Page images

ousness ; of the gift of the Holy Spirit, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith ; and of eternal blessedness through Him, of whom it was said, In Him shall all nations be blessed. As the apostle argues : So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.74 The scripture contains a promise of justification before God, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to sinners who believe in Him. This is a promise of pardon for sins past, of deliverance from the power and dominion of sin for the future, and of acceptance in the presence of the infinitely holy Lord God Almighty. With what gratitude of heart should we sinners embrace this promise. When we were shut up under sin, God was pleased to make it on our behalf. He of His infinite compassion provided the means of pardon. He sent His only begotten Son into the world to be the propitiation for our sins, that we might live through Him;75 that our sins might be pardoned through faith in His atoning blood; that we might be delivered from the power and dominion of those sins under which we were held ; that we might be reconciled to God by the death of His Son; might be accepted in His presence ; might be accounted righteous before Him; might be at peace with Him; might enjoy His favour and friendsbip; His blessing and protection ; the teaching and guidance and consolations of His Holy Spirit; with every needful blessing both temporal and spiritual for this life, and a hope full of glory and immortality for the life to come; a promise of eternal blessedness when time shall be no more, for ever and ever. What can be desired more than these things which God has graciously promised to give, through Jesus Christ, to the sinful children of men. He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things ?6 In Christ Jesus there is pardon for the guilty, repentance for the transgressor, righteousness for the unrighteous, sanctification for the disobedient and unholy, salvation for the lost; all bestowed by faith, or upon them that believe in Him. There is no difference in this respect between one and another. All have sinned, and therefore all must be saved in this way, or they will perish everlastingly. Sinners of all descriptions are therefore called upon to believe and live, to turn unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon them, and abundantly pardon them.?? To all who truly turn to Him, the Lord our God is gracious and merciful. None seek His face in vain, who seek Him with their whole hearts. When they draw near to the throne of grace through our Divine Mediator and Advocate and Intercessor, who appeareth in the presence of God for His believing people, to plead their cause, and to bestow the richest blessings of His grace upon them, they cannot wait upon Him in vain. The promises of God in Christ Jesus are exceeding great and precious promises.78 The promise here spoken of refers to all the benefits which He came into the world to bestow upon the sinful children of men; and it is made and will be fulfilled to all that believe.

74 Galatians iii. 6, 14, 8, 9, 29.

75 1 John iv. 9, 10.

76 Romans viii. 32.

77 Isaiah lv. 7,

78 2 Peter i. 4.

We see then how full the promise is, and how extensive the invitation to partake of the blessedness which it sets before us. Let us ask ourselves, What is our state with regard to the declaration made in the text?

Are we among those who with the heart believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and seek for the fulfilment of this promise to their own souls ? Christ hath redeemed us, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Is the fulfilment of this promise the subject of our humble and earnest supplication to God? Do we pray that we may be influenced and actuated by the Spirit of God continually; that He would dwell in us and walk in us, or be with us at all times, whether we are at home or abroad, wherever we are; that we may be pleasing to Him in soul and body, in our spirit and our conduct; and His holy name may be glorified in us and by us continually? If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His; he does not belong to Christ; he is not a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus, let his religious profession be what it may.

AS many as are led by the Spirit of God, they, and they only, are the sons of God.79 They are washed and sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God, and they shall inherit the kingdom of God 80 not for their own righteousness' sake, but for His merits in whom they put their trust.

Let us lay hold of the promises of God, that the blessedness which they set before us may be ours in time and in eternity. Let us seek to know and love and serve Him, who is the hope of His believing people. Let us not be ashamed to hold fast our profession of attachment to Christ and His cause. Let us consider what great things He has done for us, that we may be more deeply sensible of our obligations to Him. Let us meditate upon what He has promised to do for His people, that we may place ourconfidence in Him; and may find that He is both able and willing to do for us, exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think ; 81 that He will supply all our need according to His riches in glory,82 until mortality shall be swallowed up of life, and we shall be ever with the Lord.

79 Rom. viii. 9,14. 80 1 Cor. vi.11,10. 81 Eph. iii. 20. 82 Phil. iv.19.






Galatians v. 16.




That man is of his own nature inclined to evil, is the doctrine of our church, derived from the holy scriptures and confirmed by universal experience. This however forms no excuse for sin, does not lessen its criminality, and will not avert or diminish its punishment. The transgressor of the law of God is in a most awful state, for while he is living in sin, he is bringing down upon himself the Divine judgments, which impend over him. The restraints of education and the laws of society in a civilized and Christian country may, in some measure, counteract the

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »