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never merefore re derives life,
of the word of God derives life and efficacy from the cross, Let us therefore remember its influence and value, and never lose view of it. Let us defpise the ignorant reproaches of those who slander it as unfavorable to moral virtue. I dare not say indeed, that it is very favorable to an oftentatious parade of human merit ; but I am sure it is the only way of producing self-denied obedience to the will of God.
2. From what hath been said, you may see the guilt and danger of the enemies of the cross, and at the same time may learn who they are who deserve this character. They may be divided into two diftinct classes: 1. Thofe who are enemies in principle to the cross, who have no fense of their own unworthiness, of the evil of fin, or the neceility of an atonement. Such may fometimes retain the name of Christians, and contend that they ought to retain it, while they oppose, with the utmoft virulence and malice, its most important and fundamental truth. I cannot think, without horror, on the guilt and ingratitude of all such persons, and the fearful punishment which they fhall meet with at last, when this despised Saviour “fhall " come in the clouds, and every eye shall see him." 2. They are also enemies to this truth who are governed in temper and practice by a spirit directly opposite to that of the cross. The shame and reproach which the cross implied are not sufficiently attended to, nor the humility and felf-denial necessary to all those who would be the follow. ers of a crucified mafter. Are there not many who will have no religion but what will be pliable, and accommodate itself to the maxims of the world ? Loaded with prudence, they are unwilling to break measures, either with the good or the bad. Dazzled with human pomp, they despise every thing in religion, but what, either in fub
ftance or circumstances, is grateful to human pride. Fa· shionable practices, however dangerous or vicious, they · have not courage to oppose. It were well, if they would consider the ancient form of confeffion at baptism. Do you renounce the devil, and all his works ? I do. Do you renounce the world, its pomps, its pleasures, and its vanities ?. I do. And this vas not merely Heathenisk
idolatry, and ceremonies of false worship, but that indulgence of vanity, and that gratification of appetite, in which worldly men, in every age, place their supreme delight.
3. What hath been said may serve for the support and consolation of real believers, under the trials to which they are exposed in the present state. It is inelancholy to think, how frequently, and how easily, we are unbinged by distress; what discontent and impatience we are apt to discover under suffering. Alas! my brethren, are you not ashamed of impatience, when you consider the unparalleled sufferings of your Redeemer in your room? A believing view of the Saviour's cross, one would think, might stop every mouth, and compose every murmuring thought. Has he fuffered so much for us? and shall we refuse to suffer from him, and for him? His sufferings fhould make us patient, as they shew us the eyil of fin, and what we have deferved. Did we really deserve avenging wrath ? and shall we dare to complain of fatherly correction ? Did he suffer with patience who did no fin ? and shall we complain who are punished less than our iniquities deserve ? His fufferings should teach us patience, because they take away the bitterness and malignity of our fufferings, and turn them from a poison to a medicine : he hath exhausted, if I may speak so, the whole wrath of God, and left nothing for us but what is highly falutary. And as he hath changed the nature of all the sufferings of life, · he hath taken away the sting of death, which is the end of all our suffering. That blood which speaks peace to the wounded fpirit, fliould be a healing balm to the wounded body. .
But of all the different kinds of suffering, if we pretend to glory in the cross, we ought to be least afraid of the re
proach thrown upon us for adherence to our duty. To • glory in the cross, is indeed to glory in shame. The form
of expression used with regard to Peter and John, Acts v. 41. is very remarkable. They departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. It would greatly tend to fortify us against this trial, if we would lay up in our hearts what hath been said on the doctrine of the cross. If it is impossible to avoid it, we must needs fit down composedly under it. And if our attachment to our great malter is what it ought to be, we will chearfully follow him'even without the camp, bearing his reproach. '
4. In the last place, By what hath been faid, you may try your title to sit down at the Lord's table, and learn your einployment there. This ordinance is a sensible memorial of our Redeemer's cross and paffion. It was on the cross that his body was broken, and his blood shed, for you. Are you then to commemorate it? You cannot do fo, either in an acceptable or profitable manner, unless you can join the apostle in glorying in it. Have you feen any thing of the excellence and amiableness of this despi. fed object ? Nothing so tasteless and insipid to the proud and self-righteous; nothing fo delightful and refreshing to the broken in heart. Have you seen any thing of the glory of the true God, in the sufferings of Christ and can you fay with the apostle Paul, Heb. ii. 10. “ It became “ him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all " things, in bringing many fons unto glory, to make the * Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Do you see the glory of infinite mercy in the cross? and are your hearts drawn with the cords of love to him who “ loved you, and gave himself for you?" Have you experienced the fanctifying influence of the cross ? are your corruptions weakened and mortified by looking upon it? Is it your unfeigned defire, that they may be finally destroyed by it?
To draw to a conclusion of the subject: I camot point out your duty to you in a manner more suited to this day's employment, or more proper for your after security and comfort, than to turn the three reasons for glorying in the cross into the form of exhortations. I beseech you, my beloved hearers, contemplate the glory of God in the cross of Christ. See him, infinite in power, infinite in wisdom, infinite in holiness. You may see a faint emblem of his glory in the book of nature; but you can only fee his
tranfcendent majesty in the book of God. And may ." he who at first commanded the light to shine out of dark
« ness, shine in your hearts, to give you the light of the “ knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus " Christ !”-Adore and apply the riches of divine grace. Let the convinced, fearful, trembling finner, fly to this atoning blood, rest his hope upon it, and be secure.--And neglect not to use the cross of Christ for mortifying your corruptions. Let your views of it now be lively and strong, and carry the same impression away, to be your great preservative from daily temptation. Make no image of the cross in your houses; but let the remembrance of it .be ever on your hearts. One lively view of this great ob
ject will cool the flames of unclean lust: one lively view of this great object will make the unjust man quit his hold: one lively view of this tremendous object will make the angry man drop his weapon : nay, one look of mercy froni a dying Saviour will make even the covetous man open his heart. In one word, believing views of the cross of Christ will unite the Christian more and more to a reconciled God, will make his presence comfortable, his worship delightful, and excite a humble longing for that time when we shall see him no more through the help of these elements, but as he is in himself, exalted on his throne, where his worship and service are everlasting..