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who are ignorant to come, and Christ will impart to you his treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I invite you who possess human learning to come, and Christ will baptize your knowledge, and teach you to employ it in the most advantageous manner. I invite you who are afflicted to come, for my God is the God of all consolation, and my Master can be touched with the feeling of your infirmities. I invite you who feel yourselves to be the greatest of sinners to come; for you will find many there whose sins once equalled your own, now washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. I invite you who have long despised, and who still despise this invitation, to come; for Christ's language is, Hearken to me, ye stout-hearted, and far from righteousness. And if there be any one who thinks himself overlooked; if there be one who has not yet felt that this invitation is addressed to him, I now present it to that person particularly, and invite him to come.
And now, my reader, I take you to record that you have received the invitation. If, then, you do not come, you cannot ascribe it to the want of an invitation. If you perish, it will be-not because Christ did not offer to save you, nor because you did not hear the offer-but solely because you would not accept it. You are, therefore, left without excuse. I am aware, however, that you will fancy you have an You will pretend that you wish to come, but are unable. My friend, I know nothing of that. I am not directed to answer such objections. I have nothing to do with them. My business is simply to state to you the gospel; to proclaim to you glad tidings; to invite you to Christ, and to assure you, in his name, that if you come, you shall most certainly be received. If you say that you cannot come-if you can make God believe it-if you dare go to the judgment seat with this excuse, and venture your eternal interests on its being accepted as sufficient-it is well. But before you determine on this course, permit me to remind you, that God's sentiments, as revealed in his word, differ very widely from yours with respect to this excuse. He
considers your unwillingness—or inability, as you choose to call it-to come to Christ, as your greatest sin. He, once and again, denounces upon you the most dreadful punishments for this very thing. He declares, not only that all who do not believe in Christ shall be condemned, but that they are condemned already. What you consider as your best excuse, He considers as your greatest sin. Beware, then, how you make this excuse.
But instead of seeking for excuses, let me persuade you rather to comply with Christ's invitations. He stands in the midst of this perishing world, and exclaims, Look unto me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved (Is. xlv. 22). He invites all its thirsty, dying inhabitants, without exception, to come to Him, and drink the waters of life and salvation, exclaiming, If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink (John vii. 37). And he assures all that come to him that he will not cast them out (John vi. 37).
Think what an ocean of mercy is necessary to wash away the sins of the innumerable criminals to be found among men-of the murderers, the robbers, the blasphemers, the adulterers, the harlots, the impious hardened wretches who neither fear God nor regard man-that have been and still are in the world. What an omnipotence of grace is requisite to fit such polluted creatures for admission into a heaven of spotless purity, and make them holy as God! Yet all such Christ invites-all such he is able, all such he would save, would they come to him. Nor does he in this display a generosity which cost him nothing. He purchased, at the price of his life, the privilege of offering you those very blessings which you have a thousand times rejected. He paid the dreadful price in tears, and groans, and blood-in agonies unutterable. Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor. That he might offer you a mansion in heaven, he consented for years to be destitute of a place where to lay his head. That he might wash you from those sins which made you unfit for heaven, he poured out his blood to the last drop. That you might be delivered from shame and
everlasting contempt, he hid not his sacred face from shame and spitting. That you might escape the wrath of God, he bore it in his own person, though he fainted, sunk, and expired under the weight. That you, a malefactor, might live for ever, the Lord of life and glory died as a malefactor on the cross, and now he offers you, without money and without price, all that cost him so dear, and even entreats and beseeches you to accept it. Consider then, O sinner, the greatness of your guilt and danger in slighting the gracious invitations of the Saviour. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? And if he that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Not to condemn the sons of men
No weapons in his hand are seen,
Such was the pity of our God,
He sent his Son to bear our load
Of sins, and save our souls from hell.
Sinners, believe the Saviour's word,
THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY,
J. & W. Rider, Printers, Bartholomew Close, London.
AMONG the cases to which the Prophet's lamentation, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved," may be properly applied by mankind, I shall select the following:
1. Every person who still remains in sin may, at the close of the year, usefully adopt this lamentation.-Every year removes every sinner farther from eternal life. Mankind are never stationary in their moral condition, any more than in their being. He who does not advance, always recedes. He who does not become better, of course becomes worse. Nor is this all. The declension is more rapid than we ever imagine. Blindness, as you well know, is a common name for sin in the Scriptures, and is strongly descriptive of one important part of its nature. Nor is it blindness to divine things only, to God and Christ, to its duty and to its salvation but it is also blindness with respect to itself. The mind knows not that itself is thus blind, and asks triumphantly with the Pharisees of old, "Am I blind also?" In its own view, no one is possessed of eyes equally good and discerning; and it usually pities all who differ from it, as unable to see. No deception is so flattering and incurable as this. The views of such a mind concerning itself are false. The soul of the unawakened sinner is invariably more sinful, and his life more deformed, than either appears to be in his own eyes. Yet, with a most unhappy self-deception, he confides in his own decisions wholly; and on those of others, of the Bible, and of God, he places no reliance.
Hence his state is in every respect more dangerous than he does or will believe, and his declension more rapid than he can possibly imagine. This is true of every year of his life. Of consequence, the loss of a year is a greater loss than he can be induced even to suspect. Few sinners reflect on their moral condition to any such extent, and with any such solemnity, as the suspended state of an immortal mind, and the evident danger of endless ruin, plainly and vehe