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blood of God—the Church which God each of you will leave this house topurchased by his own blood. When day quite a different person from what you have told out the value of that you entered it: every word the mi. blood—that is, when you have told nister speaks softens or hardens; preout the value of all the unsearchable pares you for heaven or ripens you for riches of heaven's treasure house, then hell. Oh, which of these processes you have the value of the happiness has been going on to-day? It is not which you shall receive. Happiness an essay of philosophy, it is not a ever progressive throughout eternity, metaphysical exercise, they are the shining forth in fresh beauties and de- words of the living God, before whom veloping fresh glories as you travel we shall all stand, which we have on your way onwards and upwards, spoken to you. Oh, then, consider, with eagle's flight and with eagle's if these truths respecting Christ and gaze, towards the source of all light his nature, and his offices, and his and warmth, to the virtuous universe, atonement, do not soften your heart, towards the fountain of all purity and subdue your unruly will, and and joy, even the covenanted God of bring you to God, how shall you your salvation. Dear brethren, anti- stand in the day of the wrath of the cipate this happiness-rise above earth Lamb, when Jesus Christ shall come -wear the royal robes of dignity upon in the clouds of heaven, and in the you—let them not be soiled by this glory of his father, and shall take earth-walk through the world as
vengeance on those who know not those who are above it—walk through God and obey not his Gospel. May the world as those who have a better the God of all mercy avert from us all inheritance prepared for them—who the curses of that day, and give us to have the Redeemer of the world for hear the accents of the Saviour's love, their brother and husband, and God for pronouncing in our ears,“ Come ye their all-satisfying portion.
blessed children of my Father, inLastly, dear friends, who shall de- herit the kingdom prepared for you scribe the dreadful punishment of him who from the foundation of the world." rejects the Gospel ? Mark, my friends,
AT ST. CLEMENT-DANE'S CHURCH, MAY 29, 1831.
Ephesians, iii. 14—19.—“ For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in hearen and earth is named; that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man ; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height ; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
That prayer is one of the primary | imitation in praying for others, but it duties, and one of the most valuable is replete, generally, with the most privileges of the Christian, none but valuable instruction. It is also by no those who are accustomed to live means inappropriate to the subject, without it will hesitate to acknow- which our church brings more imme. ledge. It is strongly recommended diately before our view this day. For to us in the Scriptures, both by pre. if we do not find the doctrine of the cept and example. It is one of the Trinity directly asserted, we find it main channels through which the clearly implied in it. It contains a Lord is pleased to dispense the richest distinct reference to each of the sacred blessings; it is one of the means by three: to God the Father, to the Lord which he condescends to administer Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. to their consolation and support in “For this cause I bow my knees unto the hour of trial ; strength and courage the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the day of weakness; mercy and of whom the whole family in heaven grace to help in time of need.
and earth is named, that he would In all ages of the church the saints grant you, according to the riches of of God have been eminently men of his glory, to be strengthened with prayer. Nor have they prayed for might by his Spirit in the inner man; themselves alone. Taught by divine that Christ may dwell in your hearts grace to feel a serious concern for their by faith ; that ye, being rooted and own souls, they have learned to feel grounded in love, may be able to for the souls of others. Hence, they comprehend with all saints, what is have diligently employed the most the breadth, and length, and depth, effectual means in their power of be- and height, and to know the love of nefiting their fellow-creatures (espe- Christ, which passeth knowledge, that cially those of the household of faith) ye might be filled with all the ful. by pouring forth in their behalf fervent ness of God.” May the same divine supplications at the throne of mercy. Spirit, who dictated this prayer to the
Of this intercessory prayer St. Paul Apostle, be graciously pleased to di. has furnished us in the text with a fine rect and aid the exposition of it, to example. And it is not only worthy which, in dependence on his blessing, of our serious attention and regard in I would lead your attention. this particular point of view; it not The prayer thus begins : “For this only presents us with a model for our cause I bow my knees unto the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ." The cause to which St. Paul here alludes, we learn on a reference to the context. "I desire," saith he, in the verse immediately preceding the text, "that ye faint not at my tribulations for you." He was at that time a sufferer in the cause which he so ardently loved. His zeal and boldness in preaching among the Ephesians and other Gentiles "the unsearchable riches of Christ," had brought upon him the rage and persecution of the enemies of the Gospel, and he was now detained as a prisoner at Rome. But the Apostle was not one of those, who, when persecution or tribulation ariseth because of the word, are presently offended. No difficulties, no opposition, no persecution, could damp his ardour in the great cause in which he had embarked. In his captivity his soul retained its wonted greatness. He was not discouraged, nor deprest; he knew in whom he had believed, and was willing not only to suffer bondage but even to die for his sake. But he felt some anxiety respecting the effect which his sufferings in the cause of the Gospel might have upon the Christians at Ephesus. They were yet, if I may so express it, but young in Christianity; they had but recently been converted to the faith of Christ; and he felt a degree of fear, lest they should be discouraged by the sufferings to which they saw him exposed, by his boldness in maintaining and preaching that faith; and be thus led to abandon a cause which had brought upon him hatred, persecution, and imprisonment. Accordingly, St. Paul endeavours to comfort and encourage them: "I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you." And in order that he may behold the accomplishment of this desire, and see the Ephesian converts (undismayed by the dangers and difficulties of this warfare) continue to fight the good
fight of faith, with the courage and constancy which become the soldiers of Christ, he avails himself of the grand resource, of which his enemies could not deprive him; he flees to the throne of grace, and there pours forth the supplications of his heart in behalf of those whom he is addressing "For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
My brethren, let us learn to copy this example. In every season of difficulty or trial-on every occasion of alarm or apprehension, whether for ourselves or others-in every possible emergency, let us betake ourselves to
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice
Instead of attempting to hew out for ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that will hold no water, let us have recourse at once to the fountain of living waters. Instead of looking for deliverance, or support, or strength, in every direction but that of Heaven. Instead of leaning on every arm but one that is Almighty-instead of placing our reliance on every friend but the best, let us bow our knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him let our prayers be directed-on Him let our hope, and faith, and confidence be reposed, and we shall assuredly find, that when we are weak, then are we strong; that when we are most sensible of our own helplessness, and fix our dependance simply and entirely upon the Lord, we shall find him most near to succour and support us; that when we most feel our own insufficiency, we shall have the most convincing proofs that our sufficiency is of Him.
But while we derive this lesson from our text, before we quit this part of our subject, let us not omit to mark
the further instruction connected with own declaration-“No man cometh it, which is conveyed to us in the title unto the Father but by me." given in this passage to the God to The inspired prayer which we are whom we are to pray—“the Father of considering, thus proceeds : "of whom our Lord Jesus Christ.” Of all the the whole family of heaven and earth titles of our God this is the most en- | is named." Whether these words redearing; and it is peculiarly calculated fer to God the Father, or to Christ, is to encourage the suppliant at the not clear from the passage : hence throne of grace, to come to that throne divines are not agreed respecting its with a holy and reverent boldness, application. This point, however, is since it reminds him of God's willing- not very material; for if we consider ness favourably to hear, and graciously it, according to the opinions of some, to accept him. And although the as relating to Christ, the allusion is to penitent sinner may reason within him their being named Christians from him; self thus: “I am unworthy of the and in this case they apply to those least of all the mercies of my God:1 who are now pursuing their journey am utterly unworthy to come before to Zion, and those who through grace Him: How shall I, a sin-polluted are already there, to believers on earth, creature, appear in the presence of and to the spirits of just men made that exalted Being who is glorious in perfect in heaven. But if the exholiness?
pressions before us refer to the Father But yet, notwithstanding all this, as they are considered by others), our text encourages even the vilest of they convey a still more extensive sigthe vile to draw nigh to the Great Je- nification, including not only believers hovah; yea, to take courage and cast on earth and the glorified saints, but himself, simple faith and humble also the innumerable company of the confidence, before the footstool of Him angels of God. These all constitute who is the Father of our Lord Jesus one grand family, and are said to be Christ. “He that spared not his own named of God, as being his children Son, but delivered him up for us all, and bearing his name, just as the chilhow shall He, not with Him also, dren of earthly parents are called by freely give us all things ?” “ He so their names. What a cheering and loved the world, that he gave his only animating consideration is this for begotten Son” to die upon the cross
those who are true believers in the for its redemption. Surely this is suf- Lord Jesus—who have taken up their ficient to assure us that He will not cross and are following him through spurn from his throne the suppliant evil and through good report. that approaches Him, trusting in the Perhaps there are some here who mediation of his beloved Son. O, yes, answer to this description, and who he will be “ accepted in the beloved.” stand in need of consolation and enFor never, my brethren, in our ap- couragement. You see that the Lord's proaches to the mercy-seat of God, let people are but "a little flock” when us lose sight of the important truth, compared with the multitudes of the that between God and man Christ ungodly, and hence you are often dis. Jesus is the great Mediator. We have couraged, and tempted to think yourno right to expect, that any prayer self alone in the house of your pilgrimwhich we offer will be accepted, if it age: but you are not alone, nor are be not offered through his mediation, the children of God so little a flock as and in reliance upon it-it is Christ's you perhaps imagine. There are at this very moment thousands whose piness are you losing! Be persuaded, faces you never will behold in the then, to aspire to those privileges, to flesh-their history, their names, their seek that happiness. Pray for the very existence unknown to you—whose spirit of adoption, and pray in faith. hearts are beating in unison with your But to return to our text. The own—who are pursuing the same nar- Apostle thus proceeds to pray in behalf row way in which you are walking, of the Ephesians, “ that he would are waging the same holy warfare in grant you according to the riches of which you are engaged—are influenced his glory;" that is, in a manner and by the same motives, actuated by the measure corresponding with that rich same principles, pursuing the same fulness of grace, mercy, and power, grand objects, and who have to en- which dwells in him, and constitutes counter the same discouragements, and his glory—" to be strengthened with difficulties, and trials, with which you might by his Spirit in the inner man." are contending. You may differ from By the “inner man" is meant the them in clime and complexion—you heart : thus the prophet Jeremiah may be separated from them by an im- speaks, in his thirty-first chapter and measurable distance-mountains may thirty-third verse, “this shall be the rise and seas may roll between you, covenant that I will make with the but you are members of the same great house of Israel : after those days, family—a family not only of earth, saith the Lord, I will put my law in but also of heaven-a family of which their inward parts, and write it in saints and angels compose a part—and their hearts." Their hearts, evidently a family named of God. Be en- implying the same as, or, indeed, being couraged, then, and go on your way an explanation of the former expres. rejoicing in the anticipation of that sion, “ their inward parts”-an exblissful period when all the members pression corresponding to that of our of this family shall meet in the house text, “ the inner man.” We likewise and presence of their Father, and unite find St. Peter, in his first epistle, third in one grand chorus, singing, “ Bless- chapter and fourth verse, using this ing, and honour, and glory, and power, expression, “ the hidden man of the be unto Him that sitteth upon the heart." throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever And what prayer should we more and ever.”
frequently, or more fervently offer in But, my brethren, if these things be behalf of ourselves and others, than so, what shall I say to you, whose this? Of what do we stand more in whole course of life and conduct plainly need, than to be strengthened with demonstrates that you are enemies of might by the Spirit of God in the the cross of Christ ? that you are mind- inner man? • Strait is the gate, and ing earthly things alone, neglecting narrow is the way which leadeth unto your immortal souls, and living with life.” “The kingdom of heaven sufout God in the world? Are you mem- fereth violence, and the violent take it bers of that happy family of which by force.” we have been speaking ?
These are the declaration of Holy heirs of God, and joint heirs with Writ; and do not these and similar Christ? You must know that you are passages clearly shew that the salva. not. Your conscience, if yet unseared, tion of the soul is not a matter so will tell you this. Ah, brethren, what easily accomplished, that the glory of privileges are you slighting, what hap- heaven is not an object so easily at.