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Full text of "The work of preaching Christ [microform] : a charge, delivered to the clergy of the Diocese of Ohio, at its forty-sixth annual convention, in St. Paul's Church, Akron, on the 3d of June, 1863"

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DELITBEED TO THE CLERGY OF THE DIOCESE OF OHIO, AT ITS FOETZ- 

i.NNUAL CONTENTION, IN ST. PAUL'S 

AKRON, ON THE 3D OF JUNE, 1863. 



SIXTH ANNUAL CONTENTION, IN ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, 



BY CHAELES PETTIT McILVAINE, D. D., D. 0. L., 

\ 77 r 

BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE. 

Second Edition. 

NEW YORK: 
ANSON D. P. RANDOLPH, 

770 BROADWAY, 

# 1864. 





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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, 

BY OHAELES PETTIT MoILTAINE, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of New York. 



EDWAKD O. JENKINS, 
printer atrti Stmotsprr, 

No. 20 NOETH "WHLIAM 8*. 



CHARGE 

To THE CLERGY OP THE DIOCESE OF OHIO : 

BRETHREN, It is a lon^ time since I addressed 
you in the form of a Charge. Various have been 
the causes ; the chief of them, as you well know, 

having been connected with the state of my health. 



Addressing you again in that mode, and with exclu- 
sive reference to matters peculiar to our office as 
Ministers of Christ, realizing how near my time is 
to lay it down, I choose a subject with which a 
Bishop may well desire to close his ministry ; which 
indeed all our work should be identified with, and 
which, I am thankful to say, has been obtaining, ever 
since mine began, a deeper and stronger possession 
of my mind, my affections, and my ministry I mean 
the work of preaching Christ, according to the Scrip- 
tures, j,nd the example of the Apostles. 
" Go preach the Gospel," were the words of our 

(3) 



4 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

Lord to his Apostles, which conveyed to them and 
to us the whole weight and substance of the com- 
mission of his Ministers and Ambassadors. . It was 
the unquestioning obedience of a simple and unhesi- 
tating faith to that one command, animated by an 
unquenchable love to its divine Author and to the 
souls he died to save, enlightened by the teaching 
and made mighty by the power of the Holy Ghost, 
that constituted all the vigour and efficacy of the 
ministry of the Apostles. It was thus that their 
weapons of warfare became " mighty through God," 
and achieved those stupendous victories of the truth 
over " the spirit that ruleth in the children of diso- 
bedience," which the weaker faith and more timid 
obedience of the Church in later days have so poorly 
imitated. And, as in the beginning, so also in all 
times of the Christian dispensation, it has pleased 
(rod that sinners shall be brought " into captivity to 
the obedience of Christ" and made partakers of his 
salvation, by the obedience of his ministers to that 
one original charge and command "preach the 
Gospel" Faith by hearing ; Gospel faith, by hear- 
ing Gospel truth ; and such hearing, by the preach- 

TJi':'' 

ing of the word of God, is His standing rule accord- 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 5 

ing to which He bestows His Spirit for the convic- 
tion, conversion, and sanctification of men. 

But it is manifest from the Scriptures that the 
Apostles identified the Gospel with Christ ; so that, 
in their view and practice, to preach the Gospel was 
neither more nor less than to preach Christ. The 
record which, in a few words, describes their minis- 
try is that, " daily in the temple and in every house, 
they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." 
St. Paul to the Romans defines the whole Gospel by 
saying that it is "concerning Jesus Christ."* The 
employment of his two years' imprisonment at Rome 
was all comprehended in "teaching those things 
which concern the Lord Jesus." And his whole 
ministry was given unto him, he , testifies, that* he 
"might preach .the unsearchable riches of Christ." 
As he could say, " For me to live is Christ ;" so for 
him to preach was Christ. To him Christ and the 
Gospel were one. 

But we must here note the chief feature in their 
preaching of Christ. They omitted nothing pertain- 
ing to him ; but there was one thing on which, more 
than anything else, they very particularly and em- 

* Rom. i. 3. 



6 THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 

phatieally dwelled. They took great . pains to set 
forth, the Lord Jesus in all that he was and is, in 
person and office, as once on earth and" now in 
heaven, his preexistent glory with the Father, his 
incarnation and humiliation in our nature, his death, 
resurrection, and intercession ; all his love, all his 
promises, all his commandments ; so that there was 
no part of the whole counsel- of God " concerning 
His Son Jesus Christ," which they kept back. But 
manifestly there was one event in his history, one 
work amidst all his works, which stood in their view 
as the great event and work, around which they 
gathered the force of their testimony, as. its central 
light and power to which they made all that went 
before it look forward for consummation, and all 
that succeeded look back as to its foundation, and 
on the faithful declaration of which, with its imme- 
diate connections, they very especially rested the 
faithfulness of their work as preachers of the Gos- 
pel. No doubt you anticipate me. Such passages 
of the Apostles arise to your minds, as, " we preach . 
Christ crucified ;" " I determined not to know any- 
thing among you (while declaring unto you the testi- 
mony of God) save Jesus Christ and him crucified ;" 



THE; WOEK OP PEEACHING CHEIST. 7 

" God forbid that I should glory save in the cross 
of our Lord Jesus Christ ;" " For the preaching of 
the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto 
us which are saved it is the power of God." They 
preached Christ but as Christ crucified. They 
said continually, like John the Baptist, " Behold the 
Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the 
world," but it was the " Lamb slain" : Christ in his ... 
death bearing " our sins in his own body on the 
tree,".that they pointed to. They rejoiced in every- 
thing pertaining to their Lord, from his birth at 
Bethlehem to his present glory at the Father's right 
hand ; but the one thing in which they rejoiced so 
supremely, that everything else was lost in compari- 
son, was his cross. Of the two sacraments ordained 
of Christ for his Church, that which alone goes with 
the believer to be renewed and repeated all along 
the way of his earthly life, has for its great object 
to " show the Lord's death until he come." It was 
a great lesson which the Lord thus taught us as to 
how we must preach him. His Apostles therefore 
became in speech, what that sacrament is in sym- 
bol ; constantly showing the Lord's death as the 
sinner's life. Thus, when they spoke of the Chris- 



I 
8 THE WOEK OP PEEACHING CHEIST. 

tian's race for " the prize of the high calling of God 
in Christ Jesus"- and when they exhorted us while 
in that contest to be always " looking unto Jesus" 
the special aspect in which they presented him, was 
as enduring the cross. And I need not here say 
that their sense of the supreme importance in their 
ministry of the death of Christ was because they 
beheld therein the one only and the one all-sufficient 
sacrifice and propitiation, the vicarious atonement, 
for the sins of the whole world ; that great work of 
God wherein he laid in Zion, for a sure foundation, 
the precious cornerstone, on which the sinner be- 
lieving shall not be confounded. It is all contained 
in one verse " Christ hath once suffered for sins, 
the just for the unjust to bring us to God."* And 
again, " Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of 
the law, being made a curse for us."t 

Thus, brethren, we have our lesson and example. 
In the way the Apostles preached the Gospel we must 
try to preach it. As they preached Christ, so must 
we. God forbid that we should glory in anything 
else as ministers of the word. Preachers of Christ, 
according to the mind of Christ ah, how all hon- 

* 1 Pet. iii. 18. f GaL iii. 18. 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 9 



ors, all satisfaction in our work will perish but that ! 
When our stewardship is to be accounted for, and 
we are just departing, and the veil, half drawn aside, 
discloses what we are to meet and what to be for- 
ever, bow then shall we care for praise of learning 
or praise of speech or any vapors of men's applause 1 
But then, to have " the testimony of our conscience 
that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with 
enticing words of man's wisdom/' we have made it 
our life-business and our heart-pleasure to "teach 
and preach Jesus Christ," as they did whom he 
gave to be our examples, having ourselves first learn- 
ed his preciousness to our own souls ; oh, what con- 
solation and thankfulness with which to die. 

Evidently then, my brethren, it is a most serious 
question to be always studying, ' how we may so 
proclaim the truth committed to us in Holy Scrip- 
ture, that in the sense of the Apostles it may be said 
of us in our whole ministry that " we preach Christ 
crucified," To this we devote this address. It is 
a great question indeed. Many are the failures - 
many the egregious failures. Sometimes it seems as 
if the preacher could preach just as he does if 

Christ and his work were a mere incident in reli- 
1* , 



10. THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

gion, a name, and little more answering ncm and 
then as a convenience to a sentence ; introduced 
occasionally, because, under some texts, not easily 
avoided, but. never as the root and foundation out 
of which our whole ministry proceeds. But what 
awful condemnation to be thus essentially defective 
at the very heart of the great work- committed to us ! 
Nothing can in the least atone for its absence. You 
might as well attempt to turn night into day, by 
lighting a candle as a substitute for the sun. Our 
ministry is all darkness, emptiness, and impotence ; 
all condemnation to us, all delusion to those who 
hear us, all dishonor to the grace of God, whatever 
the breath of man may say of it, except as it is 
pervaded, illumined, filled with the testimony of 
Christ as once the sacrifice for sin, crucified and 
slain; now the glorified and ever-living intercessor 
for all that come unto God by him. 

'There are many ways of approaching more or leSs 
to that attainment without ever reaching it. Some 
of the most common we will endeavor to state : 

It is very possible to preach a great deal of import- 
ant religious truth, and so that there shall be no ad- 
mixture of important error in doctrine or precept- 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 11 

yea, truth having an important relation to Christ and 
his office, .and yet not to preach Christ. The defect 
will be not in the presence of what should not be 
there, but in the absence of what should be, of that 
which is necessary to give all the truth delivered, the 
character of " truth as in Jesus." Such absence, when 
nevertheless all is true, may be morei destructive to 
the Gospel character of the preaching, than even the 
introduction of some positive error. The preaching 
may be very earnest. It may contain much that is 
affecting and deeply impressive strong emotions 
may be stirred in the hearers. The earnest enquiry 
may be excited what must we do ? And yet, the 
preaching may wholly fail in giving any such dis- 
tinct answer to that question, as will turn the atten- 
tion of the enquirer to Christ as all his refuge. We 
may say a great deal about and around the Gospel 
and never preach the Gospel. Religious truths are 
not the Gospel, except in proportion as, like John 
the Baptist, they point to the Lamb of God. For 
example suppose you preach on the vanity of the 
world ; the uncertainty of life ; the awfulness of 
death unprepared .for ; the tremendous events of the 
judgment-day ; the little profit of gaining the whok 



12 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHEIST. 

world and losing -the soul; suppose yon enlarge on 
the necessity and blessedness of a religious life, and 
the happiness of the saved. Does it follow that 
yon have preached the Gospel, or any part of it ? 
If deep impressions are made, and serious enquiries 
excited, does it follow that Christ is preached? 
Such topics unquestionably belong most legitimately 
to our ministry ; they are important parts of the 
truth given us to enforce ; but they are entirely 
subordinate and preliminary. They are not the 
distinctive seed of the word from which God has 
ordained that newness of life shall spring. They 
are rather the plough and the harrow to open and 
stir the ground, that it may receive the seed of life. 
You may spend all your time in such work not 
omitting to sprinkle your discourses with the oft- 
repeated name of Christ and with much (rospel 
language ; and just because there is no pervading 
exhibition of Christ, in his work of Justification by 
his righteousness and of Sanctification by his Spirit, 
given so pointedly and plainly that whosoever will 
may understand, you may never attain to the honor, 
in the sight of God, of teaching and preaching Jesus 
Christ, whatever the estimate of those who have not 



THE VfORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 13 

learned to discriminate between truth that is re- 
ligious, and truth that is not only religious, but dis- 
tinctively grospeZ-truth ; who know not the difference 
between such preaching as makes the hearer feel 
some spiritual want, and that which tells him what 
he wants and where and how he is to find it. The 
hearer who has learned Christ, as his lesson of heart 
and life, of hope and peace, and knows nothing as 
precious to his soul, but as it leads him to Jesus, on 
the cross of sacrifice and on the throne of inter- 
cession, Jesus in his invitations and promises, Jesus 
in his grace to help, his righteousness to clothe, and 
his power to sanctify, will feel that in all that minis- 
try " one thing is needful" and that one thing, the 
very thing on which all its character hinges, 
CHRIST. 

But let us advance a little further. You may 
preach with faithfulness and plainness the -strictness 
and holiness of the law, how it enters with its re- 
quirements into all the thoughts and affections of 
the heart, pronouncing condemnation on the sinner, 
and bringing us all in guilty before God. There 
may be no shrinking from the fullest exposition of 
the Scriptures concerning the end of the impenitent. 



14 THE WOEK OP PBEACHING CHEIST. 

Still more : the office of Christ as the only Saviour, 
and his merits as the only plea, may be introduced 
not unfrequently, and yet may there be a great 
lack of such distinct setting forth of Christ such 
holding up of Christ crucified, as Moses lifted up 

f the serpent in the wilderness before the dying 
Israelites for all to see and live such presentation 
of God's great remedy for every man's necessities, 
as belongs to the consistency, simplicity and fullness 

' of the work committed to the minister of the Gos- 
pel. While speaking much of duty, the grace to 
enable us to do it may not be propor-tionably pre- 
sented. While the penalties of sin may be kept in 
full view, the fullness and tenderness and earnestness 
of the invitations and promises of Christ to the 
sinner turning unto -God, may be very dimly ex- 
hibited. That great lesson, which we have need to 
be always studying, may have been but little learned, 
how to preach the law as showing our need of the 
righteousness of Christ, and how to preach the Gos- 
pel as establishing and honouring the law ; the one 
to convince of sin and condemnation, the other as 
providing a deliverance so complete that to the 
"believer there is no condemnation .; the one as tak- 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 15 

ing away all pleas derived from ourselves, the other 
as furnishing a most perfect and prevailing plea in 
the mediation of Christ ; the law as giving the rule 
of life, the Gospel as giving the power of life, yea, 
life from death, in Jesus Christ ; the law to humble 
us under a consciousness of an utter beggary before 
God ; the Gospel as directing us to him in whom 
it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell. 
Again. " It may be that doctrine immediately con- 
cerning the Lord 'Jesus, and bringing his person and 
office into view, may be much introduced. We may 
take opportunity to speak of his infinite dignity of 
being ; the mystery of his incarnation ; the humili- 
ation and love and grace of his coming in our na- 
ture ; his tenderness and compassion, and power to 
save ; the perfectness of his example and the depth 
of his sufferings. Indeed, everything revealed 
concerning him may at times be found in our teach- 
ing, without error, and in each particular, as it 
stands by itself, without serious defect. But there 
may be still an important deficiency. The propor- 
tion of truth may not be kept. There is a propor- 
tion of parts in the whole body of gospel truth just 
as there is the same in our own bodies. We must 



16 THE WORK OF PKEACHING CHEIST. 

omit none of the parts, but put each in its right 
relation to all the rest. To fail in this, so that 
wMlo we embrace all we deform all, by a dispropor- 
tionate exaltation of some, and depression of others, 
may be just as destructive of the gospel character 
of our ministry, just as confusing and misleading, as 
if we omitted some truths, and perverted others. 
For example, you may preach Christ in various as- 
pects ; but Christ crucified, the great sacrifice of 
propitiation, though not omitted, may not have that 
high-place, that central place, that all-controlling 
place, that place of the head-stone of the corner, 
which is necessary to its right adjustment to all 
parts of the system of faith. You may preach the 
Incarnation of Christ in all its truth as a separate 
event, and yet in great .error as regards its relation 
to other events, making it so unduly prominent that 
his death shall be made to appear comparatively 
subordinate and unessential the means exalted 
above the end the preparation of the body of 
Christ for sacrifice, being made of more importance 
and more effective in our salvation than his offering 
of that body on the cross. But the great Sacrament 
which we carry with us all the way of our journey, 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 17 

as our great confession, and joy and glory, is to 
show, as oft as we *t that bread and drink that 
cup, not the Lord's birth, but "the Lord's death until 
he coine." - 

You may preach all of Christ's work as well as 
person, and all in due proportion of parts, and yet 
some other vital truth essentially connected may be 
so disproportionately presented as to create in the 
whole a most important defect. You have exhibited 
the foundation which. God hath laid in Zion. The 
question remains, how the sinner is to avail himself 
of that foundation. He is to build thereon. But 
How ? The Apostle answers, " He that ~bdieveth on 
him shall not be confounded." We build by faith. 
"We cannot preach Christ without preaching on that 
by which we become partakers of Christ. Evi- 
dently confusion, indistinctness, feebleness, defici- 
ency* there, must produce the same effect, throughout 
the whole Gospel. If faith, -in its nature, office, effi- 
cacy and distinctive operation and fruits, be kept in 
a place so obscure, so subordinate, or taught so con- 
fusedly that either it is wholly out of sight or hid in 
a crowd of other things ; placed in the outer court 
of the temple instead of immediately by the altar 



18 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

of sacrifice, as the one instrumental grace by which 
the sinner partakes of the " Eamb of God ;" if the 
works which are its fruits be so confounded with 
itself that the grace by which we are " rooted and 
grounded " in Christ, is made of no more influence 
in our participation of him than the several works 
of righteousness which grow out of its life, and fol- 
low upon the participation of Christ through its 
agency, then is the relative adjustment of truth most 
seriously spoiled and deformed. 

Lastly, under this head of our inquiry j it may be 
that occasionally in a discourse, now and then, the 
setting forth of Christ is satisfactory in point of 
doctrine and the proportion of truth. But it may be 
only occasionally thus, when the text so obliges, -ac- 
cording to rhetorical propriety, that we cannot avoid 
it. But such texts may not be chosen very often. 
Passing from subject to subject, the preacher comes, 
from time to time, to one which necessarily leads to 
the manifestation of Christ, in some leading feature 
of his grace and salvation, and then all may be well 
done and calculated to enlighten a mind hungering 
for the truth. But, meanwhile, you may hear many a 
discourse which contains scarcely more of anything 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 19 

distinctive of the Gospel, or pertaining to Christ, ex- 
cept perhaps his name sometimes introduced, than if 
it were some other religion than Christ's of which. the 
preacher is the minister. And in the general course 
of his work we may look in vain after that evident 
fondness of heart for views which most intimately 
and directly look unto Jesus ; that habitual feeding 
of the flock in pastures watered by the river that 
proceedeth qut 6f the throne of God and the Lamb ; 
that strong tendency, when subjects not directly tes- 
tifying of Christ must be handled, to keep them as 
near to him as possible, and to return from them as 
soon as possible to others of a nearer neighborhood 
to the cross ; that desire to illuminate all subjects 
with light from " the face of Jesus Christ," which 
proves the preacher's determination " to know noth- 
ing among men, but Jesus Christ and him crucified." 
We miss that Jidbitualness of the testimony- of 
Christ, that special love for all the region round 
about Gethsemane and Calvary, the atonement and 
the intercession, and the great gifts of the Spirit 
purchased thereby ; we miss that constant tracing 
of all spiritual life and consolation, in its every influ- 
ence and fruit, to Christ as the life, and that careful 



20 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

binding of all spiritual affections and duties upon, 
.him for support and strength, as the vine-dresser 
trains 1 his vine upon" its trellis, which appears so re- 
markably in the teaching of the Apostles. - 

We have thus endeavored to indicate some of the 
paths by which, without delivering anything untrue, 
and While delivering much important truth, we may 
come short of the duty under consideration. We 
proceed to consider how we may fulfill it. What is 
it to preach Christ ? 

We have a great example in our Lord's own teach- 
ing. When, after his resurrection, he met the two 
disciples on the way to Bmmaus, and found them in 
such darkness and doubt concerning himself, it is 
written that, " beginning at Moses, and all the pro- 
phets, he expounded unto them, in all the Scriptures, 
the things concerning himself :" the things concern- 
ing Himself. Our office as Christian ministers, ex- 
pounding the Scriptures, is to bring forth all their 
teaching concerning that glorious One, Himself. St. 
Paul therefore said that he was " separated unto the 
Gospel of God concerning His Son Jesus Christ."* 
To teach sinners to know Christ, and to " count all 

* Rom. i. 1-3. 



'THE WOEK OF PEEACHING CHBIST. 21 

things "but loss for the 'excellency of the knowledge 
of Him," looking to the power of the Holy Ghost 
to communicate, through the truth which we give 
only in the letter, that spiritual and saving knowl- 
edge which only God giveth, is the general expres- 
sion of our duty. 

But in the Gospel "concerning our; Lord Jesus 
Christ," that is, in the circle of doctrines and duties 
and promises and blessings which constitute the 
message of great salvation in him, there is, as we 
have already hinted, a system of parts mutually re- 
lated and dependent, all in perfect harmony, none 
so obscure or remote as to be of no importance to 
the right representation of the whole. That system, 
like that of "our sun, has a centre, by which all the 
parts are held in place, from which all their light 
and life proceed, and around which all revclve. 
You cannot exhibit the, system of truth and duty 
till you have made known that central light and 
power ; nor can you make known that power in all 
its truth, without exhibiting those surrounding and 
dependent parts of doctrine and precept. That cen- 
tral sun of light and life is Christ. All of gospel 

- ... 

truth and duty, of consolation and strength, abides 



22 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

in Christ derives from Christ, and glorifies Christ 
and must "be so presented or it is divorced from 
its only life and loses its gospel character. He is 
the True Vine, and all parts of > gospel truth are 
branches in him. Let such truth be presented with- 
out that connection, then its character as truth may 
remain, but its character for " truth as in Jesus " is 
lost. Its vitality is gone. Fruit of life in Christ 
Jesus, it cannot produce. It is just as true and 
important concerning truth as concerning men, that 
" the branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide 
in the vine." 

Now what is the best mode of setting forth this 
system of grace ? Where shall we begin ? Shall 
we first take up the elements of religion (the out- 
sides of the circle ; reasoning upward from gen- 
eral truths to the more particular j explaining and 
enforcing ordinances and institutions of the Church) 
as our road of approach to the Head and Life of the 
Church ; confining attention to means of grace be- 
fore we have directed our hearers to the grace itself 
in the great fountain head ; and thus gradually, and 
after a long process of preparatory work, arriving 
at last at the person and mission and sacrifice of 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 23 

Christ ? But we must remember who they are whom 
we are thus keeping so long in the cold and in the 
dark. They are sinners under the condemnation of 
the law of God. They are dying sinners. How brief 
the time of some of them to learn, you know not. 
You have no time to spend on preliminaries before 
you have introduced them to the great salvation. 
What they have most need to know is, He who came 
to seek and to save the lost how they may find him, 
and what are the terms of his salvation. Begin at 
once with Christ " Behold the Lamb of God " is 
the voice. There is no light till that light appears. The 
icy-bondage of the sinner's heart yields not till that 
sun is risen. Astronomers, when they teach the solar 
system, begin with the sun. Thence, to the related 
and independent orbits, is easy. So the apostles 
taught. See how, when they had the whole system 
of the Gospel, as distinguished from that of the law, 
to teach the Jews the whole outward and visible 
of the Christian Church, as well as all the inward 
and spiritual of the Christian life, all so new and 
strange and unpalatable to a people so unprepared, 
so entangled with traditionary aversions and deep- 
seated perversions, see how they leaped over all 



24: THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 

liminaries and began at once with Christ and him 
crucified, the sacrifice of his death, " and the power 
of his resurrection." At once they broke ground 
and set up the banner of their ministry there. Just 
at the point where the pride of the sinner would 
most revolt, and the wisdom of man was most at 
fault, and the ignorance of Jew and Gentile was 
most complete, where the Jew saw only a stumbling 
block and the Greek only foolishness, there they 
opened their message. " I delivered unto jcm, first 
of all (said St. Paul), that which I also received, 
how that Christ died for our sins according to the 
Scriptures."* They could not wait to root out pre- 
judice, plant first principles, approach the en- 
trenched power " that ruleth in the children of dis- 
obedience," by the strategy of man's wisdom, when 
they knew that Christ was the great " power of God 
unto salvation." At once to open $ie windows and 
let in the sun was their way of giving light to them 
that sat in darkness. At once to show the amazing 
love of God to sinners in not sparing His own Son, 
but delivering him up for us all, was their way to 
draw the sinner's heart to God. Human device 

* 1 Cor. xv. 3. 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 25 

would have said, as it has often said, in substance, 
Make philosophy prepare the. way. Clothe your 
teaching in robes of man's wisdom. Keep back the 
offence of the cross till you have first conciliated the 
respect of your hearers by a show of human learning 
and reasoning. And when your master must be 
preached directly, don't begin at his death. Speak of 
his life, its benevolence, its beauty. Compare his 
moral precepts with those of heathen sages. Christ 
as the example and the teacher, is your great theme. 
" No (said St. Paul), lest the cross should be of none 
effect," "that your faith should not stand in the 
wisdom of men, but in the power of God." They 
remembered the words of' their Lord, " I, if I be 
lifted up, will draw all men unto me." Lifted 
up in the cross he had now been. Lifted up as 
Christ crucified for us, in the sight of the whole 
world, by the ministry of the Gospel he was next to 
be. Such was God's argument with sinful men. 

They believed and therefore preached. God gave 
the increase, and wonderful was the harvest. 

Thus, dear brethren, we have our lesson. "We 
must begin as well as end with Christ, and always 

abide in him, for the life and power of our ministry, 

2 



26 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

just as for the peace and joy of our own souls. But 
having thus begun, what remains ? It is the revealed 
office of the Holy Ghost, as the Sanctifier and the 
Comforter, to glorify Christ. " He shall glorify 
me," said the Lord. But how ? " He shall taJce of 
mine, and show it unto you." It is our office also, 
under the power of the Holy Ghost, to glorify Christ 
in all his person and relations to us, and by the same 
method, namely, to take of what pertains to him and 
show it unto men. Whatever pertains to him, we 
are to show. We must '' expound in all the Scrip- 
tures the things concerning himself." Of those 
things we will attempt a brief sketch and outline, 
but it must be only the merest outline, and that very 
imperfect. 

We must preach Christ in regard to the glory of 
the Godhead which lie had with the Father before 
the world was. We cannot exhibit the death of the 
cross to which he became obedient, without consid- 
ering the infinite majesty of the throne from which 
he descended. We must keep the connection which 
the apostle has given us between the glory of our 
Lord before he came in the flesh, and his humilia- 
tion in the flesh. You remember that " he became 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 27 

obedient unto death, even tlie death of the cross," is 
introduced by " being in the form of God, he thought 
it not robbery to be equal with God."* 

In the same connection is the Incarnation and 

* 

Birth of our Lord. Very near are the mysteries of 
'Bethlehem to those of Calvary. We cannot tell 
how Jesus bore our sins, without telling how he 
took our nature. To show that he could stand in 
man's place under the law, we must show that he 
was made very man. Hence, in the apostle's ac- 
count, between the form of God from all eternity 
and the obedience unto death, the connecting event 
is, " he was made in the likeness of man" "We must 
take care that in a just zeal for his divinity we do 
not impair or put in a place of comparative unim- 
portance his humanity. The one is as essential to the 
Gospel as the other the perfect man as the perfect 
God. Our confession glories as much in the Word 
" made flesh," as in the truth that the same Word 
" was God." In beholding and showing the great 
salvation, we are to consider as of equal necessity 
thereto " the Man, Christ Jesus," and that he was, and 
is, "Jehovah our Rightepusness." In the earliest 

* Phil. ii. 6-8. 



28 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

ages of Satan's attack upon the integrity of the 
gospel, the heresies did not more assail the essential 
divinity than the real humanity of Christ ; knowing 
that if he were not perfect man, the sacrifice for 
man's sins were as unavailing as if he had been only 
man. The assaults of these present times are indi- 
cative, we think,*of the same strategy. How care- 
fully and minutely do the Scriptures exhibit our 
Lord as man in all that is of man, while at the same 
time we are made to behold his glory, " as of the 
only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." 
" In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, 
made of a woman," that in all time and to all eter- 
nity, he might be "made unto us of God," through 
his death, " wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctifi- 
cation and redemption." 

In setting forth oar Lord's atoning death, we 
must keep in full view his perfect life that suffer- 
ing life between the cradle and the cross, in which 
his obedience to the law, completed by the endur- 
ance of its curse for us, was all wrought out. He 
was the Lamb without spot, that he might be the 
sacrifice all-sufficient. It was his rneetness as the 
purchase-price of our redemption, and at the same 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 29 

time the pattern of the mind which must be in us to 
make us meet to be partakers of that redemption. 
Christ our example of holiness is a most important 
part of the setting forth of Christ as our foundation 
of hope. There was one hour in his life for which he 
came into this world ;* but every hour while he was 
in this world, as leading to that, exhibited the mind 
that was in Christ Jesus, and which must be also in 
us. In preaching Christ crucified, let us take care 
that we avoid the mistake, not unfrequently made, of 
terminating our representation almost entirely with 
the crucifixion as if the slaying of the sacrifice 
completed the oblation of the sacrifice ; forgetting 
the office of the High Priest to enter within the veil 
with the blood of sprinkling, carrying the sacrifice 
before the mercy-seat, there to appear in the pres- 
ence of God for us, and thus to " obtain eternal re- 
demption- for us." " Christ crucified ;? is not merely 
Christ on the cross, but Christ also " on the right 
hand of the throne of God," as having " endured the 
cross." That throne is called " the throne of the 
Lamb," and the redeemed in heaven are represented 
as praising " the Lamb that wag slain" ' The 

* John xii. 23, and xvii. 1. 



30 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

preaching of Christ crucified goes necessarily into 
all that Christ did and obtained for us after, and in 
consequence of, his crucifixion. The Resurrection, 
Ascension, and Exaltation to head-ship over all 
things, are great themes, vitally associated with 
what immediately preceded them, forming the essen- 
tial connection between what was finished " once for 
all " when Jesus died, and what is yet to be finished 
" for all that come unto God by him," now that he 
" ever liveth." We must preach Christ in his ever 
living intercession Christ the High Priest above 
with the incense and the blood, or we leave incom- 
plete the view of Christ crucified. When he cried 
"It is finished" and " gave up the ghost," it was the 
slaying of the sacrifice ; it was the suffering of the 
Lamb of God for us j it was the being " made a 
curse for us," that was then finished. " There re- 
rnaineth no more sacrifice for sin ;" but there does 
remain the perpetual oblation of the one finished 
sacrifice. Our hope stops not at the cross, but " en- 
tereth to that within the veil whither Jesus our fore- 
runner is also, for us, entered, made a High Priest 
after the order of Melchizedek." Thither, there- 
fore, our ministry must also enter. Too often does 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 31 

what otherwise is well as gospel preaching come 
short of that mark. Our preaching follows Christ 
in his resurrection, and perhaps in his ascension ; 
but do we sufficiently place "before the faith of the 
sinner, for his prayers and his hopes to rest on, for 
his consolation and peace to drink of when he strives 
to come unto God, Jesus as now the glorious Inter- 
cessor showing in his hands tire print of the nails 
of the crucifixion, and bearing; in his heart all the 
necessities of every believer ? When we exhort to 
the running the race with patience " looking unto 
Jesus" do we sufficiently direct the eye of the hearer 
to Jesus, the glorified, in his present office and work 
for us ? Remember, that when the apostle said, 
" He is able to save to the uttermost," he added, as 
the essential evidence, "seeing he ever liveth to 
make intercession for us" 

I must not pass from this immediate neighborhood 
of the great sacrifice, without a few words about its 
nature. To speak of it as a sacrifice for sin in such 
general terms only as leave room for the most un- 
real, figurative and accommodated sense, is to come 
far short of our duty and of what the special ten- 
dency of error in these days demands. When we 



32 THE WORK OF PEEACHING CHEIST. 

administer the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, we 
" show the Lord's death" Let us take care that when 

we show the same in words, we do not come short of 

* 

the teaching of the Sacrament. Our church inter- 
prets that teaching with studied precision, in -her 
communion office, in reference to errors prevalent 
when that office was framed. She calls the sacrifice " a 
full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satis- 
faction for the sins of the whole world." She teaches 
us to pray for remission of sins through faith in th& 
filood of Christ. We must imitate that precision 
in reference to errors now propagated. Besides the 
perfectness and sufficiency of the sacrifice, in opposi- 
tion to those who would add to it, we must insist 
strongly and pointedly on its strictly propitiatory 
and vicarious nature, in opposition to those who 
would destroy it. Under such strong texts as 
" Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the 
law, being made a curse for us ;"* " He hath made 
him to be sin for us, who knew no sin,"f we must 
teach Christ as standing literally in our stead under 
the condemnation of our sins ; all our guilt laid upon 
him ; he, the condemned one for us, that we might 

* Gal. iii. 13. f 2 Cor. v. 21. 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 33 

be accounted the righteous in him. I see not how 
we can come short <of such a sacrifice and yet preach 
Christ crucified, according to the Scriptures.* 

Closely allied to our Lord's priesthood, offering 
the perpetual oblation of his sacrifice, is his office as 
the great Prophet and Teacher of his Church. " In 
him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowl- 
edge." He is "made unto us of God, wisdom" as 
well as " righteousness." Christ crucified is Christ 
the Light as well as the Life. To his invitation, 
" Come unto me and I will give you rest," is joined 
the precept, "learn of me." The great subject of 
saving learning is Christ himself, and he is the only 
effectual teacher of that learning. , They that have 
" learned Christ," so as truly to know him, are de- 
clared to have " been taught by him the truth as in 
Jesus" Whatever our advantages of human teach- 
ing, even of the truest exposition of G-od's inspired 

* The strictly subntitutionary character of Christ's sacrifice for 
our sins I consider of the most vital importance to be clearly 
taught, if we would satisfy the language of Scripture, or do our 
duty to God and man. " He was made sin for us ;" by which I 
understand that he stood for us under the law, by imputation of 
our sins, bearing all our sins, and as perfectly identified and 
charged with them as it was possible for one "who knew no 
sin" in himself to bo. 

2* 



. 34 THE WOKE: OP PREACHING CHRIST. 

word, all is powerless spiritually to enlighten us in 
the knowledge of God and of Christ, till he who 
speaks as never man spake shall add to it the teaching 
of his Spirit, so that we shall learn, not merely by the 
Scriptures, but in them from and of Him. Christ 
as " the truth " as well as " the way" " the wisdom " 
as well as " the righteousness of God," the living 
" Word " as well as the ever-living Priest and Inter- 
cessor, must be showed in our ministry, if we preach 
Christ crucified, not merely as once on the cross, 
but as now in his glory. 

But Christ crucified is not only " the righteous- 
ness of God" and "the wisdom of God," but "the 
power of God unto salvation." "Him hath God 
exalted to be a Prince" that he may be a Saviour, 
" mighty to save" " Unto the Son, He saith, Thy 
throne, God, is forever and ever, a sceptre of 
righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." 
Christ as King, in a glorious sovereignty over all , 
things in heaven and earth, we must declare. It is 
the crowning aspect of Christ, the crucified. It is 
" the THRONE of the Lamb that was slain" before 
which the multitudes without number, of the saved 
in heaven are represented as ascribing " power and 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. ., 35 

riches and strength and glory and honour and bless- 
ing." By his death he purchased, as Mediator, a 
glorious kingdom of redemption. At his ascension, 
he went to receive it. There now he reigns over 
all his people in earth and heaven, and over all else, 
for his people. When he shall come again, it will 
"be in the glory of that kingdom. It was a grand 
introduction to that precious invitation, " Come unto 
me all ye that labor and are heavy laden," and that 
attending precept, " take my yoke and learn of me," 
when he said (in the verse next before), " AU things 
arc delivered unto me of my father.' 1 ''* 

It was when he was in the humiliation and suffer- 
ings of the cross that, as the great King, he 
stretched forth the sceptre of his power to the mal- 
efactor at his side, and gave him repentance and 
remission of sins, and opened imto him the kingdom 
of heaven. And now that, having endured the cross, 
he is set down at the right hand of the throne of 
God, to reign forever and ever, he hath all power 
to make good all his promises to those who receive 
him and to punish with everlasting destruction those 
who reject him. There is no part of our Te Deum 

*Mat. xi. 27. 



36 . THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 

that more animates the worship of my heart than 
these two sentences, " Thou art the King of Glory, 
Christ ! " " When thou hadst overcome the sharp- 
ness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of 
heaven to all believers." It is as King of Saints 
that he freely receives every sinner who seeks his 
salvation, writing the law of his kingdom in his 
heart, giving him victory over the enemies of his 
soul, making him triumphant in death, and finally 
saying unto him from his throne, " Enter thou into 
the joy of thy Lord." It is as Christ crucified and 
glorified and " King of Saints " that he utters that 
promise of royal authority and power, " To him that 
overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, 
even as I also overcame and am set down with my 
Father in His throne."* 

Here then is another aspect in which we must lift 
up the Lord Jesus in our ministry. We must not 
let it be forgotten that, in all the tenderness of his 
invitations and promises, he speaks " as one that hath 
authority," not only to make them good, but to 
punish their rejection. The invitations of his grace 
are the commandments of his throne, to be answered 

* Rev. in. 21. 



" THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 37 

for at his bar. Hence, the preaching of Christ 
crucified ceases not till it has exhibited " the judg- 
ment-seat of Christ." It must be noted that, when 
the Apostle says, " Knowing the terror of the Lord 
we persuade men," he is speaking of the terror of 
our Lord Jesujj in his day of judgment.* That day 
is called " the great day of the wrath of the Lamb"^ 
Why the wrath of the Lamb ? Why but to keep 
still in view the great sacrifice of atonement ; to 
teach that Christ on the throne of judgment is 
Christ that was crucified ; that the chief question of 
that day will be, whether we have accepted or neg- 
lected the great salvation purchased by his blood ; 
and the chief terror of that day will be the ven- 
geance of that blood upon its rejection ? While we 
love to speak of the blessedness of " the saints in 
light " as "joint heirs with Christ," we can not dis- 
charge our whole duty as preachers of Christ, unless 
we speak of the heritage of those who " receive his 
graceln vain." We have a most impressive exam- 
ple in St. Paul, who, knowing nothing in his ministry 
" but Jesus Christ and him crucified," pictured so sol- 
emnly that day when, coming " to be glorified in his 

* 2 Cor. v. 10, 11. f Rev. vi. 17. 



38 THE WOEK OF PEE ACHING CHEIST. 

saints and to be admired in all them that believe," 
the Lord Jesus " shall be revealed from heaven, in 
flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that obey not 
the gospel, and who shall be punished with everlast- 
ing destruction from th'e presence of the Lord and 
from the glory of his power."* 

But the preaching of Christ as the crucified ex- 
tends through all the inheritance of his people for- 
ever and ever. It deserves your particular remark 
how carefully, in many places, the Scriptures, in 
speaking of the actual condition of the redeemed in 
heaven, and its connection with the Lord Jesus as 
its author, source 3 and substance, so speak of it as 
to keep not only Christ on the throne, but Christ 
crucified, Christ the sacrifice, in most conspicuous 
view. This is especially seen wherever he is spoken 
of in his glory as "the Lamb" which of course 
means the Lamb of sacrifice the antitype of the 
paschal lamb and of the daily sacrifice of the law ; 
the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, " He is led as 
a lamb to the slaughter," " wounded for our trans- 
gressions. Thus the multitude which no man can- 
number, who stand in white raiment and with palms 

*2Thess. i. 7-]0. 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 89 

of victory before the throne, are represented as 
" before the Lamb" and their adoration is in ascrib- 
ing " salvation to the Lamb" and notice is carefully 
drawn to their having " washed their robes in the 
blood of the Lamb" and all that high communion 
and blessedness is called " the marriage-supper of 
the Lamb" and in all that dwelling-place " the Lamb 
is the light thereof" and he that " feeds them and 
leads them to living fountains of water" is " the 

If; 

Lamb which is in the midst of the throne," and " the 
river of the water of life," representing their whole 
felicity, proceeds " out of the throne of the Lamb" 
and the book of citizenship of the New Jerusalem, 
in which are written the names of all that are to 
inhabit there, is "the book of life of the Lamb 
slain from the foundation of the world" * Most 
evidently the intent of all this is to carry adoring 
thoughts of the sacrifice of the cross into our every 
thought of heavenly happiness, and to represent the 
heir of that felicity as never forgetting that great 
price ; never seeing the Lord in his glory without 
seeing him as once " crucified and slain ; " never 
ascending any height of " the heavenly places," or 

*Rer. xiii. 8 andxx. 12, 14. 



40 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

drinking at any stream of their blessedness, without 
seeing in Christ not only " the Author and the Fin- 
isher," but all in him as " the Lamb slain" as he 
that " liveth and was dead" Christ the propiti- 
ation, Christ crucified. Atonement by sacrifice is 
written all over the heritage of the righteous. It is 
the chorus of every song of the saints in light. All 
heaven echoes with " Unto him that washed us from 
our sins in his own Hood" So must it be in all 
our preaching concerning the happiness of the 
saved Christ the purchaser and dispenser, but the 
glory of his cross never separated from the glory of 
his throne. When we " shall see him as he is," we 
shall not cease to think of him as he was. 

Here a word about our representations of what 
is the happiness of the redeemed in heaven what 
constitutes it. There is a chilling effect of many 
books and sermons on that subject so much gener- 
ality, so little about what the Scriptures place so 
above all ; so much made of the subordinate and 
accessory features, the pastures and the flowers of 
the heavenly land, and so little of the Sun that 
gives them all their beauty and life ; as if you 
should speak of the garden of Eden, and make 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 41 

more of what God planted than of the presence 
and communion of God therein not remembering 
what Paradise in all its beauty became to man when 
that communion was withdrawn. '*Christ is carefully 
to be preached, as being, himself, in his glory 
and communion, the heaven of his people ; as well 
as, in his humiliation and sacrifice, its purchase- 
price. How striking is the testimony of the Scrip- 
tures to this point. Has Jesus gone away to pre- 
pare a place for us in his father's house? His 
promise is, " I will come again, and receive you 
unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also." 
Does he pray his Father in behalf of the happiness 
of his people, the prayer is, " that they may be with 

* 

me where I am and behold my glory." While it 
doth not appear what we shall be " as sons of God " 
and " joint heirs with Christ," does St. John speak 
of one thing that we do know. It is that " we shall 
be like and see him as he is." Does Jesus promise to 
them that overcome, that they " shall eat of the hid- 
den manna"? That manna is himself. "I am that 
bread of life." Is heaven described as a glorious 
city of habitation ? " The Larnb is the temple " and 
" the light thereof." Hath it a river of water of 



42 THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 

life, and on either side the tr-ee of life ? All that 
river comes forth from " the throne of the Lamb." 
Christ is " the Finisher of our faith " in this, that he 
is, in himself, thte consummation of our hope ; his 
presence, his communion, his everlasting .love be- 
ing the prize of our high calling, and the goal of 
our race. We come to him now, and he is our 
peace. We go to be with him forever, and he is our 
glory. Ask the way to heaven ; we say, Christ. 
Ask where heaven is ; we say, where Christ is. 
Ask what heaven is ; we answer, what Christ is. 
Thus preach we Christ crucified, whenever we speak 
according to the Scriptures of what constitutes the 
life eternal of the sinner " redeemed by the blood of 
the Lamb." 

But we must take good heed, that we do not so 
speak of our Lord in his heavenly power and glory 
as not to give due place to his ever present personal 
ministry, in and to, his Church on earth. The im- 
pression is too prevalent that here in our duties and 
wants and prayers we have only a Saviour and 
helper afar off. 

The precious assurance of the Scriptures is, 'that 
we have a Saviour so near to every one of us, that 



THE WOEK OP PEEACHING CHEIST. 43 

if 

he is " a very present help" so present that noth- 
ing can separate us from him ; that nothing but un- 
belief ever intervenes between our wants and his 
fullness, neither space nor time, nor unworthiness nor 
weakness so present that he is ever at the door, 
waiting to be received, or beneath our weakness 
ready to be leaned on. No presence is so "very 

- 

present" as that of Christ, in the power of his Spirit 
to every heart that seeks him enlightening, guid- 
ing, comforting, upholding, drawing sinners to him- 
self, making himself known to them, giving efficacy 
to means of grace ; whatever the instruments, He 
the only power. " I am the good shepherd." All is 
comprehended in that declaration. As the good 
shepherd, he is the present shepherd, so present to 
each of the flock that he " calleth every one by 
name and leadeth him out." Oh, what a help and 
comfort it is when we get a full comprehension and 
an abiding impression of that presence. How it 
strengthens the Minister of the Gospel! How it 
lifts up the heart of the Christian ! 

In this connection, the faithful preaching of Christ 
will keep in great prominence, that aspect of him- 
self which he taught with such emphasis, when he 



44 THE WOBK OP PEE ACHING CHEIST. 

4 

spake of himself as " the living firead the toead of 
God" of whom the manna in the wilderness was the 
type and the bread of our Eucharist' is the Sacra- 
ment ; Christ the present daily life of his people 
they abiding in him by faith, he in them by his 
Spirit ; all their life as children of God now all 
their hopes of life forever, depending on that habit- 
ual communion the vine and the branches. The - 
more we ourselves enjoy of that abiding, the better 
shall we know how to teach it. Nowhere does 
mere book-knowledge of what is given us to preach 
assist us less. 

When we speak of Christ as " the life," fulfilling 
the type of the manna, let us take care that we set 
in clear view, not only our dependence, but His 
freeness. It was one prominent aspect of that 
" spiritual meat" of which " all our fathers" of the 
Church in the wilderness ate, that all classes and 
conditions of people partook of it alike, and all with 
equal and perfect freeness. It lay all around the 
camp, as accessible to one as another. Moses, nor 
Aaron, nor any priest or ruler had any privilege at 
that table which the humblest Israelite had not. 



The priesthood had no office of intervention between 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 45 

the hungry and that bread. Whosoever will, let 
him take and eat, was the proclamation. Let us 
take good heed that what we cannot deny in the 
type be not narrowed or concealed in the antitype. 
Our text is, " Him that cometh to me, I will in 
no wise cast out" * And I do not know a text that 
contains more of the essence of the preaching of 
Christ in the richness and freeness of his salvation. 
Oh, let us take care that our ministry shall keep 
full in the sight of men that open way, that free 
access, that directness of coming, not to some mere 
symbolical representation, but to the very present 
Christ, in all his tenderness of love and power to 
save. Ordinances, ministers, are sadly out of place, 
no matter how divinely appointed for certain uses, 
when instead of mere helps in coming to Christ, 
they are made, in any sense, conditions or terms 
of approach, so that the sinner gets to Christ only 
or, in any degree, by them. The light of the sun 
is not more free to every man that cometh into the 
world, than is the salvation of Jesus to every be- 
lieving sinner. It is our business to be continu- 
, ally showing that precious truth ; coming by faith, 

* John vi. 3V. 



46 THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 

all the condition ; Christ, the full and perfect sal- 
vation of all that come. 

But in the range of gospel truth, there are sub- 
jects of instruction, which though not directly con- 
cerning his person and office, are so connected with 
all right appreciation of his saving grace that we 
cannot keep them out of view-, without affecting 
most injuriously our whole ministry. Be it remem- 
bered that while the cross with its immediate neigh- 
borhood, is the metropolis of Christianity all the 
region round about is Holy. Land, more or less 
holy according to the nearness to that " city of our 
God ;" " a laud of milk and honey," " of brooks and 
fountains of water," intersected in all directions 
with highways by which pilgrims to Zion approach 
the desire of their hearts. It is the office of the 
gospel preacher to map out that land ; to trace 
those converging roads to set up the way-marks to 
the city of Refuge. Christ is not fully preached 
when any truth which teaches the sinner's need of 
such a Saviour illustrating his preciousness by 
showing our ruin and beggary through sin dwelling 
in us and bringing condemnation upon us, is kept in 
obscurity. The wisdom of " the scribe, instructed 



THE WOKK OP PEEACHING CHEIST. 47 

unto the kingdom of God, to bring out of his treas- 
ure things new and old," is found in his omitting 
nothing connected with the Gospel, however remote 
from the great central truths and duties ; and in his 
giving to each its portion in due season, as well as its 
place in due relation. * 

For example : Christ is " our righteousness" unto 
justification to every one that believeth, so that in 
him there is no condemnation.* But we shall preach 
him in vain, in that light, unless we *show the sin- 
ner's absolute need of such righteousness. We must 
seek, under the power of the Hply Ghost, so to con- 
vince him of sin that he shall see himself to be under 
the condemnation of God's law, without excuse and 
without hope, till he flees to that refuge. Blessed 
is he whose ministry the Spirit employs to teach 
that lesson of ruin and beggary. It is the threshold 
of the way of life. The text-book in that teaching 
is the law God's will, however, and wherever ex- 
pressed. Preached in a spiritual application to the 
secrets of the heart, not only as the rule of obedi- 
ence but as the condition of peace with Goji to 
every one thai is not in Christ Jesus, and on the 

* Romans viii. 1. 



48 THE WOEK OF PEEACHING CHRIST. 

perfect keeping of which all his hope depends ; 
preached in view of the salvation of Jesus as only 
increasing the condemnation so long as it is salva- 
tion neglected ; it is the instrument of the Holy 
Ghost to strip the sinner of self-reliance and self- 
justification, to 'humble him before God under a 
a sense of guilt and ruin, and as a " schoolmaster 
to lead him to Christ that he may be justified by 
faith." He that would preach a full justification in 
Christ, withoift works, must preach entire condemna- 
tion under the law, by works. By the law is 
the knowledge of sin and hence the knowledge in 
part of Christ. Clear, unequivocal statements of 
the divine law ; the full exhibition of the text, 
" Cursed is every one that continueth not in all 
things written in 'the Tjook of the law to do them" 
(that continueth not in all things from first to 
last of life), thus carrying the sword of the Spirit 
into the discerning of the thoughts and intents of 
the heart, is the special basis of and preparation for 
all saving knowledge of Christ. The . way of the 
Lord is prepared by that fore-runner. How many 
more consciences would cry out for relief under the 
load of sin ; how much oftener would the careless 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 49 

heart be awakened to seek mercy through Christ, 
were there only a more searching comparison of all 
that is in man with all the holiness of the will of 
God. 

Again : Christ is " made unto -as-sanctijication"* 
But how can we do justice to so cardinal a truth of 
God's grace, unless we do ample justice to that 
other great truth of man's nature out of which arises 
all the need of a sanctifier the entire " corruption 
the nature of every man that is naturally engendered 
of the offspring of Adam ?" t The beginning of sane- 
tification is to be born again of the Holy Ghost. 
According to men's views of the extent to which 
by nature they are corrupt and alienated from God, 
will be their views of the spiritual nature, necessity 
and extent of that great change. Hence to preach 
Christ in sanctification, we must preach man in his 
natural corruption. The " carnal mind" is " en- 
mity against God, and is not subject to the law of 
God neither indeed can !)&"% Let us faithfully ex- 
pound those words of St. Paul. Wo need no 
stronger declaration as the basis of the whole 
superstructure of the need of an entire inward regen- 

* 1 Cor. i. 30. f Article IX. \ Rom. viii. 7 

3 



50 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

eration, making the sinner a new creature in Christ 
Jesus new in heart, new in life and hope. That 
this preaching of the necessity of such new creature 
is eminently the preaching of Christ, we have a 
striking testimony in these words of the Epistle of 
the Ephesians (chap. iv. 20-24), " Ye have not so 
learned Christ ; if so be ye have heard him and 
been taught by him the truth as in Jesus ; that ye 
put off the old man which is corrupt according to 
the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of 
your mind and that ye put on. the new man which 
after God is created in righteousness and true 
holiness." 

But how shall we speak of so great spiritual 
transformation without speaking with equal stress 
of Him who produces it ? "What sanctification is to 
salvation, such is. the right teaching of the power 
and office of the Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, the Spirit 
of Christ, and all comprehending gift of God. What 
is there in the Christian life, from first to last, that 
is not the work of tha Holy Ghost ? Is the sinner 
convinced of sin, Jesus sent the Spirit to do that 
work. Is he quickened from spiritual death ? "/ 
is the Spirit that quicJceneth" Is he born agaii ? 



1 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 51 

He is " born of the /Spirit." Is he spiritually minded ? 
It is because lie " minds the things of th& Spirit. 
Is he a " follower of God," as a dear child ? It is be- 
couse he is "led by the Spirit of God." Hath he 
an internal evidence of that sonship ? It is because 
the Spirit beareth witness with his spirit. Is the 
love of God " shed abroad in our hearts ?" It is " by 
the, Holy Ghost given unto us" Do we learn how 
to pray as we ought ? It is because " the Spirit help- 
cth our infirmities" Are we comforted with the 
consolation of Christ? The Spirit is "the Comforter" 
Are we strengthened in our duty ? It is " by the Spirit 
in the inner man" Do we grow in the knowledge 
of Christ ? Jesus said of the Holy Ghost : "He shall 
take of mine and show it unto you" And beside 
the spiritual resurrection and sanetification, will 
these vile bodies also rise ; will they also be sancti- 
fied and made glorious according to the glory of our 
risen Lord ? It is written that " He shall quicken 
your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dweUeth in 



Rightly to honor the Holy Ghost as He is thus 
revealed in His own inspired word, how important 

* Horn. viii. 11. 



52 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

to the faithfulness, the fruitfulness of our ministry. 
We may so come short of it we may so contradict 
it, that while bearing a very reputable character 
before men, we may all the while be " grieving the 
Holy Ghost," yea, even " resisting the Holy Ghost." 
How much barrenness in the work of the ministry, 
in making not church-members, but spiritually en- 
lightened and spiritually-minded followers of Christ, 
may be ascribed to deficiency negativeness at 
least, in this great department of our teaching ! In 
no part of his work does a minister more need to be 
taught of God or to sit humbly at the feet of Jesus 
to learn of him ; nowhere does a decline of spiritu- 
ality of mind so soon show itself as here. In no 
part of our work do we depend more upon a decided, 
habitual, personal experience in our own souls of 
God's gracious operation. It is here that great de- 
partures from the truth which go on to carry away 
eventually whole communities of professing Chris- 
tians into manifold and essential errors, almost 
always secretly or overtly begin ; as it is the final 
construction of a system from which the personal 
office of the Holy Ghost is virtually if not professedly 
excluded, in which they culminate. The Scriptural 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 53 

description of a spiritual mind is, that it " minds 
the things of the Spirit." It is equally the te^t of 
a spiritual and evangelical ministry. That which 
specially tries our spiritual discernment and skill in 
rightly dividing the word of truth is the right ad- 
justment of means of grace in their relation to the 

* 

power of grace, of instruments of "blessing to the hand 
that employs them and that gives them all their effica- 
cy. The Spirit hath His instruments. His grace hath 
its means. His great instrument in our sanctification, 
is His own revealed Truth, by which he testifies of 
and glorifies the Lord Jesus in our eves. Sacra- 

O V 

ments are that same essential truth, taught under 
other signs, and sealed with a special impressiveness. 
The preaching of that same truth by an ordained 
Ministry, is the great instrumentality of the Spirit. 
The point of caution is, while giving all due place 
to the instrument that we keep it exclusively in the 
place of a mere instrument of no avail in itself ; 
that we treat it as we treat the glass by which we 
seek to see some distant star not as an object to be 
looked at but only as a help to look immeasurably 
beyond and above it ; that as the glass is nothing 
without the light, so the means of grace are nothing 



54: THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 

without " the Spirit of grace ;" that all the power is 
of the Holy Ghost, and that power not deposited in 
the means, as we put bread into the hand of a dis- 
tributor, so that whosoever receives the latter re- 
ceives the bread ; that power never divorced from the 
personal ministry of the Spirit, but applied directly 
by Himself to each heart that receives His grace ; 
He " dividing to every man severally as He will." 
To speak of an ordinance, a sacrament, any means 
of grace, even the Holy Scriptures of truth, as if 
they were in any sense the power unto salvation, or 
as if they contained, whatever its original source, 
the grace by which we live unto God, thus leading 
men to look to them, instead of only, by their help, 
to Christ and His Spirit, is to " do despite to the 
Spirit of grace." 

The whole truth in this connection is found where 
the Apostle says : " Who is Paul and who is Apollos, 
but Ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord 
gave to every man"* Instead of Paul and Apollos, 
read any ordinance or means of grace. "What are 
they but ministrations of man by help of which ye 
believe, even as the Lord giveth to every man. 

* 1 Gor. iii. 5. 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 55 

There is a text which the full and explicit preach- 
ing of Christ will be always directly or indirectly, 
consciously or unconsciously, illustrating. It is 
those verses in the second chapter of the Epistle to 
the Ephesians, "By grace are ye saved, through 
faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God : 
Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we 
are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto 
good works." Salvation all of grace only ; in its 
origin in the love of G-od ; in its purchase by the 
blood of Christ ; in the first quickening of the sin- 
ner from the death of sin ; in all the renewal of his 
nature; in his acceptance through Christ, to the 
peace of Gad ; in his whole ability to live as a child 
of G-od ; and in his final admission to the glory of 
God all of grace only wonderful grace ; but 
through faith alone and that faith itself a gift of 
grace ; our works in every degree and aspect wholly 
excluded from the work of saving us, though neces- 
sarily included as fruits of the grace that does save 
us we being created anew in Christ Jesus unto 
good works and not in any degree by good works 
first God's workmanship making us new creatures, 
then our working as so created "unto, good works 



56 THE WOEK OP PREACHING CHEIST. 

which God hath ordained that we should walk in 
them." We preach such works, first, as absolutely 
excluded from having any part in procuring our Jus- 
tification before God ; secondly, as essential fruits 
and evidences of our having obtained such Justi- 
fication. We preach the office of Faith as so vital 
that only by it are we united to Christ, as living 
stones built upon the living head of the corner ; and 
the necessity of good works as so absolute, that only 
in them can we walk as God hath ordained and have 
evidence that we are true believers in Jesus ; and 
at the same time both faith and works deriving all 
being from the Spirit of God and all value and effi- 
cacy to salvation from the Righteousness of Christ. 
Here let me add some few miscellaneous ob- 
servations. We are bound ,to instruct the believer 
in all the privileges and consolations that are in 
Christ that his joy may be full. But we must lay 
equal stress on all his obligations, that Christ may 
be glorified. Out of the same wounds of the cross 
come privilege and duty, promise and commandment, 
the consolation of faith and the duty of obedience ; 
and the same preaching that leads to the one must 
alike insist on the other, and on both as necessary 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 61 

to our having that rest which Jesus promises. It is 
a great matter so to preach the precepts of Christ 
as to lead men to embrace his promises ; and so the 
promises as to draw the disobedient to the love of 
his precepts. In all our work we have two great 
sources of persuasion, according to the example of 
St. Paul, namely, " We beseech you by the mercies 
of God/ 7 and again, " Knowing the terror of the 
Lord, we persuade men ;" the love of God in Christ 
as a Saviour, and the wrath of God in Christ as 
Judge of quick and dead ; a cloud of light and a 
cloud of darkness, each proceeding from the cross as 
accepted or rejected. We must do all in tenderness, 
but all in faithfulness. The whole counsel of God 
embraces the fearful penalty of unpardoned gin as 
well as the glorious inheritance of the reconciled in 
Christ. The faithful preacher of Christ keeps back 
none of it. While he delights in the loving aspects 
of his grace, he is not ashamed of the severities of 
his justice. He does not indeed denounce or judge. 
It is not for him to command or condemn. His work 
is always to entreat and persuade ; tenderly, lovingly, 
patiently, in the mind of Christ. But persuasion 
has the alarming truths to use as well as the encour- 
3* 



58 THE WOEK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 

aging. That, " God is a consuming fire" out of 
Christ, is as much an argument of persuasion and 
tenderness, as that in Christ, " God is Love." We 
read of " the goodness and severity of 6W."* We 
must exhibit both. They interpret and enforce one 
another. But how to balance aright judgment and 
mercy, invitation and warning, precepts of obe- 
dience, and promises of consolation, the tender 
"Come unto me and 1 will give you rest" with the 
stern "Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire " the 
darkness and the light the loving voice from the 
Mercy-seat and the dreadful sentence from the Judg- 
ment-seat all under the duty of teaching and 
preaching Jesus Christ, is not learned from books 
only, is not given by specific rule, conies chiefly out 
of the state of the heart, under the general light 
of the Scriptures, and by a careful endeavor to learn 
of, and be like, him of whom it is beautifully written 
that he hath " the tongue of the learned to know 
how to speak a word in season to him that is 
weary."t 

From all that has now been said, it appears how 
mistaken is the idea that by confining our preach- 

* Rom. xi. 22. f Isaiah 1. 4. 



THE WOEK OF PEEACHING CHEIST. 59 

ing to Christ and him crucified we have a very nar- 
row" range of truth to expatiate in. In reality, we - 
have the whole vast range of natural and revealed 
religion. A wider field no preacher can find who 
does not seek it beyond the confines of religious 
truth. The difference between the man who con- 
fines himself to the preaching of Christ and him who 
does not, need not be that the latter embraces any 
portion of divine truth of doctrine or duty, of his- 
tory or prophecy or precept which enters not into 
the range of the former. It may be wholly a differ- 
ence in the mode of presenting precisely the same 
truth a difference in the bearings ; in the relations 
assigned to every part ; in -the cardinal points to 
which all is adjusted ; in the polarity, so to speak, 
which governs such manifestation of truth as de- 
serves the name and praise of the preaching of 
Qhrist. You may take truth from the immediate 
neighborhood of the cross, or from the farthest 
boundaries of the domain of Christianity, and when 
its just relation to Christ and his redemption is ex- 
hibited Christ is preached. Thus there is no reason 
why, in the most faithful ministry, there may not be 
ajbundant variety of topic and of- instruction. The 



60 THE WOBK OP PEEACHING CHRIST. 

sermon may be always shining in the light of our 
glorious Lord, while receiving it either by direct 
looking unto him, or indirectly from secondary ob- 
jects which, as satellites of the sun, revolve around 
him and shine in his glory. The sermon, in all its 
spirit and tendency, may say, " Behold the. Lamb of 
God" and yet the view may be as changing as the 
positions from which it is taken, the circumstances 
which influence it, the lights and shadows of the 
several conditions and necessities of the minds be- 
fore which it is placed. In general we may say 
that, as no .subject is legitimate in the preaching of 
a minister of Christ that does not admit of being 



presented in some important relation to Christ j so 
no sermon is evangelical that does not truly exhibit 
such relation, giving him the same position to the 
whole discourse that he holds in the Scriptures to 
the whole body of truth therein. As some subjects 
have a much nearer and more vital relation to him 
than others, they will be much the most frequent 
and engrossing in the preaching of a faithful Chris- 
tian minister. The great truths, the great facts, the 

^ 

great duties and privileges and interests and conso- 
lations which proceed the most directly from 



THE WORK OP PREACHING CHRIST. 61 

person and office- the death and intercession of 
Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit as well as 
those which lead the most immediately thereto, will 
be so habitually the subjects of his preaching, that 
the more remote and indirect will be only occa- 
sional, exceptions to the standing rule and habit. 
And which of these classes of subjects his mind and 
heart most Delight j n , and which draw forth the 
deepest earnestness and the strongest emotions of 
his soul, will not be doubtful. 

We have now exhibited as much of our great and 
wide subject as we could with any propriety occupy 

* 

your time with. You will, of course, understand 
that we have not attempted to embrace the whole 
field. What has been attempted, we are deeply 
conscious is most imperfect and inadequate. Still, 
we have not withheld our best endeavors, where 
even St. Paul exclaimed, " Who 'is sufficient for these 
things!" We conclude with a brief view of the 
state of mind and spirit which qualifies a minister 
to be a faithful preacher of Christ. 

1. A spirit of Faith. I mean Faith- not merely 
in such of its exercises as make the minister a 
living Christian, and a growing, vigorous Christian ; 



62 THE WOEK OP PEEACHING CHEIST. 

but in that special exercise which enables him to 
go on patiently, persistently, hopefully, immovably, 
preaching the Gospel as we have seen the Apostles 
preached it, in like- simplicity and spirituality with 
as little of the devices and mixtures and dilutions 
and subterfuges of man's wisdom, no matter what the 
obstacles or what the apparent fruitlessness believ- 
ing it is God's own way, to which alone His blessing 
is promised and which He will bless as Ms own 
"wisdom and power unto salvation." It was pre- 
cisely with such meaning that St. Paul, just after 
he had pronounced, " We preach not ourselves, 
but Christ Jesus the Lord " and v just after he had 
adverted to the fact that such preaching failed to 
open the eyes of many that heard saying " If our Gos- 
pel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the 
god of this world had blinded the minds of them 
which believe not."* It was in full view of all 
whom their preaching did not succeed in convincing, 
but only made the more hardened and hopeless, that 
he said, " We believe and therefore speak" t meaning 
not only that they believed what they spoke, but that 
they believed it was just what God commanded 

* 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. f v. 13. 



THE WOBK OP PBEACHING CHEIST. 63 

them to speak. And no rejection of it by man could 
shake that confidence or lead them to speak any 
thing else or in any other way. Well they knew 
what a "stumbling-block to the Jew," and what 
utter "foolishness to the Greek," was their testimony 
concerning Christ crucified ; but not a word would 
they change " We believe and therefore speak" 
It was this lesson of faith that Paul gave to Timothy. 
He warned him of a time of apostacy approaching 
"The time will come when they will not endure 
sound doctrine and they shall turn away their ears 

from the truth and be turned unto fables." * How 

* 

then was Timothy -to do in such times ? What 
" sound doctrine" meant in the mind of St. Paul, we 
well know all that way of justification by the 
righteousness of Christ imputed and of sanctification 
by the Spirit of God imparted to the believer ; that 
whole way of life of which the vicarious propitiation 
by the sacrifice of Christ was the central power and 
life. It was all that doctrine which men would not 
endure. And what was Timothy to do ? Conclude 
that he, and other preachers of Christ, had taken 
the wrong method because thus unsuccessful ? that 

* 2 Tim. iv. 8, 4. 



64 THE WORK OP PKEACHING CHRIST. 

they must find out some other sort of preaching be- 
cause that was so rejected ? Since men would not 
endure sound doctrine, must he try to get them into 
the church, or if in the church already, to make 
them satisfied to stay there, by giving them unsound 
doctrine ? If the truth caused them to turn away 
from it, must he turn away from it also and give 
them something else to correct the evil? What 
said the faith of an Apostle? No compromise 
no accommodation only so much more earnestly 
and continually that same rejected doctrine. Hear 
Paul's remedy ! ' " I charge thee before God and 
the Lord Jesus Christ who will judge the quick and 
the dead at his appearing and his kingdom preach 
the word (the same offensive word), be instant in 
season, out of season reprove, rebuke, exhort, with 
all long suffering and doctrine."* The more the 
truth is turned away from, so much the more 
proclaim it. God will see to the issue. "So 
we preach, not as pleasing men, but God, which 
trieth the heart." Such is the faith of which we 
are speaking, as of such importance in our ministry. 
The times which St. Paul predicted, and which 

* 2 Tim. iv. 1, 2. 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 65 

began before Timothy had ended his labors, are yet 
in being. We all know how they have been ex- 
hibited since the beginning of this century ; in this 
country, under the name of Uniiarianism, and on the 
continent of Europe, under that of Rationalism. And 
we have heard with amazement and grief how they 
, have appeared of late in the venerable Church of 
England, among some of her clergy, in her high 
places of college and pulpit teaching, and how even 
a Bishop takes the lead j and how while it is mani- 
fest that he cannot endure the sound doctrine of the 
Scriptures, and therefore labors to destroy"- their au- 
thority, he dares, with a dishonesty most astonishing, 
and an effrontery unexampled, to persist in holding 
the office of a Bishop in the Church of Christ 
against 'the remonstrance of all his peers, and to 
the great disgust of right-minded people. The case 
is singular. There were Bishops of the Romish 
Church who under the reign of infidelity in France 
during the Revolution, renounced the faith ; but they 
renounced also their office in the Church. We have 
a more primitive example. Judas Iscariot, when he 
had betrayed his Lord, having been " guide to them 
that took Jesus," had too much conscience left to 



66 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

continue in his " apostleship." " His Bishopric" an- 
other took. 

But perhaps we have adverted with more point 
to the case of this English Bishop than his import- 
ance deserved. We were speaking of the new as- 
pect of affairs among certain of the Church of Eng- 
land. True, the most prominent manifestation is in 
attacks on the Inspiration of the Scriptures. But 
let not any suppose the ultimate or inspiring object 
to be there. The citadel of truth and life can not 
be reached till that outwork is reduced. Aton&m&nt 
is the final object. Atonement for sin by the pre- 
cious blood of Christ, with all the precious doctrines 
of salvation which reside therein, as branches in the 
vine, and which are dead and only fit to be cast 
away as rubbish the -moment such atonement is 
taken away ; That is the doctrine they cannot en- 
dure. That is the truth from which they turn away, 
but which they know is safe so long as the Scrip- 
tures are the final Rule of Faith. Meanwhile they 
would counsel us to give up the old way of preach- 
ing Christ, as no doubt the best way for the old 

.4 

times, but unfit for these times when through mature 
growth of man's wisdom such doctrine is counted, just 



THE WOKE OF PREACHING CHRIST. 67 

indeed as it was by similar minds in the old times, 
"foolishness." They would have us lay aside creeds 
and confessions, in order that they who cannot en- 
dure the doctrine of Apostles and Prophets may be 
accounted Christians no less than those who believe 
and love it. They would make the Church so broad 
that any varieties or oppositions of belief may be 
embraced in its communion and even in its ministry, 
thus strangely sacrificing gospel-truth to church- 
comprehensiveness. 

Now suppose such evil times should visit us in 
our church what must we do ? I ask it to illus- 
trate what I mean by the faith of which I am speak- 
ing. Must we preach the word, as Paul understood 
it, any the less? Shall we suppose that to preach 
Christ crucified is not as much " the wisdom and 
power of God," as when apostles set us the example? 
Or shall we believe as they believed, and therefore 
continue to speak as they spoke, even though the 
whole earth should be covered with a flood of apos- 
tacy, and men everywhere should be turned unto 
fables? What says a true faith in God? No 
change, but in more earnestness with the unchanged. 
" Preach the word " the same word " Instant in 



68 THE WOEK OF PEEACHING CHEIST. 

season, out of season," "with all long suffering and 
doctrine." Let patience have her perfect work. Be 
not faithless but believing God's hand is not 
shortened that it cannot save by that same word 
now as in the ancient times. 

These observations are not applicable only to cir- 
cumstanees which may hereafter exist among us. 
Always, everywhere in our ministry we find those 
calling themselves Christians, or at least numbered 
in Christian congregations, to whom what St. Paul 
meant by " sound doctrine" is an aversion. They do 
not like to hear, they turn away from hearing so 
much about atonement and justification, and a new 
heart, and faith, and all the inward work of the Holy 
Ghost. A less spiritual religion would be far more 
to their taste and they think if we would preach 
much less about the great distinctive features of the 
Gospel and more about mere moral duties that is, 
less religion and more of something else, many ears, 
now turned away, would hear. Yery likely. And 
under the influence of such views, the testimony of the 
pulpit is sometimes grievously deformed. The min- 
ister seeks to commend himself more to the people's 
preferences than their consciences^ and hence, of 



THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 69 

course, not by manifestation of the truth, in its sim- 
plicity, directness, spirituality and completeness. 
He enlarges the list of communicants by reducing the 
spiritual qualifications for the communion. He makes 
the narrow gate wider ; invites a condition of mind 
which the Lord invites not. The middle wall of 
partition between the church and the world is broken 
down, the more to please -the world, the more to en- 
large the church. Such compliances we have no 
right to make. They spring out of unbelief. They 
poison the life of the church. If men will not en- 
dure sound doctrine we cannot help it, we have no 
unsound to give. If the ground will not receive the 
good seed given us to sow, we cannot mend the mat- 
ter by sowing bad seed. To the end of the world, 
come what may, that seed and that only must we 
sow, " God (that giveth the seed) giveth the in- 
crease," and wiU give it. Our strength is to betieve. 
But to preach Christ is not only " a work of faith," 
it is '* a labor of love." I will not say that no man 
can do it in a certain sense, that is, with doctrinal 
correctness, without the love of Christ in his heart ; 
for St. Paul speaks of some in his day who preached 
Christ, "even of envy and strife, not sincerely," 



70 THE WORK OF PREACHING CHRIST. 

from selfish and evil nlotives. I will not prolong this 
discourse in enlarging on the elementary truth that 
without a personal experience of the preciousness of 
Christ to our own souls, by each one's individual par- 
ticipation in the hope that rests on his justifying 
righteousness, and is witnessed by the sanctifying 
power of His Spirit dwelling in us, we cannot preach 

* 

Christ, according to his will, in his mind, in the ten- 
derness and earnestness and patience and godly wis- 
dom which alone become our office, however correct 
our teaching in a mere doctrinal aspect. What I wish, 
in these concluding words to insist on is, the import- 
ance of a very earnest, tender and overcoming love, to 
give spirituality to our theology, and the mind of 
Christ to our teachings concerning him. Two preach- 
ers, alike in accurate and full statement of all that 
is revealed concerning our blessed Lord and his 
salvation, may be very different in the spiritual 
power of their ministry, and the difference will not 
depend so much on the superiority of talent or of 
eloquence, or even of diligence in one over -the other, 
as on their comparison in point of love. He will 
preach best who loves most. His preaching will go 
most to the heart, and will be attended with most 



THE WORK OF PEEACHING CHEIST. 71 

of " the demonstration of the Spirit,'' who, in all he 
says and does, is most constrained by the love of 
Christ, dictating, animating, sanctifying, with the ten- 
derness and patient earnestness of his Masters' mind, 
his whole discourse. Oh, brethren, that we were 
more earnest to grow in this grace 1 "What ought 
we to value in personal attainment, compared with 
it ? If your ministry fail in spiritual efficacy, inquire 
into the cause by searching the state of- your hearts 
in regard to the love of Christ therein, to what 
extent the aim, the zeal, the topics, the temper of 
your work, and the whole character of your personal 
example are under the dominion of that love. 

But I have already occupied too much of your 
time, and yet I feel that I have come very far short 
of the height and breadth of what I have sought to 
exhibit. " We have this treasure in earthen vessels, 
that the excellency of 'the power may be of God and 
not of us." Blessed be God, that in our weakness we 
have His power to lean on. I humbly pray that 
power of God to bless to you, dear brethren, what in 
so much weakness and imperfectness and unworthi- 
ness I have now addressed to you. Nothing in this 
world could I rejoice in so much as to be instrumental, 



72 THE WOBK OP PKEACHING CHRIST. 

under God's grace, in promoting the spiritual excel- 
lency and efficacy of your work and your personal 
growth in the faith and love of Christ. The time 
is at hand when nothing else will seem of the small- 
est value. I commend you to God and the word of 
His grace which is able to build you up and make 
you good stewards of the unsearchable riches of 
Christ. "The God of peace who brought again 
from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd 
of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting 
covenant, make you perfect in every good work 
to do his will, working in you that which is well 
pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom 
be glory and dominion for ever and ever." Amen.