Often in the course of mighty calamities the chief sufferer endures less than those who pity him. He smilingly replied, "They may kill me if they will love Jesus. And those to whom sorrow does not come go in quest of it; they have self-made troubles as hard to endure as those God sends. This is explained by the following clause.1. For this faith is needful, and devotion, submission, the support of a heavenly arm, and the expectation of a heavenly home. Nor are we to understand them as metaphorical; that as Christ died, so are we to die to sin; as Christ was nailed to the cross, so are we to crucify our corrupt passions. )The martyr spiritA Chinese convert, when trying to persuade his countrymen to give up their idols and believe in Christ, was ridiculed and scorned, and at last pelted with mud and stones till his face was red with the blood that flowed from the cuts in his temples. Looking up it seems as if he were moved to say, "Would that I could be raised out of what I am, and become as He is — victor over sin, sorrow, and death." "I thought," said she, "the angels might have brought it; for some one seemed to say, pointing to the large heavy crown, 'I wore this for thee; wear thine for Me,'" and meekly she bent her head, and wore the wreath, and now she has laid it by for the crown which she wears. How many different ways there are of knowing a person — and even so there are all these different ways of knowing Christ; so that you may keep on all your lifetime, still wishing to get into another room, and another room, nearer and nearer to the great secret, still panting to "know Him." They who shrank back from suffering — that Peter who was ready to say, "That be far from Thee, Lord," and denied his Master — that man gathers his fellows round him, and they lift up the voice of praise, rejoicing that they are counted worthy to suffer persecution for the sake of Christ. And as we enter into the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus, our views of sin will become more keen and clear, and also bring along with them a more painful emotion than could otherwise be ours. It was not merely an affecting and mysterious historical event. (1) Love to God and man; the former because God s honour required vindication; the latter because man needed mercy. (2) How strong were the cords with which Christ was bound! (2) Voluntary, whereas all ours are deserved being entailed by sin.2. Only this kind of knowledge possesses "the excellency," for it is connected with justification, as was intimated by Isaiah; and it is "eternal life," as declared by Jesus (Isaiah 53:11; John 17:3). What is the shape that we must be like. THE BENEFITS ARISING FROM THIS FELLOWSHIP. Guthrie, D. D.)The fellowship of Christ's sufferingsAnna Shipton.A dear suffering Christian on a bed of sickness, which has now proved the portal of heaven, shrank for a while from the prospect of prolonged anguish which opened before her. "Sorrow is better than laughter." Our privilege of fellowship in the sufferings. Positively. Exterior; the part we have in the afflictions and persecutions of the Church, for the confirmation of the truth of God, for the glory of Jesus, for the edification of men (Romans 8:29; 2 Timothy 3:12.)(J. We have an illustration of —1. Unless we can go in and out where He dwells, and talk with Him as a man talketh with his friend. IN RELATION TO SIN. Every man feels this in himself; one part of his being paying another's penalty. Then alone does sin appear in its proper hatefulness when I see that this was what helped to nail Him there; when I enter into my Redeemer's woe and understand what it was that caused it. Oh to be partakers with Christ in the glory of that last cry, which is the triumphant issue of suffering. The seeds of virtue germinate in the hotbed of affliction.3. A little further on in their history, and the power of the risen Christ has come down in the flood tide of Pentecost, and what a change is wrought. This fellowship is an acquirement worthy of our highest ambition. Can I have fellowship in that? The fellowship OF HIS SUFFERINGS.1. (1) Paley makes a great mistake when he rests the whole case of Christianity upon the fact that the resurrection was so certain to its first preachers, that they willingly gave their lives to attest it. If Christ, while apostles behold, is taken up into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Christian in heart and mind with Him ascends, with Him continually dwells, is made to sit together with Him in heavenly places. The practical character of the doctrine of the atonement. Death had a sting, but it was not pain, nor shame; it was sin.II. (2) The poor may have fellowship with Him who had not where to lay His head. He suffered —(1) Voluntarily and cheerfully — do we suffer willingly? Whoever then would know Christ must face —. The seeds of virtue germinate in the hotbed of affliction.3. This is true of the roughnesses of life, its calumnies, its disappointments; of those trials which come through the affections, and those which come through the ambitions of our nature. (2) In absolute magnitude. If his passions are unduly excited, it is his moral nature that feels the transgression. We have seen it in its total severance from sin and sinners. Suffering ceases to be sanctified when it is infected with mistrust.2. Conformity to Christ's death is the deep calm of indifference to sin with all its allurements, ever setting in together with and over against the conflict. The suffering of the previous verse is a different thing from this, yet it co-exists with this in the spiritual life. The experimental Christian is the only one whose religion will bring him to heaven, which is experimental religion perfected.(T. (4) From spiritual distress. Through the sorrow of another is it ushered into existence. The inseparable connection between faith and holiness. VIII. Religion does not consist in the use of means; the ordinances of religion are only the means of leading the soul to God and holiness, of being conformable to Christ's death. For every creature God has provided its proper element, and for every desire its lawful gratification. When Christ had risen, men saw that the vileness, the curse, the stain, was the work of an alien and intrusive force which might be expelled, and in the might of that belief men for the first time rose in victory over those passions which had defiled the body.II. Can I have fellowship in that? Guthrie, D. D.Some two hundred years ago, there was a dark period of suffering in Scotland, when deeds of bloody cruelty were committed on God's people, not out done by Indian butcheries. Now we see what is meant by this fellowship. THE GROUNDS OF THIS PREFERENCE.1. (f) That without shedding of blood is no remission of sins. As Christ died to sin, passed out from the penalty and imputation of sin, He had no more to do with it. Every distress Christ witnessed was photographed on His soul. How does this principle die, so that we may be conformed to the death of Christ? (2) A holy desire to glorify God in the destruction of sin and the advancement of universal holiness. The seeds of virtue germinate in the hotbed of affliction.3. (5)The despised. And remember He saw iniquity as none else could see it; and yet He loved the men whose sin He loathed, and because He loved them He bore the awful burden of their sin. Son, behold thy mother." He knew well that God's order was first the cross, then the crown; fellowship with Christ, first in suffering, then in glory.I. (3) But the belief of this is not everything, notwithstanding what doctrinal Pharisees may say. W. His last words upon the cross testified that His trust remained unshaken. ADAPTED TO STRENGTHEN OUR TRUST IN HIM. (2) We see their intensity in the fact that Christ's life was perfectly holy. (6)The forsaken. (e) And in opposition to the infidel who derides the scheme, the Socinian who extracts from it all its value, the Pharisee who seeks to achieve a salvation for himself, he exclaims, "God forbid" (Galatians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 2:2).2. Whence, then, does this fellowship date? Those who cordially believe it are constantly repeating it.IV. The two are in different portions of His being. He, the Captain of our salvation, was made "perfect through suffering." IN WHAT RESPECTS A CHRISTIAN MAY HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE SUFFERINGS OF HIS MASTER.1. (c) He adores and admires the holiness as well as the love of Jehovah. How did He suffer? It is occupied by groups of weeping spectators. As the noblest expression of Divine love for man; as the infinitely meritorious price of our redemption; as the only safe ground of a trembling sinner's hope.2. Raffles, D. D.I. (f) That without shedding of blood is no remission of sins. If you pride yourself on your family you can have no fellowship with Him who endured contempt as the carpenter's son.2. We are conformed to this when the Divine glory is the end of all our actions, and when we wage war against sin.3. In His merits. )Being made conformable unto His deathR. It is a proof that the Christian creed is true. There were sorrows into which we cannot follow Him, and His Spirit was so perfect that our imitation must be very imperfect. It must be mortified, crucified. IN OUR SANCTIFICATION. 1. We are partakers in those which arise —(1) Front persecution for righteousness' sake. And we, too, if we would have real fellowship with Jesus, must see to it that our fellowship is intelligent fellowship. What is there in the saints which should die? He will not be to me a myth, a vision, a spirit, but a real person. (3)Our entrance into the glory whither He as our fore runner has gone.III. THE NATURE OF THIS FELLOWSHIP.1. As interior, the mortification of sin within us, the crucifixion of the old nature, transpiercing it with His thorns and nails, drinking of His vinegar, and thus putting it to death by degrees; in which the passion of the Saviour is represented within our hearts (Romans 6:5-6; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 5:24).2. IN OUR ANTICIPATION. If I am being conformed to it I am nothing; nothing as ground of hope, or as cause of fear.4. (1) "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do!" When then St. Paul utters his prayer he implies that already he has knowledge of the fact. This was a strange desire, one which few of us would entertain. As Christ died to sin, passed out from the penalty and imputation of sin, He had no more to do with it. (1) As a witness for truth; and we must conform ourselves to this by acknowledging the reality and Divine original of truth thus attested. How did He suffer? (6)The forsaken. We may avoid it, and live as we think a far more comfortable life. Take, for example, our Lord's perpetual intercession in heaven. How does this principle of sin manifest itself? Much of Christ's sorrow arose from unavoidable intercourse with the wicked. (c) Faith. As Christ, the Captain of our salvation, resisted unto blood, striving against sin, so must we, and in the midst of the conflict remember that He is with you (1 John 4:4; 2 Kings 6:15-17). (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).II. It extinguishes our love for the world.III. Ah no: there they were beneath His cross, scoffing at Him and aggravating His death pangs. "I thought," said she, "the angels might have brought it; for some one seemed to say, pointing to the large heavy crown, 'I wore this for thee; wear thine for Me,'" and meekly she bent her head, and wore the wreath, and now she has laid it by for the crown which she wears. Oh to be partakers with Christ in the glory of that last cry, which is the triumphant issue of suffering. Paul might have had them as had the impenitent thief, without any fellowship with Christ. If your object is applause, what communion can there be between you and "the despised and rejected of men"?(S. We have an illustration of —1. 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