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Offences.

Offences.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY HENRY KOLLOCK, D. D,


Matthew xviii. 7.

Wo unto the world because of offences ! for it must needs
be that offences come ; but wo to that man by whom the
offence cometh !
BY HENRY KOLLOCK, D. D,


Matthew xviii. 7.

Wo unto the world because of offences ! for it must needs
be that offences come ; but wo to that man by whom the
offence cometh !

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 20, 2013
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OFFECES.BY HERY KOLLOCK, D. D,Matthew xviii. 7.Wo unto the world because of offences ! for it must needsbe that offences come ; but wo to that man by whom theoffence cometh !The apostles, to whom these words were address-ed, found the fulfilment of them in the whole courseof their ministry. Every where they met with oppo-sition to the gospel, sometimes from the schools of the Gentiles, and sometimes from the synagogues of the Jews. When, notwithstanding all opposition,Christian societies were formed by them, new of-fences rose in the very bosom of these churches, andthe apostles saw, with pain, disputes, heresies, di-visions ; they were witnesses of the apostacy of ma-ny, and beheld churches that had received the gos-pel with joy corrupted by false teachers. It was toprevent them from being surprised by such events,and to fortify them in such trials, that our Saviouruttered the prediction and denunciation in the text.But was it only to the apostolic age that Jesus hadreference ? Is it onlv to the combination of JewsMISCELLAEOUS. 207and Gentiles against the rising gospel ? Is it only,to the Hymenenses, the Ebions, the Cerinthuses,who then troubled the church, that the text is appli-cable ? o, my brethren ; it also is addressed tous, and from it we may derive the most solemn andimportant instructions.
 
The word offences, not only in the text, but also inby far the greater number of passages in the ewTestament where it occurs, is used to signify thosehindrances to piety and inducements to sin whichsome men lay in the way of others. The originalterm primarily denotes stumbling blocks, and means,when used in a moral sense, " whatever actuallymakes or has a manifest tendency to make men fall,or be remiss in the ways of duty." Whatever iscalculated to tead them into error or vice, to seducethem from the true faith, to weaken in them the fearof God and the love of religion.In the further consideration of this text, let us,I. Inquire why " it must needs be that offencescome."II. Examine what are the chief offences againstwhich we should guard.III. Illustrate the propriety of the double wo de-nounced by our Saviour.I. Let us then inquire why " it must needs be thaioffences," obstructions in our path to heaven, se-ductions to sin, occasions of falling, must "come."1. ot from any defect or fault in the gospel of theRedeemer. On the contrary, when we consider thebeauty and excellence of this system, the love thatit breathes, and the charity that it displays, thesublimity of its doctrines, the purity of its precepts,the grandeur of its motives, the sweetness of its con-solations, the tenderness of its promises, the majesty208 SERMO LXXXIX,
 
and glory of the prospects that it unveils to' jus, thefirmness of its proofs, and its evident tendency topromote the happiness of individuals and communi-ties ; we should at first suppose that none would everbe found who could endeavour to obstruct its pro-gress, or hinder its efficacy.2. ot that God necessitates men to lay beforeothers these hindrances in the path to heaven, andthese encouragements to sin. He is a God whohateth iniquity, and who calls us to holiness. Hehas given his Son to save us from our sins, and heoffers to us the riches of his grace. Yet he foresawthat, notwithstanding this his goodness, unless hecontinually interposed his almighty power to preventoffences from arising, they must come : and this, nodoubt, for reasons infinitely wise, he determined notto do.3. Why then must " it needs be that offencescome ?" A sufficient answer to this question is givenin our Saviour's words to icodemus : " Light iscome into the world, and men love darkness ratherthan light, because their deeds are evil." It is thevery excellence of the gospel, not any defect in it,that causes men to oppose it, and offences to come.Had it been announced only to angels, to saints, orto men without prejudices or unholy passions, itwould never have met with opposition. But it is toopure and spiritual to suit corrupted and carnal man :it forbids indulgences which he loves ; it requiresduties not conformed to his taste and disposition ; ittoo strongly enforces those obligations to God whichhe endeavours to forget ; it too plainly presents that judgment-bar at which he shudders ; it too terriblyreveals the wrath of God against all unrighteousnessand ungodliness : and it too impressively exhibits to

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