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means a man.” What farther it may mean to imply, is another question.
V. I am weary of the prophets.” They have paid a great deal of attention to prophecy: I have not paid so much as I ought. Consequently they know far more of the subject than I do. This is very mortifying. Why are they always introducing a topic, on which I cannot shew my attainments ? I am weary of the prophets.” In their absence, I will talk against them. In their presence, I will talk at them.
VI. My text is Matt. vii. 13, 14; and I must try to make my hearers see the folly and wickedness of going by the wide gate and broad way, rather than by the strait and narrow. An old writer speaks of one who slept at church, as snoring at his own funeral sermon. Let me see whether I am not, now, going to do a thing almost as strange ; namely, to preach my own condemned sermon. But, what! I am condemned already. Lord, do thou reprieve, pardon, and set free.
VII. The prophets," we think, have paid too much attention to their favourite subject. We, therefore, to balance matters, pay too little. It is said they are in an extreme. That may be. I am quite sure that we, many of us, are in the opposite extreme.
VIII. The Church, constantly expecting, as she constantly has expected, that the second coming of her Saviour would immediately take place, has constantly been in the wrong. Be it however remembered, she will once be in the right.
IX. No intimidation must prevent my opposing popery from the pulpit. i X. As the moon eclipses the sun at that time when she is darkest herself, so churches withhold the light of Scripture when their own state is such that they need it the most. And as no eclipse of the sun can take place when the moon is at the full; so churches, which themselves enjoy the light, will ever be the last to keep it from those who are in obscurity.
XI. Thank God that I live in a day of extended religious exertion, of great religious excitement, of missions to Gentiles and to Jews. In eternity, perhaps, we shall see far more in this day, and far more thankfully bless and praise the Lord for it, than we do now, when we are living in the midst of it. Evil is, no doubt, mingled with the good. While the Lord works, Satan is working also. But, notwithstanding, for all the glorious things that I see, for all that I hear, for all the evil mitigated, prevented, and put down, for all the good accomplished, thank God, thank God. ;. XII. The Lord, as if to secure all the glory to himself, fre
quently ordains that things and persons, whom he destines for extraordinary usefulness, shall begin with the baptism of contempt. I despised N- So did L. despise him. So did M. despise him. So did K. despise him. He is now labouring abroad, an eminently active and distinguished instrument, in the hand of the Lord. It will be worth any believer's while to observe, in as many instances as he can, whether this is not often so. The Lord teach us to honour all men; for sometimes we may be honouring angels unawares.
XIII. Have I yet taken up my cross TO-DAY? (Luke ix. 23.)
XIV. How pleasant it is to speak one's mind upon paper. How difficult, when conversing openly, before those who, I know or suspect, disapprove of my sentiments. In the former case, it comes out roundly and plainly. In the latter, one minces the matter terribly, and often concludes, after all, without having said what one meant to say. In the one case, we feel a glow, which we mistake for something good. In the other, we feel a coward's, a recreant's, a traitor's heart. Would that I were honest! -. XV. The Lord speaks of a time, when he will raise up the sons of Zion, against the sons of Greece. (Zech. ix. 13.) By the sons of Zion I understand, spiritually, God's servants and people, men of faith and prayer; members of Zion militant upon earth, and candidates for Zion triumphant in heaven. By the sons of Greece, I understand, not all the men of this world, indiscriminately; but especially men of literature and classical taste; men whose minds have been so imbued, by a long course of education in which the Bible had no place, with the poetry and sentiments of classic Greece, that the Scriptures address them in a language strange to their ears, and in sentiments revolting to all their feelings and associations. By “raising up," therefore, the sons of Zion against the sons.of Greece, I understand the bringing the former class into open opposition to the latter, and into open conflict with it ;-the two parties contending on behalf of their respective systems; which are indeed, in their natures, most absolutely opposed, little as we are at present aware of this. Now this, whenever the Lord does it, will be a very great and glorious work : for, (between you and me, my brother; but tell me, if I am wrong,) the sons of Zion are very much afraid of the sons of Greece. Moreover, it will be a very blessed work; for the consequences of this fear are more disastrous than tongue can tell.
XVI. Any thing which tends to shew me that I am of less importance than I thought myself to be, is a great mercy, and should be thankfully acknowledged as such.
XVII. It appears from the Scriptures to be the will of God, to make every man see his own depravity. Now this is more than any person can see at one time, and therefore the discovery must be gradual. The view may, indeed, break upon us, at the beginning; and a horrid break it is. But, after that, comes a gradual development;-of our wretchedness, of our baseness, of our treachery, of our filthiness, of our audacity, of our atrocity, of our meanness, of our moral turpitude-in all their shocking particulars and details : so that the farther a man is advanced in the way of salvation, the worse he comes to think, because the worse he comes to know, of himself; till he arrives at the hour of his death, when he thinks the worst of all. We may receive this revelation, however, in two ways. We may receive it in time, or we may receive it in eternity. We must receive it in one or the other.-In eternity! Terrible thought! To have ever revolving before our eyes, like a peristrephic picture full of all that is most hateful, unclean, and hideous, the endless image of our own infinite depravity, the endless succession and record of our own mad follies and sins! What a perpetual, what a dreadful addition, to the unutterable torments and piercing anguish of damnation! Happy they, to whom the discovery, however painful, is made by the Holy Spirit in the present life. Thrice happy, when another discovery attends it; the discovery of the Lamb of God, the Sovereign Remedy for All! God makes his people to see their depravity in this world; his enemies to see theirs in the world to come. The sight must be seen by all.
XVIII. "The Christian Review." I have sometimes wished that my friend had not chosen so high a title for his work, and have almost trembled at the responsibility incurred by those who come before the public with such a profession and announcement. But, the name having been once chosen, what is to be done? Is it to be laid aside, and exchanged for another ? That would look like a dereliction of principle. No. The only course now is, to try to write up to the title.
We ourselves bear the name of Christians, which we must not lay aside, but realize. To the Divine Author of that name let us look, to enable us by his grace to support it; whether in our words, our works, our actions, our writings, or our own persons and characters.
XIX. The right plan, in reading Scripture, seems to be, to take, first, the literal meaning of a passage, and from that to derive the spiritual. For instance, John xxi. 19: “ He saith unto him, FOLLOw me.” Here one class of interpreters perhaps would say, This is a direct and general invitation and command,
to every pastor, and every believer, to follow Christ: whilst others, offended at this generalizing interpretation, would exclaim, The expression was simply a direction to Peter, to walk behind Jesus in the way; and it is mere fancy and conceit, to give it any more extended meaning. For my own part, I would take a middle course; or rather, one which unites the two extremes. First, the expression seems undoubtedly to have meant, plainly and literally, that Peter was to walk after Jesus : as it is said, immediately after,“ Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple, whom Jesus loved, following.". But, secondly, our Lord seems also to have meant, that Peter was to follow his example and death. For he had just been "signifying by what death” the · Apostle “ should glorify God;" namely, a death in some degree - similar to his own: and," when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. And, thirdly, the passage surely. con
tains also, by just inference and application, an extended, spiritual, comprehensive direction to all, to follow, both in obedience and in humiliation, the Lord Jesus ; who, as St. Peter himself teaches, " suffered for us,” for this very purpose, amongst others; to leave us an example, that ye should follow his steps. (1 Pet. ii. 21.)
XX. There is often something that looks very bad, in my affairs or prospects; yet I observe, that the worst never comes. Things never come to extremities. The evil may generally be traced to my own folly or perverseness; yet still the case is the same, still I am spared, still I am not brought to extremities. Nay, on looking around me, I make the same observation on all sides. It holds good with respect to other men ; it holds good with respect to religious societies; it holds good with respect to the church at large ; it holds good with respect to the country generally. Danger is always threatening, yet never comes; or .at
any rate never comes to its full extent. We are constantly anticipating a crisis, but never experience it. Thank God, we have not yet been brought to extremities.—Now, how shall we account for this? Some one perhaps will answer, “ It is Divine Providence.” Yes: but let us go a little deeper. I think I see the true reason, in the cross of Christ. Matters came to an extremity, with our crucified Lord, on Calvary. He there - endured the utmost : the whole pain, the whole shame. Thus we escape. Thus unknown trials, perplexities, calamities, extremities, are ever threatening us; are ever deserved; but never
XXI. My dear and respected brother -, an eminent, affectionate, and most laborious pastor, once told me, that after he had done preaching, he always felt a wish that there was a
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hole cut, in the bottom of the pulpit, by which he might at once escape from the eyes and attention of the congregation. Query: Did I ever experience any such feeling? Again: Should I be a loser, if, by the sacrifice of a right hand, a right foot, and a right eye, I could realize such a feeling? Butcome, my soul. It may be found in the garden of Gethsemane.
XXII. Gethsemane: Gabbatha : Golgotha : the sepulchre : the bosom of the Father.
XXIII. I cordially wish well to the London University; pray that none of the evils, which some apprehend, may arise from it; and hope and expect much good from it.
XXIV. I wish to get, more and more, into a habit of tracing the finger of God in all things; from the greatest down to the least. The more we look for God in all things, the more we shall see him in all. We lose this constant view of him, by losing the habit of looking for him. Thank God for the doctrine of a particular Providence. “ That thy name is near, thy wondrous works declare.” But, from the very nature of the case, a particular Providence demands a particular faith.
XXV. There are many things which are much valued, but of little worth ; such as taste or skill in the fine arts, worldly science, literature, classical knowledge and refinement. There is no good in decrying or despising these things, if we have learned to estimate them at their proper value. Happy those, who have found salvation without them. Happy those, also, who have known them, weighed them in the balance of the sanctuary, found them wanting, and gladly surrendered them, with all their tinsel attractions,
that they might win Christ. XXVI. In the first ages of Christianity, the World was at open war with the Church. There now seems, comparatively speaking, to be peace. How is this? The World is still what it was: still bitter, still fierce, still fixed in its purpose and declaration, “ We will not have this Man to reign over us. then can there be peace? Must not some change have taken place in the church? Such is the World, that it would never be at peace with us, unless there were something different on our part. The World has never given up the contest : the World has never retreated a single step: we have left the field. The World still keeps the field. İt rests with us to renew the conflict, whensoever we will : in other words, whensoever we have courage to do so.
We boast of our peace; we proclaim our condemnation; we publish our own shame. Let the Church return to her proper character when she will, the World is ready for her: the World will return to its old practice, of crucifying, blaspheming, persecuting, imprisoning, hanging, sawing asunder,