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that compassion was extended to fallen though Adam must from his very man in virtue of the atonement which nature have been capable of falling, the Redeemer had covenanted to make: still it is marvellous God did not inand whether or no you be prepared terfere, and not suffer him to fall; I distinctly to recognize the energies of only remark, that the objection comes the Mediator's work in God's imme with a singularly ill grace from philodiate dealings with our fallen an. sophers, who are of all men most tenacestor; still, stern and unrelenting as | cious for the freedom of the will : for justice must have been in the pro if they deem it a kind of heresy to recedure under review, as we see it to present fallen creatures as nothing but have been abundantly illustrious, must machines, why should they make an we not confess that mercy was therein ? unfallen creature nothing but a maWhen angels sinned, and rebellion chine? Had God prevented Adam was introduced amongst the hosts of from eating the forbidden fruit, he God, the apostate spirits were not only must have destroyed his free agency. driven out from the heavenly paradise, So that whatever difficulties may atbut were hurled into an abyss of woe tend God's permission of evil, they and darkness : they were driven from are nothing in comparison with those glory, and they were driven to despair which throng the prevention of it. —from all that was holy, to all that But while we look to the whence we was hopeless. But not so the trans- | forget the whither : we mourn over gression of Adam. He might have that from which man was driven; we been driven to instant death; he might throw out of sight that to which he was have been driven, cheerlessly and driven. I know it to be easy to dress wretchedly, to toil without deliverance, up with all the power of melancholy to agony without alleviation : whereas language, the wretchedness and ruin he was sent forth with the promise of consequent on the fall of Adam. We a deliverer, with the promise that from may talk together of the blow beneath his seed there should arise a mighty which the earth has grown withered ; conqueror who should repair the ruin and we may speak movingly of the dewhich transgression had wrought. He solations which have gone forth over had been driven from a garden; but her length and breadth ; and then with he was not driven to a desert; there was contemptuous incredulity we may defruitfulness in the soil on which he mand, how it may consist with the was treading: and though bidden to till mercies of God, that such an assemthe ground from whence he was taken, blage of wreck and confusion should yet it was a labour on which blessings be allowed to form any province of his would follow, and the toil of digging domain. But all this while, as though would issue in the joy of harvest. we were slaves to a reckless infidelity, And it is from contemplations of the we keep out of sight the cross of Christ wonderful loving kindness which at- | Jesus, which denounces that evil has tended the footsteps of the exiles, that entered, which denounces that the dewe derive our best arguments against vastations have been tremendous, a wayward and captious philosophy, which denounces that its ravages have which professes to marvel that God been those of an iron-footed tyrant, should have permitted what he might trampling and crushing all that God have prevented—the entrance of evil had made so well that he had prointo this our creation : and to ask, nounced it to be good. Is it not blaswhy Adam was not formed so as to be phemy to say, that God looked on unincapable of forfeiting his allegiance, is moved and unconcerned, while this the absurd theory of a child who un- , terrific moral scourge was let loose on derstands not that the very nature of creation? Who can be impious enough the creature pre-supposes only finite to proclaim, that, secure in his magnicapacity of resistance : and that the ficence, and surrounded by his own creature who could not fall whatsoever I happiness, it mattered nothing to the the temptation to which he might be | Maker of the universe that one soli.. exposed, would cease to be a creature: 1 tary planet should be thus riven and the power possessed being infinite. I scathed, or that one race of intelligent and yet the possessor denominated l beings should be given up to terror finite. And if it be argued that. al. J and despair ? Behold the immense wisdom in the will which permitted slay victims, and taught him the im. man's ruin : for however bold you may portance of these rites; and pointed pronounce the hypothesis, I suppose out to him the perfect oblation which, that had evil been utterly excluded in the fulness of time, should be preand had generation after generation sented by the Redeemer. Thus you walked in their innocency and in their observe, in driving him out from Parauprightness, then the mightiest dis-dise, God was consulting the exigenplay of the divine attributes must have cies of his condition. Paradise, as I been wanting; and God would com have already stated, must be regarded paratively, never have been known as having been a species of sanctuary. in his holiness, his goodness, his love, It is the saying of a Jewish Rabbi, and his wisdom. The fall made way" Know, that in the trees and founfor redemption. Though you may tains and other things of the garden of say, God permitted this globe to be Eden, were the figures of the most cuhurled, as it were, into one general rious things by which the first Adam grave, yet did he not pour through saw and understood Spiritual things; this huge excavation the ocean of his even as God has given to us the forms loving kindness? Did he not use it and figures of the tabernacle and the as a scene for the majestic display of sanctuary and all its furniture, for his mercy? Where, then, is the jus- types of intellectual things, and that tice of the complaint that arraigns the we might from them understand heaprovision that evil should be permitted venly truths.” But although Paradise to cleave this earth in twain, seeing might thus have been a temple of the that God in rivers of blessedness will living God, it could not have been a roll himself through the tremendous temple in which a fallen creature chasm? The divine dispensations are could worship. It might have its sanot to be viewed separately. Much cramental service; and adorable myswhich, when viewed alone, would be teries might have been represented in pronounced rude and mis-shapen, its rivers and fountains; and man in contributes to the greatness and sym- his pristine innocence might have read metry of the whole. And he is but his religion in these figures, and be a petty caviller who shows most taught therein the worship which it mournfully the whence man has been behoved him to render to his Maker: driven, and explains not how far the but there was nothing in this sancwhither introduces a counter-balance. tuary which suited the sinner-nothing
But I would meet this our second which had to do with remission and enquiry with somewhat of greater forgiveness of sins. It was a temple precision. Whither, or to what, was for one already holy : but there was man driven ? I answer, He was driven nothing in its ritual which could profrom Paradise, and driven to Calvary. vide for those who sought to be cleansed Adam went forth with this promise to from pollution. Therefore in much cheer him—" The seed of the woman mercy God drove out the man, for shall bruise the head of the serpent." whose service he was incapacitated, He was driven out as one unworthy of into a holy temple which might have the holy converse of the garden of the its altars, and its mercy-seat, and its Lord—as one incapable of rendering sacrifices; and in which a Priest should his Maker those services which he minister who could be touched with the claimed in this his peculiar dwelling. feeling of his infirmities, being made Whilst he was thus driven from the like unto himself in all points, sin home of righteousness, he was also only excepted. driven to the blood of atonement-C Thus, if I might briefly sum up our from the presence of the Father to the argument, I should say, that God sacrifice of the Son-from the light of drove out man from Paradise in order the countenance of the First Person, that man might be fitted to enter into to the splendours of the intercession Paradise: he drove him out in the of the Second. We suppose, that no strictness of justice, rather than in the sooner had God driven out the man fierceness of wrath. And if it savored than he instructed him in all the mys- not too much of what is fanciful, I teries of patriarchal religion : he com- might affirm, that when the angel with manded him to build altars, and to the flaming sword was placed to stand as centinel, and to keep the way of | ing death, judgment, and eternitythe tree of life, there played upon his the young amongst you more especi. features a radiant smile at the intima- ally. I would that I could move you tion he had gathered in the courts of —startle you-arouse you. Oh, it is the firmament, that a period would so hard while the blood flows gaily in arrive when he should be bidden to the veins, to realize the fact that it soon sheath the fiery flame, and to leave must freeze there. But, indeed, indeed unobstructed the gate to a countless heaven and hell are no play things; throng of the very race who had justly though one would think they were, to been driven out from Paradise.
see the baubles you prefer to heaven, “But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who and the hair-like risks you run of were sometimes far off, are made nigh falling into hell. “Strive, strive to by the blood of Christ.” Behold the enter in at the straight gate ; for many expulsion-behold the restoration : far shall seek to enter in, and shall not be off by nature-brought nigh by grace. able. There shall be a thrill run There is an intimation of something through the unconverted when this forcible in the expulsion. “So he drove text shall be pronounced. You have out the man." There must correspond not began even to seek : you may seek, to this something forcible in the resto and fail. He who would enter must ration. “The kingdom of heaven”- strive: he must wrestle--struggle thus it is said in the gospel—" suffer agonize for admission. “The kingdom eth violence, and the violent take it by of heaven suffereth violence." It must force. Dispossessed by force-driven be besieged by prayer-it must be asout: reinstated by force-suffereth vio-saulted by repentance. The city must lence. There must be boldness-ea- be compassed the trumpets must be gerness-labour ; the nerve must be blown; and then shall the walls fall stretched—the sinew must be strained | flat, and we shall enter into the inhe-the mind must put forth its intense ritance from which the Lord hath ness : for after all, God alone can driven out the Hivites, and the Hittites, drive out the old man—God alone can and the Perezzites : which may God implant the new.
in his mércy grant, for Christ's sake. I wish I could make you anxious in
Amen. respect to the soul-anxious concern- !
a Sermon DELIVERED BY THE REV. T. MORTIMER, AT ST. MARK'S CHURCH, CLERKENWELL, SUNDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 31, 1830.
Colossians, i. 28, 29.—“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man
in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus : whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”
I have often been thankful to God, I know how the Apostles laboured, and my brethren, that in his holy word, how they prayed, he may know both we not merely have directions in the the one and the other; and is a man way to heaven, and in the comforts further wishes to know what it was and privileges of the Gospel ; but we that sustained them—that comforted have, in many of these letters written them—that supported them—that by the Apostles of the primitive church, strengthened them—that bore them we have those feelings under which through every obstacle in their work, they laboured, and those exercises he may know it all. He has only to which they knew in their own expe turn to the Bible, and he will find all rience, simply and plainly set forth there. before us. So that if a man wishes Now, you have in the text, a patto know how the Apostles preached, tern of what a minister ought to be. he may know it; if a man wishes to Do not mistake me; I did not give it
out as meaning to say, that this is ! But it was the same; the same man what I am ; but God knows it is what under a very different influence; the I wish to be; he knows it is what I same man, but a very different heart. long to be : and pray heaven to grant, Who was the labourer? Who was he that forming our ministry after the that thus wrought in the work of the apostolical model, we may be favoured Gospel ? A man who had once been by apostolical success in the conver- a bitter and a bloody persecutor. He sion of sinners, and in the edification, opposed Jesus of Nazareth, but Jesus consolation, and salvation of believers. of Nazareth was stronger than Saul of Look then at the text. See the blessed | Tarsus; and Saul of Tarsus was conApostle St. Paul, a man of exquisite quered-fairly beaten by the love of his modesty, one who well knew his own Lord and Master-fairly conquered and infirmities and imperfections, yet tel. overcome, and made to bow, and bend, ling us plainly what was his grand and stoop, and submit, and fall in the object-how he felt in respect of it, dust, at the feet of his Lord and Master. how he laboured to secure it; and Now why do I advert to this? Because then letting us into the all-important there are some of you who are as yet secret, that it was owing to the divine unconquered. You are not conquered agency—that it was owing to spiritual by grace. Neither the terrors of the influence—that he worked in his mi. / law frighten you, nor the allurements nistry, because God the Holy Spirit of the Gospel charm you and draw worked in his heart. “Whereunto I you. The truth is, that you have not labour,” says he, “ striving according got, as yet, ears to hear, or hearts to to his working, which worketh in me feel. May that Saviour, who wrought mightily.”
effectually in Saul of Tarsus to his In considering this text, that we conversion, work effectually in you. may not lose any time whatever, in Behold the Lamb of God. Look to prefatory remarks, let me at once pro him. ceed to notice these four things. There are some this night before First, the labourer. SECONDLY, the God in this church, who have often object he had in view in that labour. heard these things before, and who THIRDLY, the ardour with which he expect to hear them a great many times followed his object. And FOURTHLY, again. But stop—you may be mistakthe secret and invisible mainspring of en-you may never live to hear them all this. It was the Lord working in again. I could tell you somethinghis heart-it was a secret and an I will tell you something–1 ought to invisible, but an omnipotent influence tell you something, which, though I working in him, and leading him to heard it only a short time before I enwork for others. This is the secret of tered this pulpit, made a very deep all ministerial influence, that which impression on my heart. You say, gives us the clue to all his success. It you shall live to hear a great many was not on account of the eloquence more sermons. You think so : take of Paul, or the learning of Paul, or care how you conclude that so it will the diligence of Paul; but it was the be. If I am correctly informed, this mighty grace of God the Holy Spirit, very day, not in this church, but in communicated by the Divine Saviour another church where I frequently Jesus Christ, who has the Spirit with-proclaim the word of God, a person out measure. He it was, that was in- dropped down dead. What do you fluencing St. Paul to feel as he did, think of it? What does it say to some and blessed his work, and made that of you who expect to hear many more work so successful as it was.
sermons, and who think you have Consider first, then, THE LABOURER. time enough yet? Oh that accursed Who is it that thus speaks ? He once cry-Time enough yet! Time enough laboured in another work. He gives yet! Oh, the millions that it has rather a singular account of himself ruined! Oh, will you bear with me if " I verily thought that I ought to do I say it-I will say it—the millions that many things contrary to the name of it has damned for ever! Yes—time Jesus Christ." Then how came he to enough yet-time enough yet; and write such a passage as this ? Surely, thus the poor wretched sinner goes on you say, it could not be the same man. his evil course till God says to him,
There shall be time no longer-and he every man-it is to teach every man in is called away. Oh, my brethren, all wisdom-it is to present every man delay not till another day what ought perfect in Christ Jesus. I dwell not to be begun at once. “Seek you the on these points, because some time ago Lord while he may be found. Call on we made them the subject of a distinct him while he is near.” What a happy discourse. Be it known unto you, thing for the person so taken away, however, that these are always our if she was prepared for her eternal objects. We do not wish to please rest. What a happy change in a you, except for your edification. We moment to feel herself having done do not wish that you should merely with earth and got to heaven. My have to express your approbation of brethren, what a happy state, if she our message : we would rather send was truly prepared. “Be you also you home with a tear in your eye, ready; for in such an hour as you think and a prayer in your heart, than praisnot, the Son of Man cometh.” This ing the sermon or the preacher ; nay, you will say had nothing to do with we would rather that nineteen out of my sermon; but it has something to twenty of you were offended with us, do with your souls ; therefore I rather could we but save that one, and bring make a digression than omit to notice it. him in the simplicity of faith to the
Then having considered the labourer foot of the cross, than we would have here spoken of, notice his OBJECT. you all go away delighted, indeed, What was the object he had in view in with what you heard, but delighted all this labour? Was it to become only one day, and forgetting it all the rich? Was it to become great ? Was next. Our object then is to present it to stand in honour and dignity ? you faultless, to present you at the Ah, blessed man, he thought very last, every man of you, perfect in lightly of the gold of this world, and Christ Jesus. more lightly of the honours and dig- There is a great deal to be done benities of this world : and he gloried in fore that. There are many in this the cross of his Saviour, and cared not church who have not taken the first for earth, or what earth could give, step in the way to heaven; and what or what earth could take away. Now is worse, they have no inclination to what was his object-he had one ? take that step. Ah, my dear hearers, Take the words before, and you will I often think you come and sit here as see his object directly. “That we God's people sit, and hear the words might present every man perfect in of truth and righteousness; and to use Christ Jesus : whereunto I also la- the words of Ezekiel, they seem to bour.” The preceding verse gives you like the sound of a pleasant inthe object of his labour, that he strument, and you hear them, but you thus laboured—that he thus ago- do them not; and then sometimes you nized, with all his heart and soul go away from church, light and trifling, that he might preach Christ crucified and careless and thoughtless; and -that he might teach every man, what on earth are you the better for and warn every man, and at last what you have heard. Bear in mind, might present every man perfect and then, our object is to fit you for heaven; complete in Christ : this was his we shall have something more to do object. Brethren, what do you think with you by and bye; we must give is our object? Is it to gather a great an account of our ministry, and you many persons together—to entertain must give an account of what you you for half an hour—to amuse you have heard. Our object is to present to please you—to say smooth things to every man perfect in Jesus Christ. heal the wound of the daughter of We shall not have done with our miGod's people slightly-to prophesy nistry altogether when we lay our peace when there is no peace-to make heads in the dust. No, no; we shall you all satisfied with yourselves-is meet again-we shall meet before God. that our object? If that were our Oh, may the Lord grant, that in that object it had been better for us that day we may have to say, “Lord here we had never been born. Our object are we, and the children whom thou is the same with that of the Apostle. hast given us.” How many out of It is to preach Christ-it is to warn the congregation now present, under