even these few instances are enough | but superficial, the working of the na to show us, how severe the opposition is from without, and from within, which the servant of Christ must expect to meet in winning the arduous way to heaven; but we have seen, too, the principle on which all that opposition may be surmounted, and that is a lively faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In applying, as doubtless we all must, if we would profit by such considerations, the subject to our own case, my Christian friends, let us not think it is our lot to float down with a current of favourable circumstances to the haven of eternal rest. Do not let us think that it will be ours to go down the course of life as though we had nothing to do but to gaze on the glowing beauties of the heaven above, or heedlessly to inhale the fragrance of the flowers that grow on the margin around us. No, the current is not with us but against us; and if we would win our way to heaven, it must be by strenuous and by prolonged exertions. Let us make up our mind to meet the opposition, which assuredly we must suffer, if we would successfully prosecute our journey to a better world.

tural mind. Is there any one here that would find a sure road to heaven, and if possible avoid the difficulties which a honest and consistent profession of Christ must entail on him? That is another symptom scarcely less fatal, that as yet, you have known nothing of your Saviour. Faith working by love will make you meet those difficulties which God, in his all-wise providence, has allotted to try us all. It is a part of that which is essential to our well-being; and the temper in which we should survey our prospects is this, that GOD our Father in heaven, infinitely wise and powerful as he is, who could sweep away with one omnipotent volition all the difficulties which we have to meet, has determined for our good, and not through his own weakness, that these difficulties must be met. They should be met, then, cheerfully; we should gird up the loins of our mind to meet them, and feel that they are a part of our appointed lot. We should meet them cheerfully, because we know the sources from whence we may derive sufficient strength to become more than conquerors over them all.

Where, then, does the Christian's strength lie? It lies in this alone-in believing experimental views of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we obtain those views of our blessed Saviour, which are offered to us all, we may obtain a principle and power to resist all the difficulties in our way; but this is absolutely essential. To know Christ, then, is the great lesson of our lives, to know him more and more is the single and grand lesson which every soul among us must desire on our way to heaven. For this, and this alone, St. Paul counted all things but loss that he might be accounted of Him. This, and this alone, was that which seemed to him to sum up all other blessings in himself. What was so


All the opposition I have described we must meet, perhaps, more than all will fall to the share of some of those believers whom I address; but if I address any one who has discovered at length the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, and is now able to glory in him as a Saviour that exactly suits his wants, I beseech my Christian brother to prepare his mind for all those difficulties in his road to heaven that he must assuredly meet. Oh, let him not so flatter himself that these difficulties may take him unawares, and he shrink from them when they come. Is there any one here who, because there are such difficulties in his way, is disposed to turn back again? That were a sad symptom that every religious feeling you ever had was nothing

inexpressibly precious to St. Paul, and

Oh! my brethren, is there any obis most precious to each believer inject, I beseech you to consider, that exact proportion to his experience of you can attain by any exertions, that it, must be set before us all, as the can so reward your pains as to make it grand thing we have to aim at in our worth your while to lose this increase desires, our exertions, and our prayers. in the knowledge of Jesus Christ? Can To know the glory of Christ, the ma- you so deliberately propose to yourself jesty of Christ, the power of Christ, a course of life in which you shall not the faithfulness and truth of Christ- know more and more of the love to know his holiness-to know more which passeth knowledge? Was it for and more of his tender compassion to this our blessed Redeemer died? Was it sinners to observe his wise and mer- for this he rose again to glory? Is it for ciful dealings with his people-to this he exerts his power and his omsurvey the promises he has given, and nipotence daily to do you good? Does the means by which he accomplishes he watch you, and bless all your exerthem to know how he loves us-totions? experience, in our own hearts, the height and depth, and length and breadth of that love which passeth knowledgethis is the business of each one who would call himself a Christian-this is the grand spiritual discovery, after which each of us must aim. For this no exertions are too great, it will infinitely more than repay every effort that we can make for it.

Has he placed you in a state of happiness, surrounded you with mercies, given you the children that you love, the wife that you cherish, the husband that you value? Has he given you your homes? Has he given you your health? Has he given you your faculties ? Does he continue them all? Is he inexpressibly glorious? Is Christ really so good, so true, so holy, so eternally to be adhered to, that you can choose to forget him, that you can choose to take the petty things of a day, and engross your mind from the beginning of the week to its close with these little things? Never did Christ de

patible with your soul's blessedness, but
he does ask that you should give him
some of your best thoughts and some
of your best hours; and that
you feel
with St. Paul, to have no other end
in view but to know and love Christ.

And when I call you, my Christian friends, most seriously to make that effort, are there objections arising in your minds which efface so rapidly every impression now formed on them? and does it come into your mind, I have my own necessary affairs to en-mand from you that which is incomgross me, and from the beginning of the week to its close I must labour hard, and labour to exhaustion, that I may secure the great objects of life? Politics, philosophy, merchandise, researches of science, manual labour, and whatever else may employ men in the thousand modes in which human beings are labouring in this world, these so engross and exhaust my powers that I have no time left for a serious endeavour to penetrate deeper and deeper into the mystery of redeeming love. Does a feeling of this sort dwell in the mind of any one here who calls himself a Christian, who is a believer indeed?

Oh, let not secondary thoughts occupy you! I am sure, my brethren, there is not one so busy among you, not one so necessarily engrossed in difficult and most important affairs, but that he may, if he will, find time to solace his weary spirit, to refresh his exhausted mind by this best and most delightful knowledge. Oh, if you have tasted you cannot do without it-you cannot consent, whatever be the cir

My brethren, Christ Jesus is so good, he is so able to bless the soul, there is so much to know of him, and every half hour we give to meditation on his life is so very fruitful in blessing, brings such plentiful enjoyments with it, that I would regret deeply that any real servants of the Lord should debar themselves from so many mercies. Study, study Christ

cumstances in which you are placed, | shame can dwell in heavenly bosoms,
to separate yourself from that which is if a redeemed spirit could shed a tear,
the fairest and best object on which I am very sure, that shame will fill
the mind can ever rest. Be not, my your minds, and that tears will be
brethren, so ungrateful, be not so un- shed by you when you stand face to
wise. I ask you not what your con- face with your injured Saviour.
sciences say of such a wilful neglect―
I ask you not how many painful re-
sults will take place in your Christian
experience I ask you not what your
Christian friends around you think of
it-I ask you not what the world may
say of it. Perhaps conscience may
be dull-perhaps you may not notice
the disastrous consequences on your
spiritual life—perhaps your Christian
friends may look most mercifully on-penetrate more deeply every day
your neglect perhaps the world may
plead your worldly assiduities and
success; but I may ask you, my
Christian brethren, what does our
blessed Saviour think of it? He knows
what you do he knows every thought
that enters your mind, and registers
every resolution you form; he has
an entire right to you, and you will
see him before long. With what
countenances will you meet your Sa-
viour when death shall bring you into
his presence, if you have deliberately so
arranged your habits, being real be-
lievers in Christ, that you have lived and
died with very, very little knowledge of
the Son of God? While around you,
perhaps, are more happy because
more faithful disciples who were daily
advancing in grace and knowledge-honour him while you live and enjoy
who secured all the valuable ends of him more than others, and then you
living as well as you-who outran you will meet him in peace, which may he
in the race, only because they paid in his infinite mercy grant to many of
attention to this important duty. If us for his own name's sake.

into the mystery of redeeming love-
count that day lost, my friends, in
which you
do not learn something
more of Christ-never let prayer sa-
tisfy you, unless you come into his
sacred presence, and feel that he is
with you. It will strengthen life, and
without it your Christian course will
be melancholy; no intelligence can
secure you from darkness-no deter-
mination can secure you from waver-
ing-no strength of character can hin-
der you from falling. Be watchful in
your Christian course, your only safety
lies in living near to Christ-walk with
him every day-strengthen your faith
in him perpetually, and with faith
your love will grow, with love your
obedience will improve, and you will

A Sermon


APRIL 10, 1831.

Hebrews, ii. 16.-" He took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”

DIFFERENT views of this text have been taken by different interpreters. In the original, the sentence is, "he took not on him angels, but the seed of Abraham." Our translators have supplied the words, "the nature of;" thus conveying to us a clear and definite sense of the words, and a sense agreeing, as I need not say, with every part of the Scriptures. When angels and men stood equally in need of a saviour, Christ took on him, not the nature of fallen angels, but of fallen man. He clothed himself, not with the qualities and properties of those high intelligences, who either still surround the throne or are reserved in chains for the judgment of the Great Day; but he clothed himself in all the infirmities of our nature-made himself of no reputation-took on him the form of a servant-was made in the likeness of man-and being found in fashion as a man, became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Brethren, the facts of Christianity supply what I may call its strongest arguments and motives; and I am about to apply the astonishing fact, thus proclaimed in the text, and which, I may say, is the source of the believer's peace and joy, as an argument and motive for the fulfilment of the particular duty to which I am to call your attention to-day. May a merciful God bless the contemplation of this subject to our souls!

My main object in the discourse will be, to show you, by a comparison

of the nature of angels and of man, how great are the love and condescension of the Saviour of sinners to a guilty world. And after this, to consider the bearing of this fact on the particular case to which our attention is to be called to-day.

In the FIRST place, then, our object is BY A COMPARISON OF THE NATURE OF ANGELS AND OF MAN TO SHOW HOW GREAT HAVE BEEN THE LOVE AND CONDESCENSION OF CHRIST TO SINNERS. I may begin by observing, that, in the First place, the angels are spirits. They are not encumbered with weak and weary bodies-they pass from one spot of the Universe to the other without any effort-they are incapable of hunger and disease—they are indifferent to all the variations of climate, and all the successions of changing seasons-they appear to be endowed with immortal youth, strength, and beauty. And yet, brethren, had the Son of God taken upon him their nature, how great had been his condescension-he is the maker of those very spirits-" By Him were created all things both in heaven and earth, and without Him was not any thing made that is made." These spirits wait upon Him and do His pleasure. "Thousand thousands,” says Daniel, "minister unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand do His pleasure." That innumerable company fly at His bidding. He says to one, 'Go, and he goeth; and to another come, and he cometh”—all, in fact, that is spiritual in their nature is



derived from Him. But, brethren, the | teries of the ages to come.
Lord Jesus took not on him their
nature, but the nature of man-he did
not assume the qualities of an ever-
active, untired, and intelligent spirit,
but the form and fashion of a man-
he sat wearied at the well of Samaria
-he hungered and thirsted-he felt
the want of a place in which to lay
his head he suffered and agonised in
the garden-and on the cross drops of
blood rolled down his forehead, and
streams of blood gushed from his side
-he was familiar, in fact, with suffer-
ing in most of the severest forms in
which it is known to man. Oh, the
love of this suffering Redeemer! How
should every heart melt at the con-
templation of it! How should every
misery and pang of our own body
remind us of that suffering frame which
he dragged along through this vale of
tears-through a tedious course of more
than thirty years, simply because he
loved you, and chose to give himself
for you.

An angel proclaimed the birth of the Son of GOD. An angel smote king Herod in the midst of his blasphemy and power, and he was eaten up of worms because he gave not GoD the glory. An angel touched the chains of Peter, and at once they fell from him, and his prison doors burst open. To four angels in the vision of John was given to hurt the earth and sea; and angels shall gather the elect from the four corners of the world. Angels shall execute the last vengeance of GOD upon man and upon devils. "I saw," says the beloved disciple, "an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds of prey that fly in the midst of heaven, come and gather yourselves together into the supper of the great GOD." And yet, brethren, glorious as is the nature of these spirits, Christ took not on him the nature of angels, but the nature of man-not that nature which lifts them immeasurably above all the combined powers of all the great and wise and powerful of this world, but he took upon him, what is termed, this vile and corruptible and comparatively powerless and weak, and, as you feel it, this dying form of man. He took on him the nature of one of those one hundred and sixty-five thousand, who perished by the glance of an angel in the army of Sennacherib.


How can words, my Christian brethren, sufficiently describe the mercy and condescension of such a sacrifice for guilty and ungrateful man? How can the heart sufficiently adore and love Him who has thus stooped to the wants and necessities of fallen creatures? Had he chosen to have placed himself in the rank of angels, he might have appropriately swept the earth with an hurricane, or created a harvest and destroyed it in a breath, but he chose to want, to suffer, to bleed, to die, to go down into the grave as one

I may observe, Secondly, that the angels are glorious spirits. They are not spirits, simply in the abstract, but in the highest meaning of the termthey have authority-principalities, powers, thrones and dominions-they excel in every mental qualificationthey excel in utterance, "having the tongues of men and angels"-they excel in strength. Consider some of the glorious actions achieved by angels in their commerce with the children of men. An angel hastened Lot out of Sodom, and then executed the dreadful vengeance of GOD on the devoted city. An angel preceded and guided the marches of the armies of Israel. An angel saved the three young men from the furnace of fire, and Daniel in the den of lions. An angel smote the host of Sennacherib, and there died one hundred and sixty-five thousand men in the camp of the Assyrians. An angel explained to Daniel all the mys

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