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and fcruples, I speak in a different language, and such
such a regard to holiness and universal goodness, that you determine to lead decent, and pious, and exemplary lives? If you have these, come to express that gratitude, to accept that covenant, and to seal those vows at the foot of the cross. Jesus breaks not the bruised reed, nor quenches the smoking flax. The humility of the heart will not banish the Eternal Spirit from taking up his residence with you.
In the fourth and last place, We are to glory in the cross of Christ, by living to those purposes and for those ends for which Jesus died.
We glory in the Reformation from Popery, when we maintain and defend that pure religion which was then established. We glory in the Revolution, when we support the rights and maintain the liberties which were secured to us at that memorable period : and, in like manner, we glory in the cross of Christ, when we fulfil the intention, and answer the purpose for which Jesus died. Jesus died, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify us unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. In this view, Christians, your whole life is glorying in the cross of
Christ. When you suppress the motions of irregular defire, when you conquer the excess of passion, and subdue the vices which war against the soul, you are glorying in the cross of Christ; for he, upon the cross, crucified these your enemies, and died that you might be delivered out of their hands. When you check in yourselves the spirit of animofity, when your heart relents towards him against whom your wrath was kindled, when you forego resentment, forgive an injury, and hold out the ready hand of reconciliation to your offending brother, you are glorying in the cross of Christ; for he, upon the cross, displayed a most amazing instance of forgiveness, in praying for those who brought him to that accursed death. When your heart expands with benevolence to man. kind; when you feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and rescue the oppressed ; when you feel the distresses of your unhappy brethren and relieve them, or give a tear to the distresses you cannot relieve, you are glorying in the cross of Christ ; for he, upon the cross, exhibited a most illustrious instance of benevolence, in giving his life for the happiness of the world. When you yield to the sweet impulse of natural affection, when you indulge the tender sensibilities of the heart, when you cultivate the spirit of a generous friendship, and join in the endearing offices of social life, you are glorying in the cross of Chrift; for he, upon the croís, gave us a most amiable difplay of these virtues. One of his last acts on earth was an act of natural affection and friendship; from the cross he recommended his mother to the care of the friend whom he loved.
In fhort, whenever you make advances in the divine life, and add to your faith virtue, and to virtue, patience, and temperance, and brotherly kindness, and charity; whenever you do a good deed, whenever you think a good thought, you are glorying in the cross of Christ; for he, upon the cross, perfected this character, and finished the pattern of universal goodness for the world to study, to imitate, and to admire.
[Preached at the celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.]
THESE are the last words of Jesus. The wards which he uttered when his hour was come; when in the presence of a great assembly, he breathed out his soul in agony upon the cross. It was ordered by the providence of God, that as Jesus by his death was the Saviour of the world, he should die publicly, when all Ifrael from Dan to Beersheba were assembled at Jerusalem,
There is something grand and awful in assembled multitudes of men, especially when convened on any great occasion, such as to pass sentence of life and death. In that silence of the mind, that awful pause of thought, the human genius is agitated strongly; it labours in expectation, and fills up the dreadful interval with emotions of terror and astonishment. When, therefore, at this period, all Judea was present to celebrate the paschal solemnity; when the great council of the nation, the chief priests, the scribes and the elders, convened in Sanhedrim, added dignity to the multitude; when Pilate the Governor of Judea, and Herod the Tetrarch of Galilee, with their attending armies, displayed the grandeur of the Roman empire, and sustained the majesty of the masters of the world; when all these were al
fembled at the time of the death and crucifixion of a Prophet of the Lord, How great would be the agitations of the multitude! What astonishing ideas would strike the mind, when they heard the expiring Prophet cry out, “ It is finished !” When in a mo- . ment they faw that the face of nature was changed; when they felt the earthquake which Mook the nations; when they were struck with the darkness which veiled the sun ; when they were surrounded with the inhabitants of the eternal world who arose froin their graves, would not they then think, indeed, that all was finished, that the last hour of na.. ture was come, and that the world was departing with its Creator ?
Never from the time that the idea of creation rose in the Divine Mind, did an hour revolve that laboured with such vast events. To this great point of view, as to the deciding hour in the annals of time, as to the crisis of the moral world, all the preceding ages looked forward, and all succeeding ages looked back. The grand question was now deciding, Whether happiness or misery should finally triumph in the universe of God ? From this event the pow. ers of hell dated the rise or fall of their dominion. The fate of the creation was now weighing in the scales. All eternity rested upon this hour.
Whilst we are now assembled to commemorate these great events, and to renew the memorials of thy death and passion, be present with us most blessed Jefus ! May we behold thy face, not as it was then covered with anguish and tears, but smiling upon us with heavenly complacence! Fill our hearts with love to thee, and lead us joyfully up into thine holy altar!