« السابقةمتابعة »
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
We have received D.'s Letter.-He shall hear from us next Month.
The Communication from Cove has been received.-We intend to give it a place in our Publication.
We regret that want of room has prevented the insertion of the interesting Report of the "Friends of Israel Society."-It shall certainly appear next Month.
"E. M." shall find a place in our next.
SERMON, BY THE LATE REV. C. WOLFE.
The following unpublished Sermon, which we feel great pleasure in laying before our readers, has been handed to us from a source which we know to be unquestionably authentic.
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation."-Matt. xxvi. 41. These were the words of one, who, at the moment they were uttered, was himself watching and praying, that he might not enter into temptation. He was not then sitting, as was usual, upon the mount of Olives, surrounded by his disciples, where he taught them as one having authority, like a king giving laws to his subjects; nor was he then speaking parables and dark sayings to a countless multitude, along the sea-shore, where he perhaps appeared like some Being of another world, using a language which they did not fully understand. When he preached "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation:" it is from no lofty seat, and with no words of authority; but, he preaches, with his face to the ground--he preaches with watching and fasting, with agony and drops of blood. Here there is no mistaking him; here we know him to be one of ourselves; it is not the command of a king; it is not the dark saying or the parable of a prophet: it is the mournful and affectionate warning of one who was our brother in sorrows and infirmities. It was that night when the cup was mixing, of which he was not to leave a drop behind it was the hour of his enemies, and of the power of darkness; when Judas was on his way, and the feet of the HighPriest's servants were entering the garden; -when the work for which he came was to be accomplished, and his soul was giving way under the pressure of our iniquities. The only Being that was ever tempted like as we are, and yet was without sin-who shared our infirmities, and yet knew nothing of our transgressions, but their punishment-watched and prayed that he might not enter into temptation.
In the mean time his disciples were sleeping. Their Master,
indeed, found it necessary to watch and pray, that he might not enter into temptation, but, they were sleeping. Temptation was on its way; it was entering the garden, and their Master warned them of its approach: and, they were sleeping: and when it came, what was the consequence?" They all forsook him, and fled." Before they slept, they said unto him, "Though we should die with thee, we will not deny thee:" but they did not watch and pray, that they might not enter into temptation.
Thus comes this precept, with all its proofs along with it; its proofs both from the Master and the disciples. From the Masterfor, it shows us, that such is the weakness and the danger of our state, that even, when our nature was united with the nature of God, in him who had the power and the holiness of the Almighty, it struggled even with the strength of God; it clogged and hung upon him like a dead weight; it threw him upon his knees, and forced him to use the same humble means of escaping temptation, that he prescribes to us, the sinners, who have no one else to look to in the wide world but him, for mercy and for strength. And, in the next place, this same guilty nature of ours, made those same men forsake him, who had already forsaken father and mother, and all that they had, for his sake; and led them into a sin, against which they thought it unnecessary to watch and to pray.
To convince us of the truth of all this, it is these men themselves, who have published and handed down, from age to age, the history of their own ingratitude and disgrace. One would have thought that this was too much, and that we ought to have watched and prayed, without this fearful agony of the Son of God, and the desertion of his disciples, to convince us of its necessity. It appears tolerably plain to common sense, that this life must be a state of danger to any being who had a soul to be saved or lost, and that any man, who ever thought of the difference between eternal happiness and eternal misery, must be in a state of perpetual alarm, and anxious watchfulness against the enemies of his peace-the temptations that are lying in wait to destroy him. One who never looked into the world, his heart, or his Bible, might have thought this; but what does he learn from one glance at any one of them? The only thing to which men do not appear to be naturally alive and awake, is the state of their immortal souls. They are in the midst of temptations, every hour of their lives; and, they appear at home when they are surrounded by their enemies. There is no alarm, no anxiety, no watchfulness. They watch against other things-against poverty and sickness and robbery. This state the Scripture describes to be a kind of frightful sleep, and when the word of God summons the world to salvation by Christ, it says, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light!" and again, "Awake to righteousness, and sin not." How many of those who call themselves the disciples of Christ are sleeping this day in security, as if they had no Master that watched and prayed, and bled and died for them all?
Where is temptation not to be found; in what shape does it not appear; under what disguise does it not present itself; and, what