« EdellinenJatka »
support we can need, in maintaining the conflicts to which we are called. It lays the foundation of this reasoning, the justest, the most conclusive which intelligence ever formed: If God be for 15, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things ? Rom. viii. 31, 32.
And, to conclude this discourse by representing the same images which we traced in the beginning of it, if we consider the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, relatively to the glory which followed, it still presses us to adopt the sentiments of St. Paul in the text. The idea of that glory carried Jesus Christ through all that was most painful in his sacrifice. On the eve of consummating it, he thus addresses his heavenly Father: The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Father, glorify thy name ... Father, the hour is come ; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee ...
I have glorified thee on the earth : 1 have finished the work which thou gavest me to do : and now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had before the world was, Jo. xii. 23, 28. xvii. 1, 4, 5. This expectation was not disappointed. The conflict was long, it was severe, but it came to a period; but heavenly messengers descended to receive him as he issued from the tomb; but a cloud came to raise him from the earth; but the gates of heaven opened, with the acclamations of the church tris umphant, celebrating his victories, and hailing his exaltation in these strains : Lift up your heads, o ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in, Psa. xxiv. 7.
Christians ! let our eyes settle on this object. To suffer with Jesus Christ, is to have full assurance
of reigning with him. We do not mean to conceal from you the pains which await you in the career prescribed to the followers of the Redeemer. It is a hard thing to renounce all that flatters, all that pleases, all that charms. It is hard to be told incessantly of difficulties to be surmonnted, of enemies to be encountered, of a cross to be borne, of crucifixion to be endured. It is hard for a man to mortify himself, while all around him are rejoicing; while they are refining on pleasure; while they are employing their utmost ingenuity to procure new amusements; while they are distilling their brain to diversify their delights; while they are spending life in sports, in feasting, in gaiety, in spectacle on spectacle. The conflict is long, it is violent, I acknowledge it; but it draws to a period; but your cross shall be followed by the same triumph which that of your Saviour was: Father, the hour is come ; glorify thy Son : but you, in expiring on your cross, you shall with holy joy and confidence, commend your soul to God, as he commended his; and, closing your eyes in death, say, Father ! into thy hands I commend my spirit, Luke xxiii. 46: but the angels shall descend to receive that departing spirit, to convey it to the bosom of your God; and after having rejoiced in your conversion, they shall rejoice together in your beatitude, as they rejoiced in his; but in the great day of the restitution of all things, you shall ascend on the clouds of heaven, as Jesus Christ did; you shall be exalted, like him, far above all heavens; and you shall assume, together with him, a seat on the throne of the majesty of God.
Thus it is that the cross of Christ forms us to the sentiments of our apostle; thus it is that we are enabled to say: The world is crucified unto
us, and we are crucified unto the world : thus it is that the cross conducts us to true glory. O glorious cross ! thou shalt ever be the object of my study, and of my meditation! I will propose to myself to know nothing, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified! God forbid 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! May God grant us this grace ! Amen.
ON THE FEAR OF DEATH.
Heb. ii. 14, 15.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, be
also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who, through the fear of death, were all their life time subject to bondage.
O know what death is, without being terrified
is tainable by the human mind; it is the highest point of felicity which a man can reach, while in this valley of tears. I say to know death, without fearing it, and it is in the union of these two things we are to look for that effort of genius so worthy of emulation, and that perfection of felicity so much calculated to kindle ardent desire. For to brave death without knowing what it is; to shut our eyes against all that is hideous in its aspect, in order to combat it with success, this is so far from indicating a superior excellency of disposition, that it must be considered rather as a mental derangement: so far from being the height of felicity, it is the exe treme of misery.