« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
The following pages were originally prepared in the form of sermons. The interest manifested in them by the congregation to whom they were delivered, led to the purpose of publishing them. Their present narrative form has been adopted, because it is required by the object to be secured; namely, to make a connected and complete impression of the closing scenes of the life of the Son of Man, upon the imagination and upon the heart.
As to the reason why I have thus ventured before the public, I have only to plead a desire that the youth of my own congregation, and, I will add, youth generally, if it is not arrogant, may be won away from the reading of imaginary characters, to the study of the history of the only perfect Personage that has ever trod the surface of this guilty world, as it is written in the most attractive of books, — the Bible. In this contemplation, not only will the intellect be profited, but “the heart made better."
The work does not pretend to originality of views, or profundity of research, but to a simple scripture harmony of that portion of the Saviour's history which it embraces, illustrated by the ascertained customs of his times. I have felt at liberty to introduce such practical truths and reflections as are suggested by the affecting scenes through which the narrative leads us. A limited range of the means of investigation, and inexperience, must apologize for the felt imperfections of the work.
As it is, it is presented to the reader, not to gratify an unsanctified curiosity, but to draw out penitent emotions from the heart; not to afford a subject for the critic or unbeliever, but to trace a path in which the affections may travel upwards towards “ Him that liveth and was dead and is alive forevermore;" who though " in the form of a servant, thought it no robbery to be equal with
God.” And should this volume have the effect, through the Divine blessing, of inducing deeper love and devotion to a crucified Redeemer, deeper abhorrence to sin which erected his cross, the writer's highest wish will be answered, and to Him be all the glory.
“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world,” exclaims the Apostle Paul, as he closes up his epistle to the Galatians. The words awaken a response in every pious heart. Though the saint may have, like Paul, prided himself upon his birth, his self-righteousness, or his zeal against Jesus of Nazareth, yet now he counts all these things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, his Lord; and to gain a still deeper acquaintance with Jesus Christ, and him crucified, is the summit of his desires, and the goal of his efforts. In this acquisition he glories.
The world has her spots of renown, her battle-fields, her moss-covered monuments,