« PreviousContinue »
TABLE of REFERENCE to the Five Volumes,
pointing out such Sermons as are more particularly adapted to certain Seasons or Sundays.
Lately published by the same Author,
1. LETTERS addressed to a Serious and Humble Enquirer after Divine Truth, with a pecoliar Aspect to the circumstances of the present Times. Second Edition, in one Volume 12mo. Price 5s. * The Two Letters on ANTINOMIANISM,
and the Three Letters on the BIBLE SOCIETY, included in the above, are also
published as separate Tracts, Price 3d. each. II. PRACTICAL AND FAMILIAR SER
MONS, designed for Parochial and Domestic Instruction. New Edition. In 5 Vols. 12mo. Price 11. 6s. in Boards.
III. SERMONS, chiefly designed to elucidate
some of the leading Doctrines of the Gospel. Fifth Edition, 8vo. Price 10s. in Boards.
IV. TWO SERMONS, preached at Wolver
hampton, preparatory to the Establishment of a Bible Institution, Price 2s.
THE OBJECT, AND WEAPONS OF THE CHRISTIAN
2 CORINTHIANS, X. 4. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong-holds.
If it be true of individual Christians, that they are soldiers fighting under the banner of Christ, it is more especially, true of His Ministers. They are indeed engaged in a conflict. For they have not only to contend, like others, with the enemies of their own salvation, but they have to advance the kingdom of their heavenly Master, in the face of all that opposition, which it encounters from the devil, the world, and the flesh. In this respect their warfare is of a peculiar kind; and encompassed as they are with infirmity, they might reasonably be cast down at the difficulties in their way, and almost despair of success. But, blessed be God! they are not left to themselves in this arduous conflict.
They contend not in their own strength; nor by means and instruments of their own, devising. As St. Paul observes in the verse before the text, “ Though they walk in the flesh, yet they do not war after the flesh.' Though they live in the body, and so far in the common concerns of life act like other men, yet, in their warfare in the work of their ministry, they are not governed by worldly motives, or carnal policy: they do not aim to please men, nor rely for success on an arm of flesh.
“For (as the Apostle adds in the text) the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong-holds.'
From these words, let us take occasion to consider,
1. The Object of the Christian Ministry. II. The Means appointed for accomplish1. The Object of the Christian Ministry is here briefly stated to be “the pulling down of strong-holds."
We have already observed, that the Apostle is comparing his ministry to a warfare; and it is in allusion to this comparison, that he uses the term “strong-holds." A stronghold is a place of defence, fortified by nature or art, and intended for security and protection in a time and state of warfare. It is a place in which people entrench them,
selves, for the purpose of resisting an invad. ing army, and of keeping possession of their territory. For so long as the strong-holds, the fortified places, remain untaken, so long as garrisons continue in them, and defend themselves, the country is not eonquered. The enemy may lay waste, or occupy the open parts; but he has not got possession of the country. He is not master of it. In order to perfect his conquest, and to make his triumph complete, he must take and pull down the strong-holds. He must not leave any place unsubdued, in which his opponents may shelter themselves, and set his authority, at defiance.
In applying these remarks, with a view of explaining the Apostle's meaning in the text, let us bear in mind this important truth, that Jesus Christ is “ the Author of Eternal Salvation to all them that obey Him.” Having
come into the world to save sinners," He offers to confer on them pardon, peace, holiness, and everlasting life. But He promises these blessings to none, but to those who obey Him; to those who believe his word, and submitting themselves to his will, suffer Him to reign within.. This is the great demand of the Gospel.
And till this demand be complied with; till the heart be Christ's; till the whole'man, body, soul, and spirit, be brought into subjection to Him; there can