful stamp.  “Cursed is every one
that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do
them.”

“But what saith the righteousness which is of faith?”  “Believe In the
Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”  “He that believeth shall
never be confounded.”  “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to
every one that believeth.”  “He hath magnified the law, and made it
honorable.”  “He hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a
curse for us.”  This is the doctrine which answers all our questions,
removes all our guilty fears, and opens to us a path of hope in the
valley of the shadow of death.  The justifying righteousness of Christ is
as deep as the misery of man, as high as the requirements of God, as
broad as the commandment, and as long as eternity.  It is sufficient for
all them that believe, and able to save unto the uttermost.  It is a
deluge which covers the mountains of transgression, and bears the
believer securely in the ark.  It comes to the sinner, shut up under the
judgment of God, and reads to him the article of his manumission.  I hear
it addressing the guilty in the following language:—

“I saw the Son of God coming forth from the bosom of the Father, and
uniting himself to the nature of man.  I saw the mighty God manifested in
the Son of Mary, and lying in a manger.  I beheld some of his blood shed,
as an earnest to the law, when he was eight days old.  I stood in the
garden of Gethsemane, when he drank the cup of trembling mingled and
presented by his Father’s justice.  I was with him on Calvary, when he
blotted out the handwriting of Eden and Sinai, and nailed it to his
cross—when he finished the redemption of man, and spoiled the powers of
darkness, and sealed with his own blood the covenant of peace, I beheld
him descending to the lower parts of the earth, and lying under the
sinner’s sentence in the grave.  I beheld him rising in the same human
nature, with the keys of death and hell in his hand, and the crown of the
mediatorial kingdom upon his head.  I beheld him ascending to the
right-hand of the Father, leading thy captivity captive, and entering
into heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God for thee.  And
now I see him in the midst of the throne, as a lamb newly slain; and the
merit of his sacrifice, as a sweet-smelling savor, fills the heaven of
heavens.  On thy behalf he has honored the law, satisfied the claims of
justice, and opened a new and living way, whereby God can be just, and
the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.”

Thus the question is answered—“How should man be just with God?”  Sinners
are “justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus.”  “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith,
without the deeds of the law.”  This is the key-stone of the gospel, and
the strength of the arch of salvation.  The only way to obtain acceptance
with God is by grace; “and if by grace, then it is no more of works.”  In
the justification of the sinner, Divine grace and human works can no more
be mixed together than oil and water, for they belong to different
covenants.  Christ came into the world, not to repair the old covenant,
but to be the mediator of a new covenant, established upon better
promises—not to mend the leaky and sinking vessel of the law, but to
build and launch a new ark of salvation, and rescue the shipwrecked and
the drowning.  The law could not save.  The law is holy, but we are
unclean.  The law is spiritual, but we are carnal.  The law is righteous,
but we are guilty.  The law is good, but every imagination of the
thoughts of the heart of man is evil, and only evil, and that
continually.  The law will not consent to a compromise with the sinner,
will not relax its claims upon him, nor in any way accommodate itself to
his fallen condition.  Its power to condemn is commensurate with its
authority to command.

Thus we see how it is that no man can be justified by the deeds of the
law.  We are not under the law, but under grace.  Were we under the law,
the deeds of the law would be sufficient for our justification.  The law
demands obedience; obedience satisfies the law.  Between obedience and
the law there is perfect correspondence and harmony; the one gives what
the other asks.  There is also a perfect agreement between grace and
faith.  Grace bestows freely, without money and without price; and faith,
having nothing to pay, receives humbly and thankfully.  Grace, by
bestowing, acquires great glory; faith, by receiving, obtains great
happiness.  God confers blessings according to the riches of his grace;
sinners receive according to the strength of their faith.  Faith and the
law cannot agree at all, for both are seeking and receiving; neither can
works and grace agree, for both live by communicating.  Therefore “by
grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the
gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Ye are justified
through the righteousness and merit of Christ, who became your
substitute, and both obeyed the law and suffered the penalty in your
stead.

This view of the ground of a sinner’s justification is everywhere
sustained in the Holy Scriptures.  “By the obedience of one, shall many
be made righteous.”  “By the righteousness of one, the free gift came
upon all men, unto justification of life.”  “The obedience of one,” and
“the righteousness of one,” in these two sentences, signify the same
thing.  Again: “He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be
made the righteousness of God in him.”  “In whom we have redemption
through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of
his grace.”  “All we like sheep have gone astray, and the Lord hath laid
on him the iniquity of us all.  He was wounded for our transgressions; he
was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon
him, and with his stripes we are healed.”

The perfect obedience of Christ, and his meritorious death, were both
necessary, as the ground of a sinner’s justification.  Neither would have
been sufficient without the other.  His obedience would not answer
without his death; for the law which had been broken must be honored; and
the penalty which had been incurred by the sinner must be endured by the
Substitute.  Neither would his death answer without his obedience; for it
is the obedient, and not the punished, that the law justifies; he who
keeps the precept, and not he who endures the penalty.  It is only by
satisfying both claims on our behalf, that Christ “of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

When it is said we are justified by faith, it is not meant that there is
any merit in faith, any justifying efficacy; but that faith is the
condition on which we are justified for the sake of him who obeyed and
suffered for us—the Divinely appointed means by which we appropriate the
merit of his obedience and suffering.  It is by the eye of faith we see
the excellency and adaptation of Christ’s righteousness and merit; and it
is by the hand of faith we take and put on the wedding garment provided
for us, and thus prepare ourselves for the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Faith is the bond which unites us to Christ, by virtue of which union we
are justified.  Faith is the wedding ring by which the poor daughter of
the old Amorite is married to the Prince of Peace.  She is raised from
the greatest poverty and degradation to unspeakable opulence and honor,
not because of the intrinsic value of the ring, though it is a golden
one; but on account of the union which it signifies between her and her
Beloved.  “He that hath the Son hath life.”

“But faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may
say—Thou hast faith, and I have works.  Show me thy faith without thy
works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that
there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble.
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was
not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his
son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works?  And by
works was faith made perfect; and the scripture was fulfilled which
saith—Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for
righteousness, and he was called the friend of God.  Ye see, then, how
that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  Likewise also
was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the
messengers, and sent them out another way?  For as the body without the
spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” {256}

We have noticed the nature and ground of justification; in these words of
the Apostle, we have the evidence of justification.  The same doctrine
was preached by our Saviour:—“For by thy works thou shalt be justified,
and by thy works thou shalt be condemned.”  Works justify only as the
fruit of faith.  A faith that does not produce good works is inefficient
and worthless.  It is not the faith which justifies the ungodly.  What is
it that justifies a man in a court of law?  The goodness of his cause?
No, verily.  A man of common sense will not think of making a long speech
to the jury, without adducing any evidence of the truth of his
statements.  My fellow sinners, if your cause is good, why do you not
prove it?  Why not bring forward your evidence?  Why not act in this
supremely important case as in every other?  If you have justifying
faith, let us see the fruit in a sanctified life.  “Let your light so
shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your
Father which is in heaven.”

In this world, every man receives according to his faith; in the world to
come, every man shall receive according to his works.  “Blessed are the
dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors, and their
works do follow them.”  Their works do not go before them to divide the
river Jordan, and open the gates of heaven.  This is done by their faith.
But their works are left behind, as if done up in a packet, on this side
of the river.  John saw the great white throne descending for judgment,
the Son of Man sitting thereon, and all nations gathered before him.  He
is dividing the righteous from the wicked, as the shepherd divideth the
sheep from the goats.  The wicked are set on the left-hand, and the awful
sentence is pronounced—“Depart from me, ye accursed, into everlasting
fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!”  But the righteous are
placed on the right-hand, to hear the joyful welcome—“Come, ye blessed of
my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of
the world!”  The books are opened, and Mercy presents the packets that
were left on the other side of Jordan.  They are all opened, and the
books are read wherein all their acts of benevolence and virtue are
recorded.  Justice examines the several packets, and answers—“All right.
Here they are.  Thus it is written—‘I was hungry, and ye gave me meat; I
was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; I
was naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in
prison, and ye came unto me.’”  The righteous look upon each other with
wonder, and answer—“Those packets must belong to others.  We knew nothing
of all that.  We recollect the wormwood and the gall.  We recollect the
strait gate, the narrow way, and the Slough of Despond.  We recollect the
heavy burden that pressed so hard upon us, and how it fell from our
shoulders at the sight of the cross.  We recollect the time when the eyes
of our minds were opened, to behold the evil of sin, the depravity of our
hearts, and the excellency of our Redeemer.  We recollect the time when
our stubborn wills were subdued in the day of his power, so that we were
enabled both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  We recollect the
time when we obtained hope in the merit of Christ, and felt the efficacy
of his blood applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  And we shall
never forget the time when we first experienced the love of God shed
abroad in our hearts.  O, how sweetly and powerfully it constrained us to
love him, his cause, and his ordinances!  How we panted after communion
and fellowship with him, as the hart panteth after the water-brooks!  All
this, and a thousand other things, are as fresh in our memory as ever.
But we recollect nothing of those bundles of good works.  Where was it?
Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee; or thirsty, and gave thee
drink; or a stranger, and took thee in; or naked, and clothed thee?  We
have no more recollection than the dead, of ever having visited thee in
prison, or ministered to thee in sickness.  Surely, those bundles cannot
belong to us.”  Mercy replies—“Yes, verily, they belong to you; for your
names are upon them; and besides, they have not been out of my hands
since you left them on the stormy banks of Jordan.”  And the King
answers—“Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of
the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

If the righteous do not know their own good works; if they do not
recognise, in the sheaves which they reap at the resurrection, the seed
which they have sown in tears on earth, they certainly cannot make these
things the foundation of their hopes of heaven.  Christ crucified is
their sole dependence for acceptance with God, in time and in eternity.
Christ crucified is the great object of their faith, and the centre of
their affections; and while their love to him prompts them to live
soberly, and righteously, and godly, in this present evil world, they
cordially exclaim—“Not unto us, not into us, but to thy name, O Lord,
give glory!”  Amen.



SERMON XX.
THE SHIELD OF FAITH.


    “_Above all_, _taking the shield of faith_, _wherewith ye shall be
    able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked_.”—Eph. vi. 16.

THE Christian is engaged in a warfare, “not against flesh and blood, but
against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
this world, against spiritual wickedness”—or wicked spirits—“in high
places;” who go about like roaring lions, seeking whom they may devour;
assailing the servants of Christ even on their high places—their Pizgahs,
their Tabors, their Olivets; swarming up from the sea of corruption
within and around us, like the frogs in Egypt, and entering into our very
bed-chambers and closets of devotion.

These spiritual adversaries must be opposed with spiritual armor; and the
apostle has here given us a complete set of weapons for fighting, and a
complete panoply for defence.  The Roman armor consisted of several
parts, all of which St. Paul makes use of figuratively, to represent the
several Christian graces by which we resist our subtle, deceitful, and
invisible enemies.  As the articles to which he alludes constituted a
complete coat of arms, and the soldier was not prepared for the field
without the whole; so the Christian graces which they represent are all
of them important, “that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto every good work.”  Some of these heavenly qualities may
appear brighter at particular times in one Christian than in another; but
the whole list is indispensable to every spiritual warrior.  Abraham may
excel in faith, Moses in meekness, Job in patience, Daniel in courage,
Peter in zeal, Paul in humility, and John in love; but each must have the
entire armor, though different occasions may require the use of different
articles in the catalogue.  That you may be able to stand in the evil
day, you must have the shoes of peace, to preserve your feet; the girdle
of truth, to strengthen your loins; the helmet of hope, to defend your
heads; the breastplate of righteousness, to cover your hearts; the sword
of the Spirit, to cut your way through the columns of the foe; “And above
all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all
the fiery darts of the wicked.”

It is only to this article last mentioned, that we would now call your
attention; in the consideration of which, let us notice, _first_, The
nature of faith; and _secondly_, Its importance and utility as a shield.

I.  There are many passages in the word of God which show the excellency
of faith; but there is only one passage which contains an exact
definition of faith; and that you will find in the first verse of the
eleventh chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews:—“Now faith is the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”—or, as it
may be read—the confidence of things hoped for, the conviction of things
not seen.  I am surprised that divines have taken so little notice of
this passage, in treating of the nature of faith.  Generally, they wander
in the wilderness without a guide; they put out to sea without compass,
chart, or helm.  Some of them make faith every thing, and others make it
almost nothing.  According to the apostle’s definition, it consists of
these two things:—a conviction of the truth of the gospel testimony
relative to things invisible, and a confidence in the character and word
of the invisible Testifier.  This is a common-sense definition.  Here is
no mystification or obscurity.  In this way the term faith is understood
by all men.  In the ordinary transactions of business, we seldom mistake
each other on this subject; why should we in the great concern of
salvation pending between us and God?

Here is a man who has a note for an amount sufficient to support him
comfortably, were he to live a thousand years.  Still he appears very
unhappy—full of doubts and fears about his future subsistence.  Ask
him—“Friend, what think you of that note? is it genuine?”  “O yes,” he
replies, “I am perfectly satisfied that it is genuine.”  “What is the
reason, then, that you are not more cheerful and happy?”  “Alas, I have
no confidence in the bank.”  The man is without faith.  True, he
believes—he believes that the note is not a counterfeit—he is well
satisfied of its genuineness; but such a belief is not sufficient, while
he is suspicious of the bank—produces no change in his feelings or his
conduct.  But if, in addition to his conviction of the genuineness of the
note, he could be satisfied of the goodness of the bank, then you should
find him quite another man.  These two things united constitute
faith:—Believing the truth of the gospel respecting things unseen; and
trusting in the power and faithfulness of God, through our Lord Jesus
Christ, to fulfil his promises.  This is the faith that justifieth the
ungodly; this is the faith that overcometh the world.

Now every one of you believes the truth of the gospel; but the promises
of the gospel, which are worthy of all acceptation, some of you have not
accepted—are no more influenced by them than if they did not belong to
you.  The gospel contains a pearl of great price—“an inheritance
incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away;” but your confidence
in the promise is feeble and inefficient—does not lead you to prayer—does
not influence your conduct, so as to bring you in possession of this
heavenly treasure.  You have no faith.  You have one of the elements of
faith, but not the other.  You have the belief, but not the
confidence—that part of faith which belongs to the intellect, but not
that which belongs to the heart.  Therefore you are still poor, and
naked, and miserable.

The Holy Scriptures record many admirable instances of true faith; in
which confidence in the character, the providence, and the promises of
God, rises into the most perfect assurance.  Behold those women on the
bank of the Nile.  They are making a basket of bulrushes, and plastering
it with bitumen.  Placing the infant Moses therein, they commit the frail
ark to the floods.  Jochebed, why dost thou not fear that the child will
be drowned?  “I believe the promises of God, I believe that he will do
good unto his people.  I trust in him for the salvation of Israel.”

See that old man on mount Moriah.  He has built a rude altar, and laid
fire and wood thereon.  He has bound his own son—his only son—his
well-beloved Isaac, and is about to offer him as a sacrifice.  Abraham,
stay thy hand.  Wilt thou slay thy only son?  Then what will become of
the promise?  “My mind is easy.  I will obey God.  I believe he is able
to raise Isaac from the dead.  I feel assured that he will return home
with me alive, and that from him will spring the Messiah.”  So Abraham
determined to offer Isaac upon the altar, for he confided in the
promise—“In Isaac shall thy seed be called.”

We have another instance in the Centurion whose servant was healed by our
Lord.  He had perfect confidence in the word of Christ, even though
Christ had given him no promise.  “Only say in a word,” said he, “and my
servant shall be healed.  Thy word created the world; thy word has
quickened the dead; and thy word can accomplish a cure without a journey
to my house.”  This is an instance of remarkable faith; and our Lord
testified—“I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”

Whatever the object of faith, it is always the same in its nature, though
not always the same in degree.  Christ said to his disciples—“O ye of
little faith!” and the apostle saith of Abraham—“He was strong in faith,
giving glory to God.”  Faith is represented in the Scriptures by a
variety of expressions, such as—believing the testimony of God—relying or
staying upon the Lord—waiting upon him—trusting in him—looking unto
him—coming to Christ—putting on the Lord Jesus—committing the keeping of
the soul to him, as unto a faithful Creator.  These different expressions
denote the several modifications of faith, and its several degrees of
intensity; but they all fall under the apostolical definition noticed
above.

The language of the law was—“Do this and live.”  The language of the
gospel is—“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt he saved.”
Faith in Christ is the prescribed and only condition of acceptance with
God.  Christ is the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto
the Father but by him.  Faith is the eye with which we behold his mercy;
faith is the hand by which we receive his blessings; faith is the golden
chain which binds us to him for ever.  The necessity of faith in the
merit and righteousness of our Divine Mediator, as the condition of
salvation, is a truth which lies scattered over the surface of inspired
Scripture.  God has always owned and blessed its proclamation in the
conversion of souls.  It was the article of Luther’s emancipation from
legal bondage.  It was the master-key which unlocked the iron gates of
Antichrist, and poured the true light over all Europe; so that neither
pope nor council, nor both together, could hide it again under a bushel.
And in the church of England, even in its present weak and languid state,
whenever one of its ministers preaches clearly and faithfully this
blessed doctrine, souls are given him as the seals of his ministry.

There is no end to the praises of faith.  Faith is the glass that draws
fire from the Sun of Righteousness.  Faith is the wedding ring that joins
the sinner to Christ in an everlasting covenant.  Faith is the living
principle of all holy obedience, working by love, and purifying the
heart.  If God command a man to leave his country and his kindred, and go
into a strange land—to offer his beloved son as a sacrifice upon the
altar—to build an ark on dry ground—to go to the fiery furnace, or the
lions’ den—to face his exasperated foes at Jerusalem, or hide from them
in the caves of the mountains—it is faith that prompts him to the painful
duty, and sustains him therein, in spite of improbabilities; and amidst
difficulties, dangers, and deaths.

II.  This brings us to notice the importance and utility of faith as a
shield.  “And above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall
be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

Faith is in some respects the first of all the Christian graces.  It is
the beginning of spiritual life in the soul—the originating and
sustaining principle of all evangelical holiness.  Having faith, we have
nothing to do but to add to it all the rest of our lives.  “Add to your
faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and
to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness
brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity.”

Love is in some respects superior to faith, and shall live and rejoice
before the throne when faith shall have finished its work; but faith is
an impenetrable shield, such as love cannot furnish, on the field of
battle.  The shield was a broad piece of defensive armor, worn ordinarily
on the left arm; and which, being movable, might be used to defend any
part of the body.  According to Homer, the shields of some of the
warriors at the siege of Troy were made of sevenfold thick bull-hides,
covered with brass.

The value of “the shield of faith” is seen in the case of David.  Look
down there in the valley.  There is Goliath of Gath, the chief of the
giants, blaspheming, and defying the armies of the living God.  His spear
is as a weaver’s beam, and his armor-bearer carries before him an
enormous shield.  And there is a fine-looking young man going down to
meet him, without any visible weapons, except his shepherd’s sling, and
five smooth stones from the brook.  David! hast thou no fear?  Rash
youth! is thy unpractised hand able to cope with the mailed champion of
Philistia?  “I will go and meet him in the name of my God, for I know
that the Lord will deliver him into my hand.  God will avenge his people,
and vindicate his own honor against the insults of his enemies.  He who
defended me against the lion and the bear will save me from the hand of
the blasphemer, and glorify himself this day before the thousands of
Israel.”  He moves on, invincibly shielded by his faith, and the next
moment Goliath is slain with his own sword.

Let us look again at the case of Abraham.  God said unto him—“Take now
thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the
land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering, upon one of the
mountains that I will tell thee of.”  Now the enemy assails him, in the
persuasive language of natural affection, and carnal reasoning; and every
word is like a flaming arrow in the patriarch’s heart:—“Abraham! if thou
obey this command, thou wilt disobey thereby many other commands.  God
hath said—‘Thou shalt not kill;’ and wilt thou shed the blood of thy own
child?  Canst thou so trample upon the law of God, and all the tender
instincts of human nature?  How will thy servants regard thee—how will
the world look upon thee, after so horrible a deed?  What will they think
of thy God, when they hear that he has required at thy hand the
immolation of thy only son?  Will it not bring everlasting dishonor upon
his name?  And what will become of the Divine promise upon which thy
faith is built—that from Isaac’s loins shall spring the Messiah, the hope
of the world?  Besides, thou wilt certainly break poor old Sarah’s heart;
she will never be able to survive the loss, in so dreadful a manner, of
her darling boy.  If thou hast any feelings of humanity in thy heart, any
fear of God before thine eyes, any regard for the glory of his name among
men, refrain from that deed of blood!”

Such were the “fiery darts” which “the wicked one” hurled at the good
man’s heart, but they fell harmless upon his “shield of faith.”  “He
staggered not at the promise through unbelief.”  “He conferred not with
flesh and blood.”  He rose up early in the morning, took Isaac and the
servants, and set out for the appointed place of sacrifice.  He travelled
three days toward Moriah, with a settled purpose to cut Isaac’s body in
pieces, and shed the blood of his heart upon the altar, and burn it to
ashes in the consuming flames.  He loved his son as his own soul, but the
command of God was dearer to his heart.  “And Abraham said unto his young
men—Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder, and
worship, and come again to you;” for he firmly believed that God would
raise his son from the ashes of the altar, and that they would return
together.  I see them ascending the hill—O, what an ascent was that!
Never was there a walk so sorrowful, till the great Antitype of Isaac
ascended the same mountain to “make his soul a sacrifice for sin.”  The
altar is built, the fire and the wood are placed thereon; and O for words
to describe the feelings of both father and son, when Abraham laid hold
on Isaac, and took the knife to plunge it into his heart!  There is a
pause.  The patriarch’s arm is stretched aloft, with the instrument of
death.  God of mercy! is there no help for a father?  Earth cannot speak;
but there comes a voice from heaven; and O, with what melody it rings
through Abraham’s heart!—“Abraham!  Abraham! lay not thine hand upon the
lad; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld
thy son, thine only son, from me.”

There was the triumph of faith.  “By faith Abraham, when he was tried,
offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his
only begotten son, of whom it was said—In Isaac shall thy seed be called;
accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead, from
whence also he received him in a figure.”  The patriarch’s faith quenched
“all the fiery darts of the wicked one,” which were cast at him in this
dreadful trial.

The arrows of the orientals were often poisoned at one end, and ignited
at the other.  It is to this circumstance the apostle alludes in the
phrase—“the fiery darts of the wicked,” or the wicked one.  Satan has his
quiver full of impoisoned and flaming arrows, from which the servants of
Christ would be much endangered without “the shield of faith.”  He shot
one of them at Eve in Paradise, and set the whole world on fire, “and it
is set on fire of hell.”  He shot an arrow of lust at David, and an arrow
of fear at Peter; and both of them were dreadfully wounded in the back.
He shot an arrow of covetousness at Judas, and another at Ananias and
Sapphira; and having no “shield of faith,” they were smitten, and dropped
down into hell.

The devil is a fierce and malicious enemy, “going about as a roaring
lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  Fain would he destroy all the holy
from the earth.  His “fiery darts” inflame the heart with the love of
sin, the fear of man, the torments of remorse, and the apprehensions of
judgment and fiery indignation.  But when the heart is shielded by the
faith of the gospel—when we clearly understand the truth as it is in
Jesus, cordially assent to it, appropriate it experimentally, and
surrender ourselves to its sanctifying influence—they have no power to
injure, and the Christian is more than conqueror.

“Cast not away, therefore, the beginning of your confidence, which hath
great recompense of reward.”  Grasp firmly the shield.  Whatever the
aspect of the fight, hold it fast till the end.  You will need it through
all the campaign.  You will need it especially in your contest with “the
last enemy, which is death.”  “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding
in the work of the Lord.”  So shall you be able to testify with Paul,
when he anticipated the termination of the warfare—“I have fought a good
fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith; and henceforth
there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord—the
righteous judge—shall give unto me in that day.”



SERMON XXI.
THE PARACLETE.


    “_And I will pray the Father_, _and he shall give you another
    Comforter_, _that he may abide with you for ever_; _even the Spirit
    of Truth_, _whom the world cannot receive_, _because it seeth him
    not_, _neither knoweth him_; _but ye know him_, _for he dwelleth with
    you_, _and shall be in you_.”—John xiv. 16, 17.

THE Bible is a most wonderful book.  It came to us from heaven, and is
stamped with the Spirit and the character of heaven.  It assails our
favorite maxims and customs, and declares that he who will be the friend
of this world is the enemy of God.  It will consent to no compromise with
sin.  It will not in the least accommodate itself to the carnal
inclinations of the human heart.  What is written is written, and not one
jot or tittle can be altered till heaven and earth shall pass away.  It
is the sword of God, by which he conquers the nations—the instrument of
his grace, by which he renovates the world.  Like the ark in the land of
the Philistines, which was mightier than all their lords, and Dagon their
god, it is more than a match for the cunning and prowess of the Prince of
Darkness and his hosts.  He who disobeys it kindles a volcano; he who
obeys opens to himself a fountain of living waters.  And the secret of
all its wonderful qualities and achievements is found in its Divine
inspiration, and the power of the Holy Ghost which accompanies its
truths.  It is “the sword of the Spirit,” and the Spirit that brought it
into the world continues in the world to wield it, and render it quick
and powerful.

These remarks introduce to our consideration the mission and office of
the Holy Ghost, of which our Saviour speaks in the language of the text.
And,

I.  We remark, that the Holy Ghost is evidently not a Divine attribute
merely, but a Divine person.

His personality is proved by the terms applied to him in the text—the
“Comforter,” and “the Spirit of Truth;” and by many other passages where
he is spoken of in similar language—language wholly incompatible with the
idea of his being a mere attribute, and not a person.

The doctrine of his Divinity is sustained by so many texts that their
mere quotation would be an irrefutable argument in its favor.  David
says—“The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue;
the God of Israel said,” &c.  Here the Holy Ghost is called “the Spirit
of the Lord,” and “the God of Israel.”  When Ananias “lied to the Holy
Ghost,” it is said he “lied to God.”  The ordinance of Baptism is ordered
to be administered “in the name of the Holy Ghost,” as well as “the name
of the Father and the Son;” and his “fellowship” is equally invoked with
the love of the former, and the grace of the latter, in the apostolical
benediction.  Besides, every attribute that belongs to the Deity belongs
to him.  He is omnipresent, omniscient, and eternal.  He is the Spirit of
truth, the Spirit of grace, and the Spirit of life.  His works also are
the works of God.  He creates and quickens, which is the prerogative of
God alone.  He renovates the soul.  He raised the body of Jesus, and will
raise the bodies of all men in the last day.  Finally: Blasphemy against
the Son may be forgiven; but “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost hath never
forgiveness, neither in this world nor in that which is to come.”  If,
then, the Father is God, and if the Son is God, so also is the Holy
Spirit.

II.  The Holy Ghost is the messenger and representative of Jesus Christ
in the Church.

Two promises, like heavenly merchant-vessels, brought salvation to our
world.  The first was given in Eden, and fulfilled on Calvary.  The Son
of God descended from heaven, suffered in our stead the curse of the law,
spoiled the powers of death and hell, and returned to his Father, leaving
another promise, shortly to be fulfilled upon his people.  With what
supernatural power and unction the Holy Spirit manifested himself on the
day of Pentecost!  Divine Comforter! what treasure bringest thou in thy
vessel of grace?  “The things of Christ; and I will unload them to-day in
the region of Calvary.  I have come to fulfil the promise, to endow the
disciples with power from on high, and finish the work which the Son of
God has begun.”  See those tongues of flame sitting upon the fishermen of
Galilee; while strangers from many different countries hear from them,
each in his own language, “the wonderful works of God.”  Only think of
three thousand conversions in a day—under a single sermon.  Three
thousand hearts were wounded by the arrows of Divine love, through the
strongest breastplate ever made in hell.  This was the work of the Holy
Spirit, taking of the things of Christ and showing them to the disciples.
It was Christ himself, manifesting himself through his agent.  The first
promise brought the Messiah into the world in the flesh; the second, in
the Spirit—the first, to be crucified; the second, to crucify the sins of
his people—the first, to empty himself; the second, to fill the believer
with heavenly gifts and graces—the first, to sanctify himself as a
sin-offering upon the altar; the second, to give repentance and pardon as
a Prince and a Saviour.

The Holy Spirit is still on earth, prosecuting his gracious work, and
communicating his heavenly gifts.  He strives with sinners, and quickens
believers into spiritual life.  He dwells in the saints, leads them into
all truth, and bears witness with their spirits that they are the
Children of God.  He illuminates their understanding, subdues their will,
purifies their thoughts, and plants within them all holy principles and
affections.  And this he does, not by an audible voice from heaven, but
through the instrumentality of the word, and by secret impressions upon
the soul.  “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound
thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth; so is
every one that is born of the Spirit.”  The operations of the Holy Ghost
are seen only in their effects.  It is a drop of water becoming a
fountain “that springeth up unto everlasting life.”  It is a spark of
fire, kindling a conflagration, which all the rivers of Belial cannot
quench.

III.  The Holy Ghost is the Paraclete; that is, the Counselor and
Consoler.  In our text, he is called the “Comforter.”  “And I will pray
the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,”—according to the
original, one to plead your cause.  The word is the same as that used to
designate the Roman ambassadors, who were sent to other countries, as
representatives of the Roman power, to persuade enemies to submit, or
offer terms of peace.

A certain author observes, that the office of the Comforter is to
reconcile enemies, and invigorate friends—to console the dejected,
strengthen the enfeebled, and support the people of God in all the
conflicts and trials of life.  It is by his grace that the believer’s
youth is renewed as the eagle’s, and all his languishing virtues are
revived, so that he can “run and not weary—walk and not faint.”

Another part of his office in the Church is intercession.  As he pleads
with sinners on behalf of Christ in the gospel, so he pleads for
believers in the court of heaven; not personally, like our blessed Lord,
but by inspiring the spirit of supplication in their hearts.  “Likewise
the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities, for we know not what we should
pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us,
with groanings which cannot be uttered; and he that searcheth the hearts
knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession
for the saints according to the will of God.”

When other nations had offended the Romans, it was common for them,
fearing the revenge of that mighty empire, to send messengers to Rome, to
plead their cause, and treat for peace.  “The Spirit of Truth,” having
brought sinners to repentance by pleading with them for Christ in the
gospel, pours down upon them the spirit of grace and supplication, so
that they cry out for mercy, and this is virtually the Spirit of God
crying out within them.  What is the meaning of all that prayer and agony
in the congregation?  The Spirit of God is there.  His hammer has broken
the rock—his fire has melted the iron.  No other power could conquer
those proud rebellious hearts, and turn the blasphemer into a man of
prayer.  Listen!  “If thou shouldst mark iniquity, O Lord, who could
stand?”  Hark again!  “But thou art a God ready to pardon; there is
forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”  It is the voice of
the Spirit, pleading in the awakened soul.  See that publican in the
temple, smiting upon his breast, and saying,—“God be merciful to me a
sinner!”  The Holy Ghost has both convinced him of sin, and inspired him
to pray for mercy.  No other agency can thus quicken the “dead in
trespasses and sins,” and turn the hearts of the children of men to the
Lord.  The gospel, in the hand of the Holy Spirit, “is the power of God
unto salvation.”  The Holy Spirit can convince the world—can rend the
veil from the mind, and dissolve the ice around the heart.  He applies
the truth to the conscience, and makes the guilty read their own sentence
of condemnation by the light of the fires of Sinai; and then he shows
them the atoning blood, and prompts them to pray for pardon.  He first
convinces them that they are sinking in “the horrible pit of miry clay;”
and then lets down to them the rope of the promise, bids them take hold
by faith, draws them out, and sets their feet upon a rock, and puts into
their mouth the new song of salvation—“O Lord, I will praise thee; for
though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou
comfortest me!”

O that the “Spirit of grace and supplication” may ever rest upon us!  May
we plead for ourselves with God, as Jacob, when he wrestled for the
blessing; or Bartimeus, when he besought the Saviour to restore his
sight!  May we plead for sinners, as Abraham for Sodom, as Moses for
Israel, as Daniel for the captives, as the Centurion for his servant, and
as the woman of Canaan for her daughter!

IV.  The Holy Ghost is called “another comforter;” which suggests a
difference between his office in the church, and that of our Lord Jesus
Christ.

Christ, by his personal ministry on earth, was the Comforter of his
little flock; and by his death upon the cross, the procurer of all the
comforts of them that believe; and when he ascended, “another comforter”
came down to take his place in the church, and communicate the blessings
which he bought with his blood.  “If any man sin, we have an Advocate
with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” who hath “entered into
heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God for us;” while his
agent and representative on earth dwells with his followers, leads them
into all truth, and carries on within them the process of sanctification.
Both are comforters—both are advocates—Christ above, and the Holy Spirit
below—Christ by his personal presence before the Father, and the Holy
Spirit by his gracious influence in the believer’s heart.

Christ is making intercession on our behalf without us, and independently
of us.  But the Holy Spirit is making intercession through us—pleading in
our prayers “with groanings that cannot be uttered.”  He never acts
without us.  True repentance and faith are his gifts, but they are also
our exercises.  He draws us to Christ, but we must yield to his
attractions.  He inspires us to pray, but the act of prayer is our own.
He “worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure,” but he does
not will and do for us.  He gives us the life and the power, but he
requires us to use them.  He leads us into all truth, but not unless we
follow him.  He sheds abroad the love of God in our hearts, but not
unless we open our hearts to receive the communication.  He destroys the
old man within us, and creates the new; but not unless we cordially
resign ourselves to his influence, and earnestly co-operate with his
grace.

Christ in heaven pleads for the reconciliation of sinners to God.  The
Holy Spirit on earth awakens sinners, convinces them of sin, draws them
to the throne of grace, and breathes into them intense prayers for
pardon.  He renews them, and purifies them, and makes them temples of his
grace, and heirs of glory.  He opens the blind eyes, and unstops the deaf
ears, and makes the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb
to sing.  All the true conversions ever effected on earth are the results
of his gracious power.

Christ has bound up all the covenants, and carried them with him into
heaven, and laid them down before the throne, having obtained eternal
redemption for us; and the Holy Spirit has taken of the things of God,
and brought them down to men.  Christ received gifts for us, and the Holy
Spirit confers them upon us.  Christ receives from the Father; the Spirit
receives from Christ; and we receive from the Spirit.  Christ bought the
church with his own blood, and the spirit prepares and presents her to
him as his bride.  Christ opened a way into the Holy of Holies, and the
Spirit aids us to offer our sacrifices before the mercy-seat.  Christ is
the appointed medium of our intercourse with God, and the Spirit helps us
to avail ourselves of that unspeakable privilege.  Christ in heaven is
the life of our redemption, and the Spirit upon earth is the life of the
gospel and the ordinances.  “I will draw all men unto myself”—is the
motto of Christ; “I will draw all men unto Christ”—is the motto of the
Spirit.

V.  The Holy Ghost has taken up his permanent residence among the people
of God.  “That he may abide with you for ever—for he dwelleth with you
and shall be in you.”

His miraculous gifts were temporary; being no longer necessary, when the
truth was established in the conviction of mankind.  But his renovating
and sanctifying grace is as much needed now as ever, and therefore has
never been taken from the world.  The primitive Christians, and
Christians of the present day, in this respect, share the same privilege.
It is a “common salvation;” and the streams will never cease to flow,
while there remain “vessels of mercy” to be filled.

The church in every age has suffered great loss in the death of her most
able and efficient ministers.  The strongest pillars in the house have
fallen; the tallest trees in the forest have been cut down.  “The
fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?”  Where
are the apostles and evangelists?  What has become of the great reformers
of every age?  They have gone the way whence they shall not return.  They
have ascended in their chariots of fire.  Though safe in heaven, they are
lost to earth.  But the Holy Spirit is a “Comforter” that shall “abide
with you for ever.”  The hands have all departed, one after another, and
new crews have been shipped from age to age; but the Captain is still
alive; and has remained on board, ever since he first took the register
and the compass, on the day of Pentecost; and will never leave the ship,
till he brings her in from her last voyage, and lays her up for ever!

Brethren in the ministry! this is our consolation.  The Spirit that
blessed the labors of David Jones, Daniel Rowlands, and Howell Harris,
still “dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”  O let us seek his aid in
our holy work, and pray for his outpouring upon our congregations!

Delegates of the different churches! be of good courage!  You may not
have seen as many additions lately as in former times; but the Holy
Spirit has not yet departed from the faithful.  You have heard of
wonderful revivals in America, as well as in some parts of Wales.  The
“Comforter” is yet at work.  The illuminator of souls is yet at hand.
The office is yet open.  The blessing is yet offered.  O, let us all pray
for the Holy Spirit! let us look for his coming! let us wait for his
salvation!



SERMON XXII.
THE FATHER AND SON GLORIFIED.


    “_Howbeit_, _when he_, _the Spirit of Truth_, _is come_, _he will
    guide you into all truth_; _for he shall not speak of himself_; _but
    whatsoever he shall hear_, _that shall he speak_; _and he will show
    you things to come_.  _He shall glorify me_: _for he shall receive of
    mine_, _and shall show it unto you_.  _All things that the Father
    hath are mine_; _therefore_, _said I_, _that he shall take of mine_,
    _and shall show it unto you_.”—John xvi. 13–15.

THE wonderful Providence which brought the Children of Israel out of the
house of bondage was a chain of many links, not one of which could be
omitted without destroying the beauty, and defeating the end of the
Divine economy.  The family of Jacob come to Egypt in the time of
famine—they multiply—they are oppressed—their cries reach to heaven—God
manifests himself in the burning bush—Moses is sent to Egypt—miracles are
wrought by his hand—Pharaoh’s heart is hardened—the first-born are
slain—the passover is eaten—the people depart, led by the pillar of
God—the sea is divided—and with many signs and wonders, the thousands of
Israel are conducted through the wilderness to the Promised Land.  Had
one of these links been wanting, the chain of deliverance had been
defective.

So, in the salvation of sinners by Jesus Christ, all the conditions and
preparatives were essential to the completeness and glory of the scheme.
The Son of God must consent to undertake our cause, and become our
substitute—the promise must be given to Adam, and frequently repeated to
the patriarchs—bloody sacrifices must be instituted to typify the
vicarious sufferings of Messiah—a long line of prophets must foretell his
advent, and the glory of his kingdom—he must be born in Bethlehem,
crucified on Calvary, and buried in Joseph’s new tomb—must rise from the
dead, ascend to the right hand of the Father, and send down the Holy
Spirit to guide and sanctify his church.  Without all these
circumstances, the economy of redemption would have been incomplete and
inefficient.

The last link in the chain is the mission and work of the Holy Spirit.
This is quite as important as any of the rest.  Our Saviour’s heart seems
to have been much set upon it during all his ministry, and especially
during the last few days before his crucifixion.  He spoke of it
frequently to his disciples, and told them that he would not leave them
comfortless, but would send them “another Comforter,” who should abide
with them for ever; and that his own departure was necessary, to prepare
the way for the coming of the heavenly Paraclete.  In our text, he
describes the office of the Holy Spirit, and the specific relation which
he sustains to the work of salvation:—“Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of
Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak
of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he
will show you things to come.  He shall glorify me; for he shall receive
of mine, and shall show it unto you.  All things that the Father hath are
mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it
unto you.”

These words teach us two important truths—_first_, That the Son is equal
with the Father; and _secondly_, That the Father and the Son are alike
glorified in the economy of salvation.

I.  The Son claims equality with the Father.  “All things that the Father
hath are mine.”

This sentence is very comprehensive and sublime—an unquestionable
affirmation of Messiah’s “eternal power and Godhead.”  The same doctrine
is taught us in many other recorded sayings of Christ, and sustained by
all the prophets and apostles; and when I consider this declaration in
connection with the general strain of the inspired writers on the
subject, I seem to hear the Saviour himself addressing the world in the
following manner:—

“All things that the Father hath are mine.  His _names_ are mine.  I am
Jehovah—the Mighty God, and the Everlasting Father—the Lord of Hosts—the
Living God—the True God, and Eternal Life.

“His _works_ are mine.  All things were made by me, and I uphold all
things by the word of my power.  My Father worketh hitherto, and I work;
for as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the
Son quickeneth whom he will.  I am the author of universal being, and my
hand moves all the machinery of providence.

“His _honors_ are mine.  I have an indisputable right to the homage of
all created intelligences.  I inhabit the praises of eternity.  Before
the foundation of the world, I was the object of angelic adoration; and
when I became incarnate as a Saviour, the Father published his decree in
heaven, saying:—‘Let all the angels of God worship him!’  It is his will,
also, that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father—in
the same manner, and the same degree.  He that honoreth the Son, honoreth
the Father; and he that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father:
for I and my Father are one—one in honor—possessing joint interest and
authority.

“His _attributes_ are mine.  Though as man and mediator I am inferior to
the Father; yet my nature is no more inferior to his, than the nature of
the Prince of Wales is inferior to the nature of the King of England.
You see me clothed in humanity; but in my original state, I thought it
not robbery to be equal with God.  I was in the beginning with God, and
possessed the same eternity of being.  Like him, I am almighty,
omniscient, and immutable; infinite in holiness, justice, goodness, and
truth.  All these attributes, with every other possible perfection,
belong to me in the same sense as they belong to the Father.  They are
absolute and independent, underived and unoriginated—the essential
qualities of my nature.

“His _riches of grace_ are mine.  I am the mediator of the new
covenant—the channel of my Father’s mercies to mankind.  I have the keys
of the house of David, and the seal of the kingdom of heaven.  I have
come from the bosom of the Father, freighted with the precious treasures
of his good will to men.  I have sailed over the sea of tribulation and
death, to bring you the wealth of the other world.  I am the Father’s
messenger, publishing peace on earth—a peace which I have purchased with
my own blood upon the cross.  It hath pleased the Father that in me all
fulness should dwell—all fulness of wisdom and grace—whatever is
necessary for the justification, sanctification, and redemption of them
that believe.  My Father and I are one in the work of salvation, as in
the work of creation.  We have the same will, and the same intention of
mercy toward the children of the great captivity.

“The _objects of his love_ are mine.  He hath given them to me in an
everlasting covenant.  He hath given me the heathen for an inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession.  They were mine by
the original right of creation; but now they are doubly mine by the
superadded claim of redemption.  My Father, before the world was, gave me
a charter of all the souls I would redeem.  I have fulfilled the
condition.  I have poured out my soul unto death, and sealed the covenant
with the blood of my cross.  Therefore all believers are mine.  I have
bought them with a price.  I have redeemed them from the bondage of sin
and death.  Their names are engraven on my hands and my feet.  They are
written with the soldier’s spear upon my heart.  And of all that the
Father hath given me, I will lose nothing.  I will draw them all to
myself; I will raise them up at the last day; and they shall be with me
where I am, that they may behold my glory—the glory which I had with the
Father before the foundation of the world.”

II.  The Father and the Son are equally glorified in the economy of
redemption, and the work of the Holy Spirit.

1.  The Son glorifies the Father.  I hear him praying in the
garden:—“Father, I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the
work which thou gavest me to do.”  I hear him again, amid the
supernatural gloom of Calvary, with a voice that rings through the
dominions of death and hell, crying—“It is finished!”

What mighty achievement hast thou finished to-day, blessed Jesus? and how
have thy unknown agony and shameful death glorified the Father?

“I have glorified the Father, by raising up those precious things which
fell in Eden, and were lost in the abyss.

“I have raised up my Father’s _law_.  I found it cast down to the earth,
and trampled into the dust.  I have magnified and made it honorable.  I
have vindicated its authority in the sight of men and angels.  I have
satisfied its demands on behalf of my redeemed, and become the end of the
law for righteousness to all who will receive me as their surety.

“I have raised up my Father’s _name_.  I have declared it to my brethren.
I have manifested it to the men whom he has given me.  I have given a new
revelation of his character to the world.  I have shown him to sinners,
as a just God and a Saviour.  I have restored his worship in purity and
spirituality upon earth.  I have opened a new and living way to his
throne of grace.  I have written the record of his mercy with my own
blood upon the rocks of Calvary.

“I have raised up my Father’s _image_.  I have imprinted it afresh upon
human nature, from which it was effaced by sin.  I have displayed its
excellence in my own character.  I have passed through the pollutions of
the world, and the territory of death, without tarnishing its lustre, or
injuring its symmetry.  Though my visage is marred with grief, and my
back plowed with scourges, and my hands and feet nailed to the accursed
cross, not one trace of my Father’s image has been obliterated from my
human soul.  It is as perfect and as spotless now as when I lay in the
manger.  I will carry it unstained with me into heaven.  I will give a
full description of it in my gospel upon earth.  I will change my people
into the same image from glory to glory.  I will also renovate and
transform their vile bodies, and fashion them like unto my own glorious
body.  I will ransom them from the power of the grave; and because I
live, they shall live also—the counterpart of my own immaculate
humanity—mirrors to reflect my Father’s glory for ever.”

2.  The Father glorifies the Son.  He prayed in the garden:—“And now,
Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had
with thee before the world was.”  Was the petition granted?  Answer, ye
Roman sentinels, who watched his sepulchre!  Answer, ye men of Galilee,
who gazed upon his chariot, as he ascended from the Mount of Olives!

The glorification of the Son by the Father implies all the honors of his
mediatorial office—all the crowns which he won by his victory over the
powers of death and hell.  The Father raised him from the dead, and
received him up into glory, as a testimony of his acceptance as the
sinner’s surety—an expression of perfect satisfaction with his vicarious
sacrifice upon the cross.  It was the just reward of his work; it was the
fruit of his gracious travail.  He is “crowned with glory and honor for
the sufferings of death.”  “Because he hath poured out his soul unto
death,” therefore “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name
that is above every name.”

What an honor would it be to a man, to receive eight or ten of the
highest offices in a kingdom!  Infinitely greater is the glory of
Emmanuel.  His name includes all the offices and titles of the kingdom of
heaven.  The Father hath made him “both Lord and Christ”—that is, given
him the supreme prerogatives of government and salvation.  “Him hath God
exalted to be a prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and
remission of sins.”  He is “head over all things in the church”—Prime
Minister of the kingdom of heaven—Lord Treasurer, dispensing the bounties
of Divine grace to mankind—Lord High-Chancellor of the realm, and Keeper
of the Great Seal of the living God; holding in his hand the charter of
our redemption, and certifying the authenticity of the Divine
covenant—Lord Chief Justice of heaven and earth, having all power and
authority to administer the laws of Providence throughout the
universe—the Chief Prince—the General of the army—the Captain of the
Lord’s host—the Champion who conquered Satan, Sin, and Death; bruising
the head of the first, destroying the power of the second, and swallowing
up the third in victory.  He hath the keys of hell and of death.  He
shutteth, and no man openeth; he openeth, and no man shutteth.  He bears
all the honors of his Father’s house; and concentrates in himself all the
glories of Supreme Divinity, redeemed humanity, and “mediator between God
and man.”

3.  The Holy Spirit glorifies Father and Son together.  He is procured
for the world by the blood of the Son, and sent into the world by the
authority of the Father; so that both are alike represented in his
mission, and equally glorified in his office.  The gracious things which
the Father gave into the hands of the Son when he descended from heaven,
the Son gave into the hands of the Spirit when he returned to heaven.
“All things that the Father hath are mine; and he shall take of mine, and
shall show it unto you.”

This is the object of the Spirit’s advent, the communication of the
things of Christ to men.  What are the things of Christ?  His merit, his
mercy, his image, his gospel, his promises, all the gifts of his grace,
all the treasures of his love, and all the immunities of eternal
redemption.  These the Father hath given to the Son, as the great Trustee
of the church; and the Son hath given them to the Spirit, as the
appointed agent of their communication.

A ship was laden in India, arrived safe in London, unloaded her precious
cargo, and the goods were soon distributed all over the country, and
offered for sale in a thousand stores.  The Son of God brought immense
riches of Divine grace from heaven to earth, which are all left to the
disposal of the Holy Spirit, and freely proffered to the perishing
wherever the gospel is preached.

The Holy Spirit came not to construct a new engine of mercy, but to
propel that already constructed by Christ.  Its first revolution rent the
rocks of Calvary, and shook the rocky hearts of men.  Its second
revolution demolished the throne of death, burst his prison-doors, and
liberated many of his captives.  Its third revolution carried its builder
up into the heaven of heavens, and brought down the Holy Spirit to move
its machinery for ever.  Its next revolution, under the impulse of this
new Agent, was like “the rushing of a mighty wind” among the assembled
disciples at Jerusalem, kindled a fire upon the head of every Christian,
inspired them to speak all the languages of the babbling earth, and
killed and quickened three thousand souls of the hearers.

The Holy Spirit is still on earth, glorifying the Father and the Son.  He
convinces the world of sin.  He leads men to Christ, through the rivers
of corruption, the mountains of presumption, and the terrible bogs of
despair, affording them no rest till they come to the city of refuge.  He
continues on the field to bring up the rear; while the Captain of our
Salvation, on his white horse, rides victorious in the van of battle.  He
strengthens the soldiers—“faint, yet pursuing;” raises the fallen;
encourages the despondent; feeds them with the bread of life, and the new
wine of the kingdom; and leads them on—“conquering, and to conquer.”

His work will not be finished till the resurrection.  Then will he
quicken our mortal bodies.  Then will he light his candle, and sweep the
house till he find every lost piece of silver.  Then will he descend into
the dark caves of death, and gather all the gems of redeemed humanity,
and weave them into a crown for Emmanuel, and place that crown upon
Emmanuel’s head, amid the songs of the adoring seraphim!

Thus the Holy Spirit glorifies the Father and the Son.  Let us pray for
the outpouring of his grace upon the church.  In proportion to his
manifestation in our hearts, will be our “knowledge of the light of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  Nor is this all; in
proportion to the visitations of the Holy Spirit, will be the purity of
our lives, the spirituality of our worship, the ardor of our zeal and
charity, and the extent of our usefulness to the cause of Christ.  Would
you see a revival of religion? pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
upon you, to sanctify your hearts and your lives, that your light may “so
shine before men, that others may see your good works, and glorify your
Father who is in heaven.”

“When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry
trees, then thou shalt bestir thyself; for then the Lord shall go out
before thee, to strike the hosts of the Philistines.”  Brethren, this is
the time.  The mulberry trees are shaking.  God is going before his
people, to prepare their way to victory.  The hand of Divine Providence
is opening a great and effectual door for the gospel.  The mountains are
levelled, the valleys are exalted, and a highway is cast up in the
wilderness for our God.  The arts of printing and navigation, the
increasing commerce of the world, the general prevalence of the spirit of
peace, the rapid march of literature and science, and the correspondence
of eminent and leading men in every nation, are so many preparatives for
the moral conquest of the world.  The Captain of our Salvation, on the
white horse of the gospel, can now ride through Europe and America: and
will soon lead forth his army to take possession of Asia and Africa.  The
wings of the mighty angel are unbound, and he is flying in the midst of
heaven.

Again: Christians are better informed concerning the moral state of the
world than formerly.  If my neighbor’s house were on fire, and I knew
nothing of it, I could not be blamed for rendering him no assistance; but
who could be guiltless in beholding the building in flames, without an
effort to rescue its occupants?  Brethren, you have heard of the
perishing heathen.  You have heard of their dreadful superstitions, their
human sacrifices, and their abominable rites.  You have heard of
Juggernaut, and the River Ganges, and the murder of infants, and the
immolation of widows, and the worship of idols and demons.  You know
something of the delusion of Mohammedism, the cruel and degrading
ignorance of Popery, and how millions around you are perishing for lack
of knowledge.  Do you feel no solicitude for their souls—no desire to
pluck them as brands from the burning?

What can we do?  The Scriptures have been translated into nearly all the
languages of the babbling earth.  Missionaries have gone into many
lands—have met the Indian in his wigwam, the African in his Devil’s-bush,
and the devotee on his way to Mecca.  We can furnish more men for the
field, and more money to sustain them.  But these things cannot change
and renovate the human heart.  “Not by might, nor by power, but by my
Spirit, saith the Lord.”  This is the grand regenerating agency.  He
alone can convince and save the world.  His aid is given in answer to
prayer; and the Father is more ready to give than we are to ask.

Mr. Ward, one of the Baptist missionaries in India, in a missionary
discourse at Bristol, said,—“Brethren, we need your money, but we need
your prayers more.”  O, what encouragement we have to pray for our
missionaries!  Thus saith the Lord:—“I will pour water upon him that is
thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon thy
seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.”  Let us plead with God for
the accomplishment of the promise.  “Ye that make mention of the Lord,
keep not silence, and give him no rest till he make Jerusalem a praise in
the whole earth.”

Brethren in the ministry! let us remember that all our success depends
upon the aid of the Holy Spirit, and let us pray constantly for his
blessing upon the word!  Brethren in the church! forget not the
connection between the work of the Holy Spirit and the glory of your Best
Friend, and earnestly entreat him to mingle his sanctifying unction with
the treasures of Divine Truth contained in these earthen vessels!
“Finally, brethren, pray for us; that the word of the Lord may have free
course and be glorified;” and all the ends of the earth see the salvation
of our God!

    “Hasten, Lord, the glorious time,
       When, beneath Messiah’s sway,
    Every tribe, in every clime,
       Shall the gospel call obey!

    “Then shall wars and tumults cease;
       Then be banished grief and pain
    Righteousness, and joy, and peace,
       Undisturbed, for ever reign!”



EXTRACTS.


I.  THE DEMONIAC OF GADARA.


                           _Luke_ viii. 26–39.

“AND when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain
man, which had devils a long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in
any house, but in the tombs.”

I imagine that this demoniac was not only an object of pity, but he was
really a terror in the country.  So terrific was his appearance, so
dreadful and hideous his screams, so formidable, frightful, and horrid
his wild career, that all the women in that region were so much alarmed
that none of them dared go to market.

And what made him still more terrible was the place of his abode: It was
not in a city, where some attention might be paid to order and
decorum—(though he would sometimes ramble into the city as in this case.)
It was not in a town, or village, or any house whatever, where assistance
might be obtained in case of necessity; but it was among the tombs, and
in the wilderness—not far, however, from the turnpike road.  No one could
tell but that he might jump at them, like a panther, and scare them to
death.  The gloominess of the place made it more awful and solemn.  It
was among the tombs—where, in the opinion of some, all witches,
corpse-candles, and hobgoblins abide.

One day, however, Mary was determined that no such nuisance should be
suffered in the country of the Gadarenes.  The man must be clothed,
though he was mad and crazy.  And if he should at any future time strip
himself, tie up his clothes in a bundle, throw them into the river, and
tell them to go to see Abraham, he must be tied and taken care of.  Well,
this was all right—no sooner said than done.  But, so soon as the fellow
was bound in chains and fetters, Samson-like, he broke the bands asunder,
and could not be tamed.

By this time, the devil became offended with the Gadarenes, and in a pout
he took the demoniac away, and drove him into the wilderness.  He thought
the Gadarenes had no business to interfere and meddle with his property;
for he had possession of the man.  And he knew, that “a bird in the hand
is worth two in the bush.”  It is probable that he wanted to send him
home; for there was no knowing what might happen now-a-days.  But there
was too much matter about him to send him as he was; therefore, he
thought the best plan would be to persuade him to commit suicide by
cutting his throat.  But here Satan was at a nonplus—his rope was too
short—He could not turn executioner himself, as that would not have
answered the design he has in view, when he wants people to commit
suicide; for the act would have been his own sin and not the man’s.  The
poor demoniac, therefore, must go about to hunt a sharp stone, or any
thing that he could get.  He might have been in search of such an
article, when he returned from the wilderness into the city, whence he
came when he met the Son of God.

“Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.  And when he
saw Jesus he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice
said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high?  I
beseech thee torment me not.”

Here is the devil’s confession of faith.  The devils believe and tremble,
while men make a mock of sin, and sport on the brink of eternal ruin.  To
many of the human race, Christ appears as a root out of dry ground.  They
see in him neither form nor comeliness, and there is no beauty in him
that they should desire him.  Some said he was the carpenter’s son, and
would not believe in him; others said he had a devil, and that it was
through Beelzebub the chief of the devils, that he cast out devils; some
cried out, Let him be crucified—let him be crucified; and others said,
Let his blood be on us and on our children.  As the Jews would not have
him to reign over them; so many, who call themselves Christians, say that
he is a mere man; as such, he has no right to rule over their
consciences, and demand their obedience, adoration, and praise.  But
Diabolus knows better—Jesus is the Son of God most high.

Many of the children of the devil, whose work they do, differ very widely
from their father in their sentiments respecting the person of Christ.

“Jesus commanded the legion of unclean spirits to come out of the man.”
They knew that out they must go.  But they were like Scotchmen—very
unwilling to return to their own country.  They would rather go into
hogs’ skins than to their own country.  And he suffered them to go into
the herd of swine.  Methinks that one of the men who fed the hogs, kept a
better look out than the rest of them, and said, “What ail the hogs?
Look sharp there, boys—keep them in—make good use of your whips.  Why
don’t you run?  Why, I declare, one of them has gone over the cliff!
There goes another!  Drive them back.”  Never was there such a running,
and whipping, and hallooing; but down go the hogs, before they are aware
of it.  One of them said, “They are all gone!”  “No, sure not all gone
into the sea!”  “Yes, every one of them, the black hog and all!  They are
all drowned!—the devil is in them!  What shall we do now?—what can we say
to the owners?”  “What can we say?” said another.  “We must tell the
truth—that is all about it.  We did our best—all that was in our power.
What could any man do more?”

So they went their way to the city, to tell the masters what had
happened.  “John, where are you going,” exclaimed one of the masters.
“Sir, did you know the demoniac that was among the tombs there?”
“Demoniac among the tombs!  Where did you leave the hogs?”  “That madman,
sir—”  “Madman!—Why do you come home without the hogs?”  “That wild and
furious man, sir, that mistress was afraid of so much—”  “Why John, I ask
you a plain and simple question—why don’t you answer me?  Where are the
hogs?”  “That man who was possessed with the devils, sir—”  “Why, sure
enough, you are crazy!—you look wild!—tell me your story, if you can, let
it be what it may.”  “Jesus Christ, sir, has cast out the unclean spirits
out of the demoniac; they are gone into the swine; and they are all
drowned in the sea; for I saw the tail of the last one!”  The Gadarenes
went out to see what was done, and finding that it was even so, they were
afraid, and besought Jesus to depart from them.

How awful must be the condition of those men who love the things of this
world more than Jesus Christ!

The man out of whom the unclean spirits were cast, besought Jesus that he
might be with him.  But he told him to return to his own house, and show
how great things God had done unto him.  And he went his way and
published throughout the whole city of Decapolis, how great things Jesus
had done unto him.  The act of Jesus casting so many devils out of him,
was sufficient to persuade him that Jesus was God as well as man.

I imagine I see him going through the city, crying—“O yes!  O yes!  O
yes!—Please to take notice of me, the demoniac among the tombs.  I am the
man who was a terror to the citizens of this place—that wild man, who
would wear no clothes, and that no man could bind.  Here am I, now, in my
right mind.  Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners, had compassion on me.
He remembered me when I was in my low estate—when there was no eye to
pity, and no hand to save.  He cast out the devils and redeemed my soul
from destruction.”

Most wonderful must have been the surprise of the people, to hear such
proclamation.  The ladies running to the windows, the shoemakers throwing
their lasts one way and their awls another, running out to meet him and
to converse with him, that they might be positive there was no
imposition, and found it to be a fact that could not be contradicted.
“O, the wonder of all wonders!  Never was there such a thing!”—must, I
think, be the general conversation.

And while they are talking and everybody having something to say,
homeward goes the man.  As soon as he comes in sight of the house, I
imagine I see one of the children running in, and crying, “O, mother!
father is coming—he will kill us all!”  “Children, come all into the
house,” says the mother.  “Let us fasten the doors.  I think there is no
sorrow like my sorrow!” says the broken-hearted woman.  “Are all the
windows fastened, children?”  “Yes, mother.”  “Mary, my dear, come from
the window—don’t be standing there.”  “Why, mother, I can hardly believe
it is father!  That man is well-dressed.”  “O yes, my dear children, it
is your own father.  I knew him by his walk the moment I saw him.”
Another child stepping to the window, says, “Why, mother, I never saw
father coming home as he does to-day.  He walks on the footpath and turns
round the corner of the fence.  He used to come towards the house as
straight as a line, over fences, ditches, and hedges; and I never saw him
walking as slow as he does now.”

In a few moments, however, he arrives at the door of the house, to the
great terror and consternation of all the inmates.  He gently tries the
door, and finds no admittance.  He pauses a moment, steps towards the
window, and says in a low, firm, and melodious voice—“My dear wife, if
you will let me in, there is no danger.  I will not hurt you.  I bring
you glad tidings of great joy.”  The door is reluctantly opened, as it
were between joy and fear.  Having deliberately seated himself, he says:
“I am come to show you what great things God has done for me.  He loved
me with an eternal love.  He redeemed me from the curse of the law and
the threatenings of vindictive justice.  He saved me from the power and
the dominion of sin.  He cast out the devils out of my heart, and made
that heart, which was a den of thieves, the temple of the Holy Spirit.  I
cannot tell you how much I love the Saviour.  Jesus Christ is the
foundation of my hope, the object of my faith, and the centre of my
affections.  I can venture my immortal soul upon him.  He is my best
friend.  He is altogether lovely—the chief among ten thousand.  He is my
wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.  There is enough
in him to make a poor sinner rich, and a miserable sinner happy.  His
flesh and blood is my food—his righteousness my wedding garment—and his
blood is efficacious to cleanse me from all my sins.  Through him I can
obtain eternal life; for he is the brightness of the Father’s glory, and
the express image of his person: in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the
Godhead bodily.  He deserves my highest esteem and my warmest gratitude.
Unto him who loved me with an eternal love, and washed me in his own
blood, unto him be the glory, dominion, and power, for ever and ever!
For he has rescued my soul from hell.  He plucked me as a brand out of
the burning.  He took me out of the miry clay, and out of a horrible pit.
He set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings, and put in my
mouth a new song of praise and glory to him!  Glory to him for
ever!—Glory to God in the highest!—Glory to God for ever and ever!  Let
the whole earth praise him!—Yea, let all the people praise him!”

It is beyond the power of the strongest imagination to conceive the joy
and gladness of this family.  The joy of seafaring men delivered from
shipwreck; the joy of a man delivered from a burning house; the joy of
not being found guilty to a criminal at the bar; the joy of receiving
pardon to a condemned malefactor; the joy of freedom to a prisoner of
war, is nothing in comparison to the joy of him who is delivered from
going down to the pit of eternal destruction.  For it is a joy
unspeakable and full of glory.



II.  ENTERING THE PORT.


    “_For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the
    ever-lasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ_.”—2 Pet.
    i. 11.

THIS language seems to be borrowed from the case of a ship bringing her
passengers to port on a pleasant afternoon, her sails all white and
whole, and her flags majestically waving in the breeze; while the
relatives of those on board ascend the high places, to see their brothers
and their sisters returning home in safety from the stormy main.  How
pleasant to a man who is about to emigrate to the new world, America,
when he meets with some one that has been there, and who is well
acquainted with the coast, knows the best landing-place, and will
accompany him on his passage.  “Though I walk through the valley and the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and
thy staff they comfort me.”  He who passed through death himself, and is
Lord of the sea, is our High-priest; and, with his priestly vestments on,
he will stand in Jordan’s current till the feeblest in all the tribes
shall be safely landed on Canaan’s shore.  How delightful must be the
feelings of the dying Christian, the testimony of whose conscience unites
with the witness of the spirit, to assure him that Jesus has paid his
fare: and who knows he carries in his hand the white stone with the new
name, to be exhibited on the pier-head, the other side, hard by his
Father’s house.  This is an abundant entrance, on a fair day, over a fine
sea, with a pleasant breeze swelling every sail.  “Now lettest thou thy
servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”

O how different the entrance ministered to the careless professor—the
fruitless and idle—who keeps his hand in his bosom, or leaning upon his
implements!  Though he may reach the shore with his life, it will be at
midnight, surrounded by roaring tempests, full of bitter remembrances and
most tormenting fears.  Yet, with tattered sails and broken ropes,
peradventure he may gain the port; “for the Lord is good, and his mercy
endureth for ever.”  But who shall describe the condition of the ungodly,
driven out to sea in all their wickedness; not even allowed a quarantine
within sight of the heavenly Jerusalem, but obliged to drift about,
dismantled and disabled, amid the darkness of eternal storms!  Oh! to be
forced from their moorings at midnight, when they cannot see a
handbreadth before them; the thunders rolling; the lightnings flashing;
strange voices of wrath mingling with every blast; and the great bell of
eternity tolling a funeral knell for the lost soul, through all its
dismal, and solitary, and everlasting voyage!  Let us flee for refuge, to
lay hold on the hope set before us, which hope is as an anchor of the
soul, sure and steadfast, grasping the Rock of Ages within the vail!



III.  THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT IN DRY PLACES.


I SEE the wicked spirit, like a winged dragon, having a long tail,
drawing circles and flying in the air, in search of a dwelling-place.
Casting his fiery look upon a certain neighborhood, he spies a young man,
in the bloom of his days, and in the strength of his powers, sitting on
the box of his cart, going for lime.  “There he is,” says the old hellish
dragon; “his veins are full of blood, and his bones are full of marrow; I
will cast the sparks into his bosom, and will set all his lusts on fire;
I will lead him on from bad to worse, until he commit every sin.  I will
make him a murderer, and will plunge his soul for ever beneath the
boiling billows of the great fiery furnace.”  With this, I see him
descending in all the vehemence of his character—but when close by the
lad, the dragon hears him sing,

    “When on the cross the Saviour hung,
       The mid-day sank in midnight gloom;
    When guilty sinners were redeemed,
       The midnight burst in mid-day bloom.”

Upon which the dragon cries out, “This place is too dry for me,”—and away
he flies.

I see him again, a second time, hovering in the air, and seeking for a
resting-place.  In a flowery meadow, by a river of clear water, he sees a
maiden, eighteen years of age, among the kine, picking up some beautiful
flowers, here and there.  “Behold her,” says Apollyon, full of hellish
joy; “I will poison her mind, and lead her astray from the paths of the
Almighty enemy; I will make her a harlot, and will ultimately cast her
over the precipice, until she sink for ever in the furnace of divine
wrath.”  He hastens down; and, approaching the maiden, finds her singing
the following stanzas, in a heavenly, transporting frame of mind, and
with a voice that might almost melt the rocks:

    “Unto the righteous will arrive,
       A day of rest serene,
    When to their joy they see the Lord,
       Without a vail between.

    “Then from the grave I shall arise,
       And take my joyful stand
    Among the saints who dwell on high,
       Received at God’s right hand.”

“This place is too dry for me,” says the dragon, and off he flies.

From the meadow he ascends like a great balloon, with renewed rage,
blowing smoke and fire from his mouth, and threatening damnation to all
creation.  “I will have a place to rest and dwell in,” says Apollyon, “in
spite of the purpose, covenant, and grace of God!”  With this he espies
an aged woman, sitting at the door of her cot, and spinning on her little
wheel.  “Ah, she is ripe for destruction,” says the dragon; “I will give
her a taste of the burning gall of damnation, and will cast her into the
lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.”  With this he descends on the
eaves of the cot, and hears the old woman, with a trembling voice, but
with heavenly feelings, repeat the following beautiful passage: “For 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!”  “This place is too dry for me,”
says the dragon, and is off again.

It might be thought that all these disappointments would discourage him
from prosecuting his infernal designs farther; but not so: he is
determined, if possible, to find a dwelling-place.  For this purpose he
rises again, to mark some spot where he may alight and find a welcome.
He sees in a small village a neat and decent house of refreshment.
“There,” says he, “will I dwell, and lead to bondage every one that shall
cross the threshold, and make him fast in eternal fetters.’”  He flies
down like lightning, enters the house, and walks into the parlor; but
there he finds a company of ministers of the New Testament, returning
from an Association, who are talking about the victory of Calvary, and
exchanging appointments with each other.  The wicked spirit cannot stay
within the sound of their voice, but retreats with hasty steps, muttering
and growling as he goes,—“This place is too dry for me, I will return to
my house from which I came out!”



IV.  SATAN AN ANGEL OF LIGHT.


SATAN perceived that it would be convenient and advantageous for him to
have two suits of clothes.  A suit of flaming, impurpled, and blackish
red was his raiment since he instigated the rebellion in heaven: this he
wears at home.  This is the garment that is emblematic of his wrath and
cruelty against El-Shaddai.  He transformed himself when he tempted the
first Adam, and succeeded in casting him down.  The Second Adam knew him,
when he required him to obey his command, and worship him instead of the
true God.  The Second Adam would die, rather than eat bread made out of a
stone by the command of Satan.

It was in his flaming, bloody, black-red garb that Satan appeared among
the persecutors, both pagan and popish, lighting up the funeral fires of
the Martyrs.  But he soon found it necessary to have a suit of white,
descriptive of his cunning and hypocrisy; and he ordered white garments
for his servants also, to wear upon certain occasions, when from home
upon his expeditions.  He met with reception in his white robe, angel
like, in many places where he would not have been received at all in his
suit of flaming red-black, in which he took the lead at pastimes, Sabbath
plays, in taverns, and horse-races.  But in his white robe he had an
early admittance into many a cathedral, and he appointed some of his
servants to offices there.

He also, in his white suit, found his way into the houses of evangelical
dissenters, though they profess to have a book which exhibits his
devices.  Notwithstanding all the watching that had been at the doors, he
rushed in to the communion table, as he had done to the consecrated altar
of the cathedral, and sowed discord between the minister and the deacons;
and he himself undertook the managing matters between them, seated in his
chair and vested in his white robe.  He forced many to assume a
profession, like tares of the field; and some also of his best beloved
servants, who were utterly destitute of the love of Christ and the fear
of God, he raised into the pulpit, while they were living in secret sins;
but they all had a white robe, as white as the sepulchres of the
Pharisees, covering all these things.  Satan held these up to deceive
before the eye of God, and all the terrors of eternity.  To sustain them
from fainting, he administered unto them his potions from the pitcher of
presumption; and hardened their consciences with the hot iron of
hypocrisy, heated in the fire of hell.  He taught them to persecute
religion in the garb of an angel.

Let us not give room to the devil in his white raiment!  When he attempts
to destroy the character of a brother, he assumes his white robe, and not
his murdering garment, pretending to vindicate the glory of God and the
cause of justice, asserting that the cause of religion must be cleared;
while all this time envy rankles in his heart, notwithstanding his fair
pretences, as when the Jews delivered Jesus to be crucified.  It was his
white garment that Satan wore in the court of Caiaphas, when he charged
the true God with blasphemy.  This garb, also, his servant Judas wore,
when he displayed such zeal and sympathy for the poor, in the case of the
ointment at Bethany.  Let us ask grace, that we may be able to recognise
the devil in his white raiment, as well as in his old black-red garb.  He
is not so easily distinguished in his borrowed white, as in his own
proper suit.  Let us cleanse out hypocrisy.  Such is our instruction.



V.  THE YOUNG CHILD.


HEROD said to the wise men, “Go and search diligently for the young
child.”  The magi immediately commenced their inquiries, according to the
instructions they received.  I see them approaching some village, and
when they come to the gate they inquire, “Do you know any thing of the
young child?”  The gateman comes to the door; and, supposing them to have
asked the amount of the toll, says, “O, three halfpence an ass is to
pay.”  “We do not ask what is to pay,” reply they, “but, do you know any
thing of the young child?”  “No; I know nothing in the world,” answers
he; “but there is a blacksmith’s shop a little farther on; inquire there,
and you will be very likely to obtain some intelligence concerning him.”

The wise men proceed, and when they come to the blacksmith’s shop, they
ask, “Do you know any thing of the young child?”  A harsh voice answers,
“There is no such thing possible for you, as having the asses shod now;
you shall in two hours hence.”  “We do not ask you to shoe the asses,”
say they; “but inquire for the young child, if you know any thing of
him?”  “Nothing in the world,” says the blacksmith; “but inquire at the
tavern that is on your road, and probably you may hear something of him
there.”

On they go, and stand opposite the door of the tavern, and cry, “Do you
know any thing of the young child?”  The landlord, thinking they call for
porter, bids the servant attend, saying, “Go, girl; go with a quart of
porter to the strangers.”  “We do not ask for either porter or ale,” say
the wise men; “but something about the young child that is born.”  “I
know nothing in the world of him,” says the landlord; “but turn to the
shop on the left hand; the shopkeeper reads all the papers, and you will
be likely to hear something respecting him there.”

They proceed accordingly towards the shop, and repeat their inquiry, “Do
you know any thing of the young child, here?”  The shopkeeper says to his
apprentice, “Reach half a quarter of tobacco to the strangers.”  “We do
not ask for tobacco,” say the wise men; “but for some intelligence of the
young child.”  “I do not know any thing of him,” replies the shopkeeper;
“but there is an old Rabbi living in the upper end of the village; call
on him, and very probably he will give you all the information you desire
respecting the object of your search.”

They immediately direct their course towards the house of the Rabbi; and
having reached it, they knock at the door; and being admitted into his
presence, they ask him if he knows any thing of the young child.  “Come
in,” says he; and when they have entered and are seated, the Rabbi refers
to his books and chronicles, and says he to the wise men, “There is
something wonderful about to take place; some remarkable person has been
or is to be born; but the best thing for you is to go down yonder street;
there is living there, by the river side, the son of an old priest; you
will be sure to know all of him.”

Having bid the old Rabbi a respectful farewell, on they go; and reaching
the river’s side, they inquire of the by-standers for the son of the old
priest.  Immediately he is pointed out to them.  There is a “raiment of
camel’s hair about him, and a leathern girdle about his loins.”  They ask
him if he knows any thing of the young child.  “Yes,” says he, “there he
is: behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!  There
he is; he will bruise the dragon’s head, and bring in everlasting
righteousness to every one that believeth in his name.”



VI.  VARIETIES OF PREACHING.


I PERCEIVE four strong men on their journey toward Lazarus’ grave, for
the purpose of raising him to life.  One of them, who is eminent for his
piety, says, “I will descend into the grave, and will take with me a bowl
of the salt of duties, and will rub him well with the sponge of natural
ability.”  He enters the grave, and commences his rubbing process.  I
watch his operations at a distance, and after a while inquire, “Well, are
there any symptoms of life there?  Does he arise, does he breathe, my
brother?”  “No such thing,” replies he, “he is still quiet, and I cannot
salt him to _will_—and besides this, his smell is rather heavy.”

“Well,” says the second, “come you out; I was afraid that your means
would not answer the purpose; let me enter the grave.”  The second
enters, carrying in his hand a whip of the scorpions of threatening; and,
says he, “I will make him feel.”  He directs his scorpion and fiery
ministry at the dead corpse; but in vain, and I hear him crying out, “All
is unsuccessful; dead he is after all.”

Says the third, “Make room for me to enter, and I will see if I cannot
bring him to life.”  He enters the grave, and takes with him a musical
pipe; it is melodious as the song of love; but there is no dancing in the
grave.

The fourth says, “Means of themselves can effect nothing, but I will go
for Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life.”  Immediately he leaves
to seek for Christ, and speedily returns, accompanied by the Saviour.
And when the Lord came, he stands in the door of the sepulchre, and cries
out, “Lazarus, come forth!” and the dead body is instantaneously instinct
with life.

Let our confidence be in the voice of the Son of God.  And let us turn
our faces toward the wind, and say, “O breath, come from the four winds,
and breathe upon these slain, that they may live!”



VII.  THE SIX CROCODILES.


EVERY church-member should learn to hunt a crocodile.  The first
crocodile is a spirit to search closely for faults, instead of hiding
them with brotherly love, according to the directions of the gospel.
This is Ham, the old crocodile, that exposed the nakedness of his father,
instead of hiding it like Shem and Japheth; for which his father banished
him to the river Nilus, where he still remains in Africa, under the curse
of his father.

Old pious Eli erred greatly, by allowing his children to enter the
sanctuary as crocodiles, by sparing them, and suffering them in their
sins, which brought, through these crocodiles, destruction on his house:
and in the same manner since upon many congregations,—as the churches of
Asia.  This is an evil spirit in the mount.

Another crocodile is the spirit of preference.  This is the crocodile
Judas, who was offended with Jesus in Bethany on account of Mary’s
ointment, which she poured on the head of Jesus; and that only because
they did not consult him; in revenge for which he turned traitor.  He was
a selfish miser; and ultimately hung himself, and went to his own place.
This crocodile still lurks among the reeds.  There are many like him,
ready to blame every act of discipline in the church; not that they care
so much for the interests of the church, or any belonging to it, but they
wish to swallow all up themselves.

Another crocodile is the spirit of Ahithophel, who plotted a cunning
artifice to dethrone a person whose heart was with God, and raise
Absalom, a wicked man like himself, to the throne in his stead.  God
turned his counsel into foolishness.  He was disappointed—his heart
failed—he saddled his ass, and went and hung himself.  This was the end
of that crocodile.

Another is a spirit to trample and destroy, for the sake of being head.
This is the crocodile Joab, who killed Abner, who was better than
himself.  This crocodile strikes every one who may be in his way under
the fifth rib, for the sake of being head himself.  But his end came; he
lost his life at the horns of the altar, by the sword with which he
himself destroyed another.

But, upon looking again, we see the sixth crocodile, and his name is
Cain, who would triumph over God and man; without grace, or talents, or
faith, or love; and without any sacrifice that has blood in it; and
because God will not regard him without faith, he opens his mouth, and
sets himself to swallow pious Abel.  God delivers him over to the
possession of the wicked one.

O brethren, let us prove the spirits, whether they are of God, or of the
devil!

I will tell you an anecdote of Mr. Rowlands, of Llangeitho.  When he
wished to crush the spirit of calumny (the crocodile Ham) which lurked in
the church, he said to the slanderer: “Thou sayest, man, that sins must
be hunted and exposed, because they are too numerous in the church—and
that they ought not be hidden.  Be quiet, man.  Who art thou?  I think I
know thy family, and thy eldest brother, even Ham, the son of Noah.  His
two brothers wished to hide their father’s nakedness, but he would expose
it.  What reward did they receive for covering their father’s nakedness?
The blessing of God and their father.  And what reward did thy brother
receive?  The curse of God and their father.  And I doubt not thy reward
will be nothing better.”



VIII.  ENVIOUS AMBITION.


THE forest of Lebanon once held a consultation to choose a king, upon the
death of the king, the Yew-tree.  They agreed to offer the crown to the
Cedar; and if the Cedar should refuse, to invite the Vine and the Olive
to office.  They all refused the honors for the following reasons.  The
Cedar refused, “because,” said be, “I am sufficiently high as I am.”—“I
would rather,” said the Vine, “yield wine to cheer others, than receive
for myself.”  And in the same manner, the Olive preferred giving its oil
to honor others rather than receive any honors to itself.

All these having refused the honors offered them, they next agreed to
call the Thorn to the government; and if he should decline, to choose the
Bramble.  The White Thorn, in its beautiful dress, received the honor,
speaking thus to itself:—“I have nothing to lose but the white coat, and
some red berries; and I have prickles enough to hurt the whole forest.”
But the Bramble instigated a rebellion against the White Thorn, and
kindled the fire of pride in the forest, so that all the trees were set
on flame.

Two or three vain and proud men in a peaceful congregation, have, by
contending for the preference, disturbed the peace, and obstructed the
prosperity of many a church, while there was no more virtue in them than
there is of value in the white thorn or prickly bramble.



IX.  THE DOVE, THE RAVEN, AND THE EAGLE.


A NOBLEMAN had a Dove, a Raven, and an Eagle, belonging to his palace.
There was no sociability or fellowship prevailing among them.  The Dove
fed on its own food, and hid herself in the clefts of the rocks, or in
the dove-house near the palace.  The Raven fed upon dead carcasses, and
sometimes picked out the eyes of little innocent lambs, if she could
pounce upon them in a chance place;—she also nestled in the top of the
trees.  The Eagle was a royal bird, flying very high, but yet of a
rapacious character.  Sometimes he would not mind eating some half a
dozen of the Doves for his breakfast.  He thought himself the king of
birds because he flew higher than they all.  The Doves greatly dreaded
his strong beak, his wrathful eyes, and his sharp grappling claws.  When
the gentleman threw wheat for the Dove on the pavement, the Raven would
have a piece of an ear or the foot of a lamb in its beak; and the Eagle
was for taking up some little child from the cradle to his nest.

The Dove is the pious diligent Christian; the Raven is the dissolute and
difficult to be managed; and the proud, selfish professor is the Eagle.
These three characters are too frequently to be found together, and there
is no denomination, in church or chapel, without these three birds, if
there are any birds at all there.  It is impossible for three birds, so
different in their dispositions, ever to be happy together.  Brethren,
pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

                                * * * * *

                                 THE END.

                                * * * * *



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mind of the reader.  It will be found to be as instructive as it is
entertaining and amusing.

_The work is beautifully printed_, _on fine white paper_, _and is
elegantly bound_, _forming a beautiful large Octavo volume of nearly_ 800
_pages_, _embellished with numerous Portraits of the Men and Women whose
Biographies it contains_.

                 Price only Two Dollars and Fifty Cents.

                                                 LEARY & GETZ, Publishers,
                          _No._ 138 _North Second Street_, _Philadelphia_.

                                * * * * *

                               ILLUSTRATED
                          CHRISTIAN MARTYROLOGY:
                                 BEING AN
                 AUTHENTIC AND GENERAL HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
                            _OF THE PRINCIPAL_

                PERSECUTIONS AGAINST THE CHURCH OF CHRIST,

                     IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD,

                    COMPILED FROM THE LATEST SOURCES,

                            BY REV. C. SPARRY.

                   ILLUSTRATED WITH 24 FINE ENGRAVINGS,

  And handsomely hound in Arabesque gilt.  Price $1.50.  In red morocco,
             full gilt sides and back, and gilt edges, $2.00.

               This valuable work contains a History of the

Persecutions in the first Ages of   The Lives of Doctor Ægidio,
the World.                          Doctor Constantine, Nicholas
                                    Burton, and Wm. Gardener.
Life of Jesus Christ, with his
Sufferings and Martyrdom.           The Persecutions in Italy.

Lives, Sufferings, and Martyrdom    The Persecutions in Calabria.
of the Apostles.
                                    Individuals Martyred in different
The First, Second, Third, Fourth,   parts of Italy.
Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth,
Ninth, and Tenth Primitive          The Persecutions of the
Persecutions, under the Roman       Marquisate of Saluces.
Emperors.
                                    The Persecutions in the
The Persecutions against the        Valtoline.
Christians of Persia.
                                    Persecutions in Bohemia.
The Persecutions under the Arian
Heretics.                           General Persecutions in Germany.

The Persecutions under Julian the   Persecutions in England during
Apostate.                           the reign of Henry IV.

The Persecutions of the             Hugh Latimer, Bishop of
Christians by the Goths, etc.       Worcester.

The Persecutions under the Arian    Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of
Vandals.                            London.

Horrible Massacre in France, A.D.   Thomas Cranmer, the first
1572.                               Protestant Archbishop of
                                    Canterbury.
The Siege of Sancerre.
                                    Persecutions in England during
Persecutions of the Waldensss, in   the Reign of Queen Mary.
the Valleys of Piedmont.
                                    Persecutions in Scotland during
Persecutions in Germany and         the Reign of Henry VIII.
Lithuania.
                                    The Life, Sufferings, and
Persecutions in                     Martyrdom, of Geo. Wishart.
Poland—Destruction of the City of
Lesna.                              Persecutions of Protestants in
                                    Ireland—The Irish Massacre.
Rise and Progress of the
Inquisition in Spain and            Popish Cruelties in Mexico and
Portugal.                           South America.

                                    Judgments of God on Persecutors.

                                                 LEARY & GETZ, Publishers,
                          _No._ 138 _North Second Street_, _Philadelphia_.

                                * * * * *

                         LEARY & GETZ’S EDITION,

                                * * * * *

                                LARGE TYPE
                           Pilgrim’s Progress:
                            TO WHICH IS ADDED
                         TRAVELS OF THE UNGODLY.

                NOT IN ANY OTHER EDITION IN THIS COUNTRY.

                                * * * * *

Price in neat Cloth, gilt back                          $2.00
do. do.  Arabesque, gilt back                            2.50
do. do.  Red Morocco, gilt edges, sides & back           3.00
do. do.  Super Antique                                   5.00

PILGRIM’S PROGRESS.—A new octavo Pictorial Edition of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s
Progress, from this world to that which is to come; delivered under the
similitude of a Dream.  To which is added THE TRAVELS OF THE UNGODLY, or
the Life and Death of Mr. Badman, contained in no other edition.  Also,
containing a LIFE OF BUNYAN, and with Scott’s numerous and full
explanatory notes.  Printed with very large type, being the most readable
edition published in the United States.  Illustrated with fine
Engravings, and bound in neat and substantial bindings.

                                             _LEARY & GETZ_, _Publishers_,
                          _No._ 138 _North Second Street_, _Philadelphia_.

                                * * * * *

                                 BURDER’S
                        History of all Religions:
                           WITH ACCOUNTS OF THE
                         CEREMONIES AND CUSTOMS,
                                   OR,
                           THE FORMS OF WORSHIP

  Practised by the several Nations of the known World, from the earliest
                       Records to the present time.

       GREATLY IMPROVED AS A BOOK OF REFERENCE BY THE INSERTION OF

         A FULL ACCOUNT, HISTORICAL, DOCTRINAL, AND STATISTICAL,
                                  OF THE
                RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS IN THE U. STATES.

                                * * * * *

                        By Rev. JOEL PARKER, D.D.

                                * * * * *

               DESIGNED ESPECIALLY FOR THE USE OF FAMILIES.

            In one large octavo volume, handsomely bound, and

                   Embellished with Elegant Engravings.

                        PRICE ONLY THREE DOLLARS.

                                * * * * *

This highly valuable work contains—The History of the Jews—The Religions
Customs and Ceremonies of the Jews—Life of Mohammed—Religious Tenets,
Ceremonies, and Customs of the Mohammedans—The Greek Church—The Religious
Tenets, Customs, Ceremonies, &c., of the Roman Catholic Church—The
Religious Customs and Ceremonies of Protestant Communities, including
Lutherans, Episcopalians, Kirk of Scotland, English and American
Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, The Associate Reformed
Church, Reformed Dutch Church, Congregationalists, Free Will Baptists,
Campbellite Baptists, Moravians, Swedenborgians, Unitarians,
Universalists, Shakers, Mormons, &c., &c.  Together with a full account
of the Religious Ceremonies and Customs of Pagan Nations and Tribes,
including the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Tyrians, Assyrians, Babylonians,
Medes and Persians, Scythians, Druids, Chinese, Japanese, Thibetians and
Tartars, Hindoos, Laplanders, Indian Tribes, African Tribes, Polynesians,
&c., &c.

                                                 LEARY & GETZ, Publishers,
                          _No._ 138 _North Second Street_, _Philadelphia_.

                                * * * * *

                           _Price only_ $2.50.

                                * * * * *

                         NEW AND ENLARGED EDITION
                                    OF
                               DR. BUCHAN’S
                            DOMESTIC MEDICINE;
                          OR, A TREATISE ON THE
                     PRETENTION AND CURE OF DISEASES,
                                    BY
                      REGIMEN AND SIMPLE MEDICINES.

   WITH THE LATEST CORRECTIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS, AND FULL DIRECTIONS IN
                                 BOARD TO

          AIR, EXERCISE, BATHING, CLOTHING, SLEEP, DIET, &c. &c.

                    AND THE GENERAL MANAGEMENT OF THE

                     DISEASES OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN.

                            TO WHICH IS ADDED

                     A COMPLETE FAMILY DISPENSATORY,

                  FOR THE USE OF PRIVATE PRACTITIONERS.

                         BY WILLIAM BUCHAN, M.D.

           Twenty-ninth American, from the Last London Edition,

            WITH CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS BY AN
                           AMERICAN PHYSICIAN.

                                * * * * *

► This work, it is confidently believed (from the nature and character of
it) will find its way into the hands of every family.

                                                 LEARY & GETZ, Publishers,
                          _No._ 138 _North Second Street_, _Philadelphia_.

                                * * * * *

                                ROTTECK’S
                          HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
                        MAGNIFICENTLY ILLUSTRATED!

THE work now offered to the public is designed to fill up a great chasm
in one _most important_ department of literature.  To satisfy a want
felt, not only by the student, by the man left to himself for an
education, but also by the intelligent of all classes of society.  It
will supply the great mass of the public, who are at present almost
necessarily in the dark as to the past world and its destinies, with a
complete picture of all the great events relating to the world and to
man, from the earliest dawn of history down to the present time; and we
indulge the hope that it will satisfy the universal want of a good
General History of the World.  We have works entitled “Histories of the
World,” or “Universal Histories,” it is true; but all of them (we mean
those in a small form, and such as are within the reach of the generality
of readers) are sadly deficient, ill-selected, and worse arranged: they
could not, according to the ideas of the author of this work, be
considered, strictly speaking, GENERAL HISTORIES OF THE WORLD.

The author of this History is celebrated throughout Europe as a
_scholar_, as a _statesman_, and as a _bold defender of liberty_; and
this reputation will certainly be an excellent recommendation of his work
to the American public.  Although born in Germany, educated in its
far-famed halls of learning, and breathing a _German_ atmosphere, he is
not a German alone; he is a man whom the world may claim.  He is no
mystic, full of unintelligible, useless theories; but a man devoted to
practicable objects, to the welfare of his race, and to pure religion and
morality.

His History has been extensively circulated in Europe (_in the German_,
_French_, _Dutch_, _Swedish_, _and Danish languages_), and is the most
popular one that has ever been published.  For, although he may be ranked
as the first historian of Europe, he has written, not for a particular
class, but for people in general.  In fine, his History is equally fitted
for the _student_, the _merchant_, the _farmer_, the _mechanic_, and the
_professional man_.

                                * * * * *

   THE WORK IS PUBLISHED IN ONE LARGE OCTAVO VOLUME OF OVER 1700 PAGES,

                 Illustrated with 28 Splendid Engravings.

► In order to bring this History within the reach of all classes of
readers, the Publishers have been induced to put it at the extremely low
price of

                             $3.50 per Copy.

   Over 100,000 Copies of this valuable work have been sold in Germany
                                  alone.

                                                 LEARY & GETZ, Publishers,
                          _No._ 138 _North Second Street_, _Philadelphia_.

                                * * * * *

                         THE CHRISTIAN’S LEGACY;
                                   OR,
                             BIBLE DIRECTORY.

                       BY THE REV. WILLIAM JACKSON.

                                * * * * *

THE CHRISTIAN’S LEGACY having gone through 10 editions, in a short space
of time, the writer has no other apology to offer for the 11th edition,
than a belief of its proving useful to _all_ Christians of every
denomination.

A conviction that a knowledge of the Bible, above all other books, is
calculated “_to make one wise_;” and that an advantage is given to the
enemy by not attending to our Lord’s admonition, “_Search the
Scriptures_,” led to an attempt to assist the inquirer in his “_Search_”
after TRUTH.

The design of the work is, to make the reading and study of the _Holy
Scriptures_ more easy and delightful; especially to those who have but
few helps, little time for studying, or are young in years.  The _plan_
is new; and the arrangement so simple, that no one, not even a child,
need mistake it; but may, without knowing a word of the Bible beforehand,
find whatever the Scriptures contain on any subject, as readily as though
he knew the whole Bible by heart.

It is a handsome volume of 420 full pages, printed with good type, on
clear, fine white paper; is handsomely bound and lettered, with a
striking likeness of the author.

The first 310 pages contain as many subjects, adapted to every state and
condition of the Christian in Life, Death, the Grave, and beyond the
grave, as far as the Bible goes but no farther: for there is not a
_sectarian_ expression to be found in the work.  Each Page is complete of
itself.

The last 110 pages contain a compendium of every book in the Bible, with
the history of the several writers, &c.; together with the character of
the first Christians—the example—miracles—parables—and remarkable
discourses of Christ—the prophecies with their fulfillment—figurative and
symbolical language of the Bible, alphabetically arranged, with the
import of each word—a description of the Jewish offerings; and the
different Sects mentioned in the Scriptures—Scriptural difficulties
accounted for—fate of the Evangelists and Apostles—Hebrew offices—a
Pronouncing Dictionary of the “_hard names_” in the Old and New
Testament, &c.

An _alphabetical_ INDEX is placed in the former part of the book, and by
consulting which, the reader may readily find an answer to any question,
that may be asked him by any Bible question-book, or individual;
providing, that it is a question that would benefit any one to have
answered, is _not_ Sectarian, and is one that the _Bible_ can answer.

The following are only a few of the names and residences of the Clergy,
of various denominations, who have patronized and recommended the
Christian’s Legacy:

PROVIDENCE, R. I.: Rev. Messrs. Tucker, Vinten, Mackreading, Dowling,
Taylor, Hall.—NEWPORT, R. I.: Rev. Messrs. Watson, Vinten,
Smith.—PAWTUCKETT, R. I.: Rev. Mr. Gonealves.—LOWELL, MASS.: Rev. Messrs.
Blanchard, Hanks, Burnap, Edson, McCoy, Sarjent, Brewster, Hoes, Porter,
Woodman, Thurstan, Cole.  NEW BEDFORD, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Knight,
Hawley, Howes, Dawes.—FALL RIVER, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Fowler, Russell,
Taylor.—CHARLESTOWN, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Greene.—BROOKLINE, MASS.: Rev. Mr.
Shailer.—NEWBURYPORT, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Campbell, Sternes,
Pike.—GRAFTON, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Richards.—CABOTSVILLE, MASS.: Rev. Mr.
Scott.—TAUNTON, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Eldridge.—MILFORD, MASS.: Rev. Messrs.
Long, Tozer.—HOLLISTON, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Metlack, Rice.—POCASSET,
MASS.: Rev. Mr. Wallen.—ROCHESTER, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Clarke.—MANSFIELD,
MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Culver, Latham.—UPTON, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Wood,
Bullard, Eastman.—DORCHESTER, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Boyden.—E. CAMBRIDGE, MASS.
Rev. Mr. Wilson.—HAVERHILL, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Plummer.—MALDEN, MASS.: Rev.
Mr. McLeish.—HARTFORD, CONN.: Rev. Messrs. Hodgson, Eaton.—NEW HAVEN,
CONN.: Rev. Messrs. Teasdale, Law.—PORTSMOUTH, N. H.: Rev. Messrs. Davis,
Harris.—DOVER, N. H.: Rev. Mr. Mason.—BROOKLYN, N. Y.: Rev. Messrs.
Youngs, Burnett.—WILLIAMSBURG, L. I.: Rev. Mr. Roberts.—NEWARK, N. J.:
Rev. Messrs. Whittaker, Lenhart—ELIZABETHTOWN, N. J.: Rev. Messrs. Magie,
Greene.—BOSTON, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Meyrell, Russell, Bartoll, Winslow,
Phelps, Kirk, Pierce, Huested, Clarke, Sharpe, Raymond, Read, Motte,
Sarjent, Pierpont, Parkham, Barrett, Gannett, Gray, Robbins.—NEW YORK:
Rev. Messrs. Bond, Levings, Bangs, Stocking, Nichols, Cheney, Bangs,
Seney, Withey, Martyn, Jacobs.—PHILADELPHIA, PA.: Rev. Messrs. Burrows,
Lincoln, Suddards, McKnight, Onins, Cooper, Stockton, Keller, Ewell,
White.—LANCASTER, PA.: Rev. Mr. Gerry.—READING, PA.: Rev. Mr.
Schoch.—COLUMBIA, PA.: Rev. Mr. Humphrey.

Published by LEARY & GETZ, 138 North Second Street, Philadelphia.  Price
only $1.25.

                                * * * * *

                             RELIGIOUS BOOKS,
                     SUITABLE FOR ALL DENOMINATIONS.

                                * * * * *

Bunyan’s Minor Works: Containing GRACE ABOUNDING TO THE CHIEF OF SINNERS:
in a Faithful Account of the Life of John Bunyan; or, a brief relation of
the exceeding mercy of God in Christ to Him, in converting him to the
Faith of His Blessed Son Jesus Christ; wherein is particularly shown what
sight of, and what trouble he had for sin; and also, what various
temptations he hath met with, and how God hath carried him through them
all.  Also, HEART’S EASE IN HEART TROUBLE; THE WORLD TO COME, or Visions
of Heaven and Hell; and THE BARREN FIG TREE, or the Doom and Downfall of
the Fruitless Professor.  Complete in one beautiful 32mo. volume, bound
in cloth, gilt, with a Portrait of John Bunyan.  Price 50 cents.

Baxter’s Saints’ Everlasting Rest; or, a Treatise of the Blessed State of
the Saints in their enjoyment of God in Heaven.  18mo., cloth, gilt, with
a Portrait of the Author.  Price 50 cents.

Doddridge’s Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul.  Illustrated in a
Course of Practical Addresses, with a Sermon on the care of the Soul.  A
neat 18mo. volume, with a Portrait of the Author.  Bound in cloth, gilt.
Price 50 cents.

The Vicar of Wakefield.  A Tale.  To which is affixed THE DESERTED
VILLAGE.  By OLIVER GOLDSMITH, M.D.  18mo., cloth, gilt, with a Portrait
of the Author.  Price 50 cents.  Sir Walter Scott, in speaking of this
admirable work, observes:—“We read the Vicar of Wakefield in youth and in
age.  We return to it again and again, and bless the memory of an author
who contrives so well to reconcile us to human nature.  Whether we choose
the pathetic or the humorous parts of the story, we find the best and
truest sentiments enforced in the moat beautiful language.  In too many
works of this class there are particular passages unfit to be perused by
youth and innocence; but the wreath of Goldsmith is unsullied.  He wrote
to exalt virtue and expose vice.”

Willison’s Afflicted Man’s Companion; or, a Directory for persons and
families afflicted with sickness, or any other distress; with directions
to the sick, both under and after affliction; also, directions to the
friends of the sick, and others who visit them; and likewise to all, how
to prepare both for sickness and death, and how to be exercised at the
time of dying.  To which in added a collection of comfortable texts of
Scripture, very suitable for dying believers.  The choice sayings of many
eminent dying saints.  The author’s last advice to his wife and children;
and his dying words, written by himself, and found among his papers after
his death.  A new edition, revised and improved, in 1 vol. 18mo., cloth,
gilt, with a handsome Portrait of the Author.  Price 50 cents.

Zimmerman on Solitude.  With the Life of the Author.  This is a neat
edition of this deservedly popular book.  18mo., cloth, gilt, with a
Portrait of Zimmerman.  Price 50 cents.

Drew on the Immortality and Immateriality of the Soul.  18mo., cloth.
Price 50 cents.

                                * * * * *

Pollok’s Course of Time.  With an enlarged Index, a Memoir of the Author,
an introductory notice, and an analysis prefixed to each book.  Revised
edition.  18mo., cloth, gilt, with plates.  Price 50 cents.  The same
work, half bound, price 25 cents.

Dr. Dodd’s Lectures to Young Men.  Steel Plates.  24mo., cloth, gilt.
Price 63 cents.

                                                             LEARY & GETZ,
            _Publishers_, _No._ 138 _North Second Street_, _Philadelphia_.

                                * * * * *

                           FARMERS’ BARN-BOOK:
                                    BY
                   CLATER, YOUATT, SKINNER, AND MILLS.

                                * * * * *

                                CONTAINING

   THE CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT OF ALL THE DISEASES INCIDENT TO
                         OXEN, SHEEP, AND SWINE;

                      THE ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF

                               NEAT CATTLE;

         WITH AN ESSAY ON THE USE OF OXEN AND THE BREED OF SHEEP.

                            STABLE MANAGEMENT,

                             TREATMENT OF THE

                           DISEASES OF HORSES;

                  PLAIN AND PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS IN THE
                      Choice and Purchase of Horses;

                                   WITH
        DIRECTIONS HOW TO ASCERTAIN THE GOOD QUALITIES, AND DETECT
                              THE FAULTS OF
                    CARRIAGE, CART, AND SADDLE HORSES.

          One large 12mo. volume, neatly and strongly bound and

                  Illustrated with Numerous Engravings.

                       And sold at the low price of

                 ONE DOLLAR AND TWENTY-FIVE CENTS A COPY.

                                * * * * *

This is one of the most useful works for the agriculturist that has ever
been published in this country.  On the score of self-interest alone, the
most calculating, it may be supposed, will not hesitate to provide
himself with a book, which, in teaching him the important practical facts
contained herein, may enable him to save the life even of the meanest
animal on his estate.  The want of such a book would be an obvious defect
in every farmer’s house; and this is one of the highest and most recent
authority.  ► Let no farmer who values his own interest, neglect to
procure a copy of it.

                                                             LEARY & GETZ,
            _Publishers_, _No._ 138 _North Second Street_, _Philadelphia_.

                                * * * * *

           _Just published Complete_, _in Two Imperial Octavo_

                    _Volumes_, _of_ 840 _Pages each_,

                                CHAMBERS’S
                       INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE;
                                   OR,

                          POPULAR ENCYCLOPÆDIA,

             EMBRACING ALL THE BRANCHES OF GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
               NECESSARY TO CONSTITUTE A WELL INFORMED MAN.

                                * * * * *

THE WORK HAS BEEN EDITED BY AN ACCOMPLISHED AMERICAN SCHOLAR, who,
without impairing in the slightest degree the integrity of the original
text, has added such notes, and made such corrections and additions as
were necessary to adapt it to the wants of the American public.

The plan on which the work is formed, was to select only the subjects on
which it is important that a people, who feel the value of sound
education, should be well informed.  The _minutiæ_ of biography,
topography, scientific technicalities, and other matters to which there
may be only need for occasional reference, are dismissed, and thus what
usually fills the greater part of an Encyclopædia is at once got rid of.
There only remains a series of articles on the MOST IMPORTANT BRANCHES OF
SCIENCE, PHYSICAL, MATHEMATICAL, AND MORAL; NATURAL HISTORY, POLITICAL
HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY.  AND GENERAL LITERATURE.  All is given which, if
studied and received into the mind, would make an individual, in the
common walks of life, A WELL INFORMED MAN.  While, with a few exceptions,
only that is omitted which is not needed as a part of the standing
knowledge of any person whatever, besides those for whom it may have a
professional or local interest.

                       INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE,

Therefore, is an ENCYCLOPÆDIA including such knowledge only as tends to
improve every mind possessing it—such knowledge as expands, liberalizes,
and fertilizes.  The ruling objects of the accomplished authors, the
Messrs. Chambers, have been to give what may be expected to prove the
means of SELF-EDUCATION to the people generally, whether enjoying the
means of academic instruction or not.

                      AMONG THE SUBJECTS TREATED ARE

Astronomy,        The Whale—        Cookery,          Social
                                                      Economics of
Geography,           Whale          Proverbs and      the Industrious
                  Fisheries,        Old Sayings,      Orders.
Geology.
                  Conveyance—       Natural           Improvement of
Physical Hist’y                     Philosophy,       Waste Lands,
of Man,              Roads,
                                    Mechanics,        The Kitchen
Ancient              Canals,                          Garden,
History—                            Machinery,
                     Railways,                        The Flower
   Egypt,                           Hydrostatics,     Garden,
                  Zoology,
                                    Hydraulics,       The Fruit
Arabia-Petræa,    Account of the                      Garden,
                  Human Body,       Pneumatics,
History of the                                        Arboriculture,
Jews—Palestine,   Vegetable         Optics,
                  Physiology,                         The Horse,
History of                          Light,
Greece and        Botany,                             Cattle and
Rome,                               Acoustics,        Dairy
                  Natural                             Husbandry,
History of the    Theology,         Chemistry,
Middle Ages,                                          Sheep,
                  History of the    Chemistry
History of        Bible—            applied to the    Pigs,
Great Britain     Christianity,     Arts
and Ireland,                                          Goats,
                  Private Duties    Electricity,
Constitution      of Life                             Rabbits,
and Resources                       Galvanism,
of the British    Public and                          Poultry,
Empire,           Social Duties     Electro-
                  of Life,          Magnetism,        Cage Birds,
Descriptions
of—               Life and Maxims   Meteorology,      Bees,
                  of Franklin,
   England,                         The Weather,      The Dog,
                  Preservation of
   London,        Health,           Phrenology,       Field Sports,

   Scotland,      Commerce—         Principles of     Angling,
                                    Civil
   Ireland,          Money,         Government,       Gymnastic
                                                      Exercises,
   British           Banks,         Language,
America,                                              In-door
                  History and       English           Amusements,
   United         Nature of Laws.   Grammar,
States,                                               Chronology,
                  Political         Logic,
   Australia,     Economy,                            Printing,
                                    Education,
   Van Diemen’s   Population,                         Engraving,
Land,                               Drawing and
                  Poor-Laws,        Perspective,      Lithography,
   New Zealand,
                  Life Assurance,   Arithmetic,       Architecture,
   South
America,          Mohammedan and    Algebra,          The Steam
                  Pagan                               Engine,
   West Indies,   Religions,        Geometry,
                                                      Mining,
   East Indies,   Superstitions,    Popular
                                    Statistics,       Metals,
   China and      Domestic
the Tea Trade,    Economy,          Agriculture,      Coal,

Ocean—                                                Salt, and a
                                                      variety of
   Maritime                                           other subjects
Discovery,

Navigation,

The expense of preparing this work has been very heavy, as, in addition
to the closely condensed printed matter, it has bean necessary to execute
upwards of FIVE HUNDRED ENGRAVINGS, in order effectually to explain and
embellish the various subjects of scientific, historical, and
geographical information which the work embraces; but the publishers
confidently rely on the intelligence and liberality of the public for
remuneration.

This is one of the most useful books published, of which 100,000 copies
have been sold in England.  Price, elegantly bound in Two Volumes, only
FIVE DOLLARS.

                                * * * * *

                         THE CHRISTIAN’S LEGACY;

                                   OR,

                             BIBLE DIRECTORY.

                       BY THE REV. WILLIAM JACKSON.

                                * * * * *

THE CHRISTIAN’S LEGACY having gone through 10 editions, in a short space
of time, the writer has no other apology to offer for the 11th edition,
than a belief of its proving useful to _all_ Christians of every
denomination.

A conviction that a knowledge of the Bible, above all other books, is
calculated “_to make one wise_;” and that an advantage is given to the
enemy by not attending to our Lord’s admonition, “_Search the
Scriptures_,” led to an attempt to assist the inquirer in his “_Search_”
after TRUTH.

The design of the work is, to make the reading and study of the _Holy
Scriptures_ more easy and delightful; especially to those who have but
few helps, little time for studying, or are young in years.  The _plan_
is new; and the arrangement so simple, that no one, not even a child,
need mistake it; but may, without knowing a word of the Bible beforehand,
find whatever the Scriptures contain on any subject, as readily as though
he knew the whole Bible by heart.

It is a handsome volume of 420 full pages, printed with good type, on
clear, fine white paper; is handsomely bound and lettered, with a
striking likeness of the author.

The first 310 pages contain as many subjects, adapted to every state and
condition of the Christian in Life, Death, the Grave, and beyond the
grave, as far as the Bible goes but no farther: for there is not a
_sectarian_ expression to be found in the work.  Each Page is complete of
itself.

The last 110 pages contain a compendium of every book in the Bible, with
the history of the several writers, &c.; together with the character of
the first Christians—the example—miracles—parables—and remarkable
discourses of Christ—the prophecies with their fulfillment—figurative and
symbolical language of the Bible, alphabetically arranged, with the
import of each word—a description of the Jewish offerings; and the
different Sects mentioned in the Scriptures—Scriptural difficulties
accounted for—fate of the Evangelists and Apostles—Hebrew offices—a
Pronouncing Dictionary of the “_hard names_” in the Old and New
Testament, &c.

An _alphabetical_ INDEX is placed in the former part of the book, and by
consulting which, the reader may readily find an answer to any question,
that may be asked him by any Bible question-book, or individual;
providing, that it is a question that would benefit any one to have
answered, is _not_ Sectarian, and is one that the _Bible_ can answer.

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of various denominations, who have patronized and recommended the
Christian’s Legacy:

PROVIDENCE, R. I.: Rev. Messrs. Tucker, Vinten, Mackreading, Dowling,
Taylor, Hall.—NEWPORT, R. I.: Rev. Messrs. Watson, Vinten,
Smith.—PAWTUCKETT, R. I.: Rev. Mr. Gonealves.—LOWELL, MASS.: Rev. Messrs.
Blanchard, Hanks, Burnap, Edson, McCoy, Sarjent, Brewster, Hoes, Porter,
Woodman, Thurstan, Cole.  NEW BEDFORD, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Knight,
Hawley, Howes, Dawes.—FALL RIVER, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Fowler, Russell,
Taylor.—CHARLESTOWN, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Greene.—BROOKLINE, MASS.: Rev. Mr.
Shailer.—NEWBURYPORT, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Campbell, Sternes,
Pike.—GRAFTON, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Richards.—CABOTSVILLE, MASS.: Rev. Mr.
Scott.—TAUNTON, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Eldridge.—MILFORD, MASS.: Rev. Messrs.
Long, Tozer.—HOLLISTON, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Matlack, Rice.—POCASSET,
MASS.: Rev. Mr. Wallen.—ROCHESTER, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Clarke.—MANSFIELD,
MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Culver, Latham.—UPTON, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Wood,
Bullard, Eastman.—DORCHESTER, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Boyden.—E. CAMBRIDGE, MASS.
Rev. Mr. Wilson.—HAVERHILL, MASS.: Rev. Mr. Plummer.—MALDEN, MASS.: Rev.
Mr. McLeish.—HARTFORD, CONN.: Rev. Messrs. Hodgson, Eaton.—NEW HAVEN,
CONN.: Rev. Messrs. Teasdale, Law.—PORTSMOUTH, N. H.: Rev. Messrs. Davis,
Harris.—DOVER, N. H.: Rev. Mr. Mason.—BROOKLYN, N. Y.: Rev. Messrs.
Youngs, Burnett.—WILLIAMSBURG, L. I.: Rev. Mr. Roberts.—NEWARK, N. J.:
Rev. Messrs. Whittaker, Lenhart.—ELIZABETHTOWN, N. J.: Rev. Messrs.
Magie, Greene.—BOSTON, MASS.: Rev. Messrs. Meyrell, Russell, Bartoll,
Winslow, Phelps, Kirk, Pierce, Huested, Clarke, Sharpe, Raymond, Read,
Motte, Sarjent, Pierpont, Parkham, Barrett, Gannett, Gray, Robbins.—NEW
YORK: Rev. Messrs. Bond, Levings, Bangs, Stocking, Nichols, Cheney,
Bangs, Seney, Withey, Martyn, Jacobs.—PHILADELPHIA, PA.: Rev. Messrs.
Burrows, Lincoln, Suddards, McKnight, Onins, Cooper, Stockton, Keller,
Ewell, White.—LANCASTER, PA.: Rev. Mr. Gerry.—READING, PA.: Rev. Mr.
Schoch.—COLUMBIA, PA.: Rev. Mr. Humphrey.

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The Original state of   Caution against         The Ghost of Samuel.
Man.                    Error.
                                                Christianity is a
The Present state of    The Spiritual Kingdom   Source of Joy.
Man.                    of Jesus.
                                                Counsel to a Fallen
The Mediation of        Working Good, the Way   Church.
Christ.                 to Honor.
                                                The Parable of the
The Necessity of        The Propriety of        Sower.
Repentance.             praising the Lord.
                                                The Wisdom of
Daniel in the Den of    Secret Things belong    Obedience.
Lions.                  unto the Lord.
                                                Contending for the
The Hebrew Children     Brotherly Union.        Faith.
in the Fiery Furnace.
                        Redemption by Jesus     The Happy Death of
Prayer in Affliction.   Christ.                 Believers.

A Message from God.     Reverence due to God    Holy Angels serve
                        in Public Worship.      good Men.
David’s Advice to
Solomon.                The Jews charged with   The Government of
                        robbing God.            God.
The Strait Gate.
                        Christian Privileges.   The good Samaritan.
Objects of God’s
Hatred.                 The Danger of Bad       An important
                        Habits.                 Petition.
Justification by
Faith.                  The Prayer of           The Parable of the
                        Habakkuk.               Tares.
The Importance of
Regeneration.           The Blessing of Pious   Jesus is the Lamb of
                        Connexions.             God.
The Conduct and End
of Enoch.               The Portion of the      The murmuring
                        Pious.                  Labourers.
Noah warned of the
Flood                   The Mission of          The Ascension of
                        Barnabas to Antioch.    Jesus.
Hagar peen of God.
                        The Nativity of         The wicked
The Destruction of      Christ.                 Husbandmen.
Sodom.
                        The Crucifixion of      The Resurrection of
Abraham about to Slay   Christ.                 Believers.
his Son.
                        The Resurrection of     The Ten Virgins.
Joseph sold into        Christ.
Egypt.                                          The Spirit may be
                        The Day of Pentecost.   quenched.
The final Lot of Men.
                        The Brevity of Human    The Parable of the
Sin punished with       Life.                   Talents.
Death.
                        The Certainty of        Good News to fallen
The Master’s call for   Death.                  Man.
Mary.
                        The Resurrection of     The wealthy Farmer.
Family Religion.        the Dead.
                                                We should hate vain
John in the Spirit on   The General Judgment.   thoughts.
the Lord’s Day.
                        Sinners banished from   The barren Fig-Tree.
The little Flock of     Christ.
Christ encouraged.                              Piety produces strong
                        Saints invited to       confidence.
Encouragement to the    Glory.
Tempted.                                        The Parable of the
                        The Gentiles trust in   great Supper.
A Caution against       Jesus.
Idolatry.                                       Wise and useful Man.
                        The Dispersion of
The Vanity of the       Knowledge.              The Prodigal Son.
World.
                        Advice to Young Men.    The Body and the
The Growth of a                                 Eagles.
Christian.              The Captain of the
                        Lord’s Host.            The unjust Steward.
The Pure in Heart
shall see God.          Christian Privileges.   The Way to eternal
                                                Life.
Friendliness secures    Followers of that
Friends.                which is Good.          The rich Man and
                                                Lazarus.
The Christian Race.     Fools deny the being
                        of a God.               The Lord is a
Christ our Great High                           righteous Judge.
Priest.                 The Word of God is a
                        Light to Man.           The importunate
The True                                        Widow.
Circumcision.           All the Earth shall
                        know the Lord.          The People of God are
The Day devoted to                              happy.
the Lord.               Jesus is the Light of
                        the World.              The Pharisee and the
The Duty of searching                           Publican.
the Scriptures.         The cloud between the
                        camps.                  God is mindful of
Directions how to                               Man.
hear Sermons.           The Conversion of the
                        Gentiles.               A Word to Saints and
Perseverance in                                 Sinners.
Prayer.                 We should be decided
                        in Religion.            Faith and Hope in the
Primitive                                       Redeemer.
Christianity.           The Character of
                        Christ.                 The First Christian
Propriety of Trusting                           Martyr.
in God.                 Sinners invited to
                        Christ.                 The Ministry of the
The Case of Lot’s                               Apostles.
Wife.                   The Lost Sheep.
                                                Rest from
The Strength of a       Walking in Truth.       Persecution.
Christian.
                        The Days of             Social Worship.
Troubles prevented by   Methuselah.
keeping the Tongue.                             The Conduct of Jesus.
                        The Wisdom of Man.
                                                The best Exercise.
                        The Obedience of
                        Josiah.                 The Counsel of God.

                                                Christian Morals.

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FOOTNOTES.


{11}  Down to this time, the Welsh inhabited all of what is now
denominated England.  But henceforth they are confined to the western
part of the island, called Cumry, or Wales.

{27}  A part of this sermon, as delivered on another occasion, is given
in the latter part of this volume.

{43}  Jer. xv. 12.

{44a}  Isaiah lxvi. 8.

{44b}  Isaiah ii. 3.

{45}  Hos. xiv. 2.

{53}  Such an accident is said to have occurred at Shrewsbury, in
England, a few fears ago.

{56}  The three are since dead; the first two named died before Mr.
Evans, and Mr. Thomas since.

{71}  1 John i. 1–3.

{73}  Rom. vi. 17.

{74}  The eighteenth.

{75}  Dr. Edward Williams, of Rotherham, author of some abstruse
inquiries on the Divine Sovereignty.

{94}  This paragraph is one of the celebrated “Specimens of Welsh
Preaching,” printed in England some years before the publication of any
of these sermons.  We give the first English version verbatim.  Ed.

{114}  The substance of this transcendent passage Christmas Evans often
repeated in his preaching, and of course with considerable variation on
different occasions.  There are two other versions of it in English.  One
of them, translated many years ago, and published under the title of “A
Specimen of Welsh Preaching,” has been everywhere justly admired, as one
of the finest productions of sanctified genius.  The other, which we give
below, was taken from the lips of the preacher, and rendered into
English, by one of his frequent hearers and intimate friends.  “All the
stores of his energy,” says the editor of the English memoir, “and the
resources of his voice, which was one of great compass, depth, and
sweetness, seemed reserved for the closing portions of the picture, when
he delineated the routed and battered hosts of the pit retreating from
the cross, where they had anticipated a triumph, and met a signal and
irretrievable overthrow.”—EDITOR.

                                * * * * *

“Methinks I find myself standing upon the summit of one of the highest of
the everlasting hills, permitted thence to take a survey of our earth.
It shows to me a wide and far-spread burial-ground, over which lie
scattered in countless multitudes the wretched and perishing children of
Adam.  The ground is full of hollow’s, the yawning caverns of death,
while over it broods a thick cloud of fearful darkness.  No light from
above shines upon it, nor is the ray of the sun or moon, or the beams of
a candle seen through all its borders.  It is walled around.  Its gates,
large and massive, ten thousand times stronger than all the gates of
brass forged among men, are one and all safely locked.  It is the hand of
Divine Justice that has locked them, and so firmly secured are the strong
bolts which hold those doors, that all the created powers even of the
heavenly world, were they to labor to all eternity, could not drive so
much as one of them back.  How hopeless the wretchedness to which the
race are doomed, and into what irrecoverable depths of ruin has the
disobedience of their first parent plunged them!

“But behold, in the cool of the day there is seen descending from the
eternal hills in the distance, the radiant form of Mercy, seated in the
chariot of the divine promise, and clothed with splendor, infinitely
brighter than the golden rays of the morning when seen shooting over
mountains of pearls.  Seated beside Mercy in that chariot is seen another
form like unto the Son of man.  His mysterious name is the ‘Seed of the
Woman,’ and girt around him shines the girdle of eternity, radiant with
the lustre of the heaven of heavens.  ‘He has descended into the lower
parts of the earth.’  I see Mercy alight from that chariot, and she is
knocking at the huge gate of this vast cemetery.  She asks of Justice:
‘Is there no entrance into this field of death?  May I not visit these
caverns of the grave, and seek, if it may be, to raise some names at
least of the children of destruction, and bring them again to the light
of day?  Open, Justice, open; drive back these iron bolts and let me in,
that I may proclaim the jubilee of deliverance to the children of the
dust.’  But I hear the stern reply of Justice from within those walls; it
is,—‘Mercy, surely thou lovest Justice too well, to wish to burst these
gates by force of arm, and thus obtain entrance by mere lawless violence.
And I cannot open the door.  I cherish no anger towards the unhappy
wretches.  I have no delight in their eternal death, or in hearing their
cries as they lie upon the burning hearth of the great fire kindled by
the wrath of God, in the land that is lower than the grave.  But I am
bound to vindicate the purity, holiness, and equity of God’s laws; for,
‘without shedding of blood there is no remission.’  ‘Be it so,’ said
Mercy, ‘but wilt thou not accept of a surety who may make a sufficient
atonement for the crime committed and the offence given?’  ‘That will I,’
said Justice, ‘only let him be duly allied to either party in this sad
controversy, a kinsman, near alike to the injured Lawgiver, and to the
guilty tenants of the burial-ground.’  ‘Wilt thou, then,’ said Mercy,
‘accept of the puissant Michael, prince among the hosts of heaven, who
fought bravely in the day when there was war in heaven, and also
vanquished Apollyon upon the summit of the everlasting hills?’
‘No,’—said Justice, ‘I may not, for his goings forth are not from the
beginning, even from everlasting.’  ‘Wilt thou not then accept of the
valiant Gabriel, who compelled Beelzebub to turn and seek safety in
flight from the walls of the heavenly city?’  ‘No,’—cried Justice, ‘for
Gabriel is already bound to render his appointed service to the King
Almighty; and who may serve in his place while he should be attempting
the salvation of Adam’s race?  There needs,’ continued Justice, ‘one who
has, of right belonging to him, both omnipotence and eternity, to achieve
the enterprise.  Let him clothe himself with the nature of these
wretches.  Let him be born within these gloomy walls, and himself undergo
death within this unapproachable place, if he would buy the favor of
Heaven for these children of the captivity!’

“But while this dialogue was held, behold, a form fairer than the morning
dawn, and full of the glory of heaven, is seen descending from that
chariot.  Casting, as he passes, a glance of infinite benignity upon the
hapless tenants of that burial-ground, he approaches, and asks of
Justice: ‘Wilt thou accept of me?’  ‘I will,’ said Justice, ‘for greater
art thou than heaven and the whole universe.’

“‘Behold, then,’ said the stranger, ‘I come: in the volume of the book
has it been written of me.  I will go down, in the fulness of time, into
the sides of the pit of corruption.  I will lay hold of this nature, and
take upon me the dust of Eden, and, allied to that dust, I will pour into
thy balance, Justice, blood of such worth and virtue that the court of
heaven shall pronounce its claims satisfied, and bid the children of the
great captivity go free.’

“Centuries have rolled by, and the fulness of time is now accomplished;
and see, an infant of days is born within the old burial ground of Eden.
Behold a Son given to the dwellers of the tomb, and a spotless Lamb, the
Lamb of God, is seen within that gloomy enclosure.  When the hour came at
which the ministers of the Divine Justice must seize upon the victim, I
see them hurrying towards Gethsemane.  There, in heaviness and sorrow of
soul, praying more earnestly, the surety is seen bowed to the earth, and
the heavy burden he had assumed is now weighing him down.  Like a lamb,
he is led towards Golgotha—the hill of skulls.  There are mustered all
the hosts of darkness, rejoicing in the hope of their speedy conquest
over him.  The monsters of the pit, huge, fierce, and relentless, are
there.  The lions, {116a} as in a great army, were grinding fearfully
their teeth, ready to tear him in pieces.  The unicorns, {116b} a
countless host, were rushing onwards to thrust him through, and trample
him beneath their feet.  And there were the bulls of Bashan, {116c}
roaring terribly; the dragons {116d} of the pit are unfolding themselves,
and shooting out their stings, and dogs {116e} many are all around the
mountain.  ‘It is the hour and power of darkness.’  I see him passing
along through this dense array of foes, an unresisting victim.  He is
nailed to the cross; and now Beelzebub and all the master-spirits in the
hosts of hell have formed, though invisible to man, a ring around the
cross.  It was about the third hour of the day, or the hour of nine in
the morning, that he was bound as a sacrifice, even to the horns of the
altar.  The fire of divine vengeance has fallen, and the flames of the
curse have now caught upon him.  The blood of the victim is fast
dropping, and the hosts of hell are shouting impatiently: ‘The victory
will soon be ours.’  And the fire went on burning until the ninth hour of
the day, or the hour of three in the afternoon, when it touched his
Deity,—and then it expired.  For the ransom was now paid and the victory
won.  It was his.  His hellish foes, crushed in his fall, the unicorns
and the bulls of Bashan retreated from the encounter with shattered
horns; the jaws of the lions had been broken and their claws torn off,
and the old dragon, with bruised head, dragged himself slowly away from
the scene, in deathlike feebleness.  ‘He triumphed over them openly,’ and
now is He for ever the Prince and Captain of our salvation, made perfect
through sufferings.  The graves of the old burial-ground have been thrown
open; and from yonder hills gales of life have blown down upon this
valley of dry bones, and an exceedingly great army have already been
sealed to our God, as among the living in Zion.”

{116a}  Allusion to the language in which Psalm xxii. predicts the
Saviour’s sufferings.  The Psalm which our Saviour himself quoted upon
the Cross, when he cried, “My God, why hast thou forsaken me.”

{116b}  Ditto.

{116c}  Ditto.

{116d}  Ditto.

{116e}  Ditto.

{132}  Was it the amount of suffering, or the dignity of the sufferer,
that gave merit to the sacrifice sufficient for the world’s redemption?
ED.

{148}  Dan. xii. 11, 12.

{185}  This sentiment, in different forms, occurs very frequently in
these sermons.  It is questionable theology.—ED.

{205}  Acts iv. 4.

{223}  Rom. i. 19–21.

{224}  Acts xvii. 22–28.

{256}  James ii. 17–26.





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