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tree," ,"* and "hailing" it as "our ONLY HOPE," beseeching IT to "increase grace to the pious, and blot out the crimes of the guilty."+
louder, Ecce lignum crucis; the rest [singing and adoring] as before:
"Ecce lignum crucis in quo salus
Chorus. - Come, let us adore.)
"After this the priest alone bears the cross to a place [prepared for it] before the altar, and [kneeling down] he deposits it there. Then, having taken off his shoes, he [approaches] to [adore] (Husenbeth, proceeds to kiss) the cross; kneeling three several times after which he resumes his shoes and chasuble. Afterwards, [the ministers of the altar, then] the other clergy, and the laity, [two and two, kneeling down three times, as before described] adore (Husenbeth, kiss) the cross. In the meantime [while the adoration of the cross is going on, dum fit adoratio crucis] all, or some of the following Reproaches are sung [according as the greater or less number of those who adore, requires.]" After the 'Reproaches' have been sung, "then all together sing the following anthem :
Crucem tuam adoramus Domine, et sanctam resurrectionem tuam laudamus et glorificamus; ecce enim propter lignum venit gaudium in universo mundo."
(We adore thy cross, O Lord, and praise and glorify thy holy resurrection; for behold by the wood came joy into the whole world.) Missale Romanum, pp. 130, 131; Romæ 1826. Husenbeth's Missal, pp. 306, 307.
If words have any meaning, the preceding passages from the Missal demonstrate the idolatrous worship
of the material cross by the Romish section of the Catholic Church; whatever Papists may assert to the contrary. If indeed any doubt could remain on this subject, it is altogether removed by the Rubric in the Roman Pontifical, for the order of procession for receiving an Emperor which orders that the cross of the Pope's legate shall be carried on the right hand, "quia debetur ei latria,-BECAUSE LATRIA [which is the homage rendered to the Deity by Papists] IS (Pontificale TO IT." Romanum, p. 468, Romæ 1818, 8vo.) The same Pontifical (pp. 335-340) contains an office for blessing a new cross; at the end of which is the following rubric, which directs the priest to
Or leaves like thine, or flow'rets bear. Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,
Sweet is the precious weight ye bear."
In a manual of Popish "Devotions commemorative of the most adorable passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," published at London in 1842, by some professing members of the Church of England, we have the following version of the preceding stanza:
"O faithful cross, thou peerless tree, no forest yields the like of thee, leaf, flower, and bud. Sweet is the wood, and sweet its weight, and sweet the nails which penetrate thee, thou sweet Wood." (Appendix, p. liv.)
How contrary to the recorded sentiments of the Divinely inspired Apostle are these idolatrous prayers and praises, addressed to inanimate matter by the Romish Church and her followers! Writing to Timothy, his "own son in the faith," St. Paul most explicitly terms "the Lord Jesus Christ OUR HOPE," the only foundation of all our hope of happiness in this world and the next; (1 Tim. i. 1,) and HIM he preached as THE HOPE OF GLORY, while he "warned every man, and instructed every man, that he might present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, (Col. i. 27, 28) at the last great day.
II. Thus Paul was determined NOT to know anything save Jesus Christ, and HIM CRUCIFIED." He was not ashamed of the ignominy of the cross of Christ. On the contrary, he gloried in it, as the only medium of salvation for fallen sinners: as you will, I trust, be convinced when, in the second place, we have briefly developed the important particulars comprised in the GREAT THEME OF ALL HIS DISCOURSES AND WRITINGS, announced in the text :-"I determined," he declared to the Corinthians,-"I determined NOT to know ANY THING among you, save JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED." How many precious truths are comprised in these few words!
1. This appellation-JESUS-recalls to our minds that "ONLY name under heaven, which is given unto men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts iv. 12.)
"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven;" in other words, our corrupt nature must be renewed, before we can be "made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." But Jesus has opened for us a way of access to the throne of grace. Though arrayed in the glory of Divinity, "He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant. Being found in fashion as a man, He (who was God manifested in human nature) humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, that He might redeem us from all iniquity.” (Phil. ii. 7; 1 Tim. iii. 16; Tit. ii. 14.) And he left us his example, to teach us that there is no situation in life which is incompatible with the practice of the most exalted virtues.
In the school of
Are any in circumstances of ease and prosperity? Jesus, they may learn not to become proud on account of the advantages they possess, nor to despise their poorer brethren; but to employ the wealth with which they are entrusted in relieving the poor, the wretched, and the afflicted. Are any in poverty, oppressed by accumulated sorrows and infirmities? Jesus, our Saviour, endured all these tribulations before us; and has left us his example of meek resignation, having been "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs," and destitute of a place "where to lay his head." Are any desirous of correcting evil propensities and habits, and of "growing in grace and holiness?" Let us low the blessed steps of his most holy life:" and we shall feel our souls elevated and ennobled, in proportion as we make progress in the knowledge and obedience of the pure and holy moral precepts of the Gospel, which leave at an immeasurable distance all the most boasted precepts of human wisdom and morality.
2. The Apostle also preached Jesus as the CHRIST or Messiah.
fitable invention, indeed, it has proved to the Romish Church); and on the 14th of September, "the feast of the exaltation of the holy cross."-(See Husen
beth's Edition of the Missal, p. 313, and of the "Breviarium Romanum," Pars Verna, p. 554; and Pars Autumnalis, p. 333.
This appellation-CHRIST-is a name of office, like that of King, President, and similar dignities. Among the Jews, prophets, priests, and kings, were anointed, in order to the legitimate exercise of their respective offices, by pouring consecrated oil upon the head. As the great Deliverer, who was promised from the fall of our first parents, and on whom the Holy Spirit descended without measure, was prefigured both by the prophets and high priests, as well as by the kings: and as he was to unite their several offices in his person, and to be the prophet, priest, and king of his people, he is, on this account, termed THE MESSIAH, or CHRIST. And in these several relations or offices, the Apostle preached Christ.
[i.] Paul preached Jesus, as the PROPHET, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; by whom "God has in these last days spoken unto us," and who has revealed to us "all the counsel of God" concerning man's salvation.
[ii.] The Apostle preached Jesus as THE PRIEST; who, by his one offering of himself upon the cross, "to bear the sins of many, hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Heb. x. 14):-his one sacrifice of himself extending an inexhaustible and everlasting redemption to those who are sanctified or made holy by faith in him. And as the high priest under the Mosaic Dispensation, after offering the victim, was to appear in the presence of God in the name and on behalf of the Jewish people; so, our great High Priest, having offered himself a sacrifice for sin, is "entered into heaven itself, Now to appear in the presence of God FOR us. He gave himself FOR our sins. He was delivered FOR our offences. He tasted death FOR every man. He gave himself a ransom FOR all; and he is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him." (Heb. ix. 24. Gal. i. 4. Rom. iv. 25. Heb. ii. 9. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Heb. vii. 25.)
[iii.] Moreover, the Apostle "preached Jesus Christ and him crucified," as the sovereign LORD or King of his church, who has all power in heaven and on earth; whose "throne is for ever and ever. All things are put under HIS feet, who is head over all things to his Church. God hath given him a name, which is above every name; that, at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father." (Heb. i. 8. Eph. i. 22. Phil. ii. 10, 11.)
3. But, however strongly the Apostle enforced the necessity of faith in "Christ and him crucified," by whose "meritorious cross and passion ALONE we obtain remission of sins, and are " finally made partakers of the kingdom of heaven;" he was not less earnest in deducing the NECESSITY OF PIETY AND HOLINESS from the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ. Thus, he sets forth the scope and end of Christ's death, as being, "that he might redeem us from ALL iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. We are not our own: for we are BOUGHT WITH A PRICE. THEREFORE we are to glorify God with our bodies and our spirits which are his." Because "God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us," therefore we are to " 'be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another." We are "to be followers or imitators "of God, as" his "dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and" hath "given himself for us an OFFERING and a SACRIFICE to God." "Being pressed in spirit, Paul testified both to the Jews and Greeks repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ."* Unappalled by the prospect of
* Tit ii. 14, 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20; Eph. iv. 32, v. 1, 2; Acts xviii. 5, xx. 21.
the bonds and afflictions which (he knew) awaited him, he was moved by none of these things: "neither did he count his life precious unto himself, so that he might finish his course with joy, and the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus." (Acts xx. 24.) And what was the powerful motive which thus actuated him? He himself has told us. It was the deep, the overwhelming sense he felt of his own individual obligation to Jesus Christ, for all that he had done and suffered for him. "The love of Christ," he says, 66 CONSTRAINETH US; BECAUSE We thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they who live, should henceforth live, not unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again." (2 Cor. v. 14, 15.)
Such was Paul's mode of "preaching JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED;" and a careful comparison of the apostolical acts and epistles will shew, that the other Apostles preached and taught Christ Crucified in a similar manner. To omit the recorded discourses of Peter (for time would fail me, to adduce every instance which might be offered,) I will cite but two passages from his first general Epistle. He there tells the Christians to whom it was addressed, that they were "redeemed, not with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb, without blemish and without spot;" (i. 18, 19,) and that "Christ also SUFFERED for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow HIS steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." (ii. 21, 22.) "Forasmuch, then," he concludes, "as Christ has suffered FOR US, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin, that he should no longer live the rest of his life in the flesh, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." (iv. 1, 2.) What motives to holy obedience can be stronger than these? Can we know that Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins, and not abhor and forsake them? Did God so love us, that "he sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also" for the sins of "the whole world?" (1 John iv. 10; ii. 2.) Did Christ so love us, that "HE laid down his life for us (iii. 16), in order that he might save us from sin and death? And shall we not " 'love him who thus first loved us,” (1 John iv. 19), and obey HIS precepts? Christ also dwelt among men to set us an example, and guide us in the way of righteousness, which is the way to present peace and future happiness: and shall we not follow the example of our Master and Lord? (John xiii. 14, 15.) What reasons- -what motives-can influence and affect us, if these do not induce us to "walk as HE also walked?" (1 John ii. 6.)
III. Thus Paul "DETERMINED not to know any thing save JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED," the Saviour of the world, the Prophet, Priest, and Lord of all that truly believe in him; and he gladly "counted all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus." (Phil. iii. 8.) And this great theme of all his discourses and writings furnishes us with many important and practical results. Two or three of these, in conclusion, shall be briefly stated.
1. We learn, then, first that the PREACHING OF CHRIST CRUCIFIED IS THE GRAND INSTRUMENT, under the Divine blessing, FOR THE CONVERSION OF THE WORLD TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.
It was this very preaching which gave such success to the diffusion of the Gospel in the apostolic age. After our Lord's ascension into heaven, the Apostles "went forth and preached" the Gospel "everywhere." In CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 61
what manner Paul, in particular, preached Christ Crucified, we have already seen: "the Lord wrought with them, and confirmed the word," preached by them, "with signs" or miracles "following" (Mark xvi. 20) so that, when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Colossians about thirty years after our Lord's ascension, he informed them that the Gospel was then preached "in all the world," (Col. i. 6); meaning the whole of the then known world. In the ages immediately subsequent to that of the Apostles, profane and ecclesiastical history equally attests the progress of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED: so that, in the beginning of the fourth century, not only had the entire Roman Empire become Christian; but regions, inaccessible to the Roman arms, had yielded willing subjection to the faith of Christ. The peaceful triumphs of the cross continued to spread, for many centuries and though, during what are emphatically called the "dark ages,"—that is, from the ninth to the sixteenth century,—the light of the Gospel was obscured by Romish tyranny, superstition, and sanguinary persecutions, yet "the gates of hell did not " finally "prevail" against the pure faith of Christ Crucified, which was professed and taught in various parts of Europe. Throughout that long and dreary period, an unbroken series of witnesses, confessors, and martyrs for the truth of the Gospel, was raised up in Germany, France, England, and other countries. At length, when-through the mercy of God-pure and undefiled religion was restored by the Reformation from the errors and innovations of Popery, that cardinal doctrine of the Gospel-justification by (or through) faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ-was revived and re-vindicated; though not until it had been sealed in our own country by the blood of several hundred martyrs during the sanguinary Marian persecution; and on the continent, by the blood of thousands of martyrs for the faith of Christ. And wherever the doctrine of Christ Crucified is preached in all its native purity and force, it is now-as it ever has been-"the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." (Rom. i. 16.)
In later ages to our own time indeed-it is well known that the devoted Missionaries of the Episcopal Moravian Church had long toiled in North America without any visible effect, until the incarnation and sufferings of Christ became the theme of their discourses. But, from the hour that they told of the judgment-hall, of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the Redeemer's dying love, their prospects brightened; and their pious labours were crowned with success. * Recently, in New Zealand, was witnessed the delightful spectacle of a meeting of portions of about twenty once hostile tribes, who had lived in actual malice, "hateful and hating one another;" but who were convened, in order to manifest their gratitude to the Father of mercies, for giving to them the "word of his grace," by freely offering their gold and silver for sending Missionaries to preach "the unsearchable riches of Christ" to other heathen nations that had not heard the "good tidings of great joy to all people." And in our own country, an eminent Christian philosopher and divine † has left it on record, as the result of his long experience in
Spangenberg's Account of the Manner in which the United Brethren carry on their Missions among the Heathen, Sect. 44-46.
The Rev. Dr. Chalmers, in his
Address to the Inhabitants of the