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* Chrift!"-Adore and apply the riches of divine grace. Let the convinced, fearful, trembling finner, fly to this atoning blood, rest his hope upon it, and be secure.--And neglect not to use the cross of Christ for mortifying your corruptions. Let your views of it now be lively and strong, and carry the same impression away, to be your great preservative from daily temptation. Make no image of the cross in your houses; but let the remembrance of it be ever on your hearts. One lively view of this great object will cool the flames of unclean luft: one lively view of this great object will make the unjust man quit his hold: one lively view of this tremendous object will make the angry man drop his weapon : nay, one look of mercy from a dying Saviour will make even the covetous man open his heart. In one word, believing views of the cross of Christ will unite the Christian more and more to a reconciled God, will make his presence comfortable, his worship delightful, and excite a humble longing for that time when we shall see him no more through the help of these elements, but as he is in himself, exalted on his throne, where his worship and service are everlasting.
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THE WORLD CRUCIFIED BY THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
GALATIANS vi. 14. last clause.
By whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the
HE character of a servant of God is sometimes de
fcribed in scripture by particular dispositions or instances of obedience, and sometimes by a general view of the spirit that runs through the whole of his temper and carriage. Each of these ways has its own advantage and use. Each of them is to be found in its proper order in the holy scriptures, and stands there as a proof of their fulness and perfection. The whole of this passage, but particularly the last clause, upon which I am now to insist, is of the general kind, and, in the apostle's own example, gives us a very comprehensive view of what ought to be the temper and disposition of every real Christian; “By "whom,” that is, by Christ crucified, or,“ by which, ' that is to say, by the cross of Christ, “ the world is cruci"fied unto me, and I unto the world.”
This description will serve, if carefully attended to, as a trial and touchstone of fincerity : and, in particular, will serve to distinguish real religion from some of its most de. ceitful and plausible counterfeits. At the same time, it will furnish the fincere Christian with very important directions for his preservation and improvement, by pointing out the most fatal and dangerous rocks of temptation, which it is his interest to avoid. Having explained the words in my discourse upon the former part of the verse, I now only observe, that the proposition contained in them is “That the world is crucified to the believer, and he to “ the world, by the cross of Christ.” This naturally refolves itself into two parts, which I propose to consider distinctly, viz.
1. What is the import of a believer's being crucified to the world, and the world to him.
II. What influence the cross of Christ hath in producing this effect. Having done this, I will,
III. Make a practical improvement of the subject.
1. First, then, we are to consider the import of a believer's being crucified to the world, and the world to him. This seems to deserve the greater attention, that through the whole New Testament, there is a direct opposition ftated between the world and the disciples of Christ; an opposition of character, an opposition of interest, and a continual conflict in consequence of both ; John xv. 18, 19. “ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me “ before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world " would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, “ but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the " world hateth you.” In this passage the world seems to be taken chiefly for the men of the world, or its inhabi. tants. It is, however, taken in a more extensive sense in the two following: 1 John ii. 15. “ Love not the world, “ neither the things that are in the world. If any man « love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John v. 4. “For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh " the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the “ world, even our faith.” Here, no doubt, it signifies not only men, and our hopes or fears from them, but every thing in the present life that may be the object of carnal affection, of finful or undutiful attachment.
The expression in the text, “The world is crucified to "me" is figurative ; but abundantly plain, and exceed. ingly strong. It might be considered very extensively, and several things upon it may probably afterwards occur. Let it fuffice at present to make two obfervations. 1. This intimates the sincerity and heartiness of the believer's opposition to the world. It must be remembered, that crucifixion was a death the most painful and disgraceful that could possibly be inflicted. When this image therefore, is borrowed, and applied to the believer's separation from the world, it implies not only an indifference to it, but the most sovereign contempt of it, from the deepest and strongest conviction of its absolute vanity. Nay, as no persons were crucified, but who were hated as well as despised by their judges, to be crucified to the world, implies an unfeigned abhorrence of its pollution, and a dread of being enslaved by it.
2. The same thing intimates the perpetuity and fixedness of the Christian's opposition to the world. Those who were crucified were devoted to destruction, when they were nailed to the tree; they were not only tormented for a feason, but fixed there till death concluded the scene : so I apprehend the apostle intended to fignify, by this expreffion, his final separation from the world, without the least hope or desire of ever returning to it.
After taking this short and general view of the import of the expression, it will be necessary more distinctly and fully to consider what is implied in being crucified to the world. This ought to be done with the greater care, that it is at once an important and difficult duty. To be truly crucified to the world, I am afraid is exceeding rare ; and even those who are so in fincerity, upon the whole, are far from being so in the degree that they ought to be. The punishment of crucifixion is a strong image, in one particular, of the believer's character. Though it was certain death, it was slow and lingering; fo worldliness, in many persons, continues long vigorous, and dies very flowly.
There is another reason for treating this subject with care, that men are very apt to consider such expressions as extravagant, and carrying matters an unreasonable length. Mistaking the nature of the duty, they are neither om cerned themselves to practise it, nor will they all