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“ Thou knowest, All-wise God, that the present generation are in nothing so rich as in doubts and questions and denials at variance with thy holy truth. Thou knowest that in our hearts, also, these doubts often intrude; alas ! how that they even proceed from our own bosoms, so that the ground on which we had stood, trembles beneath us; that thy word and thy promises seem to us dark and uncertain ; and what we have already experienced of the operations of thy grace, appears to us like a dream; and that even in our prayers and cries to thee for help, conflicting thoughts are mingled, and our whole soul is placed in most sad perplexity. O send to us thy help and awaken us by the motions of thy Spirit, that we may with all earnestness seek for the steadfast ground of our faith, and when we have found it, hold it fast, though thousands should fall on our right hand and ten thousands on our left, yea though the waves of doubt rush over our own hearts and deep call unto deep."
Another discourse is concluded with the following words: “ Seek no other Mediator than Jesus Christ, who from love to you came into the world; by whose precious blood ye have been redeemed; place your hopes wholly on the mercy which is offered to yon through the revelation of Jesus Christ. O then let a warm, living breath of grateful love to Him, who first loved you, descend into your souls, and may the Spirit of holiness come upon you, and write henceforth in your hearts the law—the holy will of God. Yes, Thou art our only Mediator with God, who hast proniised that when thou wast bifted up, thou wouldest draw all men to thee. O then open the eyes of those, who attempt to do the will of thy Father, that they may know and perceive that their salvation is in thy death on the cross, as it was the holiness of thy Father which was glorified in thy offering for sin on Golgotha."
The following passage describes the perfect moral excellence of our Lord: “To this consciousness of the universality of sin in the human race, which no one of us can deny, there is only a single exception which we are as little able to deny-Jesus Christ. This is the impression which the image of his life in the gospels makes upon the soul that is susceptible of moral purity and greatness,—the calm, ever-uniform elevation and silent majesty of perfect holiness which rises over every inward contest with evil, the intimate communion with God darkened by no shadow of sin, the complete resignation which sought nothing for itself, but only the things of God, and the overflowing love which 1847.]
Care for the Salvation of other Men.
devoted itself wholly to the service of man. And the lustre of this holiness shines the clearest when humiliation and shame covered him most fully, when the Son of man met the bitterest pangs with Divine patience and submission, when great and free in bonds he encountered his foes and judges, when still and patient he bore the reproach and torture of the cross ; loved his own and blessed them with his last breath, and dying, interceded for his murderers. Christ on the cross-this is the holy image of perfect love and self-denial, to which, when children, we look, ed up with the trembling of reverential fear, which in the darkest tumult of the human heart still casts a beam of gentle warning to repentance and reformation, and before which only infernal boldness entirely loses its shame."
The two following passages are from a discourse, entitled, "Christ the fisher of men.”
" There is a penitent recognition of one's own sin, which precedes faith in Christ, so far as it actually deserves this name, and without which this faith cannot originale in the soul. For how can we trust in Christ as our Redeemer if we do not think we need a Redeemer? But how can we feel the need of a Redeemer if we do not recognize our weakness and sinsulness? And the more vivid this knowledge is within us, the less will it remain in connection merely with single external deficiencies, but will penetrate to the inmost depths of our being and seek the worm which gnaws at its root ; the more deeply we are conscious of the value of redemption, the more vital and vigorous will be our faith in the Redeemer.”
" O bethink you well, my dear friends, that you stand not alone either in good or evil, but curse or blessing, perdition or salvation for many of your brethren, lies in your hands. Ye are members with them of one body, and as is the state of one member, be it sound or diseased, so flows from it over the others the living spirit of health or the poisonous breath of sickness. An offence to the innocent and defenceless little ones who believe in Christ, a burden to the weak which completely prostrates them, a stone to those ready to fall-what a fearful load for your conscience and for the great day of Divine judgment. O it were better for you that a millstone were hanged about your neck and ye were cast into the depths of the sea. But what happiness to be a trusty guardian of the faith and innocence of the young, a support to the weak, to the erring a guide in the right way by word and action! So then care for our own personal salvation is not
sufficient; in order to kindle within us true zeal, for the sake of the salvation of our brethren, let us leave all and follow Christ. May we honestly search our hearts before the face of the Allwise God. Is there any good to which custom, inclination, passion binds us more firmly than to those everlasting gifts which we receive from Christ, let us take the ship to land, forsake all and follow him. Without this ye will never be free from the pain of inward conflict; he gives his peace only to the heart which resigns itself wholly to him.”
The following extract is from a sermon on “confessing Christ before men :" " When we glance at the history of mankind since the appearance of our Lord, we are struck, yea pained when we are compelled to see how the confession of Christ has been a two-edged sword, which has not merely pierced to the inward part, dividing the soul and spirit, the joints and niarrow, but has very often sundered the most endeared connections of common life, the bands between father and son, mother and daughter, husband and wife, separating the human race into two divisions, introducing fearful wars between paganism and Christianity, and also arraying Christian nations in manifold ways against each other, and dividing them asunder. Thus the thought will naturally arise, whether mankind could not have secured the enjoyment of the Divine blessings, which Christianity proffers, without being exposed at the same time to these great evils. Certainly, some will reply, for the lofty views and principles which the Christian religion makes known, may be firmly held and propagated, while the confession of Christ, which has always caused the principal controversy, is avoided. Indeed it has been suffi. ciently shown that those views and principles have expanded themselves into general truths, which have been already universally unfolded in the human reason, while as certainly they will in that case possess nothing which will cause separations or divisions. In this way an eminent philosopher has judged, and many have accorded with him, namely, that Christ himself would be perfectly satisfied, if he should find that Christianity, that is, sentiments conformed to his views and principles, predominating in the souls of men, whether men valued or neglected his service. If we look more carefully at the idea from which this opinion springs, we shall see that it is manifestly this, that the essence of the Christian religion consists of views, principles, general conclusions. Were it so, why could not these continue to exist in the convictions of men, though he who first promul1847.]
Necessity of Faith in Christ.
gated them, had been long forgotten? Thus it is possible to imagine that the remembrance of Moses might be lost among his people, while his laws were firmly retained. Or to select a more recent case, the recognition of the great truths which Lother placed in the light of day, and which became the soul of his reformation-work, does not depend essentially on the knowledge of Luther's person and life; it is not impossible that these principles might remain in the consciousness of Protestant Chris. tians, were Luther's name to disappear.
" But with the Christian religion the case is wholly different. Here all things depend on the holy, divine, human personality of its founder and on the definite relations to this personality, and not merely on the fact that Christ was the author of this religion, that he announced in his teaching the loftiest truths; but it depends especially on the great facts of his incarnation, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, by which he, suffering and acting, accomplished the salvation of man. Since this is the case, his teachings as they are held up to us in the gospels, include es. pecially his declarations regarding himself and an assertion of his personal claims on his hearers in ever-varying forms. And when the apostles, filled with his Spirit, went out into the world, to make known his kingdom, you see that they were principally employed in repeating and inculcating the lessons of their Mas. ter. Examine only the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles, and you will find that it was the person of their Lord, it was the importance of his advent for the world, which was prominently handled by them; that they declared their preaching itself to be a testimony of Christ crucified and risen again; that the grand theme of their verbal communications and their letters, the roots from which their teaching unfolded itself, was nothing else than the glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who became man, the only Sinless one among sinners--the great facts by which he secured the salvation of man. It is absolutely impossible in the Christian religion to separate doctrine from the person, to thrust out Christ and yet retain Christianity. Therefore is Christ so far from being satisfied when only certain general truths are acknowledged and received into the soul, while men possibly forget his name, that he on the contrary, in a long series of his declarations exhibits himself as the object of faith ; immediately before his death he established the sacrament of the supper expressly in remembrance of himself; in various ways and in the strongest language he demanded that men should confess him as
the indispensable condition of partaking in his salvation ; whosoever denies me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
Our closing extracts are taken from a discourse on “ the three Stages of the Christian Life,” founded on the passage respect. ing our Saviour's transfiguration.
“ Lord it is good to be here,' exclaimed Peter, with the expression of the highest rapture and the most childlike simplicity. · Wilt thou that we make here three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses and one for Elias ? Here would they forever linger, build tabernacles for the heavenly forms, and, absorbed in their vision, forget all the strife and all the trouble of earth. What can they desire besides ? What attraction can withdraw them from this holy place? Where Jesus Christ makes known to his friends his divine glory, there they partake of the deepest and holiest joy, such as the most costly goods of earth can never furnish. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you?
" It is the most sacred experience of the Christian life, it is the heights most resplendent, of which this narrative reminds us. It was in still retirement, when our soul was absorbed in musings on the wondrous way in which God had led us to his eternal sal. vation ; or when in ardent prayer, we sought consolation and help from the disquiet of our heart and the troubles of life; it was in the circle of very dear friends, when in conversation on the holiest themes, in reciprocal interchange of our views and experiences, our hearts overflowed, and the glowing sparks of faith and love uniting, suddenly burst forth into a clear flame; it was in the public worship of God, when the message of the gospel in the hymn, the prayer, the sermon, powerfully impressed us; or it was when the highest festival of divine worship—the Supper of the Lord-poured over us the fulness of divine mercy; -how any one may have experienced these things, we know not; but this we know, that whoever has experienced one such holy hour, can never forget it again. Was it not as if heaven had been opened to the enraptured gaze; as if a higher, holy world would receive us into its eternal repose. We thought that a happier experience could never befal us in eternity, than that this feeling should evermore endure. All the pains and cares of earth were absorbed in the single emotion of the most childlike acquiescence. All sin appeared to us inexpressibly odious, contemptible and pitiful; we could not imagine how it should ever