« EelmineJätka »
Pharisee. We have already seen that his half convictions vanished before the first difficulty that presented itself, trifling as that difficulty was. He could not quite understand how it was, that a propheta holy man of God, could suffer himself to be approached, and even touched by a sinner; and therefore all the wondrous manifestations of power and authority which he had previously displayed, were at once forgotten, and Simon began to doubt.
In the way of the contrite sinner, there were far more serious difficulties, had she stopped to notice them. "Who is this," she might have asked, "that forgiveth sins also?" It is indeed, a part of the prophetic office to call us to repentance, but to pardon, is the sole privilege of God. "What efficacy can there be in this man's word that it should blot out the records of my countless transgressions." Many an objection of this kind, might have arisen to shake her confidence, but she would not give them a thought. She could not understand how Christ could
raise the dead, but he had done it, and she firmly believed, that if he undertook to forgive sins, he would be found able to do that also. My brethren, I need not waste your time in pointing out to you whether of the two is that faith in Christ which must be entertained by all those who hope to be saved by him.
The sins then of this woman, though many, were forgiven her, "because she loved much," and gave all the evidence in her power of the sincerity of that love.
The same forgiveness will be extended to us, my brethren, and upon the same conditions.-Does any one feel inclined to ask, how can I give proof of my love for Jesus?-Does it occur to any one to desire a test by which to ascertain whether or no his faith in Christ's blood, and his gratitude for Christ's sacrifice of himself be quick and lively?—Some such test, and that, believe me, my brethren, no trifling or insufficient one, is this moment offered to you.-By whose command is that table spread?-Under what circumstances was the command given ?
For whom was its divine Founder about to die when the Feast of Love was instituted? If it was Jesus Christ who uttered the command, "Do this in remembrance of me""-if this was the last injunction given before his death of agony and torture, and if that death of agony was endured only that we might live for ever. -I will not ask you, my brethren, but I will entreat you to ask yourselves solemnly and deliberately-what sort of love. that man must feel towards Christ, who, habitually turns his back upon an ordinance instituted under such affecting circumstances, and commemorative of an event on which all his hopes of salvation depend! I know full well, that many are kept away from that table by a feeling -and in most instances a mistaken feeling of unworthiness.-To such persons I would say, Do you believe?-Do you repent? Are you in charity with all men? Nay rather, is it your wish-your sincere and earnest desire to be brought into this
1 Luke xxii. 19.
state of faith, penitence, and brotherly love?--If so, come to the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, that ye may obtain pardon for the past, and grace to help for the future. A sense of unworthiness need not deter you. If you are ashamed of your unworthiness, you may remember for your encouragement that Christ" came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance'."-Did a sense of unworthiness keep this woman of the city from approaching Jesus ?-Yet she was a sinner, and she felt that she was a sinner, or those rivers of tears had never washed the feet of her Lord. But this was the very feeling which urged her into his presence.—And so, my brethren, let us hope, (as I pray) that it may be with you. Come, and eat the flesh of Christ, that your sinful bodies may be made clean by his body: come and drink, that your souls may be washed by his most precious blood, and that so, you may dwell in him, and he in you from henceforth for evermore.
1 Matt. ix. 13.
HARD SAYINGS OF THE GOSPEL.
Luke xiv. 25, 26.
And there went great multitudes with him; and he turned and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
To the man who opens for the first time the book which contains the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it can scarcely fail to appear that the message revealed in it is a message of peace. It would strike him that the general tenour of the language tells of mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Should we seek to know the impression produced upon the mind of that more fortunate individual to whom the