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and such as are yet strangers to Christ, acquaint themselves with him, and so be at peace, and be saved. Ye who have believed, go on from faith to faith. Let your whole life be a coming unto Christ. If any can satisfy themselves with once believing, it is a sign they know nothing of the matter. Our faith is never perfect, it is still susceptible of new degrees. Yea, though it were perfect as to the intenseness of the act, still
it were our duty to add permanency to that intenseness. It must be our habitual temper to be relying on Christ for all. We must go up through the wilderness, leaning upon our Beloved, Cant. viii. 5. Our whole life should be a continued resting on him, going from one degree of faith to another, till we come to the land of immediate light and vision. “Lord, said the disciples, increase our faith,” Luke, xvii. 5. And said the beloved disciple, “ These things have I written unto you, who believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may believe,” i John v. 13. And said he who laboured more abundantly than them all, “ the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” Gal. ii. 20. By these footsteps of the flock let us go forth, as we would approve ourselves to be the sheep of Christ's pasture.
Ye who are yet in your sins, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Look unto him, and ye shall be saved. Come unto him, and he will in no ways cast you out. Cast your burden on him, and he shall sustain you.' Come, sinners, for Saviour is his name, and salvation is his work. Come, ye guilty, and receive a pardon. Come, ye filthy, and be washed. Come, ye diseased, and be healed., Come, ye naked, and be clothed. Come, ye poor, and be rich. Come, ye children of wrath, and be the sons of God. Come, yé miserable, and be happy. Come, ye who have nothing, and receive all. Come, ye young, for ye have been too, too long without a Saviour. Come, ye old, for it is not yet too late. Come, all without exception, unto Christ. Come, for there is room. Three things, among others,
should have weight with you. Your opportunity is fair, your time is short, and your all, your eternal all is at stake. Your warrant to believe is firm and broad, having God's own seal annexed to it. The Father commands you to believe in the name of his Son; the Son makes offer of himself; and the Holy Spirit, saith, Come. There is nothing in the way betwixt Christ and
your own unbelief. Wind and tide make for
you, and why will ye not sail? Why not ply every oar to reach the Saviour? Come you must. You shall not be brought to him sleeping, much less against your will. Christ is willing, but so must you, otherwise he never shall be yours. Your opportunity, though fair, is short Your glass has been running ever since ye began to live. Trifle as you may, your golden sands are passing, and all the world cannot tell you how few may be to run. Now is your day. It is but a day, and God may send darkness as at noon. While you are shutting your ears and your eyes, the slighted Redeemer may turn his back, break off the treaty, and swear, that ye shall die in your sins. Your times, as well as his gracious offer, are wholly in his hands. And while ye slight the one, he may in awful judg. ment put an end to the other. And then, then sin. ner, where art thou? From a land of Bibles, thou shalt be hurried to the bottomless pit. Despised ministers shall solicit thee no more. Nothing henceforth but messengers of vengeance. Our text shall sound no more in your ears. It shall not be then, “ Believe in the Lord Jesus.” No: Very different orders shall be given concerning thee. “ Take him, bind him hand and foot, and cast him into utter darkness.” And if this be the case, is not thy all at stake, sinner? There is no other alternative, but believe, or be damned. If thou wilt not believe, Christ shall not be thine. And if thou hast not him, thou losest all. To eternity the thoughts of a lost salvation, a lost soul, a lost heaven, shall be
a like oil to thy flame. Falling as from the pinnacle of gospel-offers into hell, dreadful, dreadful beyond all imagination, shall be thy plunge. If therefore, there
be any authority in God's high command, if any thing inviting in a Saviour's aspect and offer, if any thing alluring in the Spirit's motions, if any value in time, if any gain in godliness, if any joys in heaven, if any torments in hell, finally, if thou hast any love to thine own soul, I beseech by every one, I beseech thee by all of these, - Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ."
NATURE OF SAVING FAITH.
Acts xvi. 31.
and thou shall be saved.
HAVING spoken at large concerning faith in Jesus, we come now to the second thing proposed in the method, viz. To speak of the salvation promised to the believer. “ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
In discoursing on this salvation, we intend two things.
I. To speak concerning its properties.
II. To take a view of its various parts.
First we are to mention its properties.
And in the first place. It is a purchased salvation, purchased by him in whom we are called to believe. Though by nature the Son of God, he became a man, yea, a servant, to purchase salvation to the sons of men. They having forfeited all right to glory, in that condition they had still continued, had not Christ
made the purchase. From the infusion of spiritual life into the dead soul, to their sitting at Christ's right hand, all, all is a purchased possession, Eph. i. 14.
Not a drop of salvation but cost the Saviour's heart a groan. Sinners were not only poor, and therefore unable to buy their bliss, but they themselves were as debtors in the hands of justice, and therefore to be bought back. Accordingly there was a double purchase, viz. of persons and of things. One mighty price was given for them both. The Redeemer gave himself, Tit. ii. 14.; he made his soul an offering, Isa. liii. 10.; allowed his body to be broken, and his blood to be shed, Matt. xxvi. 26.-28.; gave his back to the smiters, and his cheek to them that plucked off the hair: and hid not his face from shame and spitting, Isa. 1. 6. A high priced salvation indeed! Corruptible things, as silver and gold, were of no'. value here. Thousands of rams, ten thousands of rivers of oil could not pacify nor please. Torrents of tears would have been ineffectual. In vain had men sacrificed their firstborn for their transgression. In vain had they offered the fruit of their body for the sin of their soul, Mic. vi. 7. Adam and all his sons were too poor to give an adequate price. Nay, angels themselves could not. The redemption of one sinner would have beggared them all. The price of salvation was too high for the whole creation. It was a God that was offended, and none but a God could satisfy for the offence, and purchase the forfeited inheritance. God purchased his church with his own blood, Acts xx. 28. The Son laid down his life for the sheep, John X. 15. His life, his precious life, was the price of our salvation. If we are forgiven, it is through his blood, Eph. i. 7. If we are cleansed, it is in his own blood, 1 John i. 7. If we have boldness to enter into the holiest, it is by the blood of Jesus, Heb. x. 19. Thus the salvation promised to a believer is purchased.
2dly. It is a great salvation, and no marvel, since the price was so. It is expressly called the great salvation, Heb. ii. 3. Great in its author, great in its