(James Smith, “Rills from the Rock of Ages”, 1860)
Paul was . . .
an extraordinary man,
called to an extraordinary office, and
sent to perform an extraordinary work,
he chose an extraordinary subject.
He made the conversion of sinners the object of his life;
knew what man required, and what man preferred, but it made no matter to him.
Paul’s subject then was Christ Crucified! He chose this subject, and had good reasons for doing so!
First, it is a most comprehensive subject,
for it is the center where . . .
time and eternity,
God and man,
sin and holiness,
life and death–meet!
It is the theater where God . . .
displays His perfections,
unfolds His purposes,
maintains His rights,
confounds His foes, and
secures His glory!
It is the instrument by which . . .
death is destroyed,
sin is conquered,
rebels are reconciled,
saints are sanctified, and
heaven is opened!
It is an object which . . .
imparts holiness, and
furnishes matter for endless praise!
Second, it is the most honored subject.
It is that by which the Holy Spirit works . . .
in the conversion of sinners,
consolation of saints,
sanctification of believers, and
establishment of the church of God.
By the preaching of Christ crucified . . .
the oracles of the heathen were silenced,
altars were cast down, and
the temples were transformed into houses of prayer.
By the preaching of the cross . . .
society is elevated,
nations are honored, and
millions are snatched from Hell!
Third, it is a subject that is intensely hated!
Devils hate it and try to prevent its publication.
Erroneous men hate it and try to substitute something of their own for it.
And just in proportion as men are influenced by the prince of darkness, or yield to the pride of their own fallen natures–will they hate the doctrine of the cross!
But all Christians love it,
ministers of Christ glory in it,
and perishing sinners need it!
The more we know of God’s nature, we see man’s natural state and condition.
And the more we feel of our own weakness and depravity, shall we prize and value the doctrine of the cross!
Christ, and Him crucified shall be . . .
the subject of my ministry,
theme of my songs,
joy of my heart, and
the foundation of my everlasting hope!
O my soul,
look to Jesus, as crucified for your sins,
think of Jesus, as dying in your stead,
speak of Jesus, as full of grace and love!
Christians! WHAT do we preach?
We are ALL preachers, and preach daily!
But do we preach Christ;
speak of Him with our tongues;
write of Him;
honor Him with our lives?
Are Christ and His glory, the grand end and aim of our life?
WHY do we preach Christ?
Is it out of love for Him
that we may do good to souls
and that we may please God?
Christ crucified should be preached by every Christian,
in all companies,
and every day.
if we would save souls from death,
deprive it of its sting, and
make the road to glory plain–
we must preach Christ crucified;
exercise faith in Christ crucified;
and daily meditate on Christ crucified!
May Christ and His cross be all my theme!
His cross my hope!
And His cross my joy!
Cross of Jesus! Jesus crucified!
To you would I look in life, and all its troubles;
In death, and all its pangs;
and in glory, filled with all its joys!
“God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of my Lord Jesus Christ!” Gal. 6:14
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