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indicate the work of the preacher. Men engaged in other professions and trades are useful members of society ; but the preacher of the gospel is the most useful. All the labor and expense attendant on educating men, and furnishing them with the conveniences of life, and defending them in their rights and privileges, will fail utterly in the production of happiness, unless their souls are brought under the power of the truth. They must know Jesus Christ as their Redeemer and Intercessor. They must “ with open face behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord." They must approve His plan of saving sinners, and they must admire the beauty of His character until they desire earnestly to be changed into His image. These desires must be supreme in their minds, so as to make them willing to use all the means, and perform all the conditions of salvation. To produce this is the work of the preacher. He must preach Christ; Christ crucified; Christ raised from the dead; Christ in all His offices, all His doctrines, all His labors. The same Holy Spirit which dwelt in Christ's human body, has indited the narration contained in the gospel, has inspired the men who wrote the epistles, and now calls the preacher, and applies the truth which he preaches. The man who willingly, eagerly, penitently, prayerfully, opens his ears to hear, and applies his intellect to understand, shall behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord. Beholding, he will admire the glory of the Lord; admiring, he will desire to be changed into the same image; desiring, he will conquer himself and be willing to perform the conditions of salvation ; willing, he will apply himself to the work of faith and obedience.
Secondly, as a man who looks at an image in a glass, and reads an instructive and truthful book, believes in the reality and truth of what he sees and reads, so the inquirer, who with open face beholds the glory of the Lord, must believe in Him whose glory he beholds. The justification of every sinner depends on his personal faith in Jesus Christ. The faith he exercises must influence his life, and this influence will be seen in case the believer shall admit into his heart the truthful doctrines taught by Jesus Christ.
The common mirror is a very wonderful instrument. Few instru ments used by men are more wonderful. When it is made according to the rules which science of optics develops, and is adjusted in a room, it will create a perfect image of every person and article in that room. One who looks on its smooth surface may occupy a place from which he can see nothing in the room but the mirror, and yet he may describe, with accuracy, every object reflected. Now the beholder sees nothing other than the images created by the mirror, yet he believes these images represent real objects. His faith amounts to assurance, and he knows the objects reflected have real existence. So we must believe that the events recorded in the gospel are facts; and that the doctrines taught in the gospel are truths ; and as facts and truths are apprehended as things which have reality and intrinsic power, so we must apprehend the facts and doctrines in the gospel. Thus believing, we know that Jesus Christ is a real person, that heaven and hell are real places, that sin is really offensive to God, that the guilty will really be damned, and that the converted sinner will really be saved. This view of faith accords with the definition given us in Hebrews xi, 1: « Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," and also with the representations in the Bible of the influence of faith. The man who is full of faith has insight into the truths of the Bible which the unbeliever never attains until he renounces the sin of unbelief. “ The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” The careful reader of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews will note what is said of the faith of Abraham, and Joseph, and Moses, and will see that their believing was accompanied by spiritual vision, and amounted to assurance. He will see in 2d Cor. iv, 17, 18, that the wonderful power of “ these light afflictions” in working for us " a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory," depends on the faith of the afflicted one, and this is thus stated: “ While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
The inhabitants of the world at the time of the deluge saw no danger, because they had no faith in the declarations of those who were sent to warn them; but Noah saw signs of danger, and knew the flood was coming, hence “he prepared an ark for the saving of his household.” The people who crowded the streets and houses of Sodom had no apprehension of an approaching catastrophe, because they were unbelievers; but Lot saw what was approaching, and he was saved by his faith, for he fled with his family from the city, leaving his unbelioving sons-in-law to their fate. I think I can see in the conversation between the rich man, in the torments of hell, and Abraham, in heaven, that the rich man believed not what Moses and the prophets wrote concerning eternal things, and that his five brothers, whom he had left in the world, were unbelievers; and hence he requests that the testimony of a dead man may be added to that of these inspired writers. The rich man believed not while he lived, but the conviction of his fatal error was produced by the realization of the horrid pangs of damnation. Lazarus believed, and his faith caused him to trust in God, and to use the means which are necessary to salvation; and this led to the attainment of holiness and heaven.* So it is now; some men are blinded by the god of this world, and do not believe in Jesus Christ, and these are led captive by Satan at his will; others have freed themselves from prejudice, have penitently, prayerfully, and believingly looked into the gospel; thus they have obtained help from the Holy Spirit, and have felt the power of the truth in changing them into the image of Him in whom they have trusted.
That hearing what is contained in the gospel may lead us to the knowledge which will produce salvation, has been demonstrated in thousands of cases. A hearer may give attention to a series of historical lectures on the life of Washington. The lecturer may convince the hearer that Washington lived, and exercised his mental and moral faculties so as to become a successful warrior, a consummate statesman, a model patriot. He may present a picture of this great man's achievements on the battle fields and in the council chambers of our country, and of his virtues in the private walks of domestic life, which, by its vividness, may be compared to the images seen in a looking-glass. The hearer may listen until his imagination becomes excited, and he beholds the image of the great man, and he may gaze on this image until his desire to be like Washington may become supreme; and if hope of attaining to this likeness shall be strong in his mind, he will have his own consent to make any sacrifice and use any means requisite for the attainment of so desirable an end. A man being convinced of his sinful and lost condition, may hear the preaching of the Word until he shall see the glorious character of our Lord Jesus Christ. He may learn that the whole life of Christ was spent in the labors which were necessary to complete the plan of
* Luke Z, vi.
redemption. That He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.” That all this work of redeeming and interceding is for the salvation of sinners. The hearer knows that he himself is a sinner, hears now that he has a Saviour, and that the Holy Spirit is at work to bring sinners to Christ. He admires the glory of the Lord; he desires to be made like Christ; he has his own consent to sacrifice all that the gospel condemns, and to use all the means that the gospel recommends. These desires are excited in him by the Holy Spirit, and they lead him to pray with faith and hope. He embraces Christ as his Redeemer, he trusts in Him as his Saviour, and commits himself to Him as one who is able to save him from all sin. Thus embracing, trusting, committing himself, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, he will believe with all his heart. This is his part of the work. In this way he “works out his own salvation with fear and trembling." One may admire the character of the great patriot mentioned in the first part of this paragraph, and may desire to be like him, and yet make no effort to attain this likeness, and have no hope of attaining it, because nature has not endowed him as she did Washington, and the times are not favorable to the performance of such achievements as he performed. It is a law in our constitution that we will never labor to obtain any object, unless we are persuaded that it is valuable and attainable. One who beholds with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, is encouraged to hope for likeness to the same image, because God has promised that he who by faith embraces Christ as his prophet, priest, and king, shall be changed into the same image by the same Spirit which animated Christ's human soul and inspired holy men to write the gospel. And all may perform the condition on which this promise depends. Let “the heart turn to the Lord, and the veil shall be taken away;"* the inquirer shall see the glory of the Lord, and shall be changed into the same image.
We now propose to show
II. What God has to do for us in order that we may be saved. This is expressed in the text thus: “We are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
The apostle in this expression asserts that the spirit will change
• 2 Cor. iii, 16.
the believer ; he gives us the model to which he will be assimilated, and he teaches that this shall progress towards a perfect likeness.
First. A change shall take place. This is asserted in the language used by Paul, by a word which intimates the nature of the change. This word has been introduced into the English language without any change in its form when we use the noun metamorphosis, and with a slight alteration when we use the verb metamorphosed. “We are metamorphosed into the same image.” The word suggests illustrations taken from natural history, by which we may see the thoroughness of the transformation. In the class of insects we have an order called Lepidoptera, in which there is a family called Papilionidae. From an egg is hatched an insect which in its growth develops a larva of very loathsome form and groveling appetites. We instinctively shrink from its touch. We despise it, because its sole employment is to devour food. We fear it, because we imagine a creature so loathsome and destructive must be armed with teeth and poison. We turn away from it with irrepressible disgust, because its aspect is hideous. We crush it with pleasure, because we judge that it is unworthy of life. After this filthy, hated, loathsome creature has attained its maturity, it seeks a place of concealment, ceases to take any food, and yields itself up to a power by which the larva is changed into the chrysalis, and from the chrysalid there comes an insect wholly unlike the caterpillar. In its habits we see cleanliness, in its body we see beauty, on its wings we see the gorgeous colors of the rainbow. It is pursued by playful children, handled by delicate maidens, gazed on with delight by tasteful men, and preserved with carefulness in the cabinets of naturalists. This is a metamorphosis. The caterpillar is metamorphosed into the butterfly. Without experience, who would believe that this beautiful insect, adorned with wings, furnished with a long spiral proboscis or tongue, and standing on six legs, came from a hated, hairy caterpillar, having jaws and teeth, and fourteen feet?
There stands before me a creature whose mind is earthly, whose nature is sensual, whose spirit is devilish. He lives to gratify his appetites and to indulge his propensities. In these he is groveling, and in his habits he is loathsome. He opens his mouth to blaspheme his Maker, to deride his Saviour, to defy his Judge, to slander his neighbor. He cultivates no virtue, he restrains himself from no vice. He boasts of his independence, he glories in his degradation, he