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was not merely Heathenish idolatry, and ceremonies of falfe worship, but that indulgence of vanity, and that gratification of appetite, in which worldly men, in every age, place their fupreme delight.
3. What hath been faid may ferve for the fupport and confolation of real believers, under the trials to which they are expofed in the prefent ftate. It is melancholy to think, how frequently, and how eafily, we are unhinged by diftrefs; what difcontent and impatier.ce we are apt to discover under fuffering. Alas! my brethren, are you not afhamed, of impatience, when you confider the unparallelled fufferings of your Redeemer in your room? A believing view of the Saviour's crofs, one would think, might stop every mouth, and compose every murmuring thought. Has he fuffered fo much for us and fhall we refufe to fuffer from him, and for him? His fufferings fhould make us patient, as they fhew us the evil of fin, and what we have deferved. Did we really deferve avenging wrath and fhall we dare to complain of fatherly correction? Did he fuffer with patience who did no fin? and fhall we complain who are punifhed lefs than our iniquities deferve? His fufferings fhould teach us patience, because they take away the bitterness and malignity of our fufferings, and turn them from a poison to a medicine he hath exhaufted, if I may fpeak fo, the whole wrath of God, and left nothing for us but what is highly falutary. And as he hath changed the nature of all the fufferings of life,
he hath taken away the fting of death, which is the end of all our fuffering. That blood which fpeaks peace to the wounded spirit, should be a healing balm to the wounded body.
But of all the different kinds of fuffering, if we pretend to glory in the cross, we ought to be leaft afraid of the reproach thrown upon us for adherence to our duty. To glory in the cross, is indeed to glory in fhame. The form of expreffion ufed with regard to Peter and John, Acts v. 41. is very remarkable. They depart ed from the prefence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. It would greatly tend to fortify us against this trial, if we would lay up in our hearts what hath been faid on the doctrine of the crofs. If it is impoffible to avoid it, we muft needs fit down compofedly under it. And if our attachment to our great master is what it ought to be, we will chearfully follow him even without the camp, bearing his reproach.
4. In the last place, By what hath been faid, you may try your title to fit down at the Lord's table, and learn your employment there. This ordinance is a fenfible memorial of our Redeemer's cross and paffion. It was on the cross that his body was broken, and his blood fhed, for you. Are you then to commemorate it? You cannot do fo, either in an acceptable or profitable manner, unless you can join the apostle in glorying in it. Have you feen any thing of the excellence and amiablenels of this defpifed object? Nothing fo taftelefs and infipid to the proud R 3
and felf-righteous; nothing fo delightful and refreshing to the broken in heart. Have you feen any thing of the glory of the true God, in the fufferings of Christ? and can you fay with the apostle Paul, Heb. ii. 10. "It became him, for "whom are all things, and by whom are all "things, in bringing many fons unto glory, to "make the Captain of their falvation perfect "through fufferings." Do you fee the glory of infinite mercy in the cross? and are your hearts drawn with the cords of love to him who "loved you, and gave himself for you?" Have you experienced the fanctifying influence of the cross? are your corruptions weakened and mor tified by looking upon it? Is it your unfeigned defire, that they may be finally destroyed by it?
To draw to a conclufion of the fubject: I cannot point out your duty to you in a manner more fuited to this day's employment, or more proper for your after fecurity and comfort, than to turn the three reafons for glorying in the cross into the form of exhortations.- I befeech you, my beloved hearers, contemplate the glory of God in the crofs of Chrift. See him, infinite in power, infinite in wifdom, infinite in holiness. You may see a faint emblem of his glory in the book of nature; but you can only fee his tran fcendent majefty in the book of God. And may "he who at first commanded the light to fhine "out of darkness, fhine in your hearts, to give "you the light of the knowledge of the glory "of God, in the face of Jefus Chrift!"- Adore and apply the riches of divine grace. Let the
convinced, fearful, trembling finner, fly to this atoning blood, reft his hope upon it, and be fecure. And neglect not to use the cross of Chrift for mortifying your corruptions. Let your views of it now be lively and ftrong, and carry the same impreffion away, to be your great preservative from daily temptation. Make no image of the crofs in your houfes; but let the remembrance of it be ever on your hearts. One lively view of this great object will cool the flames of unclean luft: one lively view of this great object will make the unjuft man quit his hold: one lively view of this tremendous object will make the angry man drop his weapon: nay, one look of mercy from a dying Saviour will make even the covetous man open his heart. In one word, believing views of the crofs of Chrift will unite the Chriftian more and more to a reconciled God, will make his prefence comfortable, his worship delightful, and excite a humble longing for that time when we fhall fee him no more through the help of thefe elements, but as he is in himself, exalted on his throne, where his worship and service are everlasting.
The world crucified by the cross of Chrift.
› GALATIANS vi. 14. laft claufe.
By whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world.
HE character of a fervant of God is fometimes described in fcripture by particular difpofitions or inftances of obedience, and fome. times by a general view of the spirit that runs through the whole of his temper and carriage. Each of these ways has its own advantage and ufe. Each of them is to be found in its proper order in the holy fcriptures, and stands there as a proof of their fulnefs and perfection. The whole of this paffage, but particularly the laft claufe, upon which I am now to infift, is of the general kind, and, in the apoftle's own example, gives us a very comprehenfive view of what ought to be the temper and difpofition of every real Chriftian: "By whom," that is, by Chrift crucified, or, "by which," that is to say, by the cross of Chrift," the world is crucified unto me, " and I unto the world.",
This defcription will ferve, if carefully attended to, as a trial and touchftone of fincerity;