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The gospel is the sum of wisdom; a collection of knowledge; a
treasure-house of truth; and a disclosure of mysterious secrets. In
it we see how justice and mercy may be associated; here we see
unalterable law entirely satisfied, and sovereign love carrying
away the sinner in triumph. Our meditation on it broadens the
mind; and as it opens to our soul in successive flashes of glory, we
stand astonished at the profound wisdom manifest in it. Yes, dear
friends! if you seek wisdom, you will see it displayed in all its
greatness; not in the firmness of the earth's foundations\u2014not in
the measured march of the clouds of the sky, nor in the perpetual
motions of the waves of the sea; not in the vegetation with all its
intricate forms of beauty, nor in the animal with its marvelous
tissue of nerve, and vein, and sinew; nor even in man, that last
and loftiest work of the Creator. But turn aside and see this great
sight!-an incarnate God upon the cross; a substitute atoning for
mortal's guilt; a sacrifice satisfying the vengeance of Heaven, and
delivering the rebellious sinner. Here is essential wisdom;
enthroned, crowned, and glorified. Admire, you men of the earth,
if you are not blind; and you who glory in your learning bow your
heads in reverence, and admit that all your skill could not have
devised a gospel that is one so just to God, so safe to man.
There have been many, destroyed by poisons, given to lull them to
sleep; many have been ruined by the cry of "peace, peace," when
there is no peace; hearing gentle things, when they ought to be
hearing things that convict their hearts. Cleopatra's asp was
brought in a basket of flowers; and men's ruin often lurks in fair
and sweet speeches. But the Holy Spirit's comfort is safe, and you
may rest on it. Let him speak the word, and there is a reality
about it; let him give the cup of consolation, and you may drink it
to the bottom; for in its depths there are no residue, nothing to
intoxicate or ruin; it is all safe.
What is it that makes the young man devote himself, as a
missionary, to the cause of God, to leave father and mother, and
go into distant lands? It is a thing of power that does it; it is the
gospel. What is it that constrains the far away minister, in the
midst of cholera, to climb up that creaking staircase, and stand by
the bed of some dying creature who has that tragic disease? It
must be a thing of power which leads him to risk his life; it is love
of the cross of Christ which urges him to do it. What is that which
enables one man to stand up before a multitude of his fellows, all
unprepared it may be, but determined that he will speak nothing
but Christ, and Him crucified? What is it that enables him to cry,
like the war horse of Job, in battle, Yes! and more glorious in
might? It is a thing of power that does it\u2014it is Christ crucified.
What encourages that timid female to walk down that dark road
some wet evening, that she may go and sit by the victim of a
contagious fever? What strengthens her to go through that den of
thieves, and pass by the depraved and perverted? What influences
her to enter into that house of death, and there sit down and
whisper words of comfort? Does gold make her do it? They are to
poor to give her gold. Does fame make her do it? She will never be
known nor written among the mighty women of this earth. What
makes her do it? What impels her to it? It is the power, the thing
of power; it is the cross of Christ\u2014she loves it, and she therefore
says, Were the whole realm of nature mine, As a present it would
be far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul,
my life, my all.
O Young man, build your studio on Calvary! there raise your
observatory, and scan by faith the lofty things of nature. Take a
recluse's cell in the garden of Gethsemane, and wash your face
Now bringing you back...
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