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field to Himself. Therefore, it is great folly and ùnadvisedness, to take up a prejudice against His way, to think it might be better as we would model it, and to complain of the order of things, whereas we should complain of disordered minds: but we had rather have all altered and changed for us, the very course of Providence, than seek the change of our own perverse hearts. But the right temper of a Christian is, to run always cross to the corrupt stream of the world and human iniquity, and to be willingly carried along with the stream of Divine Providence, and not at all to stir a hand, no, nor a thought, to row against that mighty current; and not only is he carried with it upon necessity, because there is no steering against it, but cheerfully and voluntarily; not because he must, but because he would.
And this is the other thing to which Christians are jointly called; as to suffering, so to calmness of mind and patience in suffering, although their suffering be most unjust; yea, this is truly a part of that duty they are called to, to maintain that integrity and inoffensiveness of life that may make their sufferings at men's hands always unjust. The entire duty here, is innocence and patience; doing willingly no wrong to others, and yet cheerfully suffering wrong when done to themselves. If either of the two be wanting, their suffering does not credit their profession, but dishonours it. If they be patient under deserved suffering, their guiltiness darkens their patience: and if their suf. ferings be undeserved, yea, and the cause of them honourable, yet impatience under them stains both their sufferings and their cause, and seems in part to justify the very injustice that is used against them; but when innocence and patience meet
together in suffering, their sufferings are in their perfect lustre. These are they who honour religion, and shame the enemies of it. It was the concurrence of these two that was the very triumph of the martyrs in times of persecution, that tormented their tormentors, and made them more than conquerors, even in sufferings.
Now that we are called both to suffering and to this manner of suffering, the Apostle puts out of question, by the supreme example of our Lord Jesus Christ; for the sum of our calling is, to follow him. Now in both these, in suffering, and in suffering innocently and patiently, the whole history of the Gospel testifies how complete a pattern He is.
Now this is reason enough, and carries it beyond all other reason, why Christians are called to a suffering life, seeing the Lord and Author of that calling, suffered himself so much. The Captain, or Leader, of our salvation, as the Apostle speaks, was consecrated by suffering, Heb. ii. 10: that was the way by which He entered into the holy place, where He is now our everlasting High Priest, making intercession for us. If He be our Leader to salvation, must not we follow Him in the way He leads, whatsoever it is? If it bc (as we see it is) by the way of sufferings, we must either follow on in that way, or fall short of salvation; for there is no other leader, nor any other way than that which He opened; so that there is not only a congruity in it, that His followers be conformed to Him in suffering, but a necessity, if they will fol low Him on, till they attain to glory. And the consideration of both these, cannot but argue a Christian into a resolution for this via regia, this royal way of suffering that leads to glory, through
which their King and Lord himself went to His glory. It could hardly be believed at first, that this was His way, and we can hardly yet believe that it must be ours. O fools, and slow of heart to believe! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory? Luke xxiv. 25, 26.
Would you be at glory, and will you not follow your Leader in the only way to it? Must there be another way cut out for you by yourself? O absurd! Shall the servant be greater than his master? John xiii. 6. Are not you fairly dealt with? If you have a mind to Christ, you shal! have full as much of the world's good will as He had if it hate you, He bids you remember, how it hated Him. John xv. 18.
But though there were a way to do otherwise, would you not, if the love of Christ possessed your hearts, rather choose to share with Him in His lot, and would you not find delight in the very trouble of it? Is not this conformity to Jesus, the great ambition of all his true-hearted followers? We carry about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, says the great Apostle, 2 Cor. iv. 10. Bcsides the unspeakable advantage to come, which goes linked with this, that if we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him, (2 Tim. ii. 12,) there is a glory, even in this present resemblance, that we are conformed to the image of the Son of God in sufferings. Why should we desire to leave Him? Are you not one with him? Can you choose but have the same common friends and enemies? Would you willingly, if it might be, could you find in your heart to be friends with that world which hated your Lord and Master? Would you have nothing but kindness and case, where He had
Or would you nothing but enmity and trouble? not rather, when you think aright of it, refuse and disdain to be so unlike Him? As that good Duke said, when they would have crowned him King of Jerusalem, No, said he, by no means, I will not wear a crown of gold where Jesus was crowned with thorns.
"WEEP FOR YOURSELVES,-AND FOR YOUR CHILDREN."
WE mourn for those who toil,
The slave who ploughs the main,
A host of restless phantoms chase,—
We mourn for those who sin,
Bound in the tempter's snare,-
Whose hearts by whirlwind passions torn
We mourn for those who weep,—
But they to whom the sway
Of pain and grief is o'er,
COULD I extract the choicest dignities and fortunes; could I inhabit the most temperate clime, and the most pleasant country; could I choose the most benevolent hearts, and the wisest minds; could I take the most happy temper, and the most sublime genius; could I cultivate the sciences, and make the fine arts flourish; could I collect and unite all that could please the passions, and banish all that could give pain. A life formed on this plan, how likely to please us! How is it, that God, who hath resolved to render us one day happy, doth not allow us to continue in this world, and content himself with uniting all these happy circumstances in our favour? "It is good to be here!" O that he would allow us here to build our tabernacles! Matt. xvii. 4. A life formed on this plan might indeed answer the ideas of happiness which feeble and finite geniuses form; but such a plan cannot even approach the designs of an infinite God. A life formed on this plan, might indeed exhaust a terrestrial love, but it could never reach the love of an infinite God. No, all the charms of this society, of this fortunc, and of this life; no, all the softness of these climates, and of these countries; no, all the benevolence of these hearts, and all the friendship of these minds; no, all the happiness of this temper, and all the sublimity of this genius; no, all the secrets of the sciences, and all the dis