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THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 6 TABLE OF CONTENTS ...

Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 20 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

Christ's Yoke Is Easy
Lecture I
January 2, 1861

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 25 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

III. Christ's yoke is easy.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 32 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

4. To take Christ's yoke is to commit ourselves to universal obedience to Christ from love to him, sympathy with him, and confidence in him. This is no doubt the true idea of taking Christ's yoke upon us.

III. Christ's yoke is easy.

1. This the text affirms. The meaning of the word is agreeable, gentle, gracious, useful, kind.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 33 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

2. Christ's yoke is easy because it is love's yoke. It is good-will universally to us. Every requirement is imposed upon us for our own good, and the highest good of the great family of which we are members. Christ's will is never arbitrary, never capricious, never selfish, requires nothing of us at any time without the strictest reference to our own highest good.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 35 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

5. Christ's yoke is easy because the state of servitude into which we voluntarily enter, is a state of the highest liberty, the truest, most perfect liberty. It is just that course of life and conduct which, above all others, a loving heart prefers. It is really doing just as we please. A heart that loves Christ supremely, is the only heart that really takes this yoke of Christ. Now this loving state of mind prefers above all other courses of life just that which Christ requires. It is therefore doing according to our own highest pleasure to do his pleasure; and therefore his service is the truest and highest liberty.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 36 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

6. Christ's yoke is easy, because, although a state of subjection, it is the very opposite of a state of bondage. Although his yoke is a band, still it is love's band. It is the opposite of slavery. This service rendered to Christ is not a legal con-straint or re-straint. It is not slavish fear, it is not the thumbscrew of conscience to a must-do, a must-serve-the Lord; but it is a preference of him and his service so deep and radical, and all-pervading, that no other conceivable way or course of life is so agreeable as just that which Christ requires.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 37 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

7. Christ's yoke is easy because it is not only agreeable, but in the highest degree useful to ourselves, to our friends, to the world, to the kingdom of Christ.

As I have already said, the word rendered easy, means sometimes useful, agreeable, kind, gentle, gracious. If Christ's requirements were such as consulted only his interests and not our own, his yoke might not be so easy. But since he loves us, is aiming by his requirements to secure our own highest good, has no selfish end whatever in view in any case, his yoke is truly easy in the sense of being in the highest degree useful to us.

8. Christ's yoke is easy because he only requires a love-service; and he gives us a love-reward. He does not stipulate to pay us upon the principle of justice; nor do we stipulate to serve him for pay. He has no servants but love-servants. Those that sympathize with him, that love his person, are devoted to the great interests for which he lives, and have entire confidence in him. In short, all his servants serve him because they love him and love his service. To all such he gives a love-reward. It is not pay on the score of justice, it is not what they deserve, but what his bountiful love is pleased to give them. He gives them more than pay, more than a reward on the principle of justice, infinitely more. His servants all prefer to leave the reward with his love, they want no stipulation as to wages. We serve him because we love him, and he rewards us because he loves us. All this makes his yoke very easy.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 40 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

11. In short, Christ's yoke is easy because it is really more of a divine charm or enchantment, than a yoke of bondage. The soul enters into a state of servitude, and takes this yoke, because constrained by a view of his love. It continues in this service, and clings to this state of servitude, because bound fast by the cords of this love of Christ. In short, this servitude consists in just this, it is the soul's continual offering of itself as a living sacrifice to Christ, a mere yielding of itself to the divine charm of Christ's all-prevailing love. The soul is drawn in this servitude, and not driven. It is called with an effectual calling; it is persuaded by an effectual persuasion; it is overcome and conquered, and subdued, and held by the charm of Christ's love.

IV. I enquire in the next place, To whom is this yoke of Christ easy?

1. Not to the hypocrite who only profess to take it, but does not in fact love the Savior. There are many who profess to be religious, and to be the servants of Christ, who are continually complaining of the severity of the servitude. To them his commandments are grievous, his yoke is heavy, unendurable. They will sing,

"Reason I love, her counsels weigh,

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 46 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

4. Christ's yoke is not easy to any who are not constrained by his love.

But it is easy to every one who really understands what his yoke is, and truly takes it upon himself. It is easy to all who truly choose Christ as their sovereign Lord , their Head, their Savior, who enter into sympathy with him and have confidence in him, who make common cause with him and merge their will in his, who in all things trust him. To all this class, who thus really take this yoke upon them, it is easy. And I might add, that the same is true of all the burdens which he really imposes upon us. Christ's yoke is easy and his burden is light to all truly loving, confiding, and submissive souls.

REMARKS.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 73 19 Lecture I. Christ's Yoke Is Easy ...

18. If you look steadily at this subject, you will see how much Christ's account of his real service differs from the common experience. Now, is Christ's account of his own religion to be taken as true? or are we to suppose these experiences, that are really inconsistent with it, are true religion? Christ's own account of his religion must stand! He has told us what service is acceptable to him, and he is to be the judge in such matters. Let no one pretend that his experience is Christian, unless he finds that Christ's yoke is easy.