But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me…
I. First, I am to show that whatever excellencies, outward advantages, or privileges it may be our lot to enjoy, yet it misbecomes us, as we are Christians, to glory in them. I do not say that we are to be insensible of such advantages, to have no relish of them, no complacence in them; for neither reason nor religion require such a conduct from us. They are the good things of life, given us by the Author of all good, on purpose that we should, in due measure and season, enjoy them. They may be used, if they are not over-valued; if we do not suffer our affections to cleave too closely to them, and our minds to be in any degree elated and swelled by a reflection upon them. The Christian religion, by the tendency of all its doctrines (particularly that of Christ crucified), by the manner of its progress, and the mean characters of those who first promulgated and embraced it, seems to have been so throughout contrived as effectually to mortify and beat down any undue complacence we may have in ourselves on such occasions.
II. Secondly, it highly becomes us to glory in the Cross of Christ, as I proposed in the second place to show; for since by the alone merits of His Cross we gain all the advantages of the Christian dispensation, are reconciled to God, and made capable of heaven and happiness, we cannot but glory in that Cross, if indeed we value ourselves upon our being Christians.
III. Thirdly, by what methods, and in opposition to what enemies of the Cross of Christ, we are obliged to glory in it.
1. Now, the first step requisite towards our complying with this obligation is, frequently to meditate on the sufferings and death of Christ. We glory in nothing but what we esteem and value; and what we value much we shall be apt often and attentively to consider (1 Timothy 3:16). We should turn it on all sides, and consider it as the proper subject of our awe and wonder, our joy and pleasure, our gratitude and love, till we have warmed our hearts with a lively sense of the inestimable benefits conferred on us by the means of it.
2. A second step towards fulfilling our obligation to glory in the Cross of Christ is, if we endeavour to imitate the perfect example He hath set us, and to form in our minds some faint resemblances of those meek graces and virtues which adorn the character of our suffering Saviour. And this step is a natural consequence of the former; for imitation will in some degree spring from attention.
3. A third instance and proof of our glorying as becomes us in the Cross of Christ is, if we frequently and worthily celebrate the memorial of His death, the blessed sacrament of His body and blood.
4. In the fourth place, we may be said, very properly said, to glory in the Cross of Christ, when we zealously assert and vindicate the true doctrine of His satisfaction against all the enemies and opposers of it; against the false notions of the Jews, and the false religion of the Mahometans; against the mischievous opinions of some deceived or deceiving Christians; against the vain pretences of reason and philosophy; and against the proud insults and blasphemies of atheists and infidels.
Parallel VersesKJV: But 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.
WEB: But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.