(The sermon was preached by Thomas Gregg at Hawkshead New Chapel, December 14th 1862. It is written on twelve pages of a small notebook 190x118mm. The prayer was on a loose sheet between the same covers. Both lent to me by Joan Shrewsbury 29/9/04.)
My Father, once again Thy wayward child
In sorrow, shame, and weakness comes to Thee
Confessing all my sin, any passion wild,
My selfishness and petty vanity.
O Jesus, gentle Saviour, at thy feet
I fall, where often I have knelt before
Thou wilt not spurn, nor charge me with desire
Because old faults [/deceits] have mastered me once more.
Thou knowest that I would be kind and true,
And that I hate the sins that pierced Thy side.
Thou seest that I often sadly view
the wrong that in my heart will still abide.
But Thou didst come such erring ones to save,
And weakness wins thy strong and tender love,
So not in vain I now forgiveness crave,
And cling to hopes long stored with thee above.
And yet I plead that thou wouldst surely keep
My weak and human heart in coming days,
Though now in penitence I justly weep,
Oh, fill my life with grateful praise.
Philp. 3rd Chapter & 14th verse
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus"
Dear friends, Those who think that making a proffesion of religion will secure their present happness or peace of mind greatly mistak the dising of the gospel. It is true that in the possion of of religion there is peace of consionce, peace with our Brotherine, peace with God. in me said the saviour ye shall have peace, but in the world ye shall have trubleation. Think not that I am come to set a man at variance against his Father, & the Daughter against her Mother, & the Daughter in fact against her Mother in Law and a mans foes shall be they of his own household.
Those who will be desidedely religious then, at all times, & in all their ways to accknowlidge the Lord, will find that it is attended with much difulcaty, they that will live godley in Jesus must suffer percution, it is through much trublelation that we must enter the kindgom of God, *(to be religious then will be found to be heard work, it is called bearing the cross, whosoever does not bear his cross & follow me cannot be my disciple.)
*When the beloved disciple was on the Isle of Patnioss he had a glorious viscion of heaven, read Revs. 7 Chap 9-15 I beheld (said he) & lo, a great multitude, yes even those who are now round about the Throne since they were in [orners] here below, the wet their couch with tears, the [nonestled] heard as we do now, with sins & douts & fears.
To be disidedley religious then will not be found to be heard work or attended with much diffulcaty our Lord calls it bearing the cross, "Whosoever does not bear his cross & come after me cannot be my diciple, now what are we to understand, friend, by the term bearing the cross, I will tell you when anyone had commeted a capitly crime thy were not hung but genrally crucified, & the condemned criminally was compeled to bear the cross on which he had to suffer, from prison, to the place of execution, you are aware that they compeled the lord Jesus to bear his own cross & he fainted beneath the load.
This bearing the cross then muss have been hard work very painful to the bearer & against nature; & if we would be be true disciples of Xt & go to heaven at last, well have to do many things against nature, there must be much self diniall, our progress to heaven will be attended with much difficulty, but onward we must go if we would gain the the prize march on nor fear to win the day, though death & hell obstruct the way.
The way to heaven is sume times compared to a wrestle & we know to wrestle so as to obtain a prize is hard work. "We wrestle not against flesh & blood, but against principlilties * again the way to heaven is compared to a fight & to fight so as to obtain the master is not easey but hard work fight the good fight of faith lay hould on eternal life
But the words of my text have an evident & beautiful allusion to the olimpice games held among the Greeks in which games or sports the candidates wrestled, fought, or ran to obtain a prize in itself of little value, for it was only a Crown of leaves, Garland or loral which would soon faide, or perish, but anxiously sought as an honorable distinction bestowed no the most successfull candidate, now to these exiserces St Paul often aludes see I Cor 9 Chap virce 24 to 27.
Here the task the Apostle refers to the race "I forgot the
To these exercises then the apostle often refers, & in the present case, we
I Called to consider Eternall life and glory under the figer of a prize, I press toward the mark for the prize. heaven is then the mark, a Crown of Glory the prize. This prize then is I an honoubl & valuable object, it is a Crown, but not like the perishable garlands or lorel bestowed in those reses to which I have refered, but a Crown which is incorrouptable & undifiled, & that faideth not away, reserved in heaven for those who run the heavenly race. It/ This prize is a throne, but not an earthly [trancting], changing or fading throne, but a throne in heaven, the throne of God & of the Lamb, fiends, hear ye the word of the Lord for your ancore. To him that overcometh will I grant to set with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, & am set down with my Father in his throne, is this not encuragement then for you to press toward the mark for the prize of the fight calling of God in Xt Jesus.
(2) This prize is held up to excite & animate us in our prograce as we run this heavenly race the mind naturally turns to futuraty & hopes, after death a better world to find, beyond the grave, & this hope animates the soul & gives life to action the Apostle had a Good hope through grace of a blessed imortallity beyond the Grave!
And not only did Moses have respect to the recompence of the reward but even our Lord Jesus Xt was animated by hope. When for the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, dispising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God, and there ever liveth to make intercession for all those who are pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Xt Jesus.
(3) This prize will be publicly and honourably bestowed, & will bear a proportion to our activity & exertion, here on earth, at those races to which I have aluded, thare was only one prize for one race. Know ye not that they which run in a race, run all but one receiveth the prize, but not so respecting the heavenly race, all are encorraged to run this race, & to run not as uncerting but the promis is repeated made that "he that shall endure to the end the same shall be saved, be faithful unto death & the promis is that Thou shalt receive a Crown of life.
The races as practiced in this part of the world differ rather from those to which I have aluded. here there is generally a prize for the first, a less for the second & the least for the third, now these rewards may bear some resembelance of the prizes which christians will be rewarded with when they reach the end of their race the grand stand, when the reach the mark for the prize & as one stare differeth from another star in glory so shall it be at the resurrection of just.
We are repeatedly tould that God will render to every man according to his deeds, & that every man shall be rewarded according to his work, & that every man shall be judged according to his works., now either there seems to be different degrees & different kinds of Glory, yet all are compleatly happy complty sattisfied, they enjoy a exceeding & eternal weight of Glory, being washed in the blood of Xt justified by his righteousness, & sanctified by his spirite, admitted into the same heavin, round about the same throne & sing the same song, & will continue so to do while life or thought or been last or eventallity endures & this reward will be greatly enhanced or enlarged by the hand which doth bestow it.
We may think much of being noticed by, of receiving a present or reward from our superours in this world, but O how much more it should enhance the bliss of the Christian to think that henceforth there is laid up for him a crown of rightiousness, which the Lord, the righous judge, shall give him at that day, & not to him only but to all them also that love his appearing.
(4) This is the prize of God's high calling - we are not called by an earthely prince & to earthly honours, but we are called by him who is the king of Kings & Lord of Lords, & called to Glory, honour, imortallity & eternal life this prize is of the high calling of God in Xt Jesus, much is said by the Apostle about being in Xt Jesus, he counted all things but lost for the excellance of the knowledge of Xt Jesus his Lord for whom he suffered the loss of all things & counted them but dung that he might win Xt & be found In him, it is a great priveladge, it is a great blessing to be found in Xt 'for there is no condemnation to them which are in Xt Jesus, then let us endavour to be found in him. As Noah was found in the Ark & as the man slayer was found the [Pe]ity of refuge safe from the avinger of blood.
preached at Hawkshead New Chapel
December 14th 1862.