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in your steps ; if here now would be kindred spirits with you, and for association with whom, nothing more is needed to fit you, than a dismission from the body! Are you externally blameless, but inwardly corrupt and secretly vicious ? Satan already marks you as his own,—and even now hell moves to meet you! Or are you living in no glaring sin, but in unbelief only ? Re. member, he who has said drunkards, and liars, and the unclean, shall not nherit the kingdom of God, has testified also- he that believeth not shall be damned! Let the refined, the highly cultivated, and the polished, ponder deeply this consideration-rejection of the gospel will consign you to perpetual companionship, hopeless of relief, with those very wretches from whose coarse wickedness and brutal vices you now shrink away in unutterable disgust! How will you bear to be their companions-their sport and their scorn for ever!
Of the doom that awaits them sinners are forewarned. If, then, in defiance of such motives, in contempt of such tenderness as the gospel reveals, men will press onward to ruin, mercy herself will suspend her entreaties, and use the high vantage ground to which she had brought them, only to occasion a more fatal plunge to the lowest depths of hell!
Dying sinner ! “ behold the Lamb of God”—the bleeding Saviour ! Forsake the paths of folly-break off your sins by repentance, and surrender your whole heart to Jesus Christ, who is mighty
Believe on Him. That faith will purify your heart : and the entire change it effects in your character, and your emotions, will give assurance of acceptance, while you pray, Gather not my soul with sinners! Amen!
By Rev. IRA TRACY,
THE EX À MPLE OF CHRIST IN SELF DENIAL.
PHILIPPIANs ü. 5.- Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
In the example of Christ we have a perfect pattern for our imitation. A pattern which we are bound to imitate in all cases where our situation is like his. Let us, then, look for a few moments at what he did for the benefit of sinners; and then consider in what respects our situation, in relation to others, is like that of Christ. For the benefit of sinners,
I. He left the honors and enjoyments of heaven.
He was King of kings and Lord of lords. But he saw in this far distant province of his empire the entrance of sin. He witnessed the sorrow, and wo, that followed in its train ; and, urged by love, he hastened to save the ruined world.
II. He endured the company of the degraded and wicked.
The vicious and the vile seek the company of those like themselves ; but can one who has been accustomed to virtuous and refined society, be happy among the degraded and profane? And when Christ became the friend of publicans and sinners, was it because their company was agreeable to him? No, it was compassion for the miserable—it was pity for sinners, that made him their companion.
III. His labors were incessant and painful.
“ He went about doing good," is the short, but exact description of his manner of life. This was his employment-his meat and his drink; and for this he refused no effort, however painful.
IV. He came among those by whom he knew he should be despised and rejected.
Take the history of his life on earth, and observe the treatment he received, and received, let us remember, for the good of others. See the Saviour of the world cradled in a manyer, because the inn was occupied by those considered more honorable! Hear the proud Pharisee saying,
“ Behold a man gluttonous, and a wine-bibber—a friend of publicans and sinners." See before the Jewish Sanhedrim. “ They all condemn him to be guilty of death.” They then begin to “spit in his face, and to buffet him.” Others cover his face and smite him with the palms of their hands, and contemptuously ask, " Who is he that smote thee?" See him next, led away to stand, like a felon, before the Pagan governor. Here again listen to the slanderous accusations against him; and hear the infuriated cry, “ Away with him, away with him! Crucify him, crucify him! And by whom was he thus despised and rejected ? It was by those whom he most tenderly loved. He saw his enemies—the enemies of God-degraded, and perishing in sin, and his pity was mored. For our sake he could bear to be crowned with thorns, and spit upon, and called a vile impostor.
V. He bore our sins in the garden and upon the cross.
The self-denial, the condescension, the insults of which I have spoken, are as nothing, when compared with the sufferings of Gethsemane and Golgotha. It was in the garden that he began to drink of the bitter cup--the wrath of God against sin. See him retiring with the three disciples, and beginning “ to be sore amazed and to be very heavy." His soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.” He lifts up his voice in prayer, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;" but the burden is not removed. Again and again, he pleads, and no relief is granted ; nor can there be, without the loss of a world. But the salvation of the world is an object so dear to the Sufferer, that he will not relinquish it. The rage of hell and the frowns of heaven can be borne, rather than we should be left to perish!
All this, however, is but the beginning of his sorrows. An ignominious death and the entire desertion of his Father's countenance are yet to be en. dured. “ They took Jesus and led him away. And he bearing his cross, went forth. And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they crucified him. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' And he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
Such are some of the self-denials and sufferings to which Christ submitted for the good of others. Keeping this example in view, and remembering that, if the same mind be in us which was also in him, we shall do as he did, so far as our condition permits, let us
Secondly, consider, in what respects our situation, in relation to a world of sinners, is like that of Christ.
1. As Christ saw mankind perishing and without a Saviour, so we see six hundred millions of our fellow-men in the same condition-perishing, and without a Saviour.
Their souls, as precious as our own, are in danger of being lost for ever; for they are, almost without exception, such as inspiration has described, (Rom. 1. 17–32, and 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10, &c.] of whom it is declared, that such cannot inherit the kingdoon of God. That this is their condition is admitted by all who believe the Bible and have any considerable acquaintance with the character and conduct of the heathen. In this respect, then, our situation is like that of Christ--we see countless multitudes of our race hastening to eternal ruin.
2. As Christ knew that the salvation of the world depended upon himself, sò we know that the salvation of the heathen depends, under God, upon us who have the Gospel.
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” This evidently implies, that whosoever shall not thus call, will not be saved. “ But how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard ?” The heathen have never heard of Christ, nor will they, till we who have the Gospel, convey it to them. Their salvation, therefore, depends as really, though in a different way, upon us, as ours did upon Christ. If he had not come and suffered for us, we could not have been saved ; and if we do not give the Gospel to the heathen, they will not be saved.
3. As Christ could not effect the salvation of the world without self-denial, so we cannot save the heathen without it.
It was impossible for him to become our Saviour without leaving his home and country, exchanging the society of heaven, for that of vile men, exposing himself to the scorn of the wicked, and consenting even to die, in the cause : and it is equally impossible for us to save the heathen, unless many of us leave our home and country, exchange the society we love for that of pagans, expose ourselves to the contempt and hatred of the wicked—to dangers and to death, it may be, in the prosecution of the work ; and unless others who do not go, imitate the self-denial of the Redeemer in efforts to give them the Gospel. The extent to which we are bound to carry our self-denial, is left for each one to decide, in view of the worth of souls, and the example of him, who though he was rich, for our sakes became poor.
4. As Christ knew that his labors and sufferings would not be in vain; so we know, that if we, with the same spirit of obedience to God, and benevolence to men, deny ourselves, and give the Gospel 10 the heathen, it will be the means of their salvation.
We are assured of this by the effects which have attended the publication of the Gospel in every age and country. Our own ancestors were pagansthe blood of human victims flowed upon the altars of their idol gods--they were degraded and wretched, as pagans now are. But the Gospel was preached among them, and that by Christian missionaries; and it produced its appropriate effects :---such effects as we see around us, and are experiencing ourselves, continually : for we owe to the Gospel all our elevation above the heathen, in knowledge, virtue, and happiness. Similar effects have attended the Gospel wherever it has been preached in its purity; effects which it is naturally calculated to produce—it being the means appointed of God for the moral renovation of the world.
Finally--As Christ saw a sufficient reward in the joy set before him, so we shall be abundantly rewarded for all our efforts in this cause when we come to see the fruit of our labors in heaven.
It was for the salvation of men, and the glory of God, exhibited to the uni. verse in the accomplishment of that salvation, that he condescended to assume our nature, and suffer in our stead. Our inducements to give the Gospel to the heathen are essentially the same. We shall be the means of saving nien, and of glorifying God in the view of the universe. While we labor in this cause, we are eminently a spectacle to God, to angels, and to men;" and when our work is done, and we are called home to our heavenly rest, then, as he sees the travail of his soul and is satisfied, so we shall welcome there one and another, who, but for us, must have gone to dwell in everlasting burnings,
but who, by our instrumentality, are made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.
It appears, then, that west and in the same relation to the heathen in respect to the certainty of their salvation, in which Christ did to us. Their salvation depends as truly upon us as ours did upon him; it will not cost us more ; and every motive which urged him to effort in our behalf, urges us with equal power to effort in their behalf. If, then, “the same mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus,” we shall make the greatest possible efforts for the salvation of the world. To what other conclusion can we come? The situation of millions,
for whom we are called to labor, is as deplorable as was that of those for whom Christ labored and suffered; the necessity of our making exertion for their rescue is as imperious; success as certain ; and the reward as sure. He did what he could. He refused no labor, avoided no indignity, shrunk from no suffering, that was requisite for our salvation. If we, then, have the same mind, shall the love of ease-or wealth—or pleasure-or honor-or friends
or country-of any, or all of these, prevent or diminish our efforts in behalf of those now perishing for lack of knowledge? O, no; if we have his spirit in view of this great object, all earthly good will dwindle to insignificance. This will be the theme of our most anxious study, and the object of our most vigorous exertion—the great end of our life.
And, Christian brethren, have we not promised before God, angels, and men, that we would renounce the world and follow Christ? If our profession was not a mere form, have we not given ourselves to God, and solemnly consecrated our time, property, 'influence-our every talent to his service? What mean our covenant vows, if not the entire consecration of all we are and have ? What mean our solemn promises, if not that we will take the word of God and the example of Christ as our rule of life? Those vows we have often renewed, over the emblems of Christ's broken body and shed blood. And shall we now make it the object of our lives to seek the riches, honors, or pleasures, of this world ? Shall we serve ourselves, instead of him who has loved us, and bought us with his own blood ? His last command is, Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." And I hear him saying, “ If ye love me, keep my commandments.” And shall we disgrace the Christian name by refusing to obey ? Millions on millions have perished already, because professing Christians have loved the things of this world more than the souls of men. Stay, I beseech you, stay, (for it is in your power,) this flood of ruin. The salvation of six hundred millions now depends, under God, upon Christians of this generation. The heathen now alive, must receive the Gos. pel, or perish in ignorance of it. We, then, who have that Gospel, which is the means appointed of God for their salvation- 1-we hold their eternal destiny in our hands; and if we will, with the promised help of God, we can secure them from everlasting ruin.
If all who bear the name of Christ, possessed his spirit, they would give the Gospel to every heathen in less than thirty years ; I say this after careful examination. If all the churches coinmonly regarded as evangelical, in the United States alone, should engage in this enterprise, it would not require four dollars a year from each member to defray the expense of giving a Bible to every heathen family, and supplying the whole unevangelized world with missionaries. Less than four dollars a year! or eight cents a week! And where is the individual who, is he should make it a prominent object, could not obtain that sum for this purpose ? Less than four dollars a yearor less than two-thirds as much as the average annual expense for the use of ardent spirits to the inhabitants of the United States, before the temperance reformation commenced. And is it doubtful whether the members of our churches are able to give iwo-thirds as much for this object, as the people of the United States did then actually give for ardent spirits ? Or shall we, Christian breth
ren, tell the world that we care less for the Redeemer's honor, and the salvation of souls, than people tben generally did for ardent spirits? It might require some self-denial to accomplish the work within the time above mentioned; but would it require more than Christ submitted to for the same object? And must he deny himself, and come down from heaven, and labor, and suffer, and die, and we deny ourselves of nothing ? But could men be furnished in sufficient numbers to carry the Gospel to the heathen? It would require only one, on an average, from each church of two hundred members ; and where is the church, which, if all its members possessed the spirit of Christ, could not furnish, at least, one missionary?
This great work, then, can be done. Christians have it in their power to give “the Gospel to every creature," before another generation shall perish. The salvation of these millions depends, therefore, upon the willingness of Christians to imitate the example of their Master. And what are the real prospects of these dying millions? Will Christians give them the Gospel ? Or will they, while they have it in their power to save, let another generation perish? Ah! I fear the latter. But, Oh! how long, how long, shall this murderous apathy continue ? Is there no “ redeeming spirit” that can rouse the church to action ? Yes, the spirit of Christ can do it; that spirit which brought him from heaven for the good of others, and which is enkindled in our bosoms only by looking at his cross. We have looked at those around us, and taken our standard of effort for the heathen from the example of selfish men ; and those heathen, meanwhile, have been sinking to everlasting death; and this course will continue till we lift our eyes to the Saviour, and take his exam. ple as our rule of self-denial and effort.
Deeply impressed with this idea, I would say, then, in conclusion, "look unto Jesus”—see him, though Lord of all worlds, willing to bear the cross, and to die even, for the good of others ! O contemplate the bright example,
be changed into the same image—uill “this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus ;” and till the purpose is unalterably fixed in your heart, that, whatever others may do, you will do all in your power to give the Gospel to the heathen, before another generation shall go down to the grave ;that so, at last, when you meet them at the bar of the Judge enthroned, their blood may not be required at your hands. Amen!