Imatges de pÓgina

ed them hung over man, who was seduced to join these rebellious powers. Men, chosen to everlasting life, were by nature children of wrath, even as others. But for the chosen generation, the Lord Jesus Christ was made under the law, and endured the wrath which their sins deserved, endured it all, endured it all at once, and, in the strength and glory of his weakness, endured it all alone!-Holiness. From the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, the beams of this perfection, which is the essential glory of the nature of God, and the revealed glory of his will, are bright and awful. In the triumph over Egypt, on the banks of the Red Sea, Moses and the children of Israel sang, "Who is like "unto thee, O Lord, glorious in holiness!" and, in remembering the triumph of the cross over principalities and powers on Calvary, the song of Moses rises into the song of the Lamb, and transmits the praise of the glory of his holiness from generation to generation. The light of the knowledge of the glory of the holiness of God, never broke forth in such lustre and majesty. The punishment of angels, the destruction of the old world, the overthrow of the cities of the plain, the drowning of Pharaoh, the pools of Nineveh, the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar, and the ruins of Babylon, are manifestations of the glory of his holiness and righteousness; but these are all in a manner eclipsed by the brighter and more awful glory that beams from the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why was that just One wounded and bruised? why was his righteous soul filled with sorrow? his blessed head crowned with thorns? his glorious face defiled with spittle? and his holy body nailed to a tree, and lifted up on a cross between two highwaymen? It was because God is glorious in holiness, hates iniquity, and punishes it wherever it is found.

Fifthly, The wonders which celebrated the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ are glorious. After he was lifted up on the cross, the sun, his figure and representative, laid aside his ornaments, and went into mourning. When he had finished his work, and yielded up the ghost, the earth quaked and the rocks rent; the graves of the dead opened; and the holy of holies discovered all that had been concealed in that sacred chamber of the Most High. These exertions of Omnipotence, accompanying the crucifixion, celebrated the majesty of the cross, gave notice to the world of the veneration of Heaven for it, and called upon

Jew and Gentile to turn their thoughts on this glorious Object. At the dawn and springing of the third day after these exertions, the arm of the Lord put on strength, and wrought wonders which will be remembered and celebrated the whole length of eternity. A mighty Angel descended in the pomp of an earthquake, dispersed the guard, broke the seal, rolled away the stone, and sat upon it; while the Lord Jesus, who had been crucified and buried, revived and rose, and came forth in the glory of a conqueror. Forty days after another great wonder appeared: Jesus who had been crucified, having by himself purged our sins, ascended up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high. Within.a few days after his ascension, he shed the Holy Ghost on his apostles abundantly, and enabled these weak and illiterate men to celebrate the power and glory of his cross, with wonders which astonished all who had eyes to see and ears to hear! Of this he assured them before his crucifixion: "Verily, "verily, I say unto you, he who believeth on me, the works "which I do shall he do also, and greater works than these "shall he do; because I go unto my Father." The works which the apostles wrought, through faith in his name, by the power of the Holy Ghost, after he went to the Father, were greater in their number, and in their effects on the minds of men, than those wrought by himself in his personal ministry; and hence the apostle observes to the Hebrews, that the word which began to be spoken in his ministry was confirmed by theirs who heard him: "God also "bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and "with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, accor"ding to his own will."

Sixthly, The revolutions effected by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ are glorious. From the creation there never has been, and, to the dissolution, there never will be, a revolution of power and glory so magnificent and beneficial as that which the cross has effected. Empire dissolving empire, and one throne casting down another, are little things, compared with the dissolution of the power which the devil had of death, and the breaking down of the kingdom of darkness which he had erected over the world. By the power of the all-conquering and triumphant Cross, the foundation of an everlasting kingdom was laid in the face of opposition, and laid so firmly

as to defy the gates of hell. "In the days of these kings "shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall "never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to "other people, but it shall break in pieces, and consume "all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." When the cross went forth conquering and to conquer, the world is commanded to keep silence before the Lord, and behold the glory of his righteousness and salvation. No continent, no island, no nation, was unconcerned in setting judgment in the earth, and bringing forth truth unto victory. The expectation was general, and the execution was great, becoming the dignity of the Person, and the wisdom of the contrivance. Nothing in the dispensation of this grace was deficient, and nothing was superfluous. Every circumstance was graceful, and every mean proportioned to the glory of the end. The boldest material imagery is frequently used by prophets, in foretelling the changes and revolutions to be effected in the world by the preaching of the cross. "Every valley shall be exalted, "and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the "crooked shall be made straight, and the rough, places. "plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and "all flesh," Jew and Gentile, on equal and even ground, "shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spo"ken it." "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be "glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom "as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even "with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given "unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall "see the glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God." "Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and right"eousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of "righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteous"ness quietness and assurance for ever." Compare the state of our own island at present with the state of it in the days of our forefathers; both before the glory of the cross was revealed in it, and after the darkness of popery obscured this glory. As Christians, you will find it owing to the light of the knowledge of the glory of this blessed object, that we are not sacrificing to Jupiter, and baking cakes to the queen of heaven; and as Protestants you will acknowledge it owing to the breaking forth of the same glory, that we are not bowing to the image of the virgin Mary, adoring a crust of bread, and kissing the toe of an old man.

Seventhly, The internal and gracious influence of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ on the minds and wills of men is glorious. By the preaching of the cross, effects have been produced in the inner man surpassing the exertions of reason, and the boasted efforts of philosophical morality. The illumination of the mind with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the subjection of the will to the authority of God, the purging of the conscience from dead works, the reconciliation of the heart to the righteousness which is of God by faith, the sanctification of the affections, the consecration of the body into the temple of the Holy Ghost, and the conversion of the whole man to the love and service of God, are distinguishing and gracious effects of the doctrine of this despised but glorious object. These internal and gracious effects of the cross on the hidden man of the heart, and on the direction of the conversation, are foretold, under beautiful allusions and images, in descriptive prophecy. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, "and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf "and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little "child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall "feed, their young ones shall lie down together, and the "lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child "shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child "shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall "not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the "earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the "waters cover the sea." Do you wish to see the causes and effects, or the principles and operations, which fulfilled this prophecy? Cast your eye upon the history of the illumination and reconciliation of the world in the Acts of the Apostles of the Lamb, and the illustrations of that history in their Epistles to the churches. There you will observe these internal and gracious effects and operations ascribed to their principle and cause, the preaching of the cross with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.

After considering the person who bears the names Lord Jesus Christ; the interesting and triumphant manner in which the Apostle speaks of him, by inserting before his names the appropriating word Our; the particular, general, and comprehensive senses of his Cross; and after

displaying the glory of his cross in the designs to be accomplished by it; the preparations made for it; the spectators who beheld it; the perfections glorified in it; the wonders celebrating it; the revolutions effected by it; and its internal and gracious influence on the minds of men; we shall conclude at present with an exhortation to turn your eyes toward this glorious object, and to seek interest in this glorious person.

Turn your eyes toward this glorious object, the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Angels themselves desire to fix their eyes upon it; and men, who are more nearly interested, ought to have it constantly before them, and to look to it with the highest veneration and the deepest humility.-Beams of glory, which break forth separately in the works of God, mingle in the cross of Christ, and form an union of light seven-fold brighter than the glory in the face of the whole creation. The joys of heaven are the praise of the glory of the goodness of God; and the howlings of hell are the praise of the glory of his justice. But hearken to the language of the cross, and hear the praise of the glory of both accented and raised to the highest. In the sufferings of Christ the glory of the justice of God is clearer and more awful than in the punishment of devils, and the glory of his goodness is richer and more abundant than in the joys of angels. When we exhort you to turn your eyes towards this glorious object, we do not call you to look at the polishing of a crucifix, nor to form the image of a cross by the help of imagination. It is not by the strength of imagination, nor by the glare of a crucifix, but by the enlightening of the eyes of the understanding, that the glory of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is beheld, to the edifying of the soul. Turn the eyes of thine understanding, O hearer! toward the following exhibitions of its glo


"Who being in the form of God, thought it not rob"bery to be equal with God; but made himself of no repu"tation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was "made in the likeness of men; and, being found in fashion "as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient un"to death, even the death of the cross." "Wherefore in "all things it behoved him to be made like unto his "brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful "High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make recon"ciliation for the sins of the people." Who his own self Y

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