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even these few instances are enough but superficial, the working of the nato show us, how severe the opposi. tural mind. Is there any one here tion is from without, and from within, that would find a sure road to heaven, which the servant of Christ must ex- and if possible avoid the difficulties pect to meet in winning the arduous which a honest and consistent profesway to heaven ; but we have seen, too, sion of Christ must entail on him ? the principle on which all that oppo. That is another symptom scarcely less sition may be surmounted, and that is fatal, that as yet, you have known noa lively faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. thing of your Saviour. Faith working
In applying, as doubtless we all by love will make you meet those difmust, if we would profit by such con- ficulties which God, in his all-wise siderations, the subject to our own providence, has allotted to try us all. case, my Christian friends, let us not | It is a part of that which is essential think it is our lot to float down with a to our well-being; and the temper in current of favourable circumstances to which we should survey our prospects the haven of eternal rest. Do not let us is this, that God our Father in heaven, think that it will be ours to go down infinitely wise and powerful as he is, the course of life as though we had no- who could sweep away with one omnithing to do but to gaze on the glowing potent volition all the difficulties which beauties of the heaven above, or heed- we have to meet, has determined for lessly to inhale the fragrance of the our good, and not through his own flowers that grow on the margin around weakness, that these difficulties must
No, the current is not with us be met. They should be met, then, but against us; and if we would win cheerfully; we should gird up the our way to heaven, it must be by stre- loins of our mind to meet them, and feel nuous and by prolonged exertions. Let that they are a part of our appointed us make up our mind to meet the op- lot. We should meet them cheerfully, position, which assuredly we must because we know the sources from suffer, if we would successfully prose- whence we may
derive sufficient cute our journey to a better world. strength to become more than con
All the opposition I have described querors over them all. we must meet, perhaps, more than all Where, then, does the Christian's will fall to the share of some of those strength lie? It lies in this alone-in believers whom I address ; but if I believing experimental views of the address any one who has discovered at Lord Jesus Christ. If we obtain those length the glory of the Lord Jesus views of our blessed Saviour, which Christ, and is now able to glory in are offered to us all, we may obtain a him as a Saviour that exactly suits his principle and power to resist all the wants, I beseech my Christian bro- difficulties in our way; but this is abther to prepare his mind for all those solutely essential. To know Christ, difficulties in his road to heaven that then, is the great lesson of our lives, he must assuredly meet. Oh, let him to know him more and more is the not so flatter himself that these dif- single and grand lesson which every ficulties may take him unawares, and soul among us must desire on our way he shrink from them when they come. to heaven. For this, and this alone, Is there any one here who, because St. Paul counted all things but loss there are such difficulties in his way, that he might be accounted of Him. is disposed to turn back again? That This, and this alone, was that which were a sad symptom that every reli- seemed to him to sum up all other gious feeling you ever had was nothing blessings in himself. What was so
inexpressibly precious to St. Paul, and Oh! my brethren, is there any obis most precious to each believer in ject, I beseech you to consider, that exact proportion to his experience of you can attain by any exertions, that it, must be set before us all, as the can so reward your pains as to make it grand thing we have to aim at in our worth your while to lose this increase desires, our exertions, and our prayers. in the knowledge of Jesus Christ? Can To know the glory of Christ, the ma- you so deliberately propose to yourself jesty of Christ, the power of Christ, a course of life in which you shall not the faithfulness and truth of Christ- know more and more of the love to know his holiness—to know more which passeth knowledge? Was it for and more of his tender compassion to this our blessed Redeemer died? Was it sinners—to observe his wise and mer- for this he rose again to glory? Is it for ciful dealings with his people—to this he exerts his power and his omsurvey the promises he has given, and nipotence daily to do you good ? Does the means by which he accomplishes he watch you, and bless all your exerthem-to know how he loves us—to tions ? Has he placed you in a state experience, in our own hearts, the height of happiness, surrounded you with and depta, and length and breadth of mercies, given you the children that that love which passeth knowledge you love, the wife that you cherish, this is the business of each one who the husband that you value? Has would call himself a Christian—this is he given you your homes? Has he the grand spiritual discovery, after given you your health ? Has he given which each of us must aim. For this you your faculties? Does he conno exertions are too great, it will infi- tinue them all? Is he inexpressibly nitely more than repay every effort that glorious ? Is Christ really so good, we can make for it.
so true, so holy, so eternally to be And when I call you, my Christian adhered to, that you can choose to friends, most seriously to make that forget him, that you can choose to effort, are there objections arising in take the petty things of a day, and your minds which efface so rapidly engross your mind from the beginning every impression now formed on them? of the week to its close with these and does it come into your mind, I little things ? Never did Christ dehave my own necessary affairs to en- mand from you that which is incom. gross me, and from the beginning of patible with your soul's blessedness, but the week to its close I must labour he does ask that you should give him hard, and labour to exhaustion, that I some of your best thoughts and some may secure the great objects of life? of your best hours ; and that you feel Politics, philosophy, merchandise, re- with St. Paul, to have no other end searches of science, manual labour, in view but to know and love Christ. and whatever else may employ men in Oh, let not secondary thoughts octhe thousand modes in which human cupy you! I am sure, my brethren, beings are labouring in this world, there is not one so busy among you, these so engross and exhaust my powers not one so necessarily engrossed in that I have no time left for a serious difficult and most important affairs, endeavour to penetrate deeper and but that he may, if he will, find time to deeper into the mystery of redeeming solace his weary spirit, to refresh his love. Does a feeling of this sort dwell exhausted mind by this best and most in the mind of any one here who calls delightful knowledge. Oh, if you have himself a Christian, who is a believer tasted you cannot do without it-you indeed ?
cannot consent, whatever be the cir.
cumstances in which you are placed, shame can dwell in heavenly bosoms, to separate yourself from that which is if a redeemed spirit could shed a tear, the fairest and best object on which I am very sure, that shame will fill the mind can ever rest. Be not, my your minds, and that tears will be brethren, so ungrateful, be not so un- shed by you when you stand face to wise. I ask you not what your con- face with your injured Saviour. sciences say of such a wilful neglect- My brethren, Christ Jesus is so I ask you not how many painful re- good, he is so able to bless the soul, sults will take place in your Christian there is so much to know of him, and experience-I ask you not what your every half hour we give to meditaChristian friends around you think of tion on his life is so very fruitful in it-I ask you not what the world may blessing, brings such plentiful enjoysay of it. Perhaps conscience may ments with it, that I would regret be dull-perhaps you may not notice deeply that any real servants of the the disastrous consequences on your Lord should debar themselves from spiritual life-perhaps your Christian so many mercies. Study, study Christ friends may look most mercifully on -penetrate more deeply every day your neglect-perhaps the world may into the mystery of redeeming love plead your worldly assiduities and count that day lost, my friends, in success; but I may ask you, my which you do not learn something Christian brethren, what does our more of Christ-never let prayer sablessed Saviour think of it ? He knows tisfy you, unless you come into his what you do—he knows every thought sacred presence, and feel that he is that enters your mind, and registers with you. It will strengthen life, and every resolution you form; he has without it your Christian course will an entire right to you, and you will be melancholy; no intelligence can see him before long. With what secure you from darkness—no detercountenances will you meet your Sa- mination can secure you from waverviour when death shall bring you into ing—no strength of character can hinhis presence, if you have deliberately so der you from falling. Be watchful in arranged your habits, being real be- your Christian course, your only safety lievers in Christ, that you have lived and lies in living near to Christ-walk with died with very, very little knowledge of him every day-strengthen your faith the Son of God? While around you, in him perpetually, and with faith perhaps, are more happy because your love will grow, with love your more faithful disciples who were daily obedience will improve, and you will advancing in grace and knowledge— honour him while you live and enjoy who secured all the valuable ends of him more than others, and then you living as well as you—who outran you will meet him in peace, which may he in the race, only because they paid in his infinite mercy grant to many of attention to this important duty. If us for his own name's sake.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. W. CUNNINGHAM,
AT TRINITY CHURCH, CHELSEA, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CHELSEA LYING-IN CHARITY,
APRIL 10, 1831.
Hebrews, ii. 16.-" He took not on him the nature of angels ; but he took on him the
seed of Abraham."
GREAT HAVE BEEN THE LOVE AND COX
Different views of this text have of the nature of angels and of man,
He clothed himself, not with First place, the angels are spirits. They the qualities and properties of those are not encumbered with weak and high intelligences, who either still sur- weary bodies—they pass from one spot round the throne or are reserved in of the Universe to the other without any chains for the judgment of the Great effort-they are incapable of hunger Day; but he clothed himself in all the and disease-they are indifferent to all infirmities of our nature-made him- the variations of climate, and all the self of no reputation—took on him the successions of changing seasons—they form of a servant-was made in the appear to be endowed with immortal likeness of man—and being found in youth, strength, and beauty. And yet, fashion as a man, became obedient unto brethren, had the Son of God taken death, even the death of the cross. upon him their nature, how great had
Brethren, the facts of Christianity been hiscondescension-heis the maker supply what I may call its strongest of those very spirits—“ By Him were arguments and motives; and I am created all things both in heaven and about to apply the astonishing fact, earth, and without Him was not any thus proclaimed in the text, and which, thing made that is made.” These I may say, is the source of the be- spirits wait upon Him and do His liever's peace and joy, as an argument pleasure.
“ Thousand thousands,” and motive for the fulfilment of the says Daniel,
“ minister unto Him, particular duty to which I am to call and ten thousand times ten thousand your attention to-day. May a merciful do His pleasure.” That innumerable God bless the contemplation of this company fly at His bidding. He says subject to our souls !
“Go, and he goeth; and to My main object in the discourse another come, and he cometh”-all, in will be, to show you, by a comparison fact, that is spiritual in their nature is
derived from Him. But, brethren, the teries of the ages to come. An angel Lord Jesus took not on him their proclaimed the birth of the Son of nature, but the nature of man-he did God. An angel smote king Herod in not assume the qualities of an ever- the midst of his blasphemy and power, active, untired, and intelligent spirit, and he was eaten up of worms because but the form and fashion of a man- he gave not God the glory. An angel he sat wearied at the well of Samaria touched the chains of Peter, and at -he hungered and thirsted—he felt once they fell from him, and his prison the want of a place in which to lay doors burst open. To four angels in his head-he suffered and agonised in the vision of John was given to hurt the garden—and on the cross drops of the earth and sea; and angels shall blood rolled down his forehead, and gather the elect from the four corners streams of blood gushed from his side of the world. Angels shall execute -he was familiar, in fact, with suffer- the last vengeance of God upon man ing in most of the severest forms in and upon devils. “I saw,” says the which it is known to man. Oh, the beloved disciple, "an angel standing love of this suffering Redeemer! How in the sun, and he cried with a loud should every heart melt at the con- voice, saying to all the birds of prey templation of it! How should every that fly in the midst of heaven, come misery and pang of our own body and gather yourselves together into remind us of that suffering frame which the supper of the great God.” And he dragged along through this vale of yet, brethren, glorious as is the natears—through a tedious course of more ture of these spirits, Christ took not on than thirty years, simply because he him the nature of angels, but the naloved you, and chose to give himself ture of man—not that nature which
lifts them immeasurably above all the I may observe, Secondly, that the combined powers of all the great and angels are glorious spirits. They are wise and powerful of this world, but not spirits, simply in the abstract, but he took upon him, what is termed, in the highest meaning of the term- this vile and corruptible and compathey have authority-principalities, ratively powerless and weak, and, as powers, thrones and dominions—they you feel it, this dying form of man. excel in every mental qualification, He took on him the nature of one of they excel in utterance, “having the those one hundred and sixty-five thoutongues of men and angels”--they ex- sand, who perished by the glance of cel in strength. Consider some of the an angel in the army of Sennacherib. glorious actions achieved by angels in How can words, my Christian bretheir commerce with the children of thren, sufficiently describe the mercy men. An angel hastened Lot out of and condescension of such a sacrifice Sodom, and then executed the dread- for guilty and ungrateful man? How ful vengeance of God on the devoted can the heart sufficiently adore and city. An angel preceded and guided love Him who has thus stooped to the the marches of the armies of Israel. wants and necessities of fallen creaAn angel saved the three young men tures? Had he chosen to have placed from the furnace of fire, and Daniel in himself in the rank of angels, he might the den of lions. An angel smote the have appropriately swept the earth host of Sennacherib, and there died with an hurricane, or created a harvest one hundred and sixty-five thousand and destroyed it in a breath, but he men in the camp of the Assyrians. An chose to want, to suffer, to bleed, to angel explained to Daniel all the mys- die, to go down into the grave as one