Imágenes de páginas

Holy Spirit.

as these these poor and "filthy rags of sins blotted out through his precious your own righteousness," these works, in blood, and their hearts renewed and puwhich, however you may now pride your-rified through the sanctification of his self upon them, you were exceeded by many a Pagan, and which might equally have marked your character had Christ never come into the world, or had you never been called by his name.O Calvary, Calvary ! how art thou forgotten!-O Cross! stained with the blood of the Son of God, shed for the remission of sin, the mighty and only sufficient price for the soul's salvation, how art thou cast down and trodden under foot, that foolish, guilty, sinful creatures, born in sin, and with a defiled nature, may erect a ladder, based on human pride and ignorance, wherewith they may scale the heavens, and enter the presence of an all holy God, "to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid ;" who has from the first moment of our birth "been about our path and about our bed, and spied out all our ways," and who knows that we are guilty, wretched, helpless creatures, all of whom have "sinned and come short of the glory of God"-all of whom are by his word concluded under sin-and who sees that "all our rightteousness are as filthy rags."

You have read of the Apostle PaulDo you think your righteousness exceeds that of this zealous servant of the Lord? And yet what does he say of himself, and of the grounds of his hope?" All is counted loss and dung that he may win Christ, and be found in him, (saith he) not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." And thus brethren, must all, who expect salsalvation, look for it, to be found not in themselves but in Christ, to be " justified freely by God's grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" by faith obtaining an interest in his merits; by faith becoming united to him, and so made fruitful in every good work, their

My brethren, what was the answer of this same Paul to a poor sinner, who in trembling anxiety put to him the all-important question "what shall I do to be saved?" "Believe (he replied) on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Oh, it was a sweet, a precious answer !—the sum and substance of the gospel, which has since brought gladness and peace to the hearts of thousands, who, because they knew themselves— knew their own hearts, could not otherwise be comforted. And this, brethren, is what we would now say to you; to any man who would feel an interest in the same important question. And can you stand beside this coffin-can you recall to mind that its cold and silent occupant, but a few days back stood amongst you in all the vigor of life and health, and not feel an interest, a deep, thrilling interest in the question "what must I do to be saved?" I defy any man, (for I can scarcely think any so stupid and hardened in sin,) not, at such a moment as this, gazing upon this dark shell, standing beside this open grave, to feel some little interest at least, some natural anxiety stirring in the heart at this question. Oh! at other times, in other places you might perhaps be cold and indifferent, but surely not now—not here -not with that before you! You stand face to face with death, you look upon his work, and you must soon meet him closer-you must soon meet him in the strong death-grapple-you must soon experience what you now behold, and be even such as he who now lies there.And oh, more, brethren, your undying spirits must soon stand before the judgment seat of Christ, to give an account of all things done in the body. Will you not then, dying men, sinful men as you all are, can you but feel an interest in-dare you but give a lively attention

[ocr errors]

to, the answer to God's own answer to the question "What shall we do to be saved?" Oh! hear it again Brethren, and let it sink deep into your hearts—it is "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."

misery and wretchedness into it. Look there my brethren, there is the work of sin-it is it has slain your friend—it is it has made the children fatherless and the wife a widow! and it is it has written the word death upon your own foreheads.— Is it then a thing to be lightly thought on? Is the confession "I am a sinner” to be made without grief entering the heart and shame covering the face?

And why is it that I thus speak to you? Why is it that I so urgently press this upon you? Why is it that I so earnestly seek to direct your attention from all other things from all things of your You know, brethren, how it is that own doings to Jesus, to the sole Saviour you have spoken of, and regarded yourof the world? It is, brethren, because I self as a sinner. According to the sense know assuredly this truth concerning you have of yourself, as a sinner, will every single individual here at this you have an interest in the question, moment, that he is a Sinner. I know I" what must I do to be saved," and will

speak to sinners, to men born in sin, to
men who can by no possibility deliver
their own souls, and who must therefore
obtain deliverance through Jesus Christ
or perish everlastingly. Sinners-Oh!
what a word is this to think and speak of
as we stand amid graves, and look on
the mouldering relics of mortality!
Have you ever felt, Brethren, what that
word truly is? Have you considered with
yourself its deep and awful meaning?
Have you ever earnestly viewed it in con-
nection with yourself, with death, with
eternity? I know there is no lip here | And you can be so only through faith in
which has not uttered the confession "I Jesus Christ, who sanctifies, and renews,
am a sinner;" but oh dear friends! has and frees from the dominion of sin every
your heart ever uttered it? Has it come soul whom he redeems. Oh, dear
home to your convictions with the in- friends, so come to Christ that your sins
terest, the deep thrilling interest which may be blotted out; so come to him
belongs to it? Did you ever truly under- that the world and the flesh may be cru-
stand what a fearful word is that of sinner? cified with him, that your souls may be
Oh! it has divine wrath upon it it is restored to his service and filled with his
utterly odious in the sight of God-it is love, that when you depart this life
connected with every evil that man has you may rest in Christ, as our hope is
to dread. It was sin ruined, sin brought this our brother doth."

the answer "believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ" be precious, and the name of
Jesus a dear and lovely sound in your
ears. Oh, my brethren, hasten to be
numbered among his disciples. In the
sense of sin look up to him for salvation,
place your sole dependance upon the
work finished by him upon the cross,
cling to him alone for pardon, and give
yourself up to him for the cleansing of
your heart. Brethren, do you not know
that " except ye be born again ye can-
|not enter into the kingdom of heaven ?”


DUBLIN: Published by the Proprietors, T. R. and R. DUNCALEY, at the NEW IRISH PULPIT OFFICE, 1, ST. ANDREW-ST.; JOHN ROBERTSON, W. CURRY, JUN. and Co.; R. M. TIMS, W. CARSON, D. R. BLEAKLEY. London, SIMPKIN and MARSHALL; Edinburgh, WHITE and Co.; Cork Tract Repository; Derry, CAMPBELL; and all Booksellers.


GEORGE FOLDS, Printer 1, St. Andrew-street
(Opposite Trinity-street, Dublin.)





"We preach Christ crucified

"Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."-1 COR. 1. 23. 24.

SATURDAY, 18th APRIL, 1840.





Incumbent of Christ's Church, Belfast.


JOHN xiii. 10.

"Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not, save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

THE close of the life of any man possesses peculiar interest, for at least some of the sons and daughters of mortality; the departure of the great and good is ever minutely observed, and their wishes, acts and dying expressions eagerly noticed. The life and ministry of Jesus in the world, was now approaching its termination; it was a termination possessing characteristics suited to the generosity of his former conduct, (ver. 1) "having loved his own, he loved them to the end"

His goodness, kindness, humility, and freedom from self-interest, are here presented in bold relief; a double picture is drawn by the Apostle-Jesus on the one hand-on the other, a creature made


by Jesus-fed by him-honoured with his commission-gifted with miraculous power-holding confidential office as treasurer of his church, and receiving, at that moment, a most singular proof of his attention, affection, and condescension.

A group of twelve poor men are now sitting (or rather reclining) before usJesus the Saviour is bended down-he is engaged in the lowly office of washing the feet of his beloved disciples.

The act was new in the person of Jesus; all (one, probably, excepted) must have been amazed-the heart of that one was absorbed in selfish speculation-his heart was away—his eye was fixed in ghastly gaze upon gold-a


secret passion had long been nourished in his bosom-it had lately developed itself broadly (vide John xii. 5,) when costly ointment bedewed the head of Jesus, and Mary's hair was used for wiping his hallowed feet; then, even then, the slumbering passion was evoked, and while Judas affected to regret and to deprecate the waste, for the sake of the poor, he thought of himself only, and of the embezzlement which he might have perpetrated, had the price of the vigorous and penetrative perfume been entrusted to his spoiler hands.

The Bible is a book of contrast heaven and hell-sorrow and joy-sin and holiness sinner and saint are continually presented before us. Here also is a contrast: Jesus is now contrasted with Judas-the heart of Jesus, all love and tenderness, unfolding in beautiful and expressive emblems, practical and circulative kindness. The heart of Judas ingrate-covetous selfish---traiterous murderous! he had one besetting sin: it may be, pleasure had no charms for him-nor fame-nor wine-nor feasting -nor woman-nor power: gold! gold! was his delight; the stamped image, his God the superscription, his Bible. Be it remembered, any one besetting sin can destroy us as securely as covetousness, and may convert its victim into a Judas: and what sin is it, beloved brethren, that doth, this day-this hour, most easily beset us?

But all were not as Judas. One, the ardent—impetuous-occasionally inconsistent apostle, was startled at this humiliative act of Jesus; he knew not that he who, in pity to our weak understandings and treacherous memories, had given water to typify spiritual baptism and wine and bread to typify spiritual sustentation, and to represent his personal indwelling; that he (who had thus figuratively taught what is needful to be bestowed on us, and what is needful to be received in us) was now about to illustrate what is to be expected from us. In order to show what was needful, the Lord took water

and proceeded to wash the feet of all his disciples (even those of Judas, who was so soon to betray him); when it became Peter's turn to receive this gracious ablution, he demurred saying (verse 6), "Lord dost thou wash my feet?" The reply of Jesus was thus, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter" (presently), still Peter deprecates his Master's proposition, saying, "Thou shalt never wash my feet!" Jesus is now more urgent and reprehensive" If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me!" The alarmed and subdued disciple immediately exclaims, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" Jesus replies (in the words of the text), "He that is washed needeth not, save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit; and ye are clean, but not all."

It is evident from this declaration, that there is a primary washing, and a secondary washing; or, in other words, a primary cleansing, and a secondary cleansing. The act of Jesus itself has also its specific admonition.

We propose then to consider what Jesus taught them at this time, by practical illustration, by precept, and by example. We will consider—

First The necessity of the two-fold cleansing.

Secondly-The feelings and conduct which are demanded, in connexion with this cleansing.

Thirdly-The danger of neglecting and the happiness of appreciating what is thus inculcated.


The first cleansing is (or ought to be) well understood by every believing reader of the word of God; the second cleansing is however but imperfectly understood. The first is often arbitrarily assigned to the time of baptism when, in verity, it may be, or may not be, fully and effectually participated; the second is often received with idle recognition; it is presumed attainable,

whether the first cleansing be effectual or not; and yet we have reason to believe that, in general, the second washing cannot be independent of the first; that it is its successor, and subordinate; the Holy Spirit still being the gracious power which applies both cleansings, and makes them efficacious in us-constraining us "to will and to do after his good pleasure."

There is a primary cleansing confirmed and consummated when man is "born of the Spirit;"-awakened to know himself, his sinful nature and practical alienation from God! God deals with individuals as he deals with his Church Vide Ephes. v. 26. He 'sanctifies and cleanses them with the washing of water by the Word." The outward washing accompanied or followed by the inward washing—by the word, i. e. the word applied with power to the soul-piercing and discerning, and moulding and renew-ing dangers. Still the text urges an

presented before the king of Egyptrather as Joshua the high priest (Zech. iii. 4.) to stand before the King of heaven, this act stands firm and sure, as it were a glorious pillar inscribed with records of life, liberty and victory!-as a fixed star, having its proper place, brilliancy, and endurance. The tyro in astronomy, (when he wants to delight his eye by discerning his own relative place, as regards the position of the heavenly bodies,) seeks out the cynosure, and, hailing it with gladness, perceives how he stands as regards it, and how the heavenly bodies stand as regard him and it. The Christian turns to that bright star-that fixed and memorable era of his life, when he became washed' and 'justified'_it is a star deriving all its light and beauty from the sun of righteousness;❞—it shines as a memorial to enliven gratitude

as a beacon to warn against surround

ing the thoughts of the heart. In the additional truth upon us—“he that is first washing, there is not only an appli- washed necdeth not, save to wash his cation of the spiritual water, but there is feet." To understand this, we must be (and must be) an application of blood reminded of oriental customs. With the to make the cleansing effectual. 1 John people of the east, the use of the bath 5, 6. "This is he that came by water was frequent-if possible, daily. The and blood-not by water only, but by baths were public; and those who had water and blood." The man that is thus visited them, and had been washed in cleansed-upon whom the blood of them, needed no other washing on their Christ has passed-who in faith looks to way home, save to wash their feet, which the blood and righteousness of Jesus,- would naturally contract defilement, dust he is, in the primary sense, 'washed'or stain, on their way from the public he is justified.' Consider what the bath to the private dwelling house: "he apostle says, 1 Cor. vi. 11. "Ye are that is washed needeth not, save to wash washed-ye are justified-ye are sancti- his feet" he needeth no washing for fied;"-washed by the laver of the Spirit, any portion of the body save that which justified by the application of the blood was subject to this occasional and tempoof Jesus and washed (in the secondary rary defilement; thus the soul once sense) or sanctified. The man that has washed, needs no further washing, save attained the primary washing, does not cleansing from these occasional defilerequire a new pardon every day, no more ments, to which contact with the world than a criminal who has obtained pardon necessarily exposes it. By the feet here and been restored to the favour of his we understand the feelings, habits, affecsovereign, requires a new pardon every tions, and characteristics of man-chrisday: the pardon is a thing limited to tian man-when he comes in daily conpast time and past guilt; the convict was tact with the world; hence, as man, reprieved-manumitted-clothed upon needing 'daily bread,' so needs he with seemly garments (as Joseph) to be | daily sanctification-renewal_cleansing,

« AnteriorContinuar »