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near kinsman: then I have near com
munion and fellowship with him in his sufferings. I trust there will be a great number who, with their hearts prompted by a Saviour's love, will come to his table having an earnest desire to commemorate his death. But how are we coming? we must come with a desire to have fellowship with him in his sufferings. We must come boldly to a throne of grace; but we must come with his merits in our hands, with his atonement before us. We must recollect that all communion we have with the Father through the Spirit is through his flesh but we have no fellowship through his sufferings except in proportion as he is present in his excellency with us. Oh that we may have fellowship with his sufferings; knowing that his blood cleanseth from all sin; that his sufferings have made our peace with GOD; that a guilty, weak, and helpless worm may fall into his hands, and through his sufferings receive mercy for our ingratitude, wisdom for our folly, peace for a troubled conscience, and all the blessings of his rich salvation.
We have fellowship with him in his sufferings; because enduring for his sake the same sufferings which he endured. Is the world frowning upon you? Does Satan tempt you? Do you find some manifestations of persecution which have, very happily, passed away from our own country, yet linger in some holes and corners, in some father's or child's heart? And are you made miserable and unhappy, as it respects your external condition, by means of this persecution? So it ought to be; herein you have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. Should you expect to be better off than your Lord? Is it meet that the servant be more free from pain than the Master? Is it to be supposed that, if they called the Master of the
house Beelzebub, they will not so call those of the household? Herein you have an honour above many of the saints; to you it is given, not to believe in him only, but also to suffer with him. Take care that it is suffering for his sake-not for your own unholy walk-for your irreligion instead of your religion: but if it arise simply from your devotedness to the Lord Jesus Christ, and your acquaintance with him as your Saviour and your Friend, bind the scorn about your brow as your glory, and rejoice that you have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings.
But what end is to be attained by all these desires expressed by the Apostle? It is this: "BEING MADE CONFORMABLE UNTO HIS DEATH." If
know him, increasingly, experimentally, and superlatively—if I know the power of his resurrection in my justification, in my sanctification, in my edification, in my glorificationby partaking of the benefit of his sufferings, by communing with him through the channel of his sufferings, and in any way being made a partaker of the same sufferings myself— why then I shall be “made conformable unto his death."
Why does not the Apostle say, "Being made conformable unto his life?" One would suppose that that was to be the chief object and ambition of the saint. This is not excluded; but his death presents, in a very condensed form, in a few hours as he hung on the tree, all that we could desire to be on the earth. Now, what do we see in our Lord when he hung on the tree?
First, we see in him great patience under suffering. "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so opened he not his mouth." If I know him, I shall have the same great patience.
What do we see in our Lord on the tree? Great faith. For though his Father smote him, and hid his face from him, yet still observe he says, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He had forsaken him, but still his faith enabled him to say, My GoD, my GOD." And if I know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, my faith, like my Saviour's, will be as great; I shall realize an appropriation of the Saviour to myself, and all his benefits.
What do we see in our Saviour's death? Great compassion and tenderness for dying men; for the men that butchered him; for the men that drove the nails into his hands and his feet; for the soldiers that divided his garments among them, and cast lots for his vesture; for the people that mocked him, and said, If thou be the Son of GOD, come down from the cross:" even for these people in his death we hear him 66 say, forgive them, for they know not what Father, they do." Oh, how we shall pray for a lost world if we know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings! What pity and compassion will the blasphemies of the ungodly excite in our minds for their wretchedness and misery!
We see in our Saviour when he hung on the tree, great filial tenderness. There was his poor mother, in all human probability, a widow, though we hear nothing of Joseph. For many hours before his death his mother was standing before the cross: he had nothing to leave her, and she perhaps was dependent on the bounty of heaven for her support. The sight affected his heart. O young man, O young woman, if you do not love your mothers, the blessing of heaven never can rest upon you, I am not advanced greatly in years, but I have been able perhaps to make the remark in a vast variety of circumstances, that I never knew a child prosper in the world that did not love his or her mother. But when we know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, we shall be made conformable to this part of His character who, when
he saw his mother standing by thơ tree, said, “ Woman, Behold thy son derstood it, and he understood it; son, behold thy mother." She un
ciple took her unto his own home," and from that moment that disprovided for her, and did every thing that was necessary to comfort her old age. Children, if you want an example of filial tenderness, go to the cross. Why should those evil passions seize you? Where do you learn them? From the Saviour? What! disobedience in Christ? No-never:
subject unto them." Where did you he went down to Nazareth, and was learn them from? From Satan: and think when the frown distorts your countenance, and disobedience rules in your heart, that Satan is there, that this is from him, that you are working his plans, and exhibiting his spirit.
of his resurrection, and the fellowIf we know Christ, and the power ship of his sufferings, we shall be made corformable unto his death in another particular-great love and tenderness to repenting sinners. There was a man hung by his side; and he prayed, and said, “Lord, remember dom." But this man had blasphemed me when thou comest into thy kinghim a few minutes before; this man him. But now he repents; now he had joined the multitude in reviling and eternity realizing, in his mind; saw his state; now hell was opening, and all his sins, like an army of soldiers, each with a drawn sword in his hand, rose up before him; and in the remember me." Many a quiver had agony of his mind he says, “Lord, his lips, and many a fluttering motion had his heart; but all he said was, "Lord, remember me when thou did the Son of GoD say to this man? comest into thy kingdom." And what
will receive thee?" No; but with all Go and make thyself better, and I the grace of a Saviour, he turned to the majesty of a GOD, and with all the poor penitent, and said, “To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Oh you that are coming to the table of Jesus, that you be conformable to of the Lord, I charge you in the name his death in this particular-that you be very tender to poor penitents,
who, coming to the cross and earnestly desiring salvation, seek counsel and direction from you. Their knowledge and their faith may be very weak; but remember that your Master received a thief, helped a thief, sanctified a thief, and took this thief to himself, after he had pardoned him, as a pledge of his grace, and as a manifestation of his power.
If we are conformable to his death, then we shall manifest great confidence in our heavenly Father. "Father, into thy bands I commend my spirit.' And if you, tried and afflicted parent, are made conformable unto his death, you will not say, “Oh, what will become of my child?" You who are pressed by difficulties will not say, See how all these circumstances are conspiring to bring me into distraction and confusion. No; but you will say as Abraham did, "Father, into thy hands I commend my Ishmael. O that Ishmael might live before thee!" You will say, "Father into thy hand I commend my circumstances; rule and regulate them for thy glory; be my guide and my friend for ever."
This is to be made conformable unto Christ's death. Then, see what you have to do. Take this prayer home with you, and say, "Lord, I feel that my temper is not conformed, that my habits are not conformed; and the reason of it is my ignorance: I do not know Christ, I do not know the power of his resurrection, I do not know the fellowship of his sufferings sufficiently. Lord, increase my knowledge from this day; exert in me a desire after this knowledge." Then the sweet fruits will be perceived in all those who, by the power of faith and prayer, thus flee to
The mediation of Christ's sufferings and death is the only way to make us holy and to make us happy. Some individual may be saying, This has been my prayer, for many years; but I find I do not make much progress." Perhaps you know some person who is always asking his friends to help him in difficulties in business,
who makes no effort himself, and of course very often sinks, very often is in distress, never has that prosperity and enjoyment which he otherwise would have, even in this world. It is the same in spiritual things. A cold wish sent up to heaven will never bring much good into our souls: you may wish, and wish, and wish; but you will never obtain unless you ask. We know the sincerity of a man's wishes by his conduct. If a man wishes to be in the society of an individual whom he loves, he will so order his business that he shall have opportunity to do it. If a man wishes earnestly to rise in his business, and become honourable in the world, he puts forth his strength, he is continually engaged. And do you not wish to be a Christian in this way? Then prove the sincerity of your wishes by your conduct. And do not call this legal; it is evangelical, full of the Gospel and of the love of the Lord Jesus. "The love of Christ," says the Apostle, " constrains me, not to live to myself, but to Him that died for me, and rose again."
My young friends, be not content with any present knowledge or attainment which GOD may have granted to you; but follow on to know the Lord. Take care of the world. There are questions sometimes asked me, such as, "How far may a Christian go, and yet not contaminate himself with the world? Do you think it is right that, when my relatives wish it, I go into ungodly company, attend card tables, theatres, and so on?" There is one answer to such interrogatories: "Can a man take fire in his bosom and not be burned?" If we will turn to the world, and enter into it, and still hope to be friends with Christ, and make profession of the knowledge of his name, our souls will be ruined thereby, and be brought into confusion and distress. Wherefore let me beseech you, in the name of my Lord and Master, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. J. HAMBLEDON,
AT HOLLOWAY CHAPEL, SUNDAY EVENING, AUGUST 18, 1833.
Hebrews, xiii. 14." For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”
THE world in general treats this text as though it were what is called a false reading. Look at the conduct of worldly men, and you would almost think that the text in their Bibles must read thus, "Here we have a continuing city, therefore we seek none to come.' But, my brethren, there is no false reading here; the text as it stands gives us the mind of the spirit of GOD. Then what inference follows? Worldly men are all wrong, faithful Christians are alone right.
of her, therefore shall she not be moved." He "loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob." Every thing seemed to promise Jerusalem pre-eminence among the cities of the earth; and, yet, within seven years from the time when the Apostle wrote this epistle, Jerusalem was taken by the Romans, her temple destroyed, her palaces levelled, more than a million of Jews perished in the siege, and not one stone was left standing upon another. Surely the Hebrew Christians, dispersed as they were among all nations, must often have remembered the Apostle's words, "Here we have no continuing city." The Apostle, you remember, was also a citizen of Rome; and on two occasions knew how to assert his civil privileges; and Rome was often proDI-nounced by her poets and orators "the eternal city," with her Capitol founded on an immoveable rock, with her power extended over the known world: yet the Apostle writing this epistle still says, “Here we have no continuing city." What is now become of the citizenship of Rome? Where is its record? What privileges does it bring? And where now is what
Our first topic of consideration suggested by the text is this, THAT
EVERY THING IN THIS WORLD IS HERE
in the mouldering columns, the ruined
It is remarkable how the provi
Two important topics of consideration are suggested to us by this text.
First, THAT THERE IS NOTHING
STABLE OR SATISFACTORY IN THIS
WORLD EXCEPT IN CONNECTION WITH
Secondly, THAT AN INHERITANCE
May God grant us his aid, and the effectual grace of his Holy Spirit, while we at this time endeavour to meditate on these things.
TION WITH THE WORLD TO COME.
"Here we have no continuing city." The Apostle is writing to the Hebrews whose affection for the city of Jerusalem is well known. " When I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning:" this was the language of every genuine Jew. And to all appearance Jerusasalem was a continuing city; it was founded on the hills, surrounded by massy walls, fortified by strong bulwarks; moreover, it was the city of the great King. "GoD is in the midst
dence of GOD has brought destruction on all the cities, the most famed for strength and security, which once gave the fairest promise of continuance. Babylon was once the strongest of cities, with its massy walls so broad that six chariots could be driven on them abreast, and which extended for at least more than thirty milesits temples half a mile in circumference and a furlong in height hundred brazen gates, that all seemed once to promise pre-eminence. And now what remains of Babylon? Broken hills of ruins, long lines and heaps of dust amid a death-like silence, interrupted only by the cry of doleful creatures, the wailing of solitary owls, and the dancing of wild satyrs. And where now is Nineveh? Its very site is difficult to be ascertained, so complete has been its destruction. And what now is Tyre, once the crown of cities, whose merchants were princes, and whose traffickers were the honourable of the earth? It is now, says a modern traveller, a mere Babel of broken walls, pillars, and mountains; its only inhabitants a few miserable fishermen. And so with Carthage, Troy, and Ephesus-once amongst the fairest cities of the earth, but of whose splendour nothing now remains but a few mouldering fragments to mock their former splendour, and from time to time.re-echo in the Christian ear. "Here we have no continuing city." And, yet, men, even at this late period of the world's history, are as slow now in learning that lesson, as they were in former days. City after city has come to desolation, ruin looks them in the face on every side; and yet mankind will not persuade themselves but that they may find some continuing city here.
A city, as you all know, is a place of security. Now we have no continuing place of security here. What earthly city, town, valley, or house, is a city of refuge from death? Where is the city in which no mourners go about the streets-the inhabitants whereof never say, "I am sick?" I need not tell you, for every child of God knows there is no such city in our landthere is no such city in the world. Every week that comes has its bill of
mortality; every journal that appears contains its obituary.
A city is also a place of great resort and concourse; there crowd follow crowd like an ever flowing stream. The walks of business, the haunts of dissipation, the halls of justice, the churches of GOD are continually thronged; but the individuals who compose the throng are ever changing. The stream still rolls on, but the drops which compose it are changed. Only analyze a single congregation, trace its individual members: a few years are found to witness an entire change. The same preacher has other hearers; the same hearers have another preacher.
A city is likewise a place of business and a focus for commerce. But in this sense also have we "no continuing city." The business of earthly cities will soon cease to engage our attention or occupy our thoughts. How trifling its importance, how slight its interest on a dying bed! What a nothingness will rest in it all the moment after death!
Lastly, while some resort to cities for business, others we know frequent them for pleasure. There every one can find companions to his taste; multitudes keep each other in countenance; luxuries are there accessible; fashion reigns; frivolity, vanity, and vice, find there their favourite abode. Hence, in large cities, vice and ungodliness commonly abound. But in this regard also, there is here no continuing city." The fashion of this world passes away; the pleasures of the world have a worm at their root; the end of all these things is death. Men may sin with a high hand; they may join together to laugh modesty and piety out of countenance, but there is no continuance in this course; it ends abruptly, for it fails. Some powerful disease treads on the heels of licentiousness-some lingering consumption follows in the train of dissipation-some murderous violence takes part in the angry quarrel-some apoplexy lurks among the guests at the sensual feast
some miserable end or other is waiting for the drunkard. Oh, if we knew the secrets of large towns-if we could see the miserable beings