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and yet you are quite content to have no experience of this Savior's pardoning mercy and sanctifying grace! - I might pursue this train of remark; but from what has been said, you see how clearly a charge of the most marvellous unbelief and absurdity may be made out against you. You kiss the Savior, like Judas, and like him you betray him for this world's good. You call him Lord, but you do not the things which he says. You sleep as quietly in your beds, after we have assured you, upon his authority, that you are in danger of eternal perdition, as if you had never heard a word about the matter! and it is more than probable that some of you will do so this very night! And how is this? Is it not marvellous? Well may Christ be grieved and wonder! Is it not marvellous insensibility to what you acknowledge to be so valuable and important? Is it not a proof of marvellous unbelief, to disregard a blessing which you yourselves allow to be attaina ble? Is it not a marvellous disregard of all the thunders of the divine wrath, which you must confess are hanging over your heads? O that you were willing to follow up the convictions of your own minds! that you would not attempt to get rid of them in an unhallowed way! that you would cherish them by reading the Scriptures and pious books, by meditation, by prayer, by intercourse with Christians, and by the use of all the means which God has appointed to save souls from the wrath to come!

4. I speak to those, also, who, though not loving sin, but truly convinced of their sinfulness and consequent danger, hating sin, and desirous of being freed from it; yet go on for weeks, and months, and even years, without finding the mercy which God has promised, — without obtaining the blessings of pardon, of adoption, of holiness, of consolation, of the Holy Spirit's influence. Come, and let me expostulate with you. There are many such in all our congregations, and in all our societies. It is a fact, that if we have a thousand members, we find at least a hundred, to whose general seriousness we can make no exception, whose conduct is marked by regularity; who yet cannot, with satisfaction to their ministers and fellow Christians, declare what God has done for their souls. There are, no doubt, therefore, some such present this evening. Now, let me expostulate with you: look at your case. O that I may be assisted to say something which shall lead you this night to lay hold on Christ! something that shall make you ashamed of your unbelief in my Savior and yours! something that shall convince you that, when he opens his arms to receive you, you have no right to run away from him; that you have no right to close your ears to his inviting voice; that it is your duty, as well as your interest, to lay hold on his mercy, and to receive the blessings which he

has pressed on your acceptance in the exuberance of his kindness! Now, what does he say?" Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." But I need not repeat these promises: what you want is, not the knowledge of them, you have heard them read a hundred times;-no; what you want is, to believe, to embrace them. These promises point out you you yourselves as the very persons who want these good things. And O, consider that these promises are confirmed confirmed by a solemn oath; "that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, they might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them." You have heard God's promise, now hear God's oath. O, infinite condescension! You doubt his word-shame on you! but he does not desert you for your sin. Now, hear it, penitent! hear the oath of thy God. We have it on record in his own book: it is written for your comfort. Listen-"As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" God tells you, by his life, that he is ready to save you to save you now. And this promise, and this oath, have been sealed by the blood of Christ; and "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?" And this promise, and this oath, have been confirmed by the resurrection of Christ. By this we are taught that the sacrifice he presented was accepted that God is satisfied; and that there is nothing even in his justice to hinder him from pardoning you. Hence the language of the apostle to the Hebrews; -"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect!" and so on. O, what comfort is contained in these words! God is "the God of peace!" Why, we might have been charged to tell you that God is " a man of war.' -But no; we have to proclaim him to you as "the God of peace." He has a peaceful disposition towards you; and he has proved this by raising up Jesus Christ from the dead.

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It is possible that we may have erred in telling you that this is your privilege, and not dwelling sufficiently upon it as your duty. It is your duty to believe; it is a great crime you are guilty of in not coming to God for the pardon of your sins, when he has told you so plainly and

so repeatedly that he waits to bestow that pardon. You believe the word of your fellow-men: to-morrow you will take their word, perhaps, twenty times in the day, in the course of your business; but you will not take the word of God; you must behold something extraordinary, you must have some miracle performed, before you believe God! And is not this most marvellous, most unreasonable? Will it not be infinitely better to take him at his word, and receive the blessing? Why,. part of his word you do believe: you do believe his threatenings! when he says that "the wicked man shall surely die," this you firmly believe. But another part of his word, that very part which is most suited to your case, you put away from you! You say that you are not ready yet; that you are not worthy yet! O the marvellous absurdity of this unbelief! Men under the influence of this vile principle will absolutely believe all but that which they are required to believe, that which most of all concerns them to believe, that " THIS IS A FAITHFUL SAYING, AND WORTHY OF ALL ACCEPTATION, THAT JESUS CHRIST CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS." I now proclaim it to you: take it home to yourselves: say,

-

"Who did for every sinner die,
Hath surely died for me."

"Sayest thou Thou art the

For me he hath obtained that redemption which is of so much value; that, without which I must for ever have perished! this?—Then thou art the very man for my Savior! very man on whom he now looks down, on whom he now waits to be gracious!

I have already trespassed so unwarrantably upon your time, that I must leave you to apply this train of thought to other cases of unbelief which will present themselves readily to your mind. We may learn from this subject,

1. The marvellous corruption of human nature, from whence all this unbelief originates. If man was as he came out of the hands of his Maker, he would receive with simple, confiding love, all that he has said, and listen implicitly to all his assurances. Faith has its seat in the heart; and so has unbelief; hence we read of "an evil heart of unbelief." Man is very far gone from original righteousness. Now, as unbelief took us away from God, so faith alone can bring us back to God, and prepare us for an ultimate admission into heaven. See also,

2. The necessity of the agency of the Holy Spirit. This is necessary, that faith may be inspired, and kept in exercise, and brought to maturity. If unbelief be in the heart by nature, it is not the nicest train of reasoning, it is not all the power of moral suasion, that can produce faith. True faith is supernatural; the apostle tells the Philippians

that it had been "given them to believe in his name." You must believe believing is your act; but it is an act of a heart renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit; by the same almighty and efficacious power by which Christ was raised from the dead. Look at the case of infidels; other means are employed in abundance, but they remain infidels still; while others have been converted from infidelity in the absence of all human means. Look at the case of Saul of Tarsus; he was a most bigoted Pharisee, and a furious and determined persecutor; and he was not made into a sincere and humble Christian, and a zealous and successful preacher, by books, or by human argumentation. The miraculous light, and the voice from heaven, might arouse his attention, but it was by an immediate and direct interference of the Holy Spirit that the change was effected, and true faith was inspired. The conversion of Vanderkemp, also, is a case fully in point; a conversion scarcely less remarkable than that of the apostle Paul. From a German infidel, infidelity, perhaps, of the most specious and dangerous kind, Vanderkemp, without human interference, became a zealous Christian. I do not mean to say that good books, that wise and pious information, are to be despised; but I do mean to say, that the great fault is in men's hearts; and that it is necessary that the heart should be prepared by the operation of the Spirit, to receive the truth in the love of it. And that, though the mind may be prepared in some measure by knowledge, yet that true faith is the immediate effect of a direct influence of the Holy Spirit.

As to all the instances of unbelief we have specified, and as to all others which may occur, go direct to God; pray against your unbelief; beseech him to cure you of this dreadful infatuation.

And let the disciples - let those who are set to guide souls to Christ, let all the church say, "LORD, INCREASE our faith!"

SERMON I1.

THE NATURE AND EFFECT OF JUSTIFYING FAITH.

BY THE RIGHT REV. C. J. BLOOMFIELD, D. D.,

BISHOP OF LONDON.

"With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."-ROMANS X. 10.

THE apostle declares that his heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel was, that they might be saved; but they utterly mistook the way of salvation, imagining it to be by a work which they could themselves

achieve, upon the foundation of their own merit, as doers of the law. They refused to accept as a free gift that which was offered to them by God in Christ, and chose rather to be justified by the deeds of the law than by him who alone is holy. "Being ignorant," says the apostle, "of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God." The righteousness of God is that righteousness which God bestows upon all believers in Christ—not actual holiness; but, justifying them, they have the privilege of being regarded as righteous, and treated as such, for the sake of the true, intrinsic, substantial holiness of Christ. "For," continues the apostle, "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."

Perfect, unceasing obedience, was the requirement of the law; but perfect obedience was impracticable to fallen man; therefore righteousness was unattainable by the deeds of the law. But was it attainable by the gospel?"What saith it?"-as asks the apostle. "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach. That, if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

It appears, then, that, in order to salvation, two things are indispensably necessary; the one, a plenary and heartfelt faith in Jesus as a crucified and glorified Savior; the other, an open and oral confession of him in that character before men, agreeably to his own precept and promise, "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man confess before the angels of God." By specifying faith and confession as leading to certain results the one to righteousness, that is, to being accounted righteous in the sight of God, the other to final salvation- the apostle has clearly intimated the inseparableness, and, in some measure, the unity of both. At all events, he has spoken of the two as inseparable; and these words may be urged as an unanswerable refutation of two perilous errors, one of which many are found to avow in words, while the other is by many more exemplified in practice; for one sect pretend that religious feeling or principle is enough without a particular profession of it; while the other say that profession alone is all that is required of us.

Let us consider the nature of those two great acts of religion of which the apostle speaks as being necessary to the perfection of the Christian character belief and confession. The point which claims our attention, is

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