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and rites of the Jewish economy, are like the employment of an obsolete agency that has fulfilled its purpose, and been dismissed. It is as though a man, after his edifice was completed, should insist on retaining as a part of the building, the scaffolding, the ropes, and the ladders, which had once been needful and proper, but are now not only useless, but an incumbrance and a blemish. Now, the redeemed disciples of our Lord, wherever they are found, are “ an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” They are to execute the commission and commands of the Head and Lawgiver of the Christian Church, and thus “show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light.” Christ himself is the High Priest of their profession, who is passed into the heavens, hath an unchangeable priesthood, and “is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” No human being, whatever be his ecclesiastical titles or pretensions, can act for us as a mediator, or a bestower of pardon. No early rite or ceremony can effect our regeneration. No mere church organization or enclosure can invest us with the privi. leges of Christian discipleship. We must come directly and personally to Jesus, in penitence and faith, trusting alone in him, and resting all our hope on his atoning sacrifice, or we cannot be accepted of God and saved. Man, conscious of his spiritual need, is ever prone to works of merit, to trust in ceremonies or to establish his own righteousness. This is seen in Pagan idolatries and Papal superstitions, and also in a religion that is formal or merely sentimental. “What shall we do that we might work the works of God ?” is a question that greeted the ears of Christ. His reply was characteristic. “ This is the work of God, that ye believe in him whom he hath sent." Simple faith in Jesus-heart-yielding submission to God through him-is the sinner's first, and chief duty; and, without this, whatever else he may do, heaven will be shut against him. The only mediator and intercessor hath said, “I am the door ; by me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” “I am the way, the truth, and the life : no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Apostles have added, “ Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.” “Neither is there salvation in any other : for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Such brethren, is Christ our Lord and Saviour, in his alone undertaking the work of our redemption in his incarnation, his life and deeds, his sufferings, his death, his intercession. In view of what has been said, I observe,
1. He is the alone Saviour for us. As sínners, included among the lost whom he came to seek and to save, when we see his adaptation to his great work, and realize our need, we cannot
but feel that there is none but Christ. All our merits, works, hopes—what are they without Christ?
“Should my tears for ever flow,
Thon must save, and Thou alone." What divine attributes, what infinite riches are his! What clustering excellencies, what unrivalled attractions centre in Him! “Unto you, therefore, which believe, he is precious"the "chiefest among ten thousand, the one altogether lovely." He is our life, our hope, our joy. And we are complete in him, in whom all fulness dwells, and “who, of God, is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” He is all this to every believer in Him, whatever be his rank, wealth, or intelligence. To all he is the Alpha and Omega of their salvation. In gladness and gloom, in prosperity and adversity, in life and in death, here and hereafter, he is the all-sufficient and eternal portion of their souls. From every heart renewed, there goes up continually to Christ, the grateful and adoring aspiration : “Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.”
2. Without faith in Christ there is no salvation. A sinner out of Christ, is a sinner lost. A world without the knowledge of Christ, is a world lying in darkness and the shadow of death. Whatever else a nation, a community, an individnal, may have, if they have not Christ enthroned in the heart, and the principles of his gospel incorporated in the life, they are enemies to God, and heirs of hell. They may have intelligence, refinement, and wealth—may have splendid churches, and gorgeous ceremonialsmay hear and speak the name of Jesus,—but every soul that does not apprehend Him by faith, and personally submit to Him, to be his, and to do his will, has no part nor lot with him. Sinners are condemned- lost for ever, if they have nor Jesus for their Saviour! What avail the forms of religion, if the power of godliness be absent? Of what value is a church that does not hold Christ as the only mediator and intercessor before God, and through whom alone sinners are pardoned ? Of what benefit is a ministry that does not preach Christ as he is, -Christ first, Christ last, Christ always, Christ alone, as the apostles preached him ? Contemplating this subject in all its high interest and importance, can we not sympathize with Paul, in his declaration to the Corinthians," I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” In his letter to the Galatians, the apostle speaks of some who desired to make a fair show in the flesh, by conforming to existing rites not required by the gospel, and so avoid persecution for the cross of Christ. But Paul spurned everything like a worldly and fashionable religion. "God forbid,” said he, that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”. There is nothing men so much need an the gospel of Christ—the cross of Christ-a crucified Saviour. Salvation, the Bible, a hope in Jesus, are infinitely more important to them than physical improvements or intellectual advancement —than railroads, telegraphs, and all the gold of California and Australia. And this is our work and labour of love-to make known to men the truth as it is in Jesus ; to follow humbly in the footsteps of our Master, and preach the gospel to the poor, and to all to whom we may gain access. “The field is the world." In our churches and the communities where we dwellamong the destitute in our land. and in far distant heathen nations and tribes—we may be workers together with God, sending the gospel to all as he gives us ability. Providence is opening effectual doors, leading into vast fields where we may enter and sow the seed of the kingdom. Idolatry, error, and false religion will spread, unless the gospel in its purity be diffused as the chief counteracting and supplanting influence. And in this work of evangelization, there is a peculiar obligation resting on those who, in matters of religious belief and practice, reject all mere human authority, and, with a conscientious and unswerving regard for the teachings of Divine truth, acknowledge “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
3. How great the guilt of the rejecter of Christ! To despise such a Saviour, to trample upon such mercy, and turn from the pleadings of such love, as the gospel presents, must insure an awful doom. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ?” “He that despised Moses' law, died without mercy.” How aggravated then, will be the punishment of him who perishes under the gospel. Come, O sinner, to Christ! He has rendered your salvation possible-certain, if you believe. As certain will be your ruin if you believe not. You must reap as you have sown.
4. How glorious the prospect of the believer in Jesus ! They who have followed him in the regeneration, who have fellowship with his sufferings, who remember his commandments to do them, shall share in the infinite goodness of his grace and love. No blessing will be withheld. Nothing shall deprive them of his favor, and their heavenly inheritance. All things are theirs -life, death--the present, the future. “ If God be for us, who can be against us?" Trusting in the Son of his love, he will surely do for us all we need. “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, adds the apostle, “ being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Great and precious are the Divine promises, full of encouragement and hope to the disciples of Jesus. God's people are his heritage and care. They shall never be left without a comforter and guide. The Saviour has gone to prepare a place for them, and he will come again, and receive them to himself. “They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels."
Hi eve we shall be Divingesuse Gumile out to them and be mine
That day fast approaches. Its highest glory will consist not in the unparalleled scenes and events that will attendit, the vast and shining array of accompanying angels ; the dazzling splendours of the great white throne ; the sound of the archangel's trumpet exceeding loud, waking all the dead; the sublime exhibition of omnipotent power witnessed in the resurrection; the wrapping earth in a sheet of flame, and rolling the heavens together as a scroll- not in any or all these will the Son of God find his highest and peculiar honours ; but rather in his ransomed people ; for he will come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe! We know much of Christ in this world. We are united to him by faith. His presence and blessing are with us, and our lives are hid with him in. God. Still, we know but in part here-we see through a glass darkly. But the day cometh when We shall see face to face and know as we are known. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.” 0, in that day, free from imperfection and sin, we we shall see in the great propitiation new beauties and enrapturing glories. Our eyes will rest on new attractions at Bethlehem. Our undying interest in Gethsemane will grow deeper and more intense. Calvary will be surrounded by a more resplendent halo of glory. The Cross will furnish exhaustless lessons that we may study with increasing interest through the ages of eternity. The tomb where Jesus lay, and whence he rose triumphant, will shine as the gate of Paradise. And Olivet's summit of ascension will be tipped with the golden sunlight of heaven. Though these places as literal localities will have passed away, yet in their spiritual significance, as connected with the great truths of our religion, they will remain for ever'; and, as we contemplate our interests associated therewith from the serene heights of immortality, all our admiration of their value and glory will centre in CHRIST ALONE.
BY REV. J. MANNING SHERWOOD.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17.
It is an undeniable fact that the pulpit greatly sympathizes with and is powerfully affected by the peculiar type of the times in which it is called to exercise its ministrations. It is right and best that it should be so to a certain extent. There is profound philosophy as well as simple doctrine in the gospel ; and he is the most effective preacher who knows how to wield that philosophy so as best to adapt and enforce the doctrine. There is a high sense in which the preacher must be a man of the times, to make his influence felt. But there is danger, extreme danger, lest the pulpit instead of controlling and moulding the age to the true type of the gospel, suffer itself to be swayed by and conformed to the age. And this would be fatal to its power and success. The preacher who is only a man of the times—who bodies forth in his ministry only the popular sentiment and type of life-is not a preacher who wins souls to Christ. The gospel in all its facts and doctrines, is one and the same in all ages. One spirit animates it-one life pervades it all. And no ministry is or can be effective which fails to set forth that gospel in its essential facts and doctrines, spirit and life. So long as the Bible remains the only Divinely inspired book, and so long as it shall please God by the foolishness of preaching to save sinners, so long must this ancient, and, in the judgment of not a few, antiquated book, be the one theme, one inspiration, one type and life of the Christian ministry. He is the wisest and most successful minister who so comprehends and is able to seize upon the public mind of his day-the peculiar phases of thought and life which characterize his time-as to infuse into the great mind and heart of the world, most of the doctrine and life of the Divine Word.
THE KIND OF PREACHING NEEDED BY THE PRESENT AGE is the subject I have chosen as appropriate to this occasion. I shall allow myself a considerable latitude in the discussion of it ; and *Preached at ordination of Rey, Stephen G. Dodd,at Milford, C.T, Oct, 20, 1852