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of the deceitfulness of sin, its entangling character, its deadening power, its miserable fruits. WHAT IS ITS ASPECT TOWARDS OURSELVES ? Remember that if we are not overcoming it, it is overcoming us; if we are not in faith and prayer calling in the aid of One who alone can bind the strong man, that strong man is binding us; if wearenot growing in grace, we are drawing back to the paths of danger and of death. Are we viewing sin by the light of eternity, forecasting how it will look then, when the sparks that false pleasure now kindles, shall be put out, and the clear shining of the Sun of righteousness shall show it in its real blackness and deformity ? Are we beholding sin as it is so wondrously set forth in that agony and bloody sweat in the garden of Gethsemane, in that Cross and Passion on Calvary; where, melted, drawn, won, we read and rejoice in the forgiveness of the sinner, but where we also learn to abhor, to resist, to crucify sin, and that thought becomes graven on our heart by the Spirit of God; “how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ?”
How awful the picture so truthfully presented to us by that man of truth, Bunyan, in his description of him who “left off to watch and be sober, who laid the reins upon
the neck of his lusts.” “So the Interpreter took him by the hand again, and led him into a very dark room, where there sat a man in an iron cage. Now the man to look upon seemed very sad; he sat with his eyes looking down to the ground, his hands folded together, and he sighed as if he would break his heart. Then said Christian, What means this? At which the Interpreter bade him talk with the man. Then said Christian to the man, Who art thou? The man answered, I am what I was not once. What wast thou once? The man said, I was once a fair and flourishing professor, both in my own eyes and also in the eyes of others. I once was, as I thought, fair for the celestial city, and had then even joy' at the thoughts that I should
go I am now a man of despair and am shut up in it, as in this iron cage. I cannot get out, O now, I cannot....0 eternity ! eternity ! how shall I grapple with the misery that I must meet with in eternity...
Children of this world! whether mockers at sin, tamperers with sin, or self righteous, and yet unchanged,,cast off slumber,awake! Soon will that cry, "The Philistines be upon thee;" no longer suffer each dreaming soul to sleep. Satan's deceits will then no longer avail to
1 Luke viii. 13.
hide from you your real state, the fetters must then bind you, the prison house receive you, , and darkness be your portion for ever.
Children of God! be humble, be prayerful, be watchful, be trustful, then shall you go out as heretofore; you have no might against the great company that cometh against you, but your eyes are upon Him That hath all might. “This is the will of God, even your sanctification;" let that will of God be dear to you. “Satan may present the golden cup, but he has no power to force you to drink the poison that is in the cup,” he can only spread his snares, he has no power to force you into those
Quit you then like men, be strong; looking unto Jesus, you shall prevail, but remember, the plague may be taken by a touch. Avoid all appearance of evil. Stand at a distance from sin. Give no quarter to the first motions of temptation, and the enemy shall be driven back.
"The Lord will give grace and glory.” “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF ME, SAITH THE LORD.”l
Isa. liv. 17.
THE WATCHERS AT THE CROSS.
St. MATTHEW XXVII. 36.
The hour is come ;—the last Passover authorized by Jehovah has been celebrated, the traitor has betrayed his Master with a kiss, the mockery of justice is finished, and Pilate, yielding, as thousands before and since have done, to present interest, delivers Jesus to be crucified. The hour is fully come;—the hour appointed, ere time was, in the secret counsels of the Father, the hour looked to with expectation by the faithful in every age, the hour calling forth wonder from the Angels of light, dread from the powers of darkness,-is now fully come, the “ baptism of blood” is accomplished, “ And it was the third hour, AND THEY CRUCIFIED HIM.”
Be it ours to turn aside and see this great
? The substance of this sermon (in another form) appeared in my name in the Church of England Magazine,
The prophecies which it contains, as well as other reasons, induce me to publish it in this series.
sight, and “ sitting down to watch Him there.” Let our thoughts be directed
I. To Him on Whom they Gazed.
III. To Ourselves as no less Interested therein.
I. Behold the Man! “ wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities;" dying, and yet conqueror; spoiled, yet carrying away spoils; behold Him with the eye of faith and love, and yield yourselves afresh to His service. Behold Him,
1. The Fulfiller of Prophecy. “ Search the Scriptures,” was our Lord's direction to the Jews. ...“for they are they which testify of Me;" and truly of Him did Moses in the law, and the Prophets write, even of Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.” For, is it His betrayal of which those Scriptures speak ? surely from His enemies must that betrayal come; no; for a thousand years it had been written, “Mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, which did eat of My bread, hath lifted
up his heel against Me," and there was numbered among His disciples “Judas Iscariot
i Psa. xli.