« VorigeDoorgaan »
INFALLIBLE WAY OF FORGIVENESS.
believes in his heart (having no doubt) that God hath raised Christ from the dead-as a public testimony of the Divine satisfaction with the work, finished on his behalf,—and, therefore, of His perfect readiness at once through that finished righteousness) to receive and bless ungodly sinners to the uttermost. (Rom. x. 9.) Thus, the moment the love and manifestly harmonized character of God in the plan of salvation is really seen, or believed by the sinner, in its grand bearings on himself, and so seen—as to dispose him (as the inevitable results of believing) immediately to submit to Jesus as his great Captain, (Heb. ii. 10) exclaiming, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”-and to inspire confidence (through his blood) to draw near to God as a Father,
HE IS ABSOLUTELY FORGIVEN JUSTI
FIED-ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED.
Henceforth, the blissful results of this wondrous discovery are developed in exact proportion to the degree in which it is vividly seen and habitually contemplated. For while this glorious liberty—this spirit of practical holiness—this freedom from bondage and fear -into which the happy soul is now brought are but the first fruits of the Spirit, which he
has just received, through believing ; they are, nevertheless, described in scripture to be the infallible sequence of the liberating truth which has been embraced. “ The truth, shall make you free.” (John viii. 32.) For no sooner does the awakened soul perceive, by the heart-affecting light of the Holy Spirit, (without which the truth, in its glory, cannot possibly be perceived)—the love of God to the world, and that the sins which filled him with alarm, and held him so long in iron bondage, have actually been borne by Jesus “ on the tree," -than he perceives that this great sacrifice for the sin of the world has been publicly accepted by God,--and that a pardon, signed by every attribute of God with the blood of atonement, may be freely obtained,—that it is even now held out to him and to all — by the very Majesty of Heaven and Earth, whom he has so long injured, and whose just vengeance he had incurred,--held out to him, on account of the sufferings of the Redeemer,—with no legal obstruction to its being immediately received, -no preparatory or meritorious qualification of holy feeling, or holy deeds, being at all required, but simply that the gift--the lordship—the propitiatory
death of Jesus for his sins-should be truly believed. THEN FEAR FLEES AWAY, -- his chains fall off, - "the spirit of adoption " enters his heart,-leading him to exclaim, "My LORD, AND MY Gon.” Wondrous transition! Who can comprehend it, but by the teaching of experience! For it passes all understanding. And where his views of Gospel truth are very vivid—his surprise and wonder at the river of peace which now flows through his soul are almost as great as would be realized by a criminal led forth to an ignominious death,—but who, in place of reaching the scaffold, is conducted to an anti-chamberdivested of his chains—robed in garments of honour-and suddenly introduced to the banquet of a prince as one of the most welcome guests!
And to those who regard the happy convert as beside himself,— on account of his joyful feelings, and his ready sacrifice to God of all that the world counts valuable, -on account, too, of his decided separation from their fellowships, (counting their contumely or reproach his greatest honour)—his earnest devotedness to the revealed will of his Redeemer - striving, from grateful love, and in the
strength of the Holy Spirit, to obey all his commandments,--he has, with Paul, but one, and only one, answer to give—“If we be beside ourselves, it is to God. For the love of Christ constraineth us because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. And he died for all,—that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again."