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like men bent on death or victory, cleanness in his side pierced for you. and victory shall be yours. But dream come every day—every hour-every not here of an easy conquest. When moment; and in the purifying stream the foe is in the very heart of the cita- wash you of every defilement of the del, nothing will serve but a resisting flesh and of the spirit. Wash you of unto the blood. Be then watchful unto your every action, of your every word prayer. Faint not, nor suffer your and every thought. Once opened, the selves to be disheartened by your de- blessed fountain is for ever opened feats, but at every fall, at every short unto you. Come then unto it with coming, instead of seeking an excuse thanksgiving-come unto it with joy in the infirmity of your nature, con--and draw the water of life out of the fess your sin before your God, humble wells of salvation. Come unto it for yourself in the dust in the sense of peace-peace with God and the peace your vileness ; vile you are indeed of the conscience; and with the paryou have sinned against your own don of your offences, you shall also soul,-you have sinned against your obtain deliverance from the bondage of Saviour-no excuse will avail, you sin, the strength you need to fight the have no excuse left-no none, but good fight, and to finish your course the blood of Christ. Come then to with joy. that fountain opened for sin and un
DELIVERED BY THE REV. J. BLACKBURN,
AT CLAREMONT CHAPEL, PENTONVILLE, AUGUST 7, 1831.
Philippians, iii. 18, 19.—" For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now
tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ : whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, the
mind earthly things." The powerful influence which num- and it is therefore delusive and danbers exert over the human mind, led gerous for us to allow our minds at any Moses, on one occasion, to caution the time to be affected by the mere cir. children of Israel, saying, “ Thou cumstance that numbers attach them. shalt not follow a multitude to do selves to any cause, or advocate any evil ;” and assuredly, my brethren, the class of principles. St. Paul was conpopularity of any course is very du- scious of this influence; and knowing bious evidence of its truth, When that it was employed to promote some this rule, the rule of multitude, pre- dangerous errors, he sought, in his vailed, Noah stood alone-Lot stood conversations and in his correspond. alone—Elijah stood alone and Jere. ence, to guard his brethren at Philippi miah stood alone-yea, the Son of against the effects which the corrupt God himself stood alone" hand principles and practices of the multijoined to hand,” and wickedness was tude might produce ; “ for many triumphant. The road both of pro- walk," he exclaims, “ of whom I have faneness and error is wide ; “ Broad told you often, and now tell you even is the road that leadeth to destruction, weeping, that they are the enemies of and many there be that go in thereat;" the cross of Christ.”
Now, though these parties have of natural benevolence, taking but a long since mouldered to their kindred glance at such objects, would not turn, dust, and though the peculiar and away; for who would not abhor the national aspect of their error has cross ? who would not avoid a sight of changed, yet, brethren, principles, the gallows? But look to Calvary again, whether they are good or evil, remain my brethren? On that central cross, the same, and therefore it is our duty there is an inscription. It is written to study the word of God, not only in three languages, to meet the eye to learn its obvious sense, but also of the many tongued population to educe from it those sentiments that now crowd the streets of Jewhich may guard us from error, and rusalem, and you read in that inestablish us in the truth. For what scription, “ Jesus of Nazareth the King the Apostle said of those unhappy in- of the Jews.” So then, it is not a dividuals is, we may fear, true of cross, but it is the cross of Christ, to many in the present day, let us there. which our attention is directed. Ah, fore receive the caution, remembering brethren, Jesus is the Christ, he is the that it is not of limited but of univer- anointed one of God, anointed to be sal application,
the prophet, the priest, and the king I would this morning, therefore, of his people; and as the captain of entreat your attention
our salvation, it is necessary that he First-TO THE CROSS OF CHRIST. should be perfected through suffering,
Secondly—TO THE ENEMIES OF THE and therefore we are called to contemCROSS OF Christ; and
plate him upon the accursed tree. Thirdly—TO THE AWFUL CONDITION Now that cross upon which "the OF ALL SUCH PERSONS : they glory in Prince of Glory died” supplies a comtheir shame, and their end is destruc- prehensive phrase which includes all tion.
the doctrinal truths involved in the In the First place, let me call your extraordinary transaction of his death ; attention to the CROSS OF Christ. and hence the phraseology of the
My brethren, to all the nations of Apostle, “the preaching of the cross,” antiquity, whether barbarous or po- “ glorying of the cross,” “ the perselished, a cross conveyed the same idea, cution of the cross.” He employs this and called up a class of emotions simi- phrase in our text in a metaphorical lar to those which a rack, or a gibbet and moral sense, and it becomes a excites in the minds of modern Euro- significant description of all the great peans. We ought ever to bear that principles which were concentrated in fact in mind, that we may have a full his death. The enemies then of the apprehension of the force of the al- cross of Christ are not those who oplusions made in the sacred writings posed the punishment of crucifixion, to this instrument of torture. Thus it for they might have been among the was among them the badge of infamy, most benevolent of mankind, but they the death of a slave; and when with who are the enemies of those great these associations we look back to principles which were associated with Calvary, and behold there three indi- the crucifixion of the Son of God. viduals suspended upon these fatal When we read, therefore, of the cross trees, we might at the first glance of Christ in our text, we are called to imagine that we saw the vilest wretches remember those important truths, those of the Jewish nation suffering the well powerful motives, those amazing troumerited effects of their own misdeeds ; bles which were connected therewith. and then what man of sensibility, and Regarding the cross of Christ as
thus supplying a comprehensive phrase, Christ, when the only begotten of the let us consider it,
Father, full of grace and truth, suffers, First, as the symbol of abasing groans, and dies, as the surety of truths. Pride seems to have been the transgressors; endures all the terrors of earliest, and is certainly one of the his Father's displeasure, that he might most powerful evils with which man thereby atone for sin, sustain the rehad to contend ; and all the degra- quirements of the Divine law, and the dation, which is the consequence of demands of inflexible justice. The his apostacy from God, has not Apostle Peter has declared that Jesus lessened that self-esteem and compla-“ bare our sins in his own body on cent regard with which we are prone the tree, that we, being dead to sin, to view our own characters, and to should live unto righteousness : by contemplate our own doings. Thus whose stripes ye were healed." No we are prone continually to lessen the man then that looks at the cross of amount of our own transgressions, to Christ, and beholds the disinterested plead that our venial sins are scarcely yet bitter agonies of the Lamb of God, worthy of the notice of their benevo- occasioned by the pressure of a mighty lent Creator; or again to plead, that load which weighed him down, can our obedience is respectable, and that think that sin is a venial evil-a trifle our righteousness may deserve and not to be regarded. Hence the enmity challenge the acceptance and favour of which the cross provokes—hence the Jehovah. Now the cross of Christ is cry against it, as against its holy victhe symbol of truths the very opposite tim—"away with it." of these notions, and therefore most And then, brethren, there is another offensive and abasing to the pride and abasing truth in the cross of Christ, ignorance of the human heart. For namely, that the substitution of a perin that cross we behold an exhibition fect sacrifice is necessary to our salvaof the extreme evil of sin, and of the tion. Men are prone to think that necessity of a righteousness more per. they can meet the claims of the Divine fect and complete than human power law, but they are altogether ignorant can produce, to satisfy the claims of of its spirituality, of its inflexibility, the attributes and law of God.
and of the extent of its requirements. Brethren, the desert of sin has been Jesus Christ by one offering for ever again and again exhibited under the perfects them that believe; he provaried forms which the justice and cured not only an atonement for sin, providence of God have been pleased but a righteousness which is complete; to appoint. We behold it in the ex- and that very righteousness, which is pulsion of our parents from that bliss the best boon that God's grace ever ful region of paradise into which they bestowed upon man, is the occasion of were conducted by the hand of their offence to multitudes, who, because it Creator. We behold it in the desola. thus supersedes their services, as a me. tion of the deluge—in the destruction ritorious ground of justification, beof Sodom and Gomorrah-in all the come the enemies of the cross of Christ, successive plagues which visited Egypt, But they also become the enemies of and waich afflicted the chosen tribes the cross of Christ, of Israel. Every passage of this book Secondly, as it is the source of reveals to us that sin is that abomin. powerful motives. The design of the able thing which God hates : but, my death of Christ was to save his peohearers, the turpitude of sin was ple from their sins. My dear friends, never so exhibited as in the cross of let us never separate redemption from the power of sin, from the redemp- from the depravity of the Jews, and the tion, from its curse. Let it be our machinations of the devil. We know desire continually to remember that he entered into the heart of Judas, and the Apostle Paul, when writing to Ti. | doubtless his malevolent influence was tus, has declared, “that he gave himself exerted also, with extraordinary power, for us, that he might redeem us from in the minds of the high priests and all iniquity, and purify unto himself a elders of the Jews. It is probable, peculiar people, zealous of good works.” | that the idea present to his mind, was, It was his great design to "redeem us that by the death of Christ, the rising from all iniquity, and purify unto cause of virtue and holiness might be himself a peculiar people ;” and the overthrown, and thus he stirred all his influence of this sacrifice, St. Paul re- agencies in earth and hell to effect it. cognized, when he said, "for the love But God has ever made the wrath of of Christ constraineth us, because we devils, as well as men, to praise him ; thus judge, that if one died for all, then and therefore the death of his Son, were all dead : and that he died for all, which was intended to be the overthat they which live, should not hence throw of the kingdom of Christ, was forth live unto themselves, but unto made to lead on a conflict against the him who died for them, and rose again.” principles of evil, which continues to Now, my brethren, when a man, by this hour, and shall be perpetuated till faith, contemplates the bleeding love the victory is completely won, and of Jesus, as exhibited on the cross, Jesus owned in earth and heaven, aye, he feels that he cannot live the rest of and in hell too, as the Lord of all. his life according to the will of the We find the Apostle Paul in his epistle flesh—that he cannot crucify the Son to the Colossians, tells us, that Jesus of God afresh, and put him to an open having spoiled principalities and powshame—that every wound, that every ers, made a show of them openly, trigroan, that every pang which afflicted umphing over them in it.” And from his heart, becomes a motive to him as a that day the doctrine of the cross has faithful disciple, to deny all ungodliness excited opposition, and its followers and worldly lusts ; he is crucified with have endured reproach. Where, breChrist-he becomes dead to the world, thren, did the Apostles go—in what city and the world dead to him. And it is did they preach, in which the truths this very fact, that the cross of Christ they proclaimed did not excite oppois a powerful motive to holiness, which sition? Was not the preaching of the makes men at enmity with it; they cross to the Jew, a stumbling block, would have no objection to the mere and to a Greek foolishness? The Jews theory, the abstract hypothesis, but stumbled at it, because Messiah, the the doctrine of the cross which is prince, died the death of a criminal; practical, which supplies motives, which and the Greeks counted it foolishness, demands consistency of conduct, which because they could not imagine that teaches the denying of ungodliness and by the death of a slave the world was wordly lusts, this doctrine they abhor, to be renovated. The persecutions of they reject with disdain, to this day, past ages prove the strength of the opbecause they are wedded to their lusts. position to the cross. And are not its
Then, my friends, we may contem- ministers required still to endure the plate the cross of Christ, not only contemptand hatred of men, when they as the symbol of abasing truths, and contend earnestly for the faith, and as the source of powerful motives, but, know nothing amongst men but Jesus
Thirdly, as the signal of an amazing Christ and him crucified ? Those conflict. The death of Christ resulted | who thus unfurl the Gospel banners
find that the reproach of the cross of workers, beware of them as you Christ has not ceased. They are laughed would of dogs. at for trusting their souls in the hands Now whilst the Apostle thus desof another—they are despised for fol. cribes a particular class of judaizing lowing their Lord in the regeneration, teachers who were found in the Chris. they are injured for labouring to lift tian churches, yet, my brethren, it is him up that he may draw all men unto evident that they only possessed traits him. If they will reign with him they of character which are to be found in must suffer with him; “but at length multitudes of professed Christians at they shall overcome by the blood of the the present day. Lamb and the word of his testimony”— First, it is evident they were proud when sin shall be overthrown and the men who valued their own righteousness. kingdom shall be given up to the Father The Apostle tells us that they “being and God shall be all in all.
ignorant of the righteousness of God, Now we proceed to our Second di- went about to establish their own righvision which relates to the enemies teousness, not submitting themselves OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
unto the righteousness of God.” And, The men to whom the Apostle refers brethren, wherever a man is so proud, are described in the first verses of this that he cannot be brought to cast himchapter. “Finally, my brethren, re self upon that system of Divine mercy joice in the Lord. To write the same and grace which the infinite goodness things to you, to me indeed is not grie- of God has revealed, he must be acvous, but for you it is safe”—to write counted as an enemy of the cross of the same things of which I had spoken Christ. Brethren, gross sensual evils to you, is neither difficult or grievous are not the only things which are of. to me, and for you it is safe. “Be- fensive to God; there are evils of the ware of dogs, beware of evil workers, mind which are as opposed to God as beware of the concision.” Now it is the defiling practices of the body; and evident that the Apostle puts himself, that individual who proudly sets at in the third verse, in opposition to those nought the system which infinite wisof whom he speaks in the second, and dom has constructed—which unutterthus pourtrays the individuals he has able grace has provided—which condescribed in our text as enemies of the descending love has revealed, and alcross : “For we are the circumcision, mighty power has accomplished, that which worship God in the spirit, and individual sets himself in opposition rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no to his Maker, and must be regarded as confidence in the flesh.” Now the indi- a proud enemy of the cross of Christ. viduals to whom he was opposed were Now, let me, my brethren, ask you, not of the true circumcision but they for we will not speak of those juwere the concision. They were ready daizing teachers, who were found to divide the church of Christ and tear at Philippi, but we will inquire of you, it asunder on account of their Jewish are you not resisting the righteousness prejudices—who did not worship God of Christ? What is your plea for ac. in the spirit, but only maintained the ceptance in the presence of God? Is it ritual forms of piety—who did not re- the kindly dispositions of your nature ? joice in Christ Jesus—but placed all Is it the negative goodness of your lives? their confidence in the flesh-trusting in Is it your honest intentions and social their Mosaic usages—their Jewish rites, virtues ? Oh, remember that you are and their personal righteousness for in a state of spiritual disease, in spiacceptance before God. And there- ritual thraldom, tied and bound by the fore he says, beware of these evil. chain of your sins. The all-wise phy