« PreviousContinue »
mercantile world calls a re- The sacrifice of life for another spectable man.
He has no demonstrates at once, in the generous impulses, no heart, most powerful way, both the and, therefore, has not in him intensity and sincerity of the that which can awaken love affection. in others. The just man is IV. TAAT CARIST'S DEATH a very popular character.
IS THE MIGHTIEST DEMONSTRASecondly, the “good” man TION OF AFFECTION. “But has power to excite it. Who God commendeth his love is the good man here? The toward us, in that, while we kind man—the man of warm were yet sinners, Christ died sympathies and loving soul- for us." This will
if the man who can weep with you consider, (1) the characthose who weep. Such a man ters for whom He died—“sinevokes the sympathies of ners.
(2) Consider the cirothers. He has often done cumstances under which He 80. The case of Job opening died. Not amid the gratitude by his kindness the heart of of those whom He loved, his
age, and of Pythias endu- but amid their imprecations. ring the punishment for (3) Consider the freedom Damon, and of Jonathan and with which He died. He was David, are cases in point. not compelled. (4) Consider
III. THAT THE SACRIFICE the preciousness of the life OF LIFE IS THE HIGHEST EX- He sacrificed. His life was PRESSION OF THIS AFFECTION. worth all other lives. Truly, “ Scarcely for a righteous herein is love. man will one die." There is Learn from this subject, nothing that man values, as first, the moral grandeur of & rule, so much as life- Christianity. There is no friends, property, health, re- such manifestation of love in putation, all are held cheap in the universe as this. Secondly, comparison with life. To give the moral power of Chrislife, therefore, is to give that tianity. The motive itemploys which he feels to be of all to break the heart of the the dearest things most dear. world is this wonderful love. A man may express his affection by demonstrative lan
STRANGERS MAY BE ANGELS. guage, by indefatigable toil,
“Be not forgetful to entertain by costly gifts, but such ex
strangers : for thereby some have pressions are weak compared entertained angels unawares.”. with the sacrifice of life. Heb. xiii. 2. “Greater love," saith Christ, As Abraham sat at the door “ hath no man than this,” &c. l of his tent in the vale of We en
Mamre, sheltered, perhaps, apart from him. At last the from the scorching rays of
introduction comes. oriental noon by overshadow- tertain him, and time proves ing trees, three travellers him to be an angel to uscame up to him, whom he our guide in a great difficulty entertained with the hospi- our support in a sad trial, tality common to his age and &c. Do not shun neighbours. his country, and common in Thirdly : It may be so with Arabia even to this hour. the “stranger” in our Church. These travellers turned out A man joins our communion. to be angels-benign mes- There may be much that is sengers from the
eternal strange in him to us. He heavens of love. The text is may be a Catholic, a Churchan exhortation founded upon man, a Baptist, or Wesleyan. this circumstance. Our sub- Still, entertain him with ject is that “strangers ” may brotherly love, and perhaps often be “angels."
we may discover something of I. Strange PERSONS may
the angel. often turn out to be “angels.” Fourthly: It may be so
First: It may be so with the with the “stranger" in our “stranger" who enters our country. A foreigner enters household. Whatever his er- our land--a Russian, Pole, rand, in whatever condition Spaniard, Hindoo, Chinaman, he appears, though he be a it matters not. Don't despise pauper with a pauper's peti- him. Treat him kindly, and tion, if we entertain him we
you may find even in him may find, perhaps, something something of the angel, someof the angel in him. He may thing that may contribute to breathe a spirit, utter a senti- the progress of the state. The ment, express a soul indi- moral is Treat all men cating a kindredship with the with generousness and goodskies. Vulgar heartlessness will, and you may, perhaps, often hustles from its door a find angelic things within suppliant in whom the an. them. gelic lives.
II. Strange THINGS may Secondly : It may be so often turn out to be “ANGELS." with the “stranger" in our First: A “strange" truth neighbourhood. A stranger may turn out to be an angel. comes and takes up his abode There are men so narrow and in our vicinity. For a time prejudiced in mind that they foolish pride, or unnatural bolt their souls against all shyness, or a meaningless
a meaningless that is new in thought. If a conventionality, may keep us fresh truth knock at the door,
they thrust it from them with CHRIST'S RESURRECTION indignation. Yet he who re- HIGHER FACT THAN HIS DEATH. ceives a new thought may " It is Christ that died, yea receive an angel-an angel rather, that is riseń again.”
Rom. viii. 34. that may solve his difficul. ties and enfranchise his in
The text starts the though tellect, and make the horizon
that Christ's resurrection is of his soul beam brightly with
better than His death-"Yea unearthly stars.
rather, that is risen again.”
I. HIS RESURRECTION PRESecondly: A strange trial may turn out to be an angel.
SUPPOSES Adversity may come, and ex
His death is not to change your mansion for a be disparaged. Its importance hovel ; disease may come,
cannot be overrated; none and reduce your strong frame
can appreciate it too highly. to an emaciated skeleton ;
It is the highest expression of bereavement may come, and
love the universe ever witmake your home circle a de- nessed—the highest homage solation. Still, do not battle
to truth, rectitude, and order, against these
that the Divine government
messengers. Entertain them with loyal
ever received. It was a deathsubmission to the God that blow to all past dispensais over all, and they may
tions; it rang
in the new era prove blessings in disguise. of eternal mercy. But great They may be like Lot's angels,
as is his death, the great dragging you from Sodom to thing is implied in his resurthe mountains of God.
rection. There could not have Thirdly: Strange charities been a real resurrection had may turn out to be an angel.
there not been a real death. Some fresh philanthropic or
And that His resurrection was religious institution
real, we have often endeaknock at your door aud so
voured to demonstrate. * licit your support. Do not
II. HIS RESURRECTION DEthrust such charities from
MONSTRATES THE WONDERFUL-. you. Entertain them. They
NESS OF HIS DEATH. are angels that can do you
First: His resurrection demore good than you can
monstrates the absolute volunthem. “It is more blessed
tariness of his death. He to give than to receive."
who could rise from the dead "Be not forgetful to entertain by his own power, could have strangers : for thereby some
avoided death. His rising have entertained angels un
proved that He had power to awarez."
lay down his life, and take THE LORD'S SUPPER. it up again.
“For I have received of the Secondly: His resurrection Lord that which also I delivered demonstrates the supernatural unto you, That the Lord Jesus, character of his death. Only betrayed, took bread : and, when
the same night in which he was a few of the millions that have
he had given thanks, he brake it, died, have ever been raised to and said, Take, eat; this is my life; only one ever rose by
body, which is broken for you:
this do in remembrance of me. his own power, and that was
After the same manner also he Christ. The supernatural re
took the cup, when he had surrection shows the super- supped, saying, This cup is the natural death. It is the re- new testament in my blood: this surrection, therefore, that do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in
remembrance of me. For as often gives a meaning to Christ's
as ye eat this bread, and drink death.
this cup, ye do shew the Lord's Thirdly : His resurrection death till he come."-1 Cor. xi.
23–26. secures the moral purpose of his death. The great end of
THESE verses give an his death was to give spiritual
count of what is called the life to humanity, and this
“Lord's Supper.” This supper his resurrection ensures. He was instituted by Christ Himis alive, to carry on by his self the night in which He Gospel and his Spirit the was betrayed while He was great work of man's spiritual observing the Passover with restoration.
his disciples. On that night Brothers, let think He virtually directs the rather of the risen than of the
men from all dead Christ. A dead Church Jewish ritualism, and centres worships a dead Christ-bows them on Himself. “Do this before His effigy on the canvas
in remembrance of ME." -kisses his feet on the cruci- True religion now has to do fix. But a living Church with a person, and that person keeps her eye ever on a living
is Christ. In reading the Christ. Alas, the modern words of the apostle before Church generally lives rather us, there are four things on the gloomy Saturday, when
which strike us with amazeChrist is in His grave, than
ment. on the bright Sunday when I. THAT
SHOULD He appeared to His disciples ; DOUBT THE GENUINENESS OF the blessed Easter of the CHRISTIANITY. Here is an world.
institution that was started the night previous to our Saviour's crucifixion, which
was attended to by the First: The gustatory. The Church at Jerusalem after Corinthians, to whom the the day of Pentecost, cele- apostle now writes, thus used brated by various other it. They introduced a loveapostolic churches, as feast to immediately procede corded in the Acts of the it, probably because a Jewish Apostles, and which St. feast preceded its first celebraPaul here states he tion. This led to gluttony and ceived from the Lord,” and other evils. Hence, in the predelivers now to the Corin- ceding verses he says, “When thian Church. From the
ye come together, therefore, apostolic age down to this into one place, this is not to eat hour, through eighteen long the Lord's supper. For in eatcenturies it has been attended ing, every one taketh before to by all the branches of the other his own supper; and true church. Since its origin one is hungry, and another thousands of generations have is drunken. What | Have passed away, many systems ye not houses to eat and have risen and disappeared, to drink in? or despise ye nations have been organized, the Church of God, and flourished, and broken up, but shame them that have not? this ordinance continues :- What shall I say to you? and continues, what for ? Shall I praise you in this? To commemorate the great | I praise you not.” The memcentral fact of the Gospel — bers of the Corinthian namely, that
Christ died. Church were converts from there any other fact in his- heathenism, and they had tory sustained by evidence been accustomed, in their half so powerful as this ? heathen festivals, to give
These words suggestanother way to gluttony and intemthing which strikes us with perance.
Many of them, amazement.
from the force of old habits, II. THAT
SHOULD were tempted to use the MISINTERPRET
ORDI- Lord's supper in this way, NANCE, Here we are dis
hence they were guilty of the tinctly told that it is to “ body and blood of the “ show forth the Lord's Lord,” that is, guilty of prodeath." No language can faning the institution demore clearly show that it is signed to commemorate His purely commemorative. There death. Thus, they ate and are three abuses of this insti- drank “unworthily," and by tution, which imply the so doing, ate and drank congrossest misinterpretation. demnation to themselves.