It was the end and aim of our Lord's life to reveal the mystery of himself to his disciples. But what is so strange and yet so significant is, that he made scarcely any direct declarations on the subject. He evidently wanted it to be the impression left by his presence, his words, and his works. Later on in his life we find more of what may, in a good sense, be called self-assertion. But in his earlier ministry he virtually answered all inquiries as he answered the two disciples sent from John Baptist: "Go and show again the things ye do see and hear." Let him make what he can of them, and of me by the help of them. The impressions of himself
had been borne in daily, for long months, upon those disciples, and so they had gained visions of his mystery. What is that mystery?
I. IT IS HIS DIVINITY. Because the word "divinity" has been applied to created beings, many persons prefer to speak of the Deity of Christ. The opened vision of the disciples found God in a man; they discerned the "Divine-human being, man with God for the soul of his humanity." It is hardly in place to inquire what notions of incarnations of deity prevailed among pagan nations, because such notions could not have reached or influenced these simple disciples. It is to the point to inquire how the Old Testament records and associations would help them. There were "theophanies" of various forms, which must have been helpful and suggestive. St. John the apostle, in his Gospel, finely represents the process which had gone on in his own mind, by the help of which he had grasped the mystery of Christ's Deity. It was the humanity that did it. John gives a series of narratives, and one after another they make on the reader a twofold impression.
1. He says - How manifestly Jesus was a real brother-Man!
2. But then he says - How manifestly Jesus was more than man, a Divine Man! No true notion of Christ's Divinity can ever be attained save in the disciples' way, by actual, constant, living contact with Christ's humanity. It is that extraordinary humanity which convinces of the Divinity.
II. IT IS HIS SONSHIP. A previous homily has dealt with this point. The impression on which we now dwell is that the Divinity of Christ is to be conceived as "equality with God," not subordination or creation. The contrast to son is servant. A servant is told the will; a son shares the will. A servant is at the footstool; the son is on the throne. "I and my Father are one." - R.T.
Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?
Monday Club Sermons.I.
1. The substance of the confession.
2. The source of the confession (ver. 17).
3. The power of the confession (vers. 18, 19).
4. The limitations of the confession (ver. 20).
II. THE COVENANT OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
1. The dignity of cross-bearing (vers. 21, 23).
2. The necessity of crossbearing (vers. 24-26).
3. The rewards of cross-bearing (vers. 27, 28).
THE QUESTION OF JESUS CHRIST — "Whom do men," etc.
1. The first word we shall emphasize is the word "men." His mind soars above all national distinctions.
2. The other word we shall emphasize is the word " Son of man." He is humanity condensed.
3. We shall next emphasize the two words together — men and " Son of man." The Saviour presents Himself on the level of our common humanity, and appeals to our common sense, our common nature, to say who He is.
II. THE ANSWER OF THE WORLD.
III. THE ANSWER OF THE CHURCH.
Monday Club Sermons
He is not an excrescence of our nature. No poet He, no philosopher He, no man of science He. He was all these in one, He was man, thorough man, growing out of the depths of our nature. The sea on the surface is divided into waves — go down and you will soon come to a region where there are no waves, where there is nothing but water. And humanity on the surface is broken into nationalities and individualities. But go down a little way, and you will soon come to a region where differences give place to resemblances: force your way down and you will soon arrive at the region of human unities, where every man is like every other man. Now Jesus Christ emerges from the profoundest depths of our nature, from the region of unities. No Jew He — no Greek He — no Roman He — but Man. He touches you and me not in our branches but in our roots. Show me an oak and show me an ash tree: it is easy to tell the difference between them in the branches, but not so easy in the roots. Show me a rose and show me a tulip: any one can tell the difference between them in the leaf, but only a very few can tell the difference between them in their seeds. And Jesus Christ is the "Root
of Jesse," "the Seed
of Abraham and of David;" and all nations and all men in their roots and seeds are very much alike.
Monday Club Sermons.
Creeds embody the ripest and most advanced thoughts of the ages they represent. It is not against the use of creeds that I speak — we cannot very conveniently do without them — but against their abuse, against setting them up in every jot and tittle as infallible standards for all subsequent ages. If you look at a picture of the sky in our picture galleries, you will find that with rare exceptions it has been rendered too hard and too material. The sky on canvas is a ceiling beyond which the eye cannot wander. But if you go out of the gallery a very different sky will open itself before you — a sky which seems to recede for ever before your vision. The sky of painters is too often a thing to be looked at; the sky of nature is not a thing to be looked at, but a thing to be looked through. In like manner, the truth concerning Christ as rendered in creeds and systems is hard and dry — it is the sky of the picture. The truth concerning Christ as presented in the Gospels is deep, living, infinite — it is the sky of nature. And I greatly rejoice that men try to understand the Christ of the Gospels and not the Christ of the creeds, the Christ of the evangelists and not the Christ of the schools. "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
An American writer says: "We have in our congregation a little deaf and dumb boy. On Sunday he loves to have his mother find for him the words that we are all singing, though the music never thrills his quiet ear, nor touches his heart. He looks at the hymn, glides his little finger over every word to the end; if he finds ' Jesus' there, he is satisfied and absorbed to the close of the singing; but if the word ' Jesus' is not there, he closes the book, and will have nothing more to do with it." So should we test the religions of the day — if we find Jesus the central thought of any system of theology, it is good, it will do for us; if not, turn away and have nothing to do with it.
Monday Club Sermons.
He was conceived over thirty years ago in the nature
of man, but in the text for the first time is He conceived in the mind
of man; and the conception in the mind was as necessary to our salvation as the conception in the nature.
Monday Club Sermons.
Benjamin Franklin made an experiment, one of the most daring ever made by mortal man. Seeing a cluster of thunder-clouds hanging overhead, he let fly into their midst a paper kite, to which was attached a metallic chain. As the kite was flying among the clouds, anxiety weighed heavily on his heart. At last he presumptuously applied his knuckles to the chain and called forth sparks of wild lightning; and had the stream of electricity been a little stronger at the time, the philosopher would have met with instantaneous death. He has left on record, that so surprising was the discovery to him, that in the ecstasy of the moment he expressed his willingness to die there and then. In like manner there were clouds of opinion afloat in society respecting Jesus Christ, indeed the thunder-clouds were gathering fast. "Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am? .... Some say that Thou art John the Baptist" — that is one cloud. "Others, Elias" — that is another cloud. "Others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets" — that is a cluster of clouds. Everything seemed mist and haze, vagueness and uncertainty. Jesus Christ prayerfully and anxiously flies a question into the midst of these dark clouds. What will the result be? His heart trembles, therefore He prays. See the question fly — "But whom say ye that I am?" What answer will be called forth? " Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
THE QUESTION — "Whom say ye that I am?" It is a great mercy that Jesus calls out the faith that is in His disciples. By what various means of questioning does He speak? Sometimes by conscious afflictions; by our very fails. This is the question of questions; not what we think of Churches, disciples, but of Christ.
II. THE ANSWER — "Thou art the Christ," etc. There was little comparative light in the apostles before the Day of Pentecost; the Holy Spirit must teach to saving profit. But they were still His disciples, though their faith was small. It is humbling that, having so much more light than they, we should have less love. All the glory of Christ as the Mediator hangs upon the glory of His Person. If a mere creature, His work is comparatively nothing.
III. THE VAST ENCOURAGEMENT — "Blessed art thou." The infinite condescension of Jesus. He takes notice and encourages the weakest faith.
1. How blessed the condition of those who have been taught this lesson. "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it." Nature, education, miracles, never taught it. What a foundation for strong confidence. He, the Son of God.
2. How great the sin of the man who rejects this Son of the living God.
II. THE SOURCE of Peter's faith.
III. WHAT PETER'S FAITH QUALIFIED HIM TO BE.
IV. THE SPECIAL REWARD of Peter's faith. Conclusion: How can we become stones in Christ's Church? Not naturally. Only by having Peter's faith. In Jesus as "the Christ." In Jesus as "the Son of God." How may we get this faith? God alone can give it — ask Him.
How hearty and distinct is this utterance! This is the first " Confession of Faith." This is the true Apostles' Creed. These are the prime and essential articles of catholic verity, upon which rest all sound theology and all saving faith. In this short but illustrious statement, says a great theologian, you have the whole truth with respect to the Person and the work of Jesus Christ.
1. It is plainly implied that Jesus Christ possesses human nature, a true body and a reasonable soul. He put the question as the Son of man. He was a real man.
2. The confession of Peter asserts the divinity as well as the humanity of our Lord. He calls Him the " Son of the living God." This expression denotes Divine nature. He is set forth as a Divine Person in the Old Testament. He manifested Himself in this character in the days of His flesh, etc. Had He been less than Divine, He could not have been the Saviour.
3. The confession of Peter asserts the truth with regard to the office or work as well as the Person of the Son of God. He declares that He is the Christ, that is, the Messiah, etc. And for what end? It is to save sinners. This is the great work given Him to do. He is the only, the all-sufficient, Saviour of sinners. To Him alone belongs all the glory. Believest thou these things? Is this thy heartfelt creed and confession?
This is a most pertinent question now. Reasons why we should ask it of ourselves.
I. We are in danger, as the disciples were, of being affected by the crude opinions of men about our Lord, and His religion, and His Church.
II. The question is vital, for it asserts the great truth that only a deep, strong faith will ever inspire confidence in others.
III. It shows us how dear to Christ is the personal faith of the soul.
THAT THERE ARE MANY OPINIONS ABOUT CHRIST.
1. As regards His Person.
2. As regards the nature of the work which He came to accomplish.
3. As regards His religion, His acquirements, and His claims.
II. IT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT WE FORM CORRECT AND DECIDED OPINIONS ON THIS SUBJECT. Our opportunities of doing so are very great.
THAT WHEN CHRIST BECAME A MAN HE COULD NOT SEEM DIVINE ACCORDING TO THE PRE-CONCEPTIONS OF MEN, who looked for the exhibition of that which appeals to the sense, and who did not look for inward harmony. Christ did bring with Him the Divine nature, but not the attributes of Jehovah disclosed in their amplitude. He humbled Himself.
II. EVERY PERSON CAME TO CHRIST THROUGH SOME ELEMENTS THAT WERE IN HIMSELF. Some came to Him through the door of sympathy; some from lower motives. What is Christ to you? Is He part of your life?
What did Christ teach concerning Himself?
1. He affirmed the divinity of His redemptive mission.
2. His independence of, and separation from, the world.
3. His pre-existence.
4. Some of the affirmations of Christ contain most impressive representations of His character and work — "I am the Bread of Life," "I am the Light of the World," "I am the Door," "I am the True Vine."
5. Some of the affirmations of our Lord contain wondrous glimpses of His grace and glory.
6. His second coming in great glory.
Was not Christ superior to what men thought about him? He did not stoop to public opinion, but was anxious to know that men had clear and right conceptions concerning Him; that He did not live and teach in vain. What are men saying in yonder workshop of you?
2. We must try and find out what is the public opinion to-day about Christ, and instruct, correct it, gently.
It is in these incidental ways that we see Jesus Christ best. Yes, and I will venture to say that it is in these incidental ways we see all men best. We do not understand men best because we see them in their great efforts. Please do not take me to the poet, if you want me to understand him thoroughly, when he has got his pen, ink, and paper ready to write his great poem. I should see him then in a great mood, but I should not see him in an incidental way, and in all the little things that make up the man's character. I do not want to see Mr. Gladstone when he is braced up to chop down an ash-tree; nor do I want to see him as he has braced himself to make a great speech in the House of Commons. I should want to see him as his wife sees him; and I venture to say that we should understand him better in that than in any other way. Your wife knows you better than anybody else; she sees you in the little things of every-day life, and it is in these incidental ways that the great things and the great truths come up all through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. You do not value that clock yonder for its striking capacity. I do not know whether it strikes at all; however, it has a very fine musical bell in it that knocks off twelve, when it is twelve, in a quick or slow manner, but you would not value it for that. You value the clock for its capacity to tell you every minute of the time and every hour of the day. And just as you look at the little things on the face, and get the minutes as well as the hour, you value the clock for its correctness.
We find Christ so differently because we seek Him in such very different ways. We cannot have a uniform Christ any more than we can have a uniform experience. In essence, in character, in love, in pity, Jesus Christ will ever be the same to every sinner who comes to Him, but as we come to Him we shall seem to have a very different Christ, because we use our own glasses, and, therefore, see Him from different points of view, and have different convictions about Him. Here is a person who comes to Jesus Christ, who has been educated and brought up in a manner of refinement and beauty, whose home has been the centre of everything that was charming; his mother was gentle, and sweet as an angel, his education from boarding-school days until he settled himself in life was all that could be desired to train the taste, to balance the judgment, and to make the character round, unique, and beautiful. By-and-by he comes to Jesus Christ, and he comes along such a different path to that man over there, for he was born down a back street, where hardly a gleam of sunshine ever burst through his mother's window, and he hardly ever saw a beautiful flower; certainly his boyish feet never tripped along a green field; he never heard the birds sing in the wood, nor saw the light and charm of nature as others have seen it; rough, rude, uneducated, unable to read one word of the .New Testament. By-and-by that man comes to Christ, and he sits in the church at the Lord's table by the side of that other educated and refined Christian. If they compare notes they will seem to have a very different Christ, because they came along such very different roads up to the cross. I believe, brethren, that that first view of Jesus in the soul's experience makes a vast deal of difference to his whole thinking and to his whole life about the Saviour whom he first saw. Oh, what passion burns in one man, and what calm, strong, intellectual, and dignified faith wrestles and grapples in the other, as he comes up first to look at Jesus Christ. John Newton saw Him like this: —
"I saw One hanging on a tree
In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood;
And never till my latest breath
Shall I forget that look,
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke."James Allen saw Him like this: —
"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Which before the cross I spend,
Love and health and peace possessing,
From the sinner's dying friend.
Here it is I find my heaven
While upon His cross I gaze,
Love I much? I've more forgiven,
I am a miracle of grace."So the poets and hymn-writers came to Him differently, and seemed to take a different view of Him.
Payson, when he lay on his bed dying, said: "All my life Christ has seemed to me as a star afar off; but little by little He has been advancing and growing larger and larger, till now His beams seem to fill the whole hemisphere, and I am floating in the glory of God, wondering with unutterable wonder how such a mote as I should be glorified in His light;" but he came to that after a long life.
: — But
how many people there are whose God is no bigger than a confession of faith! How many persons have a God that is like a dried specimen of a flower in a herbarium, which is good for science, and for nothing else? But Christ is a power — a glory — a life; and he that has come to Christ, and accepted Him even in the smallest degree, to him it is given to become, and to know that he is becoming, a son of God. To all of you I say, stand fast in the faith, in the inward sense, of a living Saviour. Love Him and trust Him.
And remember that what you see now is full of mixture — that, like ill-blown glass, it is full of crinckles — that it is full of elements that are drawn from the peculiarities of your own nature. Look upon Christ as one that, all after, much as He is to you, is to be revealed in you — that is to say, when you have grown, when you have been cleansed, when you leave this body behind, and when you rise to stand face to face with God, the little that you knew before will be as what a man has seen who has never been out of his garden here compared with what he would see if he were, by some power, translated into a tropical forest. He has seen growths in a northern clime largely developed under glass, but oh, to see the growths that have been developed by the tropical powers of nature! And when we shall see Him as He is-in magnitude — in wonderful disposition — in profound, and sweet, and life-giving influences — then, with an ecstasy of joy, we shall cast our crowns at His feet and say: "Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Thy name be the praise."
Well, now I must gather up the fragments and close; and I will do so by saying that there will be, as there have been, very different answers given as to who the Son of man is. There always were different answers; there always must be; because men look at Christ as they look at other men and other things. We do not all look at the New Testament through the same mental laws; and that makes all the difference in the answer we shall give to the question, "Whom do you say I, the Son of God, am?" You know if you go to the photographer's shop and ask the artist to be kind enough to let you look through the lens covered by that little black piece of cloth, and if you look at the chair on which you have to sit for your portrait, it is reversed, and the opposite of what you expected it to be. That is how some men look at other men. They always see them reversed — very different to what they are. That is precisely the kind of lens that many bring to the New Testament to look at Christ.
Spiritual things have the influence of reality upon renewed persons. Their eyes are opened to see that the doctrines of the Bible are really true. Not all religious affections are attended with this conviction, because not produced by the spiritual illumination of the mind. Whore the understanding is spiritually enlightened, the affections do not spring from so-called discoveries, from a strong confidence of their good estate, from a strong persuasion that the Christian religion is true as the result of education, or from mere reasons and arguments. Spiritual affections spring from the beauty of Divine things; their beauty is discerned through the illumination of the mind; and this view produces the conviction of their reality.
I. DIRECTLY. The judgment is directly convinced of the divinity of the gospel by the clear view of its inherent glory and excellence. Many things in the gospel are hid from the eyes of natural men which are manifest to those who have a spiritual sense and taste, and to whom the beauty and glory of the gospel are revealed. To them alone religion becomes experimental. Were it otherwise, the illiterate and the heathen could not have so thorough a conviction as to embrace the gospel and hazard every earthly thing for its possession. God gives to these some sort of evidence that His covenant is true beyond all mere probability or historical evidence, which the illiterate are capable of, and which produces the "full assurance of faith." They become witnesses to the truth through being spiritually enlightened. "Infidelity never prevailed so much in any age as in this, wherein these arguments (from ancient traditions, histories and monuments) are handled to the greatest advantage." To be a witness is to see the truth.
1. This view of Divine glory removes enmities and prejudices of the heart, so that the mind is more open to the force of the reasons which are presented.
2. And, by thus removing hindrances, it positively helps reason. "It makes even the speculative notions more lively." In this way truly gracious affections are distinguished from others, "for gracious affections are evermore attended with such a conviction of the judgment."
III. SOME CONCLUSIONS.
1. There is a degree of conviction which arises from the common enlightenings of the Spirit of God. This may lead to belief, but not to the spiritual conviction of truth, and the apprehension of its Divine beauty and glory.
2. There are extraordinary impressions on the imagination, which are delusive, and produce only a counterfeit faith.
3. Those beliefs of truth, which rest merely upon our supposed interest in what the gospel reveals and promises, are also vain.
(1) The Christ —
not merely an anointed one, as priests and prophets of old might have been anointed, but that He is the One anointed of God, having received this gift in a super-eminent manner.(2) The Son —
not one son merely out of many, but that He was so beyond all others, and in a way which singled Him out from them. Son and only-begotten, not by grace, but of the substance of the Father.(3) The Son of the living God —
not of the gods of the heathen world, the object of Gentile idolatry, but the Son of the One living
, and true God, who has life in Himself, who is uncreated life — the living
life-giving principle to all mankind.(4) That He is Christ and at the same time Son of the living God — in contradistinction to the crowd, who believed Him to be the Baptist, Elias, or one of the prophets; Peter acknowledged Him to be Christ, and the Son
of the living God.
II. IN THIS CONFESSION THERE ARE INCLUDED THESE. TRUTHS —(1) The nature which Christ took; the human nature, that is, which was anointed or consecrated.(2) The anointing which He received, the fulness of the Holy Spirit, imparted without measure to Christ at His conception.(3) The object of this anointing — that He might be the Christ, the King, the Priest, the Prophet of His people.
().This truth was not revealed to Peter —(1) By carnal men, nor indeed by men at all, since man cannot of himself make known the things of the Spirit;(2) Through mere carnal reasoning (1 Corinthians 2:11.);(3) Nor was it the revelation of Christ's flesh. It was not merely that Peter had been able to pierce beyond the veil of Christ's human nature, and through that, and by means of that, to understand the Divinity. No. It was the direct act of the Father, by which he was enlightened.
TopicsAnswering, Christ, Ever-living, Peter, Replied, Simon
Outline1. The Pharisees require a sign.5. Jesus warns his disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.13. The people's opinion of Jesus,16. and Peter's confession of him.21. Jesus foretells his death;23. reproves Peter for dissuading him from it;24. and admonishes those who will follow him, to bear the cross.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesMatthew 16:16
1080 God, living
1205 God, titles of
2018 Christ, divinity
2078 Christ, sonship of
2206 Jesus, the Christ
2218 Christ, Son of God
5549 speech, positive
8407 confession, of Christ
8496 witnessing, importance
2363 Christ, preaching and teaching
2318 Christ, as prophet
5923 public opinion
8025 faith, origins of
5113 Peter, disciple
7135 Israel, people of God
8135 knowing God, nature of
LibraryOctober 14. "Get Thee, Behind Me, Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23).
"Get thee, behind me, Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23). When your old self comes back, if you listen to it, fear it, believe it, it will have the same influence upon you as if it were not dead; it will control you and destroy you. But if you will ignore it and say: "You are not I, but Satan trying to make me believe that the old self is not dead; I refuse you, I treat you as a demon power outside of me, I detach myself from you"; if you treat it as a wife would her divorced husband, saying: "You are nothing …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
Christ Foreseeing the Cross
'From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.'--MATT. xvi. 21. The 'time' referred to in the text was probably a little more than six months before the Crucifixion, when Jesus was just on the point of finally leaving Galilee, and travelling towards Jerusalem. It was an epoch in His ministry. The hostility of the priestly party in …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Divine Christ Confessed, the Suffering Christ Denied
'When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Phllippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Unity of the Church.
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."--Matt. xvi. 18. Too many persons at this day,--in spite of what they see before them, in spite of what they read in history,--too many persons forget, or deny, or do not know, that Christ has set up a kingdom in the world. In spite of the prophecies, in spite of the Gospels and Epistles, in spite of their eyes and their ears,--whether it be their sin or …
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII
The Human Jesus.
God's meaning of "Human": man's fellow--two meanings of word human--original meaning--natural limitations. The Hurt of sin: sin's added limitations. Our Fellow: Jesus truly human--up to first standard--His insistence--perfect in His humanness--fellowship in sin's limitations--hungry, Matthew 16:5. John 4:6-8.--tired, John 4:6. Mark 4:38.--poverty, Matthew 13:55. Mark 6:3.--hard toil, John 19:25-27.--homeless, Luke 4:16-30. Matthew 8:20. Luke 9:58.--discipline of waiting. There's More of God …
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus
Words with a Freshly Honed Razor-Edge.
Now please group these six sweeping statements in your mind and hold them together there. Then notice carefully this fact. These words are not spoken to the crowds. They are spoken to the small inner group of twelve disciples. Jesus talks one way to the multitude. He oftentimes talks differently to these men who have separated themselves from the crowd and come into the inner circle. And notice further that before Jesus spoke these words to this group of men He had said something else first. Something …
S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon—Quiet Talks on Prayer
The Threefold Cord of Jesus' Life.
Think for a moment into Jesus' human life down here. His marvellous activities for those few years over which the world has never ceased to wonder. Then His underneath hidden-away prayer-life of which only occasional glimpses are gotten. Then grouping around about that sentence of His--"I do always the things that are pleasing to Him"--in John's gospel, pick out the emphatic negatives on Jesus' lips, the "not's": not My will, not My works, not My words. Jesus came to do somebody's else will. The …
S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon—Quiet Talks on Prayer
The Important Question
"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Matthew 16:26 1. There is a celebrated remark to this effect, (I think in the works of Mr. Pascal,) that if a man of low estate would speak of high things, as of what relates to kings or kingdoms, it is not easy for him to find suitable expressions, as he is so little acquainted with things of this nature; but if one of royal parentage speaks of royal things, of what concerns his own or his father's kingdom, his language …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
The Signs of the Times
"Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" Matthew 16:3. 1. The entire passage runs thus: "The Pharisees also, with the Sadducees, came, and tempting, desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
Twelfth Day. Fidelity in Rebuke.
"The Lord turned and looked upon Peter."--Luke, xxii. 61. Jesus never spake one unnecessarily harsh or severe word. He had a Divine sympathy for the frailties and infirmities of a tried, and suffering, and tempted nature in others. He was forbearing to the ignorant, encouraging to the weak, tender to the penitent, loving to all,--yet how faithful was He as "the Reprover of sin!" Silent under His own wrongs, with what burning invectives did He lay bare the Pharisees' masked corruption and hypocrisy! …
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus
"Take My Yoke Upon You, and Learn of Me," &C.
Matt. xi. 20.--"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me," &c. Self love is generally esteemed infamous and contemptible among men. It is of a bad report every where, and indeed as it is taken commonly, there is good reason for it, that it should be hissed out of all societies, if reproaching and speaking evil of it would do it. But to speak the truth, the name is not so fit to express the thing, for that which men call self love, may rather be called self hatred. Nothing is more pernicious to a man's …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
Edwards -- Spiritual Light
Jonathan Edwards, the New England divine and metaphysician, was born at East Windsor, Connecticut, in 1703. He was graduated early from Yale College, where he had given much attention to philosophy, became tutor of his college, and at nineteen began to preach. His voice and manner did not lend themselves readily to pulpit oratory, but his clear, logical, and intense presentation of the truth produced a profound and permanent effect upon his hearers. He wrote what were considered the most important …
Grenville Kleiser—The world's great sermons, Volume 3
Of Sufferings Be patient under all the sufferings which God is pleased to send you: if your love to Him be pure, you will not seek Him less on Calvary, than on Tabor; and, surely, He should be as much loved on that as on this, since it was on Calvary He made the greater display of His Love for you. Be not like those, who give themselves to Him at one season, and withdraw from Him at another: they give themselves only to be caressed; and wrest themselves back again, when they come to be crucified, …
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer
Of Suffering which must be Accepted as from God --Its Fruits.
Be content with all the suffering that God may lay upon you. If you will love Him purely, you will be as willing to follow Him to Calvary as to Tabor. He must be loved as much on Calvary as on Tabor, since it is there that He makes the greatest manifestation of His love. Do not act, then, like those people who give themselves at one time, and take themselves back at another. They give themselves to be caressed, and take themselves back when they are crucified; or else they seek for consolation in …
Jeanne Marie Bouvières—A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents
Of the Royal Way of the Holy Cross
That seemeth a hard saying to many, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his Cross and follow Me.(1) But it will be much harder to hear that last sentence, Depart from me, ye wicked, into eternal fire.(2) For they who now willingly hear the word of the Cross and follow it, shall not then fear the hearing of eternal damnation. This sign of the Cross shall be in heaven when the Lord cometh to Judgment. Then all servants of the Cross, who in life have conformed themselves …
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ
The Great Confession - the Great Commission - the Great Instruction - the Great Temptation - the Great Decision.
If we are right in identifying the little bay - Dalmanutha - with the neighbourhood of Tarichæa, yet another link of strange coincidence connects the prophetic warning spoken there with its fulfilment. From Dalmanutha our Lord passed across the Lake to Cæsarea Philippi. From Cæsarea Philippi did Vespasian pass through Tiberias to Tarichæa, when the town and people were destroyed, and the blood of the fugitives reddened the Lake, and their bodies choked its waters. Even amidst …
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
Last Journey of Jesus to Jerusalem.
Jesus had for a long time been sensible of the dangers that surrounded him. During a period of time which we may estimate at eighteen months, he avoided going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. At the feast of Tabernacles of the year 32 (according to the hypothesis we have adopted), his relations, always malevolent and incredulous, pressed him to go there. The evangelist John seems to insinuate that there was some hidden project to ruin him in this invitation. "Depart hence, and go into Judea, …
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus
The Preparatory Service; Sometimes Called the Confessional Service.
In our examination of the nature and meaning of the Lord's Supper, we have found that it is indeed a most important and holy Sacrament. It is in fact the most sacred of all the ordinances of the Church on earth. There is nothing beyond it--nothing so heavenly, on this side heaven, as this Feast. Nowhere else does the believer approach so near to heaven as when he stands or kneels, as a communicant at this altar, the Holy of Holies in the Church of Christ. What a solemn act! To approach this altar, …
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church
A Divine Saviour.
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew xvi. 1; John vi. 69.) We meet with a certain class of Enquirers who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ. There are many passages that will give light on this subject. In 1 Corinthians xv. 47, we are told: "The first man is of the earth earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." In 1 John v. 20: "We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is …
Dwight L. Moody—The Way to God and How to Find It
"If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."--Matt. xvi. 24. Good works are not the saint's sanctification, any more than drops of water are the fountain; but they spring as crystal drops from the fountain of sanctification. They are good, not when the saint intends them to be good, but when they conform to the divine law and proceed from a true faith. Yet the intention is of great importance; the Church has always taught that a work could not be called …
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit
The Foundation of the Church among the Heathen
A.D. 38-45 [Sidenote: A.D. 38] During St. Peter's journey, the course of God's good Providence led him to the sea-port town of Joppa, on the borders of Samaria and Judaea, and there we read that "he tarried many days," a measure of time which is supposed to be equivalent to three years. At the expiration of this time an event occurred which had a deep and lasting influence on the life of the Church of Christ. [Sidenote: Further fulfilment of the promise to St. Peter.] Hitherto no Gentiles had been …
John Henry Blunt—A Key to the Knowledge of Church History
Christ the Son of God.
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. xvi. 16). "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him and he in God" (I. John iv. 15). "And who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (I. John v. 5). In one sense all men are sons of God. In a much dearer sense all Christians are sons and daughters of the Almighty. But the relationship of Christ to the Father is infinitely above this. He is the Son of God. God is …
Frank G. Allen—Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel
Tries to Become a Politician. Fails. Last Act as a Politician. Tries to Join the Southern Army. Fails Again. His First Appointment. Feeling of Responsibility. His
Tries to Become a Politician. Fails. Last Act as a Politician. Tries to Join the Southern Army. Fails Again. His First Appointment. Feeling of Responsibility. His Plan. Text. Analysis of Sermon. Buys a Family Bible. Rules of Life. When I obeyed the Saviour, the brethren urged me to begin at once to preach the gospel. I had been accustomed to making political speeches, and public addresses of different kinds, and they thought I could just as easily preach a sermon as to make a speech on any other …
Frank G. Allen—Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel
Concerning the Sacrament of Penance
In this third part I shall speak of the sacrament of penance. By the tracts and disputations which I have published on this subject I have given offence to very many, and have amply expressed my own opinions. I must now briefly repeat these statements, in order to unveil the tyranny which attacks us on this point as unsparingly as in the sacrament of the bread. In these two sacraments gain and lucre find a place, and therefore the avarice of the shepherds has raged to an incredible extent against …
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation
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