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would it not ravish with delight? After all these, let us but open our eyes we cannot look beside a lesson, in this universal book of our Maker, worth our study, worth taking out. What creature hath not his miracle? what event doth not challenge his observation? And, if, weary of foreign employment, we list to look home into ourselves, there we find a more private world of thoughts which set us on work anew, more busily and not less profitably : now our silence is vocal, our solitariness popular; and we are shut up, to do good unto many; if once we be cloyed with our own company, the door of conference is open; here interchange of discourse (besides pleasure) benefits us; and he is a weak companion from whom we return not wiser. I could envy, if I could believe that anchoret, who, secluded from the world, and pent up in his prison walls, denied that he thought the day long, whiles yet he wanted learning to vary his thoughts. Not to be cloyed with the same conceit is difficult, above human strength; but to a man so furnished with all sorts of knowledge, that according to his dispositions he can change his studies, I should wonder that ever the sun should seem to pass slowly. How many busy tongues chase away good hours in pleasant chat, and complain of the haste of night! What ingenious mind can be sooner weary of talking with learned authors, the most harmless and sweetest companions? What a heaven lies a scholar in, that at once in one close room can daily converse with all the glorious martyrs and fathers? that can at once single out at pleasure, either sententious Tertullian, or grave Cyprian, or resolute Hierome, or flowing Chrysostom, or divine Ambrose, or devout Bernard, or, (who alone is all these) heavenly Augustine, and talk with them and hear their wise and holy counsels, verdicts, resolutions; yea, to (rise higher) with courtly Ésay, with learned Paul, with all their fellow prophets, apostles; yet more, like another Moses, with God himself, in them both? Let the world contemn us; while we have these delights we cannot wish ourselves other than we are. Besides, the way to all other contentments is troublesome; the only recompense is in the end. To delve in the mines, to scorch in the fire for the getting, for the fining of gold is a slavish toil; the comfort is in the wedge to the owner, not the labourers; where our very search of knowledge is delightsome. Study itself is our life; from which we would not be barred for a world. How much sweeter then is the fruit of study, the conscience of knowledge? In comparison whereof the soul that hath once tasted it, easily contemns all human conforts. Go now, ye worldlings, and insult over our paleness, our neediness, our neglect. Ye could not be so jocund if you were not ignorant; if you did not want knowledge, you could not overlook him that hath it; for me, I am so far from emulating you, that I profess I had as lieve be a brute beast, as an ignorant rich


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A Sermon,


1 CORINTHIANS, i. 23, 24.-"We preach Christ 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."


IN former times, there was an old and learned divine who had ordered for his own use a very curious seal-and the seal was this the representation of Christ crucified upon an anchor-it was a sweet and holy fancy- nor was it a useless one; for while as enstampt upon his papers and letters, it became the silent preacher of his faith and consolations as often as he looked upon it, so did it present to others who might receive it, the confession which he most gloried in publishing abroad. I do not recollect if any motto were added; but it might have been "hope in death"-the Christian's hope in the death of his blessed Redeemer; and he has none other than this that is pure, and soothing, and stedfastthat has power to sustain amidst the troubles of this weary life, and whose full fruition shall be the joy of a happy immortality, when "the vision, that is yet for an appointed time, shall speak, and not lie," the great subject being the same subject to occupy, and the pious disposition being the same disposition to influence the churchman and the Apostle before us; the one in the engraving the seal, and the other in bearing his solemn testimony to the Corinthian converts-"We preach Christ 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."

In humble submission to the Spirit of God for heavenly guidance and teaching, I would now lead your attention to a few considerations on these words under the following order: I. THE



FIRST. The grand theme-THE CRUCIFIXITION OF CHRIST "We preach," saith St. Paul," Christ crucified"-he thus boldly avows the business which engaged his thoughts and animated his endeavours, with that manliness of purpose which could not bend to hide whatever might be thought or said of the disclosure, and which could not be broken by any of the fierce persecutions that strove to silence him; his voice was evermore free of utterance in preaching Christ crucified: nor can he who is a faithful follower of his example be otherwise engaged; he cannot hold back, but VOL. I. 3


must fearlessly announce the same glorious doctrine-the cross of Christ will be the subject of manifestation. I do not say that it will become the one and exclusive subject of every sermon; but I do say that it will pervade, and modify, and enrich every sermon with its influence; that it will be as the web through which all the colours are shotten, the ground of the work-but what is it to preach Christ crucified? Is it to preach him as the suffering man who came to fulfil all prophesy? as the holy and steadfast martyr who stood forth testifying unto death? as the most glorious pattern of the virtues that the world ever saw, and which, instead of being dimmed and eclipsed by the darknesses of so awful an end, grew more intensely bright and beautiful to the last? Is this to preach Christ crucified? No! All this may be done, and yet the root of the matter be wholly untouched, the designs of the Christian ministry altogether unfilled. St. Paul's work went deeper than all this—and so must our's go: he preached Christ crucified as the Lamb of Atonement for the sins of the whole world-and so must we he published abroad the vital truth, that only by and through that sacrifice the guilty soul can be saved alive-and so must we he declared, that in no other way the glories of the Divine character could unfold themselves as of a God of mercy, and truth, and justice, in the avenging and in the pardoning of sin— and so must we. We preach Christ crucified as the substance and perfection of the great system planned in the council-chamber of eternity for the redemption of the human soul, and as advancing to the highest degree the praise and honour of God. We preach Christ crucified as the most stupendous miracle upon record of the Divine love, where he, who lay in the bosom of his Almighty Father, freely bowed the heavens, and came down to suffer the deepest distresses of poverty, to meet the sharpest reproaches of men, to enter into awful contentions with evil spirits, to struggle through unutterable agonies, to submit to death under its most cruel and humiliating of forms, being only led and moved thereto by his own infinite compassion for the perishing families of men. We preach Christ crucified as presenting the one great altar, standing in the plane of the whole earth, whereunto all people, fleeing from their cruel adversary, the devil, may cleave for refuge, and remain in unassailable security. We preach Christ crucified as not only thus, in a universal sense, being wounded for the transgressions of the sons of Adam, but as in an individual and particular, being the fit, the essential, the only Atonement for the sins of every soul before me. Yes, my brother, that can alone, if any thing can, absolve thee from the penalties of the broken law, bring pardon, reconciliation, and acceptance in the hour of thy need: and it is a great joy, an unspeakable joy, to realize, in the calm of a holy assurance, the precious truth, that the Saviour of men is thus thy Saviour; and that thou, amidst all outward storms of distress and care, hast a seal before thee whose emblem is, like the divine's of old, a

crucified Christ upon an anchor, and whose motto is, "my hope in the death of my Redeemer!" Without this personal appropriation of the great truth, no increase were given, though a Paul might plant, or an Apollo water; but the very fidelity of its utterance would be but the arming against thee a sterner witnessing at the solemn day of account. May the Holy Spirit of God enable each man before me to make it, and thus to drink into its cup of peace which passeth all knowledge!

But, SECONDLY, THE EFFECTS OF THE PREACHING Of St. PAUL'S DOCTRINE UPON THE MINDS OF THOSE WHO HEAR IT. These effects are specified variously in my text; they are threefold. First, to the Jews the doctrine of the cross was a stumbling-block haughty and self-sufficient in themselves, the children of the patriarchs and prophets, and resisting in the legation of Moses, they could in no wise think that they and he were schoolmasters to bring them to such a Christ! They had, with a blindness that shut out the true meaning of the prophecies, the spiritual meaning, been looking forward to him as an earthly deliverer, King and Saviour, as one who as some mighty captain of the flesh should collect their scattered tribes, consolidate their efforts and interests to one overwhelming mass, burst their chains, avenge them upon their enemies, and giving them possession of their ancient kingdom, establish them there in more than their pristine honour, strength and glory a people thus expectant, could not be other than miserably deceived in the man Jesus-a man so poor that he had not where to lay his head, who had not wherewithal from an earthly store to pay the tribute-money-a man so uncomely in his appearance, that his face was marred more than any man's, and his form than the sons of men, neither was there in him any beauty to be desireda man who was so unscrupulous as to mix and eat with publicans and sinners who choose for his followers and disciples persons of the lowest occupation, and himself had come from a city whose very name was a mocking proverb-can any good thing come out of Nazareth—a man who withstood Moses, superseding the necessity of the ceremonial law, and presuming to improve, as they might have imagined, the very laws that were written by the finger of God, in that spiritual commentary of his; viz. where HE brands the motive, the inward approval and entertainment of the sin, with the guilt of its actual and outward transgression-a man, too, who had the daring to avow himself greater than the prophets in authority, yea, even to assert, after his own divine nature, a co-equality with the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob-a man thus look

ed upon, it was not even possible for the power of miracle itself to prepare the way for the reception of his doctrine, for the power of miracle did not in numberless instances do so and in addition to this, when such a man died as a malefactor, died in the company of thieves, of the common robber and mover to sedition! this were indeed, but the more sensible increase of the stumbling-block which

stood as the head-stone of the corner, and especially when the greatest of all the doctrines to be believed was that growing out of the very death of the cross; this was, indeed, a rock of offence in the way, and it has been so ever since, though it should seem that cases amongst that ancient people are occuring, if slowly, to show that the strength of the divine grace is able to carry them over; it has done so from the testimonies of the minds and hearts of some now present; and my faith in God is, that these are but the few beginnings, the single ears of a full crop, the sheaves of a mighty and glorious harvest. If some before me are nursing their incredulity by the apparent tardiness of the work, let them remember, that as they count slackness, the Lord does not count slackness, and that with him one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day; and let such also ponder upon the inquiry, that since he deigns to appropriate and bless human means, whether the tardiness be not in itself from the backwardness of their own assistances, from the neglects of their own prayers? But, to return, St. Paul's complaint is, that the doctrine of the atonement was a stumbling-block to the Jew; and does not the same cause make it still a stumbling-block to many a professed Christian in this church-namely, pride, and self-complacency, and the strength of ceremonial attachments and prejudices? Are not many here resting in the mere letter of the law, and altogether uninfluenced by its spirit? Are not many so filled with notions of their own fancied deserts, of their own imaginary self-righteousness, as not to see, as virtually to deny, the necessity of the great atonement by the precious blood of Christ? Whilst sitting in judgment upon the Jew, remember the sword is a two-edged-sword, the one side of which is turned to yourselves; forget not the subject of the beam and the mote; though blindness in part has happened to Israel, think seriously if the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. A second effect of St. Paul's preaching the doctrine of the cross was, that to the Greeks it appeared foolishness: indeed this could scarcely have been otherwise-for you have to consider them as men who, from education and habit, had been led to uphold the dignities of human nature-who had been ambitious of the distinctions of profound philosophers and eloquent orators, to whom literature was every thing; the world of imagination, the world of science, was the only world, all else being a perfect blank and desert! It was not to be wondered at that such, upon hearing a man like St. Paul, "whose bodily presence was weak and his speech contemptible," when he told them of the nature of the true God, as a being altogether unknown to them— when he spake of the moral condition of the world, and the great curse that was sitting upon it, like some awful incubus or nightmare, weighing down all its healthful functions, and sinking it into eternal ruin-when he made mention of the Son of God, as the God incorporate, taking upon him the form of a servant, and

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