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GUSTUS and T'IBERIUS enacted laws, by which the Jews dispersed over the Roman Empire, were authorized to practise the rites of their religion, and the ceremonial institutions transmitted to them from their fathers. All those who were circuincised, though they had einbraced Christianity, were considered all over the pagan world, as Jews: but all those who remained in a state of uncircumcision, while they professedly received the gospel, were equally persecuted by Jews and pagans. There were teachers among them, therefore, who, in order to screen themselves from these persecutions, submitted to be circumcised, and recommended circumcision to their disciples.”

These are the words of St. Jerome, and they throw much light on what our apostle says in the 12th verse of the chapter, from which I have taken

“ As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.” And, as a relaxed morality has always the most numerous supporters, we see that in the church of Galatia, the teachers who made the greatest use of this artifice, not only attracted the greatest number of disciples, but likewise made that superiority a source of vain-glorious boasting. This is the sense of the words which immediately precede our text: “ For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law: but desire to have you circumcised, that they might glory in your flesh.”

These were the three descriptions of opponents against whom Paul had to maintain the inutility of

my text.

the observance of the Levitical ceremonial, and to asa sert the exclusive doctrine of the cross.

One of the principal causes of the obscurity of St. Paul's Epistles is this, that it is not always easy to distinguish the general arguments which that apostle advances in them, from certain reasonings of a diffe

a rent kind, which are conclusive only against some particular adversaries. Is it not evident, for example, that all the consequences which he deduces from the history of Hagar, whom he makes the emblem of the Ancient Dispensation; and from that of Sarah, whom he makes the emblem of the Evangelical, could make an impression only on the mind of Jews, who were accustomed to allegory, and who particularly discovered it in the different condition of that wife, and of that handmaid of Abraham ? as appears in many passages of Philo, which it would be improper at present to introduce.

Now, my brethren, it is impossible to have a clear conception of the Epistles of our apostle, without carefully distinguishing those different adversarieg whom he had to combat, and the different arguments which he employs to confute them. Nay, this distinction is the very key which explains to us the different conduct observed by the apostles toward their proselytes. For they believed themselves obliged, with respect to those who had come over from Judaism, to tolerate that Levitical ceremonial to which they were attached by the prejudices of birth : whereas this connivance might have proved dangerous to others who conformed to the practice of it merely from the dastardly motive which induced

them to disguise their religion, or to screen themselves from the persecution to which it exposed them who gloried in making profession of it.

But whatever difference there may be in the character of the opponents whom the apostle was combating, and in the arguments which he employed to confute thein, he presses on all of them this principle, on which the whole fabric of Christianity rests. The sacrifice which Jesus Christ offered up, that of his own life, is the only one capable of satisfying the demands of divine justice, awakened to the punishment of human guilt; and to divide the glory of the Redeemer's sacrifice with the Levilical ceremonial, was, as he expresses it, to preach another gospel; was to fall from grace ; was to lose the fruit of all the sufferings endured in the cause of Christianity; was a doctrine worthy of being rejected with execration, were it to be preached even by an angel from heaven. Our apostle goes still further; he solemnly protests that no worldly consideration should ever have power to make him renounce this leading truth of the gospel, that the more it exposed him to hatred and suffering, the more he would rejoice in the knowledge of it, and in making it known to others: in a word, he declares he will continue to preach the cross, were the consequence to be that he himself should be nailed to it: "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 :” This is the general scope of the Epistle to the Galatians, particularly of our text, which is the conclusion of it.




But it is of importance to descend into a more particular detail. And, in order to throw more light on my subject, I propose, as far as the limits prescribed me permit, to attempt the three following things:

I. I shall examine, wherein those sentiments of the Christian consist, which enable him to say that “the world is crucified unto him, and he unto the world.”

II. I shall shew that in such sentiments as these true glory consists.

III. I shall denionstrate that it is the cross of Christ, and the cross of Christ alone, which can inspire us with these sentiments: from which I shall deduce this farther consequence, that in the cross of Christ alone we can find a just ground of glorying. Vouchsafe us a few moments more of your attention, to the elucidation of these interesting truths.

I. What is the disposition of mind denoted by these expressions, “ the world is crucified unto me; I am crucified unto the world ?" In order to have just ideas of this reciprocal crucifixion, we must comprehend, 1. The nature of it. 2. The degrees. 3. The bitterness.

1. The nature of it. “The world is crucified unto me; I am crucified unto the world :" this is a figurative mode of expression, importing a total rupture with the world. Distinguish two different senses in which the term world may be taken: the world of nature, and the world of cupidity. By the world of nature we understand that vast assemblage of beings which the almighty arm of Jehovah has formed, but

these considered as they are in themselves. By the world of cupidity, we understand those self-same beings, considered so far as by our abuse of them, they seduce us from the obedience which we owe to the Creator. Of the natural world it is said, Gen. i. 3). God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good.” And St. Paul says, 1 Tim. iv. 4. that“ every creature of God is good if it be received with thanksgiving." The Christian does not break with the world in the first sense of the word. On the contrary, he makes it the object of his frequent meditation; he discovers in it the perfections of the great being who created it: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmamentsheweth his handy work,” Ps. xix. 1. Nay more, he makes it the object of his hope: For the promise, I quote the words of St. Paul, in ch. iv. 13. of his Epistle to the Romans, “ for the promise, that he should be the heir of the world was inade to Abraham: And all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world,” i Cor. iii. 22.

It is of the world of cupidity, therefore, that our apostle speaks in the words which I am attempting to explain, that world of which it is said, " The world passeth away, and the lust thereof. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world," 1 John ii. 17, 15. The friendship of the world is enmity with, or as it might have been rendered, is hatred to God. This is the world which is crucified to the

. Christian; the Christian is crucified to this world. The apostle in expressing himself thus strongly, refines upon a form of speech, which frequently occurs

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