The glorious effects produced by it
(James Smith, "Paul's Determination" 1861)
Most men have some favorite subject — and Paul had his. Many subjects were embraced in his ministry — but one fixed his eye, filled his heart, and occupied most of his attention. We may be sure, from the wisdom he generally displayed, and the abundance of grace that he possessed — that it was an important and worthy subject. It was "Christ crucified!" Therefore alluding to his first visit to Corinth, he said, "I determined to know nothing while I was with you — except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2. What a wondrous subject! What a wondrous Savior! Paul had seen glorious effects produced, by preaching it elsewhere. He knew that if this doctrine would not win them, and bring them back to God — nothing could.
We have been preaching and writing about Christ crucified for many years. We have also seen the glorious effects produced by it. We have seen . . .
the hardened — melted down into penitence and love;
the miserable — made happy;
the sorrowful — filled with comfort;
the guilty — put in possession of pardon;
the filthy — made pure and holy;
the troubled — made calm and peaceful;
and the cruel — made kind and gentle!
What an honor God confers upon you, by sending a message to you at all, especially such a message. It is . . .
a message of mercy — to miserable sinners;
a message of grace — to unworthy sinners;
a message of provision made — for very poor and needy sinners;
a message of comfort — for desponding sinners;
a message to alarm — for careless sinners;
a message to solemnly warn — for obstinate sinners;
an invitation to backsliders to return — that they may once more be happy and holy;
a message of encouragement, direction, and winning love — to those who believe in Jesus.
"I determined to know nothing while I was with you — except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."