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and gain a little relief to our conceptions, in the use of his masterly extravagance, crying out and wondering as we repeat—"a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
III. Having considered some of the suffering here, and attempted to glance at the glory hereafter, we might pause long enough to institute a comparison between the two. But there is no comparison of a momentary sorrow, with an infinite and eternal joy. The apostle thought so amid the heavy trials of his lot; burdened as he was, with an unwonted responsibility; carrying about with him that dread infirmity, the thorn in the flesh; surrounded with enemies, traduced, beaten, killed, all the day long; the sufferings were present and almost without a parallel in Christian endurance; the glory future, and apprehended only by faith. He weighed the matter; he calculated carefully; he balanced the account, and this was his settled judgment, I RECKON; I ACCOUNT, that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. And can any one hesitate in coming to the same conclusion? We might refer the question to one of far feebler faith, and in still deeper trouble; one on whom the hand of affliction was pressing most heavily, and the glory seemed dim and far away. Even such an one could not fail to utter the same judg. ment—NOT WORTHY TO BE COMPARED; the affliction for a moment, the glory eternal; the affliction light, the glory unmeasured in weight and worth. Can the depressed and most sorrowing heart, hesitate in the judgment,-NOT WORTHY TO BE COMPARED. Suppose we pass to the other side of the scale, and put the question to a higher reference; to one of those spirits before the throne, who have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Be the umpire one who encountered every form and variety of earthly trial; the direst malignacy of persecution; the most desolating strokes of bereavement; the tortures of a racked and groaning body; and the still keener anguish of a wounded spirit. That spirit, thus tossed and troubled, is now resting in the embrace of infinite and protecting love. That heart which at times drooped beneath the weight of its sorrows, now swells with the fulness of unutterable joys. It has felt its last pang; now it is perfect peace. Thus that purified intelligence has tried both sides; has had experience of the worst griefs of time, and of the commenced and growing blessedness of eternity. Ask him bis judgment; and what, think you, he would say, as he looked back upon this little point and speck of trouble, and as he thought of the immeasurable felicities of his present and secured immortality? What would he say? Pe would say with the utmost reach of language and strength of empbasis, and all the redeemed would join in and peal forth their intense agreement, till those eternal pillars should tremble with the utterance — NOT WORTHY TO BE COMPARED.
IV. But though there is no comparison, there is a connection, between the present suffering and the future glory. Allow me in a remark or two upon this connection-the beneficent nature and working of it. We see in it the blessed hand of God, here as everywhere, bringing good out of evil; taking from the very jaws and bowels of sorrow, a shining tribute of joy; all things, all trials made to work for good. These afflictions, when the mind comes out from them ascendant, work into the character an element of strength and assurance, a conscious supremacy over the assailments of trial and evil; producing a character that has met the storm, and now firmer stands for the blasts it has successfully sustained a character refined and made purer by the fire, and more shining from the rough and hard attritions. These light afflictions, by working these things in us, work out for us that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; weighter for these light afflictions.
In this way, this view, the future glory gives strength to bear the present trial. That future glory-let it shine back and put to shame and silence every rising murmur. If ever tempted to say, or even feel, that God is unkind in putting upon you so great a trial, as you seemed doomed to carry, pause long enough to think of your path unto it. God unkind, because he did not spare you that visitation, when he spared not his own Son, but gave him up freely for us all ? God unkind in the discipline he employs to cleanse your soul and fit it for that high state? Look up and think at once of what he has prepared and done, and you will discover in all, nothing but a father's solicitude and an overflowing goodness. If ever ready to faint or give over, saying, all these things are against me; every event an adversity; every new scene a trial; remember still to look up and think of the glory, and gather from above strength and courage, and so hold on your way, ever struggling to reach the goal and gain the prize. Then all these things you here so much dread, will prove helpers to your deliverance-added gems in your crown.
Another thing is here suggested, namely, while the future glory gives strength to bear the present trial, the present trial in turn will heighten the fruition of the future glory. I have said, no comPARISON can be instituted; but there is a CONTRAST which the delivered soul will feel, and which will fill it with wonder-80 sudden, so perfect. Mark that weary disciple, who had a long and severe discipline and sorrowing experience; whose sensibilities were mostly ministers of pain; whose clayey tabernacle was often turned into a prison by thick and brooding infirmities; who realized little faith and frequent fears—conflicts, doubts, sufferings, for years his bosom companions, till he seems to cleave to them, as though they were his inheritance. The hour of redemption at length arrives: the submerging waters are passed : and in an instant, the celestial glory stands all revealed. As the darkness settles heavily here, the light opens transportingly there; and as the body is sending out the last moaning sounds of death, the spirit begins to hear and even join in those heavenly melodies. To such an one-to one coming out of that tribulation, rising above those billows, parting forever with those pains and glooms and labors, but remembering them all : how refreshing must be that rest; how sweet that peace ; how glorious that triumph; how immeasurably heightened all that joyous possession and experience by the scenes which have been gone through. We are lost here: we know but little. Blessed shall we be, if we
reach that state, and learn by experience the riches and the mysteries of its glory.
We see here the firm ground for the grace of patience; and how lovely is this grace ; how important that we possess it; that it grow strong; that there be put into it firm nerves and sinewg, so
momentary, but those wearying burdens, which can only be laid down with the burden of our mortality. Happy those who thus endure to the end, and show, through all, the patience of the saints.
Let me say, finally, if these are light afflictions, these joys of sense are also light joys; these are shadowy and vain possessions. How low and mean, to be the great object of pursuit to one made in the image and for the service of God : and how these things must look in the retrospect of a lost eternity! If lost, you will see them then as the price of your soul. You will know that you bartered heaven for that now perished baseness. You will behold it in the distance, a floating trifle, a receding speck of dirt; and yet it was the price of your soul. Let me remind you that soon you will leave the little things, the gildings, the baubles and the vanities, and go forth to the substantial, the infinite, the eternal. Awake I watch ! strive I or this lying world will work for you, and lay upon you a dreadful burden ; the burden of your Maker's curse, because you would not hear his counsel and embrace his Son. You will lie under it forever-a far more exceeding and eternal weight of misery.
BY REV. NOAH PORTER, D.D.,
he languag been the rather twisdom of nige beside om
" For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness, but unto us
which are saved, it is the power of God."-1 Cor. i. 18. This is the language of triumph. It is an appeal of the apostle to those who had been the witnesses and the subjects of his labors, that the preaching, or rather the doctrine, of the cross, was doing that for men which all the wisdom of the world had failed to do, and in comparison of which, all things beside were unimportant. It was morally renovating and saving themsaving them from the power of sin and the misery of the second death : and so, to those who came under its influence, despised though it was by such as neglected it, and lay perishing in their sin, it was distinctively and demonstrably the power of God. " Where is the wise?” he proceeds to say, " where is the reviler? where is the disputer of this world ? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ? For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Obrist crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."
The doctrine of the cross to them that are saved is the power of God. In illustration of this, I would show wbat is the doctrine of the cross, and how this doctrine, to them that are saved is the power of God.
I. What is the doctrine of the cross. As explained by the apostle, it is the doctrine of “Christ crucified." It is not, how. ever, a mere history of his crncifixion ; for this, taken separately from its relations, and import, would have no such efficacy as is attributed to the doctrine. Thousands of men have been cruci. fied who have lived unknown and died unfelt. Nor does it
Preached at the annual meeting of the General Assoc. of Conn., June 18th, 1850, and published at their request.
refer to the sufferings of Christ on the cross, exclusively of his previous sufferings ; but to his sufferings and humiliation, generally designated by the cross as having been consummated in the cross: nor yet are these to be taken exclusively of bis obedience, for having been voluntarily endured, they implied obedience of the highest character. The doctrine of the cross is the scheme of doctrine concerning “Christ crucified" generally; and, among other particulars essential to it, these two are especially important-the peculiarity of his person, and the main end of his death. It is to the last of these more particularly that I invite your attention.
Assuming that Paul preacbed “ Christ crucified” as being God incarnate, “ of the seed of David according to the flesh," and “the Son of God according to the spirit of boliness," “God manifest in the flesh," I would show, that, in respect to the main end of his death, the doctrine of the crose as preached by him is the doctrine of the atonement: that is, that Christ died, not as a martyr only, sealing his testimony with his blood; nor as an example only, leading the way to God, and encouraging us through suffering and shame, to follow him ; nor only as an impressive manifestation of God in himself to bring us to repentance, and through our repentance procure our justification before the eternal thione,-but as an expiatory sacrifice freely offered to God, and, as such, the ground of our justification, on our believing in him for that vital benefit.
He who was in the beginning with God and was God, was made flesh and dwelt among us. Seeing the race perishing in apostasy from God, he appeared for our deliverance; he became one of us : he united himself to the race in its fallen state ; cast. in his lot with us; was made under the law as we are; was subject to ils curse in respect to the evils of life and the suffering of death, in common with us; and, joining himself to us in the experience of a common lot, he was joined to us also in the tenderest sympathy: “took upon him our infirmities and carried our sorrows," in the feeling of our burdens, superadded to sufferings of his own; entered into the depths of our woe with a sensibility heightened by the purity that was pained at the sense of our sin, as well as the benevolence which sbared the sense of our sufferings. Now are the toil, sorrow, and death, to which we are subject, to be regarded as divine inflictions for sin, and in this sense penal, however through grace, they have a disciplinary use? Is it so, as Moses, "the man of God," in his memorable "prayer,” said, that “we are consumed by his anger, and by his wrath we are troubled ?” And to this dread lot was Christ subjected, although himself was not only sinless, but divine, coming among us for our redemption. Could there be no exemption for him-no mitigation of the curse ? but, on the contrary, did it fall on him, interposing himself for our protection in all its terribleness so that his visage was more