Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small]

I am a mouthpiece for God, as if in God's stead I commend it to you. You get possession of it as you get possession of any other love. Some one in India loves

me ; but I do not know him, and so the love is all on one side; but I am told of his love, and now I love him also. Why it would be absurd to try to love God, when as yet I do not know God. Let me know of God's love to me, and then I love Him, because He first loved me.

Ab, then, let us be done with looking at self—be done with grovelling amid the rubbish and dust of our own natural hearts. A mere examination of self will never yield what you want. But let us look at God's love-at God Himself, who commends His love to us; how He gave His Son to die for us, and how Christ died: this it is which gives rest and peace, and calls forth in us our love to God. “ And, now, he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God;" as we sing

“ I leave my joys, I leave my sins,

And find in Thee my home.” Further: when this love is commended to you, and you believe it, it is “ SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

How precious is this love-shedding ! which is the work of the Holy Ghost, who speaks, says Christ, “ of me" -who tells us of the love of God to the sinnerwho answers all our reasonings and objections with— Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though red like crimson, they shall be as wool.What heart that sees such love, but must at once feel it within ?—shed abroad there by the Holy Ghost. It is by the Truth He does it. Any other doctrine would be fanaticism, and not the Gospel. Many indeed wait for the Spirit; but where will He speak to them but in His truth? He does speak there, presenting to us the love

[ocr errors]

of God and Christ objectively, or as an object to be seen. The carnal eye sees it not, but all who

believe see it, and possess it.

See how this is. When Joseph's brethren stood before him, he asked them about the old man of whom they spake, saying, “ Is your father yet alive?” (A question which greatly relieved them, for in their perplexity they know not how to speak to the first lord in Egypt.) But when they began to tell about the old man, their father, the love of Jacob was so shed abroad in Joseph's heart, that he had to turn away and weep.

What false theology is it to say that a man must first find his own love to God, that is, before he knows or even hears of God's love

him! That would be to make brick without straw -to put the cart before the horse. These men so dilated

upon Jacob, and his love for his lost son, that Joseph had to leave the room_Jacob's love was shed abroad in his heart.

And there was Rebecca. We may suppose she had never heard of Isaac; and it would have been absurd to say she loved him, when she did not know him. But when Eliezer came, and told her who and what he was, Rebecca's heart awakened to his love and the love of Isaac was shed abroad in her heart.

Do you understand, beloved ? Does the anxious, seeking sinner understand? Do you say it is all true about God's love, but I want to know how I am to possess it. I answer, only believe ; believe it now: who that truly sees it, and believes it, but must possess it; and who that knows God, whose love it is, and Christ who died for us, but hath life, and is saved. “This is eternal life, that we may know the only true God, and Jesus hrist, whom He hath sent." God commends His love to you, as a sinner. Can you

take

your place as a sinner? If so, the love is for you. What faith does is to believe the love which God hath to us; to rest on it; and to live in the

peace

and
power

of it.

:

[ocr errors]

And now to draw to a conclusion : let no one imagine that this question of divine love can in anywise lessen our ideas of sin. Who that would know what sin is, let him read the eighty-eighth psalm ; also the twentysecond psalm. In the eighty-eighth there is not one ray of comfort; all is dark and dreadful. It is, doubtless, the language of Him who suffered for sin. There was nothing in the cup but sorrows and sufferings. Said an honoured minister, “ This, to some who are in darkness, is the comfort of the psalm, that there is no comfort in it.” In both psalms, in making atonement for our sins, the sufferer is seen separated from His Father. Hence He could say, “ My God, my God, why bast thou forsaken me?" And again, “Like the slain in the grave, thou rememberest me no more. Ah, no! This love, or the Cross which but manifests it, shows more than anything else the awful character, and dreadful desert, and doom of sin.

And further, let no one imagine that the reception of this love has no influence on the life. On the contrary, it is its knowledge, by the Spirit, more than anything else, which gives repentance and sorrow for sin, and which produces practical holiness.

Think you, can we know this love, and live as we list ? No, indeed. That were a poor requital. ,

Ask the returned prodigal, if he would leave the table at which he sits for the old land of his sin ? Ah, no; the power

of this love in us, and over us is most sanctifying; having drawn to itself, it separates from evil. When the prodigal believed in the fact of the love of His Father, he left all and returned to Him. When Rebecca believed in the love of Isaac, she became a stranger in her old home, and to her old associates. Beloved, we have seen the power of this love; drunkards, harlots, blasphemers, and sinners of every age and grade, have been made new creatures by it; the change it has wrought has been as sudden as great.

a

I have known of souls, at one moment dead to the dying love of Christ whose blood cleanseth from all sin, at the next tearfully singing

“We have found a friend in Jesus—

Oh, how He loves!
'Tis His great delight to bless us-

Oh, how He loves !
How our hearts delight to hear Him
Bids us dwell in safety near Him;
Why should we distrust or fear Him ? -

Oh, how He loves!” And now, O sinner, believe in this love! Believe in God, believe also in Jesus. Only believe that God loves, and that Christ died-died for the chief of sinners. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. I call you to record, dear sinner, that I bring not the texture of a cobweb between the love of God and you, or the semblance of a thread, to say nothing of a thick vail, between the salvation of God and your soul. God has made ample atonement for sins by the death of His Son. Hence our salvation. And you have nothing to do but to see and believe in that atonement. Stand still, and see the salvation of God! All ye that pass by, come! Come to the blood-stained tree! Come to the Cross, where this eternal, free, sovereign, dying, perfect, solitary, and unchangeable love of God was manifested-when « God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”-“God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for He commends it to you now.

He will not commend it to you always. He may not commend it to you long; soon you may die; soon you may be past its acceptance. Will

you not accept it now ? and now, on believing it, enter into rest ?

What we want is your salvation; salvation now, ere you leave. This you may have the moment you believe.

us.

And the Gospel we have brought you is a tangible Gospel—a Gospel that can be seen by the vilest and worst. For if CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY-died for such as are sinful and bad- then “why not for you?” This is the good news which God commends, and which we preach.

“ HARK! how the Gospel Trumpet sounds;
Christ and free grace therein abounds
Free grace to such as sinners be;
And if free grace-why not for me?

“ The Saviour died, and by His blood
Brought rebel sinners home to God;
He died to set the captives free,
And why, my soul, why not for thee?

“ The blood of Christ ! how sweet it sounds,
To cleanse and heal the sinner's wounds;
The streams thereof are rich and free,
And why, my soul-why not for thee?

" Thus Jesus came the poor to bless, –

To clothe them in God's righteousness :
This robe is spotless, full and free,
And why, my soul-why not for thee?

“ Eternal life by Christ is given,

And ruin'd rebels raised to heaven;
Then sing of grace so rich and free,
And shout, my soul—'tis all for thee !"

« PreviousContinue »