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Are you now living in holiness through faith in Him
who loved you, and died for you ? And, after all,
do you expect eternal life in heaven, not as the re-
ward of your services, but as the gift of God through
Christ crucified ?

Again :

2. The Apostles founded all NECESSARY DUTIES on
Christ crucified.

When they teach men to pray to God, they preach
Christ crucified. " Christ has entered heaven with his
own blood, to appear in the presence of God for us ;
having, therefore, liberty to enter into the holiest by
'' the blood of Jesus, let us come boldly to the
throne of grace." When they teach men to search
the Scriptures, they preach Christ crucified. " The
angels desire to look into the Scriptures, which fore-
tel the sufferings of Christ ;" how, then, can men
neglect to search the Scriptures? (1 Pet. i. 11,
12.) When they teach humbleness of mind, and
patience in suffering, they preach Christ crucified.



234 THE MATTER AND THE MANNER

" Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus,
who, being equal with God, yet being in the like-
ness of man, humbled Himself, and became obedient
unto death, even the death of the cross." " If we
suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with Christ."
" Run, then, with patience, the race set before you,
looking unto Jesus, who for the joy set before Him
endured the cross, and despised the shame." When
they teach husbands to love their wives, and children
to obey their parents, they preach Christ crucified.
" Husbands, love your wives ; as Christ loved the
church, and gave Himself for it." (Eph. v. 25.)
" Children, obey your parents in the Lord ;" for
though Christ were a Son, yet was He obedient to
His Father, even unto death. When they teach
Christians to love as brethren, and to do good one to
another, they preach Christ crucified. " Walk in
love as Christ also has loved us, and given Himself a
sacrifice for us." " And because He laid down His
life for us, we ought to lay down our lives for the
brethren." (1 John iii. 16.) When they teach the
motive of Christian obedience, and the practice of all
good works, they preach Christ crucified. " The love
of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge that
if one died for all, then were all dead ; and He died
for us, that we should live to Him." (2 Cor. v. 14,
15.) For, " we are bought with a price, with the
blood of Christ ; let us, therefore, glorify God in our
bodies and in our souls, which are God's." When they
teach, in fine, the nature and the glory of the Chris-
tians life, they preach Christ crucified. " God for-



OF THE APOSTLES' PREACHING. 235

bid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto
me, and I unto the world." " For, I am crucified
with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ
liveth in me ; and the life, which I now live in the
flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who
loved me, and gave Himself for me." (Gal. ii. 20.)

Thus, my brethren, in prayer to God, in the search-
ing of the Scriptures, in humbleness of mind, in pa-
tience of suffering, in love of the brethren, in the
performance of all good works, man of himself can
do nothing, but Christ crucified is the motive and
the end, the all in all. For the Spirit of prayer, the
understanding of the Scriptures, the humility of the
heart, the patience of suffering, the love of the bre-
thren, the power and the grace to do good works,
are all derived from Christ crucified.

Christ crucified, my brethren, has been preached
to you ; and, may we ask, Do you pray to God
through Him, who once was crucified, but is now
our Advocate with the Father ? Do you, like the
angels, study the Scriptures, because they testify of
Christ crucified ? Has the cross of Christ clothed
your soul with humility, and given it patience in
suffering ? Do you love, and do good to the bre-
thren, because Christ loved you, and laid down His
life for you ? Does the love of Christ crucified con-
strain you to obedience ? Bought, as you are, with
a price, with the precious blood of Christ, do you
by a holy life glorify God ? Are you crucified with
Christ to self, to sin, and to the world ? Are you



236 THE MATTER AND THE MANNER

alive to God, because Christ liveth in you ? Do you
glory only, and do you glory always, in the cross of
our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is cruci-
fied to you, and you to the world ?
To conclude :

1. The manifold wisdom and boundless love of God
will be eternally unrolling to the principalities and
powers in heavenly places, through the salvation of the

Church by Christ crucified.

For the redemption of sinners by the blood of
Jesus fills heaven with wonder, and will be an ever-
lasting song to saints and angels. Mankind are in a
sinful and perishing state ; and sin can be pardoned,
the soul be justified, the heart be renewed, the life
be sanctified, the sinner be saved, only by faith in
Christ crucified : no preaching, therefore, but the
preaching of Christ crucified is suitable to the state
of mankind. Besides, no preaching will be profit-
able to the souls of men, without the blessing of God ;
and God will bless no preaching but the preaching
of Christ crucified. The apostles, therefore, divinely
determined to know nothing, and to preach nothing,
save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. " We preach
Christ crucified."

2. Christ, who is the King of glory, was crucified
for the sins of the world.

Angels, who excel in might and mind, desire with
eagerness to look into the sorrows of our crucified
Lord. Apostles, who were filled with the Holy
Ghost, determined to preach nothing but Christ
crucified. Christ crucified, my brethren, has been



OF THE APOSTLES' PREACHING. 237

preached to you ! and, may I ask, " Are any of you
neglecting Christ crucified ? Can you despise what
angels adore ? Can you neglect what Apostles
preach ? Can you reject what alone can save ?
When you see Christ suffering death on the cross,
for our sins, and made a perfect Saviour through
His sufferings on the cross, how can you escape if
you neglect His great salvation ? While you live
in sin and neglect His salvation, you cannot escape
eternal destruction ! But, still to you, who have
hitherto neglected His salvation, the crucified Sa-
viour cries, " Look unto Me, and be saved !"

3. And ye penitents ; ye inquirers after salvation ;
" Look ye to Christ crucified / '

He was crucified " to save sinners ; and He can
save to the uttermost !" You cannot doubt His
power, for He is " God our Saviour." You cannot
question His willingness, for He died to save. In
Him is everything which your souls can need ; and
whatever your souls need, He is willing to bestow.
You feel yourselves to be corrupt, and sinful, and
helpless, and perishing ; you want pardon, and
peace, and holiness, and salvation ; look, then, to
the blood, and righteousness, and Spirit, and merits,
of Christ crucified, and you shall be pardoned, and
justified, and sanctified, and saved !
Finally :

4. Believers in the Lord Jesus! Christ crucified
is more precious to your souls than the treasures and
glories of all worlds.

Through time, and through eternity, it will be



238 OF THE APOSTLES' PREACHING.

your duty and your delight to look to Christ cruci-
fied ! Through life, then, look to Christ crucified ;
and through life, Christ crucified will be your
strength and your peace ! At death, look to Christ
crucified ; and at death, Christ crucified will be your
support and consolation ! At judgment, look to
Christ crucified ; and at judgment, Christ crucified
will be your advocate and friend ! In heaven,
look to Christ crucified ; and in heaven, Christ cru-
cified will be your joy and your glory throughout
eternity !



239



SERMON XVII.
THE MERCY OF GOD TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE.

2 COR. i. 21, 22.

Now He, who stablisheth us with you in Christ,
and hath anointed us, is God ; who also hath
sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in
our hearts.

THE doctrine of a Trinity in Unity is a doctrine
of the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Scriptures clearly
teach that in One Eternal Godhead are Three Divine
Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. These
Three Divine Persons are distinct in name and in
office, but are united in nature, in counsel, and in
work. The great work of the Eternal Trinity is
the salvation of mankind by Jesus Christ. God, and
Christ, and the Spirit are, in the text, distinctly
named, as contributing to our salvation. " Christ"
is named as the only foundation for eternal life ;
' God" is named as the builder of His people on
the only foundation ; and " the Spirit" is named as
the sanctifier and sealer of believers " unto the day



240



THE MERCY OF GOD



of redemption." " Now He, who stablisheth us witli
you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God ; who
also hath sealed us, and given the earnest of the
Spirit in our hearts."

From these words we may contemplate the mercy
of God as manifested towards His people.

The mercy of God, we observe first, is manifested,

I. IN BUILDING THEM ON CHRIST.

" He, who stablisheth us in Christ, is God." " For
all the promises of God in Christ are yea ; and in
Christ amen, to the glory of God by us." We are
by nature in a fallen state, corrupt, sinful, helpless,
perishing. We have lost all fitness for the happiness
of heaven, and are exposed to all the misery of hell.
But Jesus Christ, by His sufferings in our nature,
and in our place, has not only made atonement for
our sins, but purchased heaven for our souls. He
has made satisfaction to the justice of God for our
transgressions, and obtained for our souls a title to
eternal life. Jesus Christ, therefore, is the only
foundation, on which our souls can be built for life
eternal; " for other foundation can no man lay, than
that is laid, even Jesus Christ." " But it is God
alone," who can stablish us in Christ ;" it is God
alone, who can take us out of the quarry of cor-
ruption, and build us on Him. It is God alone,
who after He has built us on Christ, can make us,
" as lively stones, grow into a holy temple in the
Lord." It is God alone, who by His Spirit makes
us feel the guilt and helplessness of our perishing



TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE. 241

state, and then shews us the fitness and sufficiency
of the Almighty Saviour. It is God alone, who by
His Spirit plants living faith in our penitent hearts,
and communicates spiritual life to our believing
souls. Being thus established by God in the faith
of Christ, our sins are pardoned, and our souls are
justified ; our meetness for eternal happiness is se-
cured, and our title to eternal glory is won.

Again :

The mercy of God towards His people is mani-
fested,

II. IN ANOINTING THEM WITH THE HOLY GHOST.

" He, who anoints us with His Spirit, is God."
The prophets, priests, and kings of the Jews were
anointed with holy oil to their high offices. This
anointing with holy oil was a figure of the anointing
of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit. For
" God hath anointed Him with the Holy Ghost, and
with power ;" and hath thus " anointed Him to
preach the Gospel to the poor." (Acts x. 28.) And
as God anointed His Son to His high office, so does
He anoint His people ; He anoints them with His
Spirit to enlighten their minds, to renew their hearts,
and to sanctify their lives.

1. The anointing of the Spirit enlightens their
minds.

The eyes of their minds being naturally blinded,
they were ignorant of spiritual things, and sat in
the shadow of death. But " God, who commanded
the light to shine out of darkness, has shone into

VOL. II. R



242 THE MERCY OF GOD

their minds, and given them the light of the know-
ledge of the glory of God in the person of Jesus
Christ." The day spring from on high has visited
their minds, and guided their feet into the way of
peace. They have an unction from the Holy One,
and know all things ; for this anointing, which they
have of God, abides with them, and guides them
into all truth. (1 John ii. 20.) The Saviour now
appears altogether lovely, and His salvation alto-
gether desirable.

2. The anointing of the Spirit renews their hearts.

Their conscience is naturally defiled and un-
feeling ; their imagination polluted and perverted ;
their affections earthly and sensual ; their wills per-
verse and unsubdued. But God, by the anointing
of His Spirit, purifies and softens the conscience ;
hallows and directs the imagination ; spiritualizes
and exalts the affections ; subdues and controls the
will. He takes away the heart of stone, and gives
a heart of flesh. He overcomes the natural enmity
of the human mind, and implants in it a spiritual
love of the Holy God. In fine ; He makes them
" new creatures in Christ Jesus; old things pass
away; all things become new."

3. The anointing of the Spirit reforms their lives.
They once lived in sin and without God in the

world ; they once served divers fleshly lusts, and
pursued various sinful pleasures ; they once were
careless of their souls, and unmindful of eternity.
But God, by the anointing of the Spirit, sanctified
them in body and soul ; arid they denied ungodli-



TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE. 243

ness and worldly lusts, and began to live soberly,
righteously, and godly in this evil world. " They
ceased to do evil ; they learnt to do well ;" and " by
patient continuance in well-doing, they seek for
honour, glory, and immortality." They consecrate
all their heart and life all their time and talents, to
the service of the Lord. They would ever live in
the spirit of prayer and charity ; and would ever de-
light in acts of holiness and devotion.

Further :

The mercy of God towards His people is mani-
fested,

III. IN SEALING THEM TO THE DAY OF REDEMP-
TION.

For " God also hath sealed us." " Grieve not
the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed to
the day of redemption." (Eph. iv. 30.) What is
the sealing of the Spirit ? In this mystic sealing,
the hand which holds the seal, is the Spirit of holi-
ness ; the seal itself is the word of God ; the sub-
ject sealed is the heart of man ; the impression made
on the heart by this sealing, is the image of Christ ;
and the object attained by it, is an assurance of
eternal salvation in heaven. As in earthly sealing
the wax is melted before the impression can be
made, so in this spiritual sealing, the heart must
be melted, before it can be impressed. And the
Holy Spirit melts the heart into godly penitence,
impresses on it the divine Word, leaves in it the
divine image ; and this image is visible in the cha-

R2



244



THE MERCY OF GOD



racter and legible in the life ; it is " known and
read of all men."
This sealing is,

1. A mark of appropriation.

" Him hath God the Father sealed ;" that is,
" God, the Father, hath marked Jesus Christ for
His own Son, and designated Him for His high
office." Sealing among men is an act of appro-
priation, ascertaining a right to some property or
conveying a title to some inheritance. Sealing is
by an act to declare, " This property is mine ;" or,
" this inheritance shall be yours." When God,
therefore, seals believers by His Spirit, He claims
them for His own people, and assures them of their
eternal inheritance.

For,

This sealing is.

2. A ground of assurance.

If we have the word of an honest man, we be-
lieve him ; if we have his signature and his seal,
our belief grows into assurance ; what assurance of
heaven, then, do believers obtain, to whom God,
who cannot lie, not only gives the promise of His
word, but the signing of His hand and the sealing
of His Spirit? For, in this sealing, "the Spirit bears
witness with their spirits, that they are the children
of God," and the heirs of His kingdom.

Finally :

The mercy of God towards His people is mani-
fested,






TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE. 245

IV. IN GIVING THEM THE EARNEST OF THE SPIRIT.

" God hath given us the earnest of the Spirit in
our hearts." When the Spirit seals believers, He
becomes to them emphatically a Spirit of holiness
and consolation, sanctifying their souls, and com-
forting their hearts. " After ye believed, ye were
sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the
earnest of your inheritance until the redemption of
the purchased possession to the praise of His glory.''
(Eph. i. 13, 14.) In sealing the souls of believers,
the Holy Spirit gives them the earnest of the day of
redemption by sanctifying them for its perfect holi-
ness, and by causing them to thirst for its perfect
pleasures. The earnest of the Spirit in our hearts,
is a proof of divine affection, and a foretaste of
eternal bliss.

1. It is a proof of divine affection.

It is not only intellectual, but cordial ; not only
wisdom and knowledge in the head, but grace and
love in the heart. It is the love of God shed abroad
in the heart by the Holy Ghost : it is the spirit of
adoption, the spirit of the sons of God, whereby they
cry, " Abba, Father !" The earnest of the Spirit is
the gift of God, which He bestows on His people
according to the good pleasure of His will. For
" He, who has wrought us for the self-same thing is
God, who also hath given us the earnest of the
Spirit." " Behold ! what manner of love is this,
wherewith the Father hath loved us, not only that
we should be called the sons of God ;" but have a
sense of His paternal love sealed on our hearts by



246 THE MERCY OF GOD

the Holy Spirit ! " He hath given the earnest of
the Spirit in our hearts."

Again :

'2. It is a foretaste of eternal bliss.

The first fruits are a pledge of the harvest ; the
beginnings of grace are a foretaste of glory ; for, an
earnest is a part of payment; or a pledge for the pay-
ment of the whole. The knowledge, and holiness,
and joy, which believers have obtained from the
Holy Spirit is a pledge that they shall hereafter
obtain perfect knowledge, and holiness, and joy.
The earnest of the Spirit is a pledge and foretaste of
their eternal inheritance in heaven. It is heaven
brought to the soul ; it is heaven below, leading to
heaven above. And, " Now," will every child of
God say, " Now thanks be unto God, who hath esta-
blished us in His Son, and anointed us with His
Spirit ; who hath also sealed us to the day of re-
demption, and given the earnest of heaven in our
hearts !"

1. Who, then, my brethren, is the true Christian?

Who is the true follower of Jesus Christ ? The
true Christian is described in our text.

To be taken as a dead stone out of the quarry of
human corruption ; to be hewn, shapen, and polished,
and then built, as a lively stone, in its right place, on
the only foundation, Jesus Christ : to be " anointed
and sealed " by the Holy Ghost ; to be changed in
nature, and renewed in mind ; to be transformed
into the divine likeness, and made partakers of the
everlasting covenant ; to have the earnest of the



TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE. '247

Spirit, and the earnest of heaven, in the heart; to
prove this earnest of the Spirit, to manifest this
earnest of heaven, by a heavenly temper, and a
godly life. This is to be a true Christian : this is
to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. Where, then,
are true Christians to be found ? Are you, my bre-
thren, such Christians ?

2. Has God, then, allow me to inquire, taken you
out of the quarry of corruption, and built you on
Christ?

Has He anointed you and sealed you with His
Holy Spirit ? Has He enlightened and sanctified
your mind ? Has He softened and renewed your
heart ? Has He transformed you into the divine
likeness, and made you partakers of the everlasting
covenant ? Has He given you the earnest of the
Spirit in your heart, not only as an assurance of
faith and a witness of adoption, but as an evidence
of divine love, and as a pledge and foretaste of hea-
venly happiness ? Has He enabled you by His
grace to prove this earnest of the Spirit in your
heart, by a heavenly temper and a godly life ? For,
we repeat, that religion is not merely scriptural
truth and knowledge in the head ; but divine life
and grace in the heart ; and where divine life and
grace are in the heart, the affections will be in hea-
ven, and the conduct will be in holiness ! Do you,
then, live in universal holiness, and place your affec-
tions on things above ? Do you delight in the wor-
ship of God, and in doing good to men ? Then,
happy are you, my brethren ; for God has built you



248 THE MERCY OF GOD

on Christ, given you the earnest of the Spirit, and
sealed you to the day of redemption. But, unhappy
are you, who are ignorant of these things ; for you
have neither meetness for heaven, nor hope of glory.
You are not built on Christ ; you are not sanctified
by the Spirit ; you have not the earnest of heaven
in your heart; you are not sealed to the day of
redemption. You live in sin ; you love the world ;
you mingle with the ungodly ; you neglect the sup-
per of the Lord. You are not ready for death ; nor
prepared for judgment ! But, you may die any
moment. And if you die in your present state, you
will perish for ever. But, why you will die ? O that
ye would cease to do evil, and learn to do well ! O
that ye would come out of the world, and return to
God by Christ Jesus ! O that ye would begin to
search the Scriptures, and to pray for the Spirit
to understand them ! " let the wicked forsake
his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts ; let
him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon
him ; and to our God, for He will abundantly
pardon !"

3. But, finally, ye children of God, rejoice in
Christ your Saviour !

Though no better than others, God, of His sove-
reign mercy, took you out of the quarry of human
corruption, where all mankind lay dead in sin,
formed you into living stones for His spiritual tem-
ple, and built you on Christ the only foundation !
He anointed you with His Spirit, enlightening your
mind, renewing your heart, sanctifying your life :



TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE. 249

He sealed you with His Spirit, marking you for His
own people, and assuring you of His great salvation :
He gave the earnest of the Spirit in your heart, as a
proof of His unfailing love, and as a pledge of His
eternal favour ! Consider, my beloved brethren,
how great things God has already done for you ; and
consider what greater things He will do for you
hereafter. He, who has anointed you with his Spirit
on earth, will crown you with life in heaven. He,
who has already given you the earnest of grace, will
hereafter give you the fulness of glory. Be, then,
thankful, holy, zealous. " Look well to yourselves
that ye lose not what ye have gained ; but strive to
receive a full reward." " Hold fast that which ye
have, that no man take your crown !"



250



SERMON XVIII.

THE EPISTLES OF CHRIST.

2 COR. iii. 2, 3.

Ye are our Epistle, written m our hearts, known and
read of all men. Forasmuch as ye are manifestly
declared to be the Epistle of Christ ministered by
us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the
living God, not on tables of stone, but in fleshly
tables of the heart.

ST. PAUL has just been speaking of his sincerity
and success in preaching the Gospel. " Thanks be
unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in
Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His know-
ledge by us in every place." " For we are not as
many, who corrupt the word of God, but as of since-
rity; but as of God, in the sight of God, speak we of
Christ." This language might seem to some persons
like boasting ; St. Paul, therefore, corrects himself,
and inquires, " Do we begin to commend our-
selves, or need we, as some others, epistles of com-
mendation to you, or epistles of commendation
from you ?" No. We have already all the epistles



THE EPISTLES OF CHRIST. 251

which we desire or need. For " ye are our epistle,
written in our hearts, known and read of all men.
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the
epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with
ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not in
tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart."

The apostle here speaks of a Letter, or Epistle,
" Our Epistle ;" and " the Epistle of Christ:'

Let us. first, investigate the meaning ; and, 2ndly,
examine the writing of this Epistle.

I. THE MEANING OF THIS EPISTLE.

" Ye are our Epistle, written in our hearts, known
and read of all men, manifestly declared to be the
Epistle of Christ."

Let us investigate,

1. Its nature.

11 Ye are our Epistle ;" ye are our letter of re-
commendation. The apostle here alludes to some-
thing which was well known at Corinth, but was only
implied in our text; to something which had the na-


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