G. B. F. (Gerard Benjamin Fleet) Hallock.

The English pulpit : collection of sermons online

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atrous Egyptians were very much astonished ; they could not under-
stand where they came from, or why they came to that place. They
saw they were very decent people ; they paid for every thing they
had, and conducted themselves with the greatest propriety ; and I
have no doubt the Egyptians went many times to see the little Jewish
child, for they are a people that are rather black in the countenance,
and they are very fond of looking upon those that are fair, and that
come from a more northerly climate ; and Jesus was a beautiful child.
I have no doubt many an Egyptian mother came and dandled that
child upon her knee ; and we cannot tell but Christ afterwards saved
their souls.

There they remained a little while ; and then an angel came to
them, and said — Herod is dead, who sought the young child's life ;
and now you may return. So they took farewell of all their neigh-
bors, for I have no doubt they lived in good fellowsliip with them ; and
the Egyptians, I dare say, were sorry to part with Joseph and Mary
and the beautiful little boy. But they left Egypt, and passed through


the deserts of Arabia, and at last came to the Holy Land ; and they
went to the place where thej originally lived, namely, a place called
Nazareth ; and there they remained for a very considerable time —
till our Savior entered upon his ministry.

III. Now next, my dear young friends, come and see Jesus in the

Do you know what a beautiful building the temple was ? I cannot
describe it, it was so beautiful. There was first a temple built by
Solomon, and that was beautiful, beyond description ; but that was
demolished, and there was another temple built by a great and good
man called Zerubbabel — a man of very considerable wealth and a man
of great piety. That second temple was afterwards repaired by a
very bad man ; for bad kings are sometimes great builders, and I have
read in a little history, that many of the worst kings have been the
greatest builders — built noble cities and magnificent palaces. King
Herod was a great monster of wickedness, but he spent an amazing
sum of money in beautifying the temple. There is not such a build-
ing in all London, as that temple ; Westminster Hall is larger consid-
erably ; but in magnificence and splendor and beauty, Westminster
Hall, or St. Paul's Cathedral, is a mere hovel compared with that
temple, so remarkable was it for its elegance and loveliness. It was
as white as snow ; it was built of white marble, as white as alabaster,
and the stones were twelve feet square. Some of you little boys are
the sons of carpenters and masons, and you can take your father's
rule to-night, and measure twelve feet in every direction ; that was
the size of the great marble blocks of stone*, by which the temple was
adorned ; and they were as smooth as glass, so beautifully were they
polished. Then there was a grand portico to this temple, and over it
was the figure of an amazing vine, made of gold ; all the little twigs
and branches and leaves were made of solid gold, and the clusters
that were hanging down were made of precious stones ; and when
the sun shone upon it, it was truly astonishing to look at. The Greeks
and magicians, when they came and stood opposite to it, were amazed
beyond description. Oh ! I think I see these country folks looking up
to this vine, and wondering at the beautiful golden leaves, and the
multitude of clusters of precious stones. And that vile monster
Herod, that sought to murder Christ, gave a considerable sum of money
towards completing this vine. Some writers tell us, (and it is not un-
likely,) that the Lord Jesus Christ was one day standing with his dis-
ciples over against this very portico, and they were looking up at this
noble vine, and Peter was saying to John, What a wonderful vine that


is ! — and John was saying to Philip, What an amazing vine it is ! —
but Christ said, laying his hand upon his bosom, " /am the true Vine : "
that vine has no life, it is only the resemblance of a vine, " I am the
Vine, and ye are the branches."

Come and see Jesus in this temple for a few minutes. Come and
see Mary candying him in her arms, along the marble floor, when he
was only eight days old ; and Joseph is along with her. Do you see
that old man, with his hoary locks, and his snow-white beard down to
his breast ? I see him now with the eye of my mind. Oh ! what a
lovely, gentle face ! — with all its wrinkles it looks so sweet : I never
saw such a pleasant old man. Would you like to know his name ?
That is the venerable Simeon. He is walking up to Mary ; he cannot
walk fast, he has nearly finished his journey ; he is tottering and
feeble, but at last he comes up to Mary, and says, " Give me the
babe." Mary looks at him, and without any questioning at once takes
her beautiful little babe, and lays him down on those old arms ; and
then Simeon kisses the child's lovely lips, and presses him to his
bosom, and hfting up his eyes to heaven, exclaims — " Lord, now
lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for
mine eyes have seen thy salvation." And then he gave up the dear
little babe to his mother. There was another aged pilgrim, too — an
interesting old lady ; it is not said that she took up the child in her
arms, but probably she did ; and there she gazed on him with won-
der, love, and admiration.

But now come and see Jesus in the temple again. I have another
sight to show you : I must take you into a retired room in another
part of the temple — not tlie great hall. Do you see those twelve old
men sitting there in close conversation ? They look like very learned
men, and they are learned men, and they are well acquainted with the
Old Testament in the Hebrew language ; for that is the language they
speak. But who is that sitting in the midst of them — that beautiful
lad about twelve years of age ? Oh ! look at his modest countenance ;
look at his gentle eye, look at the affection that beams in his face,
look at his whole appearance — the perfection of excellence. Observe :
he is asking those old men questions ; not with any degree of forward-
ness, but with the greatest humility. He is saying to one, What is
the meaning of this ? — and the old learned doctor is quite astonished,
and he says to the next, I cannot answer this question, can you assist
me ? Oh no, says his friend, I cannot : that is too hard for me.
And then that beautiful lad tells him the meaning of the difficult
question ; opens it up, and explains it, to their great astonishment, so
that one says to another — What a prodigy ! we never saw such a


prodigy of learning and of wisdom before. But there is a woman
entering in the very midst of the conversation, and she says to him,
My Son ! That is Mary. For two days she has lost him ; and when
she was returning from Jerusalem to Nazareth — what is very strange,
and I cannot explain it — for one whole day she had never seen her
Son, nor even so much as asked herself. Where is my blessed Son,
Jesus ? — and at last, when she went all through the company, (for
there were a great number of them walking together,) she found he
was not there, and she returned with Joseph to Jerusalem with a heavy
heart, saying, " We have lost our Son ; where shall we find him ?"
And they went from one street to another, and from one square to
another, but they could not see him ; and at last Mary said — Let us
go to the temple ; perhaps we shall find him there. Ah ! my dear
young friends, if you go to his sanctuary, you will find Jesus there ;
this is one of his temples, and he is here to-day. So they went there,
and at last they went into the room that I have been desci-ibing ; and
there they saw him in the midst of the doctors, answering questions
and putting questions, and showing that his wisdom was more than
man's — that his wisdom was of God. And when his mother asks him
to come along with her, he does not resist ; he does not say — I am the
mighty Jesus ; mother, go home, and leave me here, for I must remain
about my Father's work. No, but he instantly submits himself with
great affection ; he says — I had some work to do with these learned
and aged men, but now it is done, and I will go home. And so Christ
left the temple, and went home to Nazareth.

IV. Now, in the fourth place, come and see Jesus at Nazareth.

Should you like to know where Nazareth is ? It is seventy miles
north of Jerusalem — about as far as Northampton is north of London.
Nazareth is built (for it still remains,) upon the top of a hill ; and there is
a valley all around it, and then hills rise again, so that it is on a hill that
stands in the middle of a hollow — as if it rose in the middle of a great
cup. And this city was in Galilee ; that was the name of the province,
or as we should call it, the county or shire ; and it was not far from a
beautiful lake of water, perhaps twenty times wider than the Serpen-
tine river in Hyde Park. There the river Jordan empties itself; and
from Nazareth you could see the beautiful lake, with the fishermen's
boats upon it — a most beautiful sight — and there our Savior walked
upon the waves.

We know very little indeed of what Chi-ist did at Nazareth ; but
there he remained till he was thirty years of age, and he worked


with his father, in his occupation of a carpenter. Oh ! children, be
astonished at this amazing thing : the great God, the Architect of the
universe, who made the heavens and the earth, dwelling in the humanity
of Jesus, and working at a carpenter's bench for years ! I cannot
utter it, without feeling my mind filled with wonder. I dare say, some
of you have fathers that are carpenters ; will you remind them to-night
that Joseph, the protecting father of Christ, was a humble carpenter,
a hard-working man, and Jesus worked at his father's bench, making
pieces of furniture for houses — he who by the arm of his omnipotence
made the sun and moon and stars.

But there is one thing more that I must show you in Nazareth.
After our blessed Lord had entered upon his public ministry, he
thought he would pay a visit to Nazareth again. He did not expect
they would receive him kindly ; if I went to my native village, which
is in Perthshire, in Scotland, I should expect they would receive me
kindly, but the Lord Jesus knew that he should not be welcome at
Nazareth, and that the inhabitants would ill use him. He went into
their synagogues ; and preached the gospel to them ; and they were
so filled with rage, that they gnashed their teeth at him, and not
satisfied with unkind and abusive words, coarse and rude language,
they laid hold of him, and said — Now we will put him to death ; we
will hurl him over the steep precipice by the side of our city. And
away they carried him by main force, and rushed like a torrent till
they got him to the top of the hill, perhaps fifty feet perpendicular.
But just when they were going to throw him over, he escaped out of
their hands ; they could not tell what had become of him in the confu-
sion, and they looked at one and another with amazement, because they
had not succeeded in murdering the blessed Jesus of Nazareth. Oh !
my young friends, may you feel very differently. I think I can read
the minds of some of the little children present, and they are saying —
If the Lord Jesus Christ came to London in his humanity, I would
run to see him, and fall down at his feet, yea, and clasp his feet in my
arms and kiss them like Mary ; oh ! how I should like to see the
blessed Jesus ! My beloved young friends, you will never so see him
upon earth ; but if you are holy cliildren, you will see him in his
humanity in heaven. These very eyes, that are now rolling in their
sockets, and sparkling with lustre, shall see Jesus ; and you may say
with holy Job — " Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall
behold, and not another."


V. But now, my young friends, come and see Jesus on the cross.
This is a dreadful sight ; but you and I must tarry a little at the cross
before we part.

This cross was fixed on Calvary, a little way out of the city ; and it
consisted of a large piece of timber, several feet longer than a tall
man, with a piece of wood across it, to which the hands were nailed.
Your Savior was nailed to the cross ; and when it made the blood gush
out, instead of complaining of the soldiers for being so cruel as to nail
him there, he uttered this prayer — " Father, forgive them, for they
know not what they do."

Do you see those three women standing near the cross ? I will tell you
their names. The name of the first is Mary ; and the name of the
second is Mary ; and the name of the third is Mary. All their names
were Mary ; and that word signifies bitterness. There was Mary, the
mother of Christ ; there was Mary, the wife of Cleopas ; and there
was Mary Magdalen. And there was a young man standing beside
Mary the mother of Christ ; and his name was John ; and sobbing
bitterly, because of the agonies of Jesus her son. And at three
o'clock in the afternoon, a wonderful event took place ; your Lord was
nailed on the cross at nine o'clock in the forenoon, and at three o'clock
in the afternoon (called, in Jewish calculation, the ninth hour,) when
Jesus gave up the ghost, the whole sky became dark. What would
be your surprise now, if all on a sudden this afternoon the sky were to
become black, and the darkness so great, that you could not so much
as see one another, sitting in your pews. Oh ! I think I hear the
children screaming, and exclaiming, Surely the end of the world is
come. So great was the darkness, that the boldest men among the
Jews fell upon the ground in terror. And the very earth shook ; and
the graves were torn open ; and the veil of the temple was rent in two.

But yet there is a sweet voice from the cross ; and it is addressed to
every little child. And the voice is this :

" Come, and welcome ; siimer come."

" From the cross, uplifted high,
Where the Savior deigns to die,
What melodious sounds I hear,
Bursting on my ravish'd ear !
' Love's redeeming work is done ;
Come, and welcome; sinner, come.'"

"VI. Next, my young friends, come and see Jesus in his grave.

There was a funeral procession that evening ; and it was the funeral
of Christ. There are many that keep a certain day, called Good


Friday, to commemorate it ; that was last Friday. There was no
.hearse with six beautiful black horses, and no undertakers by the side
with their black rods tipped with brass, and there was no coffin. There
was Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, and some of their servants
or attendants, and some pious women ; and they washed his body, and
applied precious ointment to it ; and they wrapped it gently and aflfec-
tionately in a beautiful web of linen, that Joseph had purchased at one
of the shops in Jerusalem ; and they took another piece of linen, and
wrapped it round his precious face ; and then they carried his body to
a beautiful garden belonging to Joseph, where there was a grave, that
Joseph had prepared for himself, dug out of a rock. It was a beautiful
place, probably more beautiful than the Cemetery at Highgate, which
I greatly admire ; it was adorned with citron trees and orange trees ;
and a large stone was rolled to the mouth of the grave, and some of
the friends of Jesus watched the tomb. Oh ! children, look at those
lips which proclaimed the gospel, now silent in death ; those hands
which performed miracles, now motionless ; those eyes which beamed
with such love and compassion, now silent in darkness ; that side, with
an open wound, injflicted by the cruel spear.

But I have another sight to show you, — and it is lovely and
glorious ; come and see Jesus rising out of the grave. Who is that
flying through the skies, brighter than the morning star ? It is an
angel. Watch his course. He comes down with his golden wings,
and he lights at the door of the grave, and in one moment he rolls the
great stone from the mouth of the sepulchre, though it is so heavy that
it would require a great many men to lift it. And then the blessed
Jesus rises. I think I see him coming out of the grave ; oh ! what a
lovely, placid, glorious countenance! Then is fulfilled that wonderful
prediction — " death, I will be thy plagues ; grave, I will be thy
destruction." And now join with me, my dear little children, in the
following lines —

" Our Lord is risen from the dead,
Our Jesus is gone up on high ;
The powers of hell are captive led,
Dragg'd to the portals of the sky."

VII. Now, lastly, come and see Christ in Heaven.

Children, if you have the eye of faith, (and some of you have,)
look at him. See him on his throne — a throne higher than the highest
of heaven's thrones ; see him in robes, brighter than the sun ; see
him with his crown, crowned with many crowns of glory. See him
with his attendants, millions of angels, myriads of saints, falling
prostrate in his presence. Oh ! what a sight ! Should you like to see


Christ in heaven ? If you have any desire to see him in that glorious
place, you must receive him ; by the Holy Spirit you must give your-
selves up to him, you must love him with all your hearts. Then you
will be able truly to join in those beautiful words, that you have often
sung —

" Oh ! how happy we shall be,
For our Savior we shall see,
Exalted on his throne :

Oh ! that will be joyful,

When we meet to part no more."

And now, my beloved children, before we part, I have a gift to
present to you in the name of Jesus. I have not a purse of gold, to
give to each of these dear little boys ; I have not a beautiful necklace,
to give to each of these dear little girls. I once saw a necklace,
consisting of brilliant diamonds, and valued at £70,000 ; I have no
necklace to give you, nor bracelets for your arms, nor any earthly
honors, or riches, or title deeds of estates, nor any cup of carnal
pleasure. But in the name of Jesus, I have something to present this
afternoon, more valuable than the heavens themselves. It is a " Pearl
of great price ; " it is an " unspeakable gift ; " it is a Savior — Christ
the Lord.

Little boy, Christ says, Receive me ; Little girl, Christ says,
Receive me. Christ says — My son, receive me; My daughter,
receive me ; Teachers, receive me ; Ministers, receive me ;
Visitors and hearers, receive me; Parents of these children,
receive me. Receive me as your Savior; I gave myself to death for
you, and I now give myself to you as your Savior from sin and from

Oh! my beloved young friends, answer — (may God the Spirit
enable you! Holy Spirit, give them thy grace!) — Jesus, lovely,
Jesus, mighty Jesus, merciful Jesus, glorious Jesus, we now receive
thee ; thou art ours, ours wholly, ours only, ours for ever.



man's happiness dependant on his coming to CHRIST.


" Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." — John v. 40.

You have read, I have no doubt, the memoirs of many wise and good
men, and I will venture to say that while reading them you never had
suggested to your mind any conception that they were anything more
than wise and good men, wise and good men compassed with infirmities,
who, with all their excellencies, had corresponding defects. Now if Jesus
Christ had been only a man, as some say he was, we ought to be able to
go through his memoirs without receiving even the slightest impression,
from anything that is said of him or by him, that he was anything more
than a wise and good man, who, with all his excellencies, to be human
should have had some corresponding defects. But this is not the case ;
and I feel myself under no moral obligation, much as I respect the
claims of justice, to beHeve any man who can tell me that he has gone
through the history of the Savior's life with attention, and never had
an impression that he was anything more than a mere man. But how
is this ? There is either some grand error in the writer, or the Son
of God occupies a rank higher than a mere son of man. Indeed, my
brethren, without dwelling on particular words, is it possible that such
language as that which I have now read, could have fallen from the
lips of a mere man ? Eternal life dependant on an application to him !
— an implied condemnation of eternal woe against every man who does
not come to Jesus Christ for everlasting life ! Did ever man speak like

In illustrating, my brethren, the words of my text, allow me to notice
two things : first, that the final happiness of man is made dependant on
his coming to Jesus Christ ; and, secondly, strange as it may appear,
men will not come to him that they might have eternal life.

I. I remark, then, in the first place, that the final salvation of


Jesus Christ is unquestionably a unique being, diverse from all
others, possessing the essential attributes of humanity without the least
tinge of imperfection, and the essential attributes of divinity without


any abstraction from their greatness or glory. He is, my brethren, a
being who exists in a condition unlike that of any other being, not a
condition either of simple humanity or of simple divinity, but one that
combines the attributes of the divine and lumian nature in his own
person. He is thus constituted a Savior able and wiUing to " save to
the uttermost all that come unto God by him." Hence eternal life is
made dependant upon a personal application or coming to him. Now
this expression " come " is synonymous with believing in him, trusting
in him, depending upon him. To sustain the character of a Savior it
was necessary that he should suffer, the just for the unjust ; it was
necessary that he should give his life a ransom for men, it was neces-.
sary that his blood should be able to cleanse from all accumulated guilt,
and that he should be invested with power to remit the guilt of sins,
and to confer the gift of eternal life. To obtain these benefits the
sinner is required to come to Christ. It is not a corporeal act ; it la
not, my brethren, a mere bo\ying at the name of Jesus whenever that
name is uttered ; it is not a mere speculative assent to the truth of
what is stated respecting him ; but it is a personal application in the
exercise of an enlightened faith, trusting to him to fulfil the promise
on which faith is founded for the hope of acceptance and eternal life.
And you will allow me ere I proceed, to ask you a few plain questions
in reference to this coming to Christ. My hearers, ha^^ you ever felt
the guilt of your own sins pressing heavily upon your conscience ?
Have you ever perceived that awful abyss of danger to which they
have- so justly and inevitably exposed you? Have you ever been
brought to feel deep and ingenuous contrition of soul for having sinned
against your own conscience, sinned against your own social and spir-
itual interest ? Have you ever adopted the piercing language which
once fell from the lips of those who were in conscious danger, " Lord
save or I perish?" Have you ever felt every other foundation of
acceptance moving from beneath your hold, and been convinced that
there is no salvation save through faith in the name and mediation of
Christ ? These are preparatory convictions, and preparatory convic-
tions qualifying a sinner to come to Christ to be saved. Can you adopt
the language, with which I have no doubt you are familiar,

" Other refuge have I none,
Hangs ray helpless soul on thee."

Do you trust in Christ ?

Now the incidents which are recorded in the history of our Lord's
life, are recorded for some other purpose, than that merely of instruct-
ing us in what he did and how he acted. The incidents to which I am


about to refer embodj great principles, and teach us on -what principles
lie now conducts his mediatorial power and the administration of mercy
and of grace to men. Hence, when a sinner came that was blind ;
when a leper came that wanted to be cleansed ; when an application
was made to Jesus Christ for any cure on behalf of the suppliant, or
on behalf of another for whom that suppliant pleaded, Jesus Christ
required, as a qualification for the reception of the blessing, an
acknoAvledgment that he was able to confer it. And though, ray
brethren, some have taken an objection against this requisition on the
part of the Son of God, when in the human form, allow me to say it

Online LibraryG. B. F. (Gerard Benjamin Fleet) HallockThe English pulpit : collection of sermons → online text (page 34 of 45)