GLORYI G I THE CllOSS OF CHRIST. BY THE REV. JOH PHILIP, FORDOU .

" But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto mc, and I unto the world." — Galatians vi. 14. These, my brethren, may appear to many of you to be high-sounding words, suitable enough as coming from the great Apostle of the Gentiles, but by no means expressive of the feelings entertained by the majority of Christians now-a-days. True, brethren, if under the appellation of Christians, you embrace all those who assume to themselves that name, or who make a profession of Christianity, these words will indeed find a response but in few hearts. Taking that term, however, in its original and proper acceptation, viz., as applicable to those who are indeed Christ's — his, not in name but in reality — we affirm that every Christian must of necessity be ready, in substance at least, to adopt the language of the Apostle as his own, and that the refusal or felt incompetency on the part of any to do so just proves that this name does not properly belong to them, that they are as yet Christless, and therefore without God and without hope in the world. Brethren, how stands the matter with you? Does the language of the Apostle find a response in your breasts ? Is it in any degree expressive of your feelings ? Is there one chord of your hearts that vibrates in unison with it ? Perhaps you will be better able to answer the above questions when once I have explained to you the meaning of the Apostle's language. In order to do this I shall first direct your attention to the cross of Christ as the subject of the Apostle's glorying ; secondly, to the nature and description of his feelings towards that cross, as implied in the words, " God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ;" and, thirdly and lastly, to some of the grounds of his glorying in the cross, and especially to the one which seems to be pointed at in the words, " by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world ;" or, as it might rather be rendered, by which, viz. by the cross, the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.

120 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. I. Let us .look for a very little to the expression, " the cross of Christ.'' This, my brethren, has different meanings in Scripture ; sometimes it signifies simply the wooden cross to which our Saviour was nailed — the accursed tree on which he hung. This is its most simple and literal meaning. Sometimes, again, it is used in a figurative sense, to signify those sufferings which our Saviour endured on the cross — the

death which he died on it. In a wider sense still, it is employed to designate the whole of his sufferings both of his life and death, of which sufferings his death was the consummation. Lastly, the expression is not unfrequently used to denote the doctrine of Christ's cross ; in other words, the way of salvation through a crucified Saviour ; and it is in this sense chiefly that we are to understand it in the verse before us. It was not, you will perceive, the sufferings of Christ considered in themselves that the Apostle gloried in ; the consideration of these we believe cost him many a tear ; but it was the end which these sufferings had answered — the opening up of a way for fallen man whereby he might return and find favour with God — the throwing down of the barrier which sin had erected between the holy God and the sinner — and the paving a channel for the free egress of God's mercy and love ; in short, it was the grand doctrine of the Atonement — the great plan of salvation through a crucified Saviour, in all its exceeding length and breadth, in all its fulness, in all its parts ; it was this that formed the subject of the Apostle's glorying. II. Let us consider the nature and description of Paul's feelings to wards the cross of Christ. "God forbid," he says, " that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." You all know, my brethren, what it is to glory in any object. It is just to have a very high esteem for it. For example, if we speak of a man glorying in his good name, his riches or his friends, we just mean that he esteems these things very highly, that he sets a great value upon them. The consequence is, that he thinks and talks continually about them, and nothing sooner excites his indignation than to hear them undervalued or dispraised. When Paul says, then, that he gloried in the cross of Christ, you are simply to understand him as meaning that he placed a high value upon it, that he prized it greatly. The consequence was, that that cross was the allengrossing theme of his meditation, his conversation, and his preaching. Hence it was, that he determined to know nothing among the Corinthians, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. Hence it was that his epistles, which naturally took their colouring from his thoughts, were so much occupied with setting forth a crucified Saviour. Hence it was, that in all that he did and spoke, he was ever on his guard, lest the cross of Christ should be

REV. JOH PHILIP. 121 made of none effect. Hence also it was that he felt so keenly when he saw that cross despised or lightly esteemed by others. " Many,'' he says, when writing to the Philippians, " many walk of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.''

Observe, however, more closely the nature of the Apostle's glorying, as described in the text : " God forbid that I should glory, save in the the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." This shews his glorying in the cross to have bsen an exclusive glorying. The cross not only appeared to him as an object worthy of esteem, but it appeared to him as the only such object. We often see men taken up with several objects at once. o doubt there cannot well be more than one object on which the mind is supremely set, but there may be others on which a considerable share of attention is at the same time bestowed, and for which a strong attachment is also conceived. But with Paul the cross was his all in all. It was so estimable an object in his eyes that he could not afford to waste one affection or one thought upon anything else. It filled his whole 6oul; it displaced and shut out every lesser object. Some of the Judaizing teachers among the Galatians, while professing Christianity, were yet glorying more in some of the institutions of the law, and in the proselytes they made, than in the grand doctrines of the cross ; and Paul, with special reference to these, says in the text, " God forbid that / should glory, save in the cross.'' Do not suppose by this that Paul meant to undervalue the Mosaic institutions, or that he saw no excellency or glory in them. He appreciated them highly, and speaks of the ministration to which they belonged as a glorious ministration. But seeing that these institutions were appointed but as shadows of good things to come, and that the substance itself was now before his eyes, he determined to glory in that and in that only. Even that which was made glorious, he says in one passage, had no glory in this respect by reason of the glory that excelleth ; for if that which is done away is glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. The glory of the cross appeared to him so great as to eclipse every other object. Although, as the Scriptures say, there is one glory in the sun, and another glory in the moon, and another glory in the stars, for one star differeth from another star in glory ; J et such is the superlative glory of the sun, that when once it has risen and attained its meridian splendour, all those lesser lights disappear. And so it was in the case of Paul ; he saw a glory in all the former institutions of the law — in all those luminaries which shed such lustre upon the Old Testament church ; but when the Sun of righteousness arose, and when on Calvary's cross that Sun attained its noon-tide splendour never more to set, then those luminaries disappeared, or became but as specks in the heavens. o. 115 — Lect. 10. vol. in.

122 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. But did Paul, you will perhaps say, glory in nothing but the cross of Christ? In nothing, my brethren, except so far as it was illustrated or irradiated by its glory. He gloried in his infirmities. " If I must

needs glory'' he says, " I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities." But the reason why he did so was, as he tells us, that the power of Christ might rest upon him. He rejoiced in his sufferings, but it was because in them he was filling up what was behind of the afflictions of Christ for his body's sake the Church. He rejoiced in tribulations ; but it was because he felt that the greater the darkness and distress which surrounded him, the more sweetly and powerfully did the beams of his Saviour's glory pour in upon his soul. He likewise gloried in his converts ; for when writing to the Thessalonians he says, " Ye are our glory and our joy ;" but he did so because in them and all such, he saw the power of the cross of Christ illustriously displayed ; because he saw in them the trophies of redeeming love. Thus you will find, my brethren, that everything in which the Apostle gloried, had a special reference to and bearing upon the cross ; and that the attraction which any object did hold out to him, arose solely from the light which it borrowed from that source. We may well say, then, that his glorying was an exclusive glorying. Hear what he says in his epistle to the Philippians, "Doubtless, I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord ; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but duny that I may win Christ." What a mighty change was this which had come across the Apostle's feelings ! Once he gloried in the zeal which he had displayed in persecuting the church ; once he prided himself in the learning which he had acquired at the feet of Gamaliel ; once he boasted of his blameless conduct, touching the righteousness of the law. ow all these things appeared to him not only as unworthy of being gloried in, but as constituting his greatest shame. The light which shone round about him on his way to Damascus, had revealed something to his soul which made the whole of his previous life wear an aspect of the most hideous character. That something, brethren, was none other than the cross of Christ. From that moment his views and feelings became completely altered. Instead of glorying any longer in his persecuting zeal, he now took pleasure in being persecuted himself, as he tells us, for Christ's sake ; instead of vaunting himself on his superior attainments, he was content to become a fool, if so being he might attain to the knowledge of Christ; and instead of building himself up any longer in his own fancied righteousness, he hesitated not to style himself the chief of sinners. How apparent were all these feelings both in his life and conversation ! His glorying in the cross

REV. JOH PHILIP. 123 was everywhere conspicuous. Whether in the market place or in the synagogue — whether before the promiscuous assembly or the learned

sanhedrim — before magistrates, princes, or kings — he shrunk not from confessing Christ or from preaching his gospel. " I am not ashamed,' he says, "of the gospel of Christ." Wherever he went he carried with him the savour of Christ's name. His eye, you would think, had continually been resting on Calvary's cross. Brethren, let me ask whether or not you are glorying in the cross of Christ ? Does that cross appear to you an object worthy of your supreme regard ? Does the plan of salvation through a crucified Saviour commend itself to you above every other ? And have you renounced every other ? Have you come out of yourselves and your own righteousness ; and do you esteem that righteousness as but a filthy rag ? Does the knowledge of Christ and of him crucified, possess a paramount excellency in your eyes, and would you rather possess that knowledge than all riches and honours? Are you ready to confess Christ before men, and do you rejoice when you find an opportunity of doing so ? Do you confess him among your enemies as well as among your friends ? Are you never ashamed of his cross, and do you esteem his reproach ? Are these your feelings, brethren ? or is this the direction in which they are all tending ? III. Let us now point out some of the grounds of the Apostle's glorying, especially the one which is stated in the text. " By whom (or rather, by which) the world is crucified to me and I unto the world. " We might state to you, my friends, many grounds which the Apostle, in common with all believers, had for glorying in the cross of Christ. otwithstanding the ignominy and shame usually attached to the death of the cross, there was something transcendantly glorious in the death of Christ. ever were the divine perfections so conspicuously displayed as in that event. ever was the love of God so signally manifested as when he bruised the son of his love. ever were his holiness and justice arrayed in such terrible majesty as when he gave forth the summons, " Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow." ever was the mercy of God clothed in such attractive garb as when he laid upon Christ the iniquity of us all. Mercy and truth did indeed meet together, righteousness and peace embraced each other. ever, my friends, was the universe of God the witness of such a glorious scene as was enacted on Calvary's cross. There did all the perfections and attributes of God meet, as if in one grand focus, in one harmonious concert. There was his holy and righteous law magnified and made honourable ; there were its high claims satisfied. There was sin made an end of, and an everlasting righteousness brought in. There did

124 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. death receive its death ; there were the principalities and powers of hell

spoiled. There were heaven and earth made friends ; there, at least, was the wall of separation between them broken down ; there an universal amnesty was proclaimed. Well, then, might the Apostle have gloried in the cross of Christ on these accounts, and we believe he did so glory. And we doubt not but he so glories still ; aye, glories with a transport and joy far greater than he could do upon earth, because now those mysteries of redemption are beheld by him, not through a glass darkly, but as it were with open face. But there were yet other reasons which might have led the Apostle to glory in the cross of Christ. The mighty changes which the preaching of that cross had produced, the wonderful effects which it had wrought on a dark and benighted world, might well have made him glory in its behalf. Was it not, my friends, a ground of glorying to see the most inveterate and deep-rooted enmity slain by it ? the most debasing lusts and passions eradicated by it ? the most abominable superstitions overthrown by it ? and the most lovely and attractive graces made to grow and nourish in their stead ? Was it net a glorious sight to see one citadel of Satan after another crumbling into ruins ? to see one after another of his wretched slaves emancipated from his yoke ? to see one after another of the poor, perishing sons of Adam made the sons of the living God ? Was it not a glorious sight to see the wilderness and solitary place made glad, and the desert rejoicing and blossoming as the rose ? to see the parched ground becoming a pool, and the thirsty land turned into springs of water ? Yet such were some of the effects of the preaching of the cross, and such, we believe, were some of the grounds why the Apostle gloried in that cross. ay, we not only believe, but we know that on these grounds he did glory. "I am not ashamed," he says in his Epistle to the Romans, "of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." And you remember we heard him saying to his converts among the Thessalonians, '• Ye are our glory and our joy." Also in the fifteenth chapter of Romans, when speaking of himself as the minister of the Gentiles, he says, " I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God." But while the Apostle thus gloried in the effects produced by the cross upon others, his glorying as mentioned in the text seems to have had especial reference to the effects it produced upon himself. " By which," he says, the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world." This language, brethren, is worthy of your most attentive consideration. Once the world was the Apostle's all ; once its gaudy pleasures, its tinselled joys, and its fawning friendships, were all his boast and glory. ow it appeared to him as a poor, empty, shrivelled, dying thing. ow its pleasures had be-

REV. JOH PHILir. 125 come tasteless and insipid ; its friendships cold and uninviting, yea utterly

repulsive. Its favours no longer allured, and its hatred no longer terrified him. ow it possessed no more attractions in his eyes than would the countenance of a crucified person, blackened and distorted by the agonies of death, in the eyes of the surrounding spectators ; or, if it did yet retain any, the least hold of his affections, that hold was daily loosening and would soon be snapt asunder for ever. But what was it that produced such a change as this upon the aspect of the world to him ? It was just, my brethren, the cross of Christ. o sooner was it beheld by him than the world lost its charms. The light which shone from the cross at once revealed to him the true nature of all earthly things ; it shewed him a hideousness and ugliness in them that he had never discerned before. Many things you know appear smooth and beautiful in the dark, but once let in the light upon them, and they immediately wear a very different aspect. So it was in the case of Paul. He thought at one time that the world was all fair and lovely, because he viewed it through a thick and darkening medium, the vale of unbelief. But when that veil was taken away, and when the flood of light which streams from Calvary's cross was let in upon his soul, what a changed aspect did the once lovely scene begin to wear ? How many asperities then rose up to view ? how many filthy spots were then discerned ? how many receptacles of putrefaction were then laid open ? how many noxious vapours and exhalations were there seen rising up on every side ? It then appeared to him no better than a great charnel-house, a valley full of dead men's bones — a moral waste — a land of darkness, as darkness itself. But this was not the only effect which the cross of Christ produced on him. It not only made the world dead to him, but him likewise dead to the world, "by which the world is crucified to me and I unto the world." ot only did the world become changed to him, but he became changed towards it. ot only did it lose its charms, but he lost his desires after it. He now viewed its pleasures, its joys, its amusements, with as little relish and delight as a man hanging on a cross would view the richest delicacies and most inviting fruits that might be spread out before him. The current of his affections was completely changed, and the direction they had taken was just the very reverse of that in which they had formerly been flowing. We have told you, my brethren, the reason of such a change. It was no sickening disappointment that had chagrined his spirit ; it was no canker-worm that had been preying upon his heart ; it was no fitful dream that had come across his soul. It was just the very same cause that had made the world changed to him ; it was just the light that had flashed on his soul from the cross on Calvary. Ob-

126 FREE CHURCH PULPIT.

serve, however, how that light operated in both cases. In the one case, viz. in the case of the world, it operated in producing the change by the disclosure which it made of its hitherto concealed hut pregnant irapuri• ties ; in the other, viz. in the case of the Apostle himself, it operated in producing the change by the disclosure which it made of something infinitely more glorious than all that the world could give ; and that something, brethren, was none other than Christ himself. The light which shone from the cross answered both these ends. It not only disclosed the utter worthlessness of the world, but it also revealed the exceeding preciousness of Christ. And it was this latter sight that made Paul dead to the world. Even after an object on which we have long set our hearts has been discovered to be unworthy of our affections, we are loath to give it up until we have found something better. At the very same moment, however, that Paul became sensible of the utter hollowness of the world, his eye was directed to something which he saw to be infinitely better than it had ever appeared to be. o wonder, then, that from that moment his affections should have been alienated from the world ; no wonder that he should have divorced it ; no wonder that he should say, " I am crucified to the world." You see then, my brethren, the effects which the cross of Christ produced upon the Apostle, We have yet, however, to enquire how it was that he gloried in the cross because of those effects ; in other words, why did he glory in the cross of Christ, because by it " the world was crucified to him and he unto the world ?" The answer to this enquiry may be stated in a single sentence. Paul longed to be like Christ, but at the same time he felt the world and his own corrupt heart to lie like insurmountable objects in the way ; therefore he gloried in the cross because it crucified them both, and, as it were, took them out of the way. While the flesh lusted against the spirit, he could not do the things that he would. He could not soar aloft to the regions of purity and peace. He gloried then in the cross, because it crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. While the old man lived and reigned within him, he felt as if he were sold under sin. He rejoiced, then, in the cross because it crucified this old man ; knowing, as he himself says, that " our old man is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, for he that is dead is freed from sin." In short, my brethren, the Apostle gloried in the cross because of its sanctifying power. He longed to be holy, because it was thus, and thus only, that he could become like his Saviour ; and he felt the cross to be a most powerful engine, powerful through the working of the Spirit, for the producing of holiness. He not only desired that he might be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, but that which is through

REV. JOH PHILIP. 127 the faith of him, the righteousness which is of God by faith ; but he also desired that he might know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death. But thus conformable he could not be, so long as he was conformed unto this present evil world. He therefore gloried in the cross because it dissolved not only the attractions which the world presented to him, but also the love which he entertained for it ; because it made the world dead to him and him dead to it. Oh the blessed effects which this death produced! "I am crucified with Christ," he says, " nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me ; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Having now, dear brethren, endeavoured to give you an idea of the Apostle's feelings as described in the text, let me ask you, can you appropriate any of these feelings as your own ? I already asked whether or not you could say with him that you gloried only in the cross of Christ ; 1 have now to ask you whether that cross has produced on you the effects which it produced on him ? Has it crucified the world to you and you to it ? Does the world now appear to you a poor, worthless, dying thing ? Has it lost the attractions it once possessed ? Are its simpering joys now distasteful to you, its soothing flatteries now a burden to your soul? Has it lost alike the power to allure and to terrify you ? Are you indifferent alike about its favour and its frown ? Put your hand upon your heart and say whether or not this be indeed the case ? Or is the world still your god — your all ? Are you still worshipping its pleasures or its riches ? Are you still paying court to its friendships, still revelling in its licentious joys ? Is its music still pleasant to your ear, its sweets still agreeable to j'our taste ? Brethren, remember they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts ; they have escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lusts, " they are not of the world, even as Christ was not of the world." Again let me ask, have you been crucified to the world ? Are you dead, or at least are you dying, daily dying to it ? Does your heart no longer go out after its pleasures ? Are you sick of its pomp and parade ? Is your love for it eradicated, or at least is daily getting colder and colder? Brethren, remember " if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.'' " For all that is in the world, the lust of the«flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but of the world." Remember the character of Christ's people. " They are dead" (viz. to the world), " and their life is hid with Christ in God.'' They have put off the old man and put on the new — they are renewed in the spirit of their minds. They are crucified with Christ.

128 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. I have but one other question to put to you. If you say you are glorying in the cross of Christ, what, I would ask, is the ground of your glorying? Are you glorying merely because that cross brings pardon and eternal life ; because it delivers from wrath, because it raises to glory ? Are these your only or your chief grounds of glorying in it ? Or can you at the same time take up the ground on which the Apostle's glorying seems chiefly to have rested, and say that you glory in the cross of Christ because of the holiness which it brings ? Do you long to be holy, to be like Christ ? Do you long to shake off the body of sin ? And do you glory in the cross because of its sin-destroying, its holiness- giving power ? Believer, this we know is thy ground of rejoicing in it. Then gaze upon the cross and upon the bleeding Saviour. Drink in large measures of holiness, get ripening views of Christ. Oh the transforming power of the cross ! It gives the death-blow to sin and to the world ; it changes the believer from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. In conclusion, we have simply to say, that such glorying in the cross as we have been speaking of can never be separated from those effects which we said the cross produces. They go hand in hand together. Brethren, examine and see what is the ground of your glorying ; see whether or not you can adopt the language of the Apostle, in substance at least, as your own, and say, " God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world." For if you cannot, you have too good reason to fear, as we remarked in setting out, that as yet you are without an interest in Christ, and therefore still in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity. Should this be your sad condition, may He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness shine into your hearts, to give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

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