ページの画像
PDF
ePub

pelled by instinctive urgencies, or external force. We are not driven, but “ drawn.”. We are conscious, voluntary agents in every step we take; and though drawn powerfully, the will consents to every motion, and the understanding perceives a sufficient motive for every movement in advance. There is no doubt a spiritual influence and a divine power that operates upon the soul, in order to draw men effectually. : But without going deeply into inquiries respecting the mode and measure of this operation, we shall refer to some of the methods usually employed for drawing men after Christ; adhering, as we proceed, to experience, and bringing experience itself to be tried by the written word.

I. The Redeemer draws believers after him, by showing them the reality and the greatness of his love, in laying down his own life for them. We know that a generous action has a great influence on the human heart; and that an instance, especially some signal instance of devoted love, tends mightily to excite a corresponding affection in us, towards the person who shows it. But what love appears comparable to the love of a dying Saviour? To see him oppressed and afflicted to see him stricken

and smitten of God to see his visage á marred with grief, and his body afflicted it with cruel stripes--to see him go forth

bearing his cross in silent anguish, like a K sheep to the slaughter, and at length to uf behold him pierced and fixed to the crossito a spectacle of derision to the heathen-forne saken by his disciples--forsaken, too, of his bei God; that he might be made a curse in Fi the sight of heaven and earth! Ah! when me our very souls are affected into deepest

sympathy for the sufferings of One who he did no sin, and had been as eyes to the 11 blind, and feet to the lame, and comfort

to those who had no help of man; the * heart is well prepared for receiving any

impression in favour of such a Benefactor to man, expiring in distress.

But when we look a little farther into the case, we perceive something that touches our souls more closely than the general view

of unmerited distress had done. For on s going on to read the record of God, we

learn that “ himself bare our sins in his own-body on the tree; that he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; yea, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." Astonished at such a dis

My

covery, and overcome with a grace-a generosity-a love that passeth all knowledge, the believer looks to a Saviour, suffering for him on the cross, and exclaims, “ Thou hast bought me with thy blood ! Lord, and my God, hast thou endured so much for me, and shall I not follow thee? Yea, let every attachment yield to such love! I will run after thee!”

Thus strongly does the believing view of a suffering Saviour draw us after him. The love of Christ constrains us. It operates with the force of a perpetual and invincible motive. And this is what himself testified, when he said, “ If I be lifted up,

,

I will draw all men unto me.” Christ, is a drawing Christ. sight of a Saviour on the cross sensibly draws. “ Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in that, though he was rich, for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” “I drew them with cords of a man with bands of love." Benefits are the cords of a man, which, taking fast hold of the affections, draw them, and where the affections are drawn, the man follows. Now, what can move our affections more tenderly and more powerfully than the belief of

A dying The very

[ocr errors]

- such grace in Jesus, and the knowledge of

such love love that led him to die for us, É even when we were enemies? Surely, in pro-1 portion to the strength of our faith in Christ ! crucified, will we be drawn to renounce all for his sake.

It was said by the Lord unto the pro!! phet, “ Yea, I have loved thee with an

everlasting love, therefore with lovingje kindness have I drawn thee.” Ah! who

can resist loving-kindness ! Mere power, o however absolute in requisition, will not ni draw us; aspects of majesty overawe, and el manifestations of glory without accompaniuments of grace, make us afraid. A complex d dread, the fear of creatures before God, i and the fear of criminals before a judge, of dwelleth in us and drives into distance. 1 But no sooner do the kindness and love of i God our Saviour towards man appear in the | records of his mercy, and in the sufferings of E the cross, than we feel our whole hearts give 1 way, and we are drawn to follow hard, to

run after him, by bands of irresistible grace, *1 constraining our affections, and winning us 1 to devotedness with unreluctant consent.

Nothing but blind unbelief can stand on
Calvary, and feel no attractions of Christ !

In inquiring in what manner, and by

what means, the Saviour draws men after him, we have begun with the doctrine of his death. For nothing detaches us more powerfully from the holdings of a present evil world; nothing so effectually breaks the cords of natural lusts, and habitual sins, which draw us into distance, and detain us far from God; nothing so disengages our hearts from every unholy tie and entanglement of sensual life, and binds us to Christ—to be drawn after him at his will; as to see Jesus in the grace of his manifestation in the flesh, loving us, and giving himself for us. Believest thou this, O man! and wilt thou not run after him ? doubtless thou wilt not refuse.

But we need more than to have our affections touched and acted upon by motives adapted to their nature. We are furnished with faculties of, a high and intellectual kind, which, to be gained to Christ, require inducements corresponding to their intellectual character. And this leads to remark,

II. That the Redeemer draws believers after him by manifestation of his personal excellence and glory; thereby captivating the understanding to devotion, and winning the superior faculties of the soul into admi

« 前へ次へ »