NO. 473

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was.” — Luke 10:33.

THE good Samaritan is a masterly picture of true benevolence. The Samaritan had no kinship with the Jew, he was purely of foreign origin, yet he pities his poor neighbor. The Jews cursed the Cuthites, and would have no dealings with them, for they were intruders in their land. There was nothing therefore, in the object of the Samaritan’s pity that could excite his national sympathies, but everything to arouse his prejudices, hence the grandeur of his benevolence. It is not my intention this morning, to indicate the delightful points of excellence which Christ brings out in order to illustrate what true charity will perform. I want you only to notice this one fact, that the benevolence which the Samaritan exhibited towards this poor wounded and half-dead man, was available benevolence. He did not say to him, “If you will walk to Jericho, then I will bind up your wounds, pouring in the oil and wine;” or, “If you will journey with me as far as Jerusalem, I will then attend to your wants.” Oh, no, he came “where he was,” and finding that he could do nothing whatever for his own assistance, the good Samaritan began with him there and then upon the spot, putting no impossible conditions to him, proposing no stipulations which the man could not perform, but doing everything for the man, and doing it for him as he was and where he was. Beloved, we are all quite aware that a charity of which a man cannot avail himself, is no charity at all. Go among the operatives of Lancashire, and tell them that there is no necessity for any of them to starve, for on the top of

you would no doubt recover.” This is hardly charity. so dilapidated that the stars look between the tiles. they see the poor sinner. climb up three pair of stairs into a wretched room. I do not believe in the way in which some people pretend to preach the gospel. Brethren. it would be worth a great deal to me. where they relieve all passers-by. and bade him put the rags under his armholes. tell them they have nothing to do but to journey to the top of the Alps. Penetrate one of our back streets. “He is not conscious of his need. They have no gospel for sinners as sinners. and I cannot make out the good of giving me this ticket at all. who are to give sixpence. I have noticed this unavailing charity in hard winters. they took old rags from under the king’s treasury. Like the wicked. see a poor young girl dying of consumption and poverty.” You are shamefully laughing at her-she cannot get these thingsthey are beyond her reach: she cannot journey to the seaside-she would die ere she reached it. tell her if you dare. if you will get half way up. even certain-that when Christ comes to deal with sinners. Like the priest in this parable.” when there was not a ladder. and are technically styled sensible sinners. as giving to this poor wounded man a charity of which he could avail himself. down in the low dungeon: if Ebed-melech and Baruch had stood over the top of the dungeon. and they say. and sling his arms through the ropes. keeping close to the elect . instead thereof. Hence. how cruel would have been this charity. I have a ticket. if I had sixpence to go with to get the relief. Poor souls! they feel that you mock them. but. and then receive soup and bread.“Sir. “If you could get to the sea-side. but only for those who are above the dead level of sinnership. “it is of no use preaching to dead souls. for the distance is too great. nor any means by which he could possibly get so far. This was available charity. does it not seem to be strongly probable-nay. permit me to say. People give away bread and soup tickets to poor people. and often I have had persons come to me. but I have not a farthing in all the world. Christ hits him off to the life.” they say. and there they will find food enough.693 Matthew St. and put them on ropes. the other would have been hypocritical pretense. he gives them available mercy-grace which may be of real service to them. we will pull you out. and then they pulled him up all the way. “Jeremiah. Think you see Jeremiah. your tender mercies are cruel.” so they pass by on the other side. and if you could eat so much beef-steak. Bernard there are hospitable monks who keep a refectory. if in the description of a good Samaritan.” “He is dead. and called out to him. we cannot invite him to Christ.

694 and quickened. it is mine this morning. I thank my Master that he does not say to the sinner. he had to read the hymns. and he was somewhat in a hurry. and his mercy to be too free. Here is. you must pass by on the other side. set forth in my text. and might be too late for the service. lost. and warn him. a gospel which is available for the vilest of the vile. for on your own confession you have no good news for the poor wretch. those to whom it was sent. the available benevolence of the Samaritan.” and finding him ruined. As for the Levite. gentlemen. but we must not invite him to Christ. The Levite was not in quite such a hurry as the priest. I want. but having nothing whatever to say to the dead. if I can. and gives him life and peace without asking. so he indulged himself with the luxury of looking on.” but he comes “where he is. I. The sinner is WITHOUT MORAL QUALIFICATION FOR SALVATION. I want to say to every sinner. he might have soiled his cassock. I think. but Christ comes where he is. or expecting him to prepare himself for grace. “Come half way and meet me. I bless my Lord and Master he has given to me a gospel which I can take to dead sinners. not to talk about this as a matter having to do with the multitude that are abroad.” Yes. “Well. to show the available grace of Christ. The apostle gives a portrait of the manners and customs of the heathen world. and therefore he could not stop to relieve the man. and then he would have been hardly fit for the dainty and respectable congregation over which he officiated. not intended to be read in congregations. were manifestly without any moral qualification. obdurate. The priest had to preach. Did you ever read the first chapter of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans? It is one of those awful passages in Scripture. but to be read and studied in the secrecy of one’s chamber. but with us in these pews. but of you and me. Remember first. he was a clerk in the church. infidels . lest they should make out Christ to be too gracious. that when the gospel was first sent into the world. but still he could get in after the opening prayer. I speak not of them and those. he meets him on his own ground. after having looked at him. that unless our missionaries had informed us. that it is exactly the photograph of life in Hindustan at the present moment. you know we ought to describe the sinner’s state. or made himself unclean. but Jesus Christ meets you where you now are. Just as I have known ministers say. besides.” 1. “You are in a state in which there is nothing morally that can qualify you for being saved. so awful.

while we were yet sinners. before the gospel is available to him. Christ did not come to save men as men. 2. which prove to a demonstration that he comes to the sinner where he is. As sensible sinners?-nay. proves that Christ does not seek for any qualification of morality.” First. and yet the Lord himself commanded. “for the ungodly.” What! to Sodomites.695 might have declared that Paul had exaggerated.” said the apostle. an ungodly man means a man without God. the fact that the world was steeped up to its very throat in the filth of abominable wickedness. my brethren. they are described as “dead in trespasses and sins. but men as sinners.” “This is a faithful saying. to murderers of fathers and mothers? Yes. “I am not shut out. “The ungodly are like “the chaff which the wind driveth away:” even these are the persons that Christ came to save. In the same chapter. whose very smallest sin is adultery. “Go ye into all the world. not repenting sinners. and many other places. and yet the gospel was sent to it. “We turn unto the Gentiles. who cares not for God. How does the Bible describe those whom Christ came to save? As men? No. was so desperately wicked that it would be utterly impossible to conceive of a sin. as “sinners. we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son. go and preach the gospel to them! Manifestly. 10th verse. to thieves and murderers. Recollect again. “There is hope for me.” What say ye to this? they are not described as friends. in that. but sinners as sinners. let me read you one or two passages. “God not in all his thoughts. not awakened sinners.” But to the law and to the testimony. into which men had not fallen. “Surely. the Biblical descriptions of those whom Christ cared into the world to save. Heathendom in the time of Paul. and fornication.” saith one.” “Sinners. and preach the gospel to every creature. “For when we were yet without strength. Christ laid down his life for his friends in one sense. and. Christ . while I read them.” and therefore he is not what men call a sensible sinner. you find them mentioned as “enemies” — “When we were yet enemies. 1:15. for such is the gospel of Christ intended to save. I aver not.” Another account is found in Romans 5:6. those whom Christ came to save are described in 1 Timothy. “But God commendeth his love toward us. of whom I am chief. in due time Christ died”-for whom? those who had some desires after God? some respect to his name? nay. and yet. or righteousness in man. that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. to the swearer. and worthy of all acceptation.” without any adjective before the word. I hope you may be able to say. He sends the Word to the drunkard. the vilest of the vile.” Now. the harlot.

” (Luke 19:10. that the Lord does not expect the sinner to do anything or to be anything in order to meet him. in agonies the most awful he shrieks under the desertion of his God.” “Ah. once more.” Enemies to God were the objects of grace. and meet them in the grave of their sin. dead. (Ephesians 2:3. some good desires. even their own friends have given their case up as hopeless. a weight of sin is on his shoulders. but to the dead as dead. thirdly. and accursed. Christ died for the accursed. the gospel is not only to be preached to those who have some good notions.” They are lost to all hope. and asked him to curse me.” says one sinner. and the only character under which we come to Jesus is as sinners. And. and only as such. Inasmuch .” Well.” Christ.“we were by nature the children of wrath even as others. For whom did he die? For the innocent? Wherefore for the innocent? What sacrifice did they need? For those who had some good thing in them? Why all these agonies for such? Surely a less price might do for them if they could eke it out themselves. In Ephesians 2:1. they mean just this -that those whom Christ came to save have no good whatever in them to cooperate towards their salvation.) If I understand those passages which I have read in your hearing.” Yet the gospel came to such.) they are “children of wrath” . it is quite certain from the work of grace itself. I am bold to say. Can ye see anything hopeful in a child of wrath? I ask you to look over him from head to foot. and Christ doth not look upon them in order to find aught that is good in them.) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law. then. Once again. But because Christ died on account of sin. we read of them as “dead in trespasses and sins” — “and you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. some tremblings of the heavenly life within. but that he comes to him where he is. 3. sinner. they are mentioned as “accursed. and on his heart. the only fitness for a Savior is being lost. to the dead doth Christ come. lost. for us who were under the curse. I take it that those whom he died for must be viewed as sinners. See. if this be his name and character.696 died for us. But. Again. Christ dies on Calvary. does not ask the sinner to make himself alive. they are described by the dreadful word “lost. so that in enmity Christ comes and meets man where he is. can ye see a spot of goodness as large as a pin’s point in the man? And yet such Christ came to save. to all consideration for themselves.” that is. being made a curse for as. the only fitness for cleansing is filthiness. (Galatians 3:13.” The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. “I have often cursed myself before God.

Unless there be something extraordinary in divine grace. Yet more. this were a work of supererogation. and my thoughts above your thoughts. but for those who had no justification of their own. 4. and have exalted the cross above measure. he gives the Holy Worker to those who are all unholy and full of sin. let them get them for themselves. then I cannot understand such a passage as this. the work of Christ supposes a lost. Now. But he gives the Holy Spirit. then why does Christ plead for them? No. But he received gifts for men. who were condemned. yea. Who for? For those who merited rewards? No. No. for I would clear up this point before I leave it. not a shadow of any. if God would be godlike in his grace-and I am sure he will-he must do something more than that. but he gives the Holy Spirit to those that are powerless. It has sometimes been our happy portion to do good to them that hate us. then we have made too much noise about the gospel. that many of us have thought of forgiving our enemies. and that he died for those who had nothing to pay with. my brethren. the godlike character of the grace of God proves that he meets the sinner where he is. “As high as the heavens are above the earth. for the rebellious also. brethren. If the Lord does not do something more than men can think.697 as he paid a dreadful price. . To whom does he give the Holy Spirit? To those that are strong. verily. For whose justification? For the justification of those who were justified in themselves? Why this were to perform an unnecessary work. but they must be enemies of such an atrocious character that no man would have forgiven them. ruined. Moreover. so high are my ways above your ways. I gather that they must be dreadfully in debt. that the Lord God might dwell among them. I hear him by the ear of faith pleading before the eternal throne. Christ meets the man where he is. he puts the omnipotent influence into those who were slaves to the spirit of evil. then he is little in his mercy. But Christ rose again. Brethren. and good. rebellious sinner. he must not only forgive his enemies. Do men give their money to the rich? Do they spend their charity on those who do not need it? If men have something to plead for themselves. dead. my brethren. weak. he pleads for those who have nothing whatever that they can bring as an argument with which to enforce their prayers. and so I say. rose again for our justification. and can do all themselves? O. But Christ ascended and received gifts. brethren. Who does he plead for? For those who have something to plead on their own account?-that were needless. utterly condemned on account of their own works. If God forgive little sinners only.” I venture to say.

The spirit and genius of the gospel utterly forbid the supposition that God requires anything in any man in order to save him. there are very many of the lost race of Adam. inasmuch as the gospel is free favor from beginning to end. but if there be everything that is bad against man and against God. good desires. In the second place. God is bound by his own Word. and if thou be filled with all vice. Only do thou today believe in the mercy of God. and makes them friends. in Christ. if thou hast committed every crime in the catalogue. I say to the sinner.” When the man has done it. he deserves what has been promised. This is the old covenant of works. 5. bringing nothing. if the Lord merely pardons sinners who are sensible of their sins. neither good wishes. and cast thyself on Him. they who fulfill the condition have a claim to the blessing. II. This is works and not grace. more. to give man what he has earned. “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out. yea. if thou hast ruined thy body and damned thy soul. But. wherever thou mayest be to-day. and lament them? The marvel is in this. Yes.” But where is the meaning of this boast.” And if thou comest to him. he blots out their sins. nor good feelings of a sinner before he may come to Christ. Or who hath grace so rich and free. and therefore meeteth the sinner just where he is. if thou be without any virtue. who say that they are WITHOUT ANY MENTAL QUALIFICATION. mark you. “Do this and I will reward you. the most honorable. the condition being fulfilled. so long as it be a condition. I am absolutely sure that God asketh nothing. yet. the rebel is commanded to come just as he is. yet still Christ hath said it. The substance of the legal covenant is. who is superabundant in mercy. . But that he may know that everything is of grace. if there be no good points in thy character. If salvation be offered to man upon a condition. and the most devout of all living men. and invites them to mercy.698 “Who is a pardoning God like thee. and thou art saved to the praise and glory of that grace which meets thee just where thou art. that while they are yet enemies he calls them by his grace. it is debt and not free favor. and if you make the condition never so easy. but taking everything from God. and saveth thee from sin. thus meeting the sinner where he is. he can no more cast thee out than if thou hadst been the most virtuous.

and hast revealed them unto babes. cannot see a knotty point in theology. he is so commonplace. Now. they said. Christ dies for us.699 This is their excuse. dying in man’s stead. cannot spilt hairs. as the result of crediting that which is told us upon good testimony. they will receive Jesus anywhere but on his cross. Is there anything more simple in the world than the doctrine of the atonement.“But. who have been made wise unto salvation by the act of faith in Christ. “I thank thee. I never was a scholar.” That has been the Unitarian character ever since. that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent. “Let him come down from the cross and we will believe on him. I was sent out as a boy to earn my own living. Yet more.” so they kick against it. sir. and if anybody were to ask me to make a prayer I could not. They were Unitarians who stood at the cross when Christ died. again. that there have been many who were idiots in other things. cannot dispute. first. then any fool can be a theologian. it is taught in the Bible under such simple metaphors. we are in debt. And how does he do this? Why. that many of our learned doctors of divinity try to get it out of the Bible. We deserve to die. so that I never had a week’s schooling. Christ pays for us. What is Unitarianism but a stumbling at the simplicity of the cross. that none can say they cannot understand it. O Father. “If this be the marrow of it all. Faith requires so little mental vigor or intellectual clearness. You remember our Lord’s own words. Lord of heaven and earth. Is not this plain enough for a Ragged School? It is so plain. held up before the snake-bitten Israelites.” Now. to meet this defect of mental power. you see the Lord Jesus meets you just where you are. that these great gentlemen run to philosophy and vain deceit sooner than lay hold on that which the commonest may as fully understand as they.” But this never could have happened had not the act which brings us into communion with Christ been the lowest act of the human faculty. they think. but up there. cannot argue. But then. Faith lays hold on eternal life. the saving act is one that requires no mental power. The child cannot reason. a child whose faculties are never so little developed can believe what it is told. but it can believe what it is told. How simple is the metaphor of the brazen serpent. I am so ignorant that I cannot read my book. to meet any mental deficiency in man. while they are . remember the singular simplicity of that which is believed. that of simply trusting to Christ. I have not sense enough. while the truth itself is simple.

do but touch your next neighbor.” saith he. and say to him. am he that blotteth out thy transgressions. and if you really do not know the way. at least you see no hope. will make them live? “If any man thirst. as if he knew he could not find any motive. thou canst not say that this does not meet thy case: for if thou be the most hellish good-for-nothing . that every thirsty passer-by may put his lips down and drink? “Behold the Lamb of God.” What for? “For mine own sake. this is meeting you. who will explain to you the gospel. this is coming down to you though you sit on the lowest step of human intellect. even I. even for my name’s sake. you are in a hopeless state. But yet again. To crown all. that he may make his own mercy illustrious. the object of faith is plain.” He cannot pardon you for your sake. Who does not understand that a look at Christ who dies in the stead of men. you clearly see that. who are but too glad if we can roll away the stone from the door of your sepulcher. Here are many of us. The act of faith is simple. so he puts it all on himself. the metaphors make it clear. “Can you explain to me yet more clearly what I must do to be saved?” Now. let your brains be of the very smallest. that I cut thee not off. Or take another. will I defer mine anger. and so Christ dies for the sin of those who believe in him. III. he pardons that he may honor and glorify his own name.“For my name’s sake. and he is without excuse who does not understand the gospel of Christ. but for “my own sake.” Who does not understand the figure of a fountain flowing in the streets.” So then. for his own sake he will do it. I think I hear another say. Jesus Christ meets you just where you are. my beloved hearers.” Who does not understand the sacrifice? Here is a lamb killed for the sin of Israel. “that I may glorify myself. but in his own mighty breast he finds the motive. for I CANNOT FIND ANY REASON IN MYSELF. “I am in despair.700 commanded to look and live. Christ has given you abundance of teachers.” Not in you. There sits in your pew with you to-day a man of your own rank and calling. The Lord meets you where you are. Sinner. and you feel that he cannot pardon you for other people’s sake.” Here it is again for his name’s sake. here are children of God themselves saved by sovereign grace. if you do not understand it. by putting the reason of your salvation altogether in himself. let him come unto me and drink. Shall I remind you of one or two texts which will surely satisfy you? “I. to you. WHY GOD SHOULD FORGIVE SUCH A PERSON AS I AM. OR OUT OF MYSELF.

he will not cast you out. there is therefore yet a reason by which he can save thee. . and polluted the air thou breathes.” his every attribute says. “I will in no wise cast out. will not you praise his grace? “Yes. for the bigger the sinner thou be the more glory to him if he saveth thee. “But if I come. and brought to heaven. this is a flat contradiction. he shall never hear the last of it. and sing “Unto him that loved us. there is a reason in His own promise. you are the very man that will answer God’s design.” His love says. it is His own Word. What is God’s design in saving men? When he brings them to heaven. that is no hindrance to his saving you. and washed us from our sins in his blood. lest the enemy deny thy might.” Why. for his own sake. “Save him. “Save him. Here is another reason why God should save thee. if you are ever saved. even thee. and you come without it. for who shall love so much as he who has had much forgiven. Whoever you may be. I will bring up that text again.” God’s wisdom pleads. cries. oh.” You say. what will be the result of it? Why. and the Lord will not refuse to honor his own Word. If there be anything that is necessary in order for a soul to come. that they may love and praise his name for ever. for thou hast said ‘I will. Remember. unto him be glory. there is a reason in every attribute of God why you should be saved. I can see no reason why he should save me. do you not see. “He may for such-and-such a reason. His truth cries. with its hoarse voice. If he can cast you out because you have not some necessary qualification. yet there is the promise.” Now. yet he can save thee. God cannot lie. and who shall praise so loudly as he whose mighty sins have been overcome by the mighty love and goodness and grace of God? Thou canst not say that it does not meet thee. the Word of him that cannot lie. whatever you may not be.” said one old man who had long lived in sin.’” His power says. though thou canst find none in thyself. for I will praise him throughout eternity. and if salvation be given for a reason only in himself.“Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out. and whatever you may be. perhaps there is a heart here that will be able to cast anchor on it.” but you say.” and even Justice. You come. and as it has no limit in it plead it. if you believe in Jesus Christ.” You are just the man. “Save him.” I answer. “if he ever does bring me to heaven. that he puts his own design before your eyes to show you that if you have no reason in yourself. for here is a motive and a reason. lest men doubt thy judgment. There still is room for thee to hope.701 sinner that ever cursed God’s earth. “Save him. then his Word is not true. He says. the two cannot stand. you are the man. “Save him.

he bid you come to him. Will you not come when Christ beckons. And whosoever will.702 “Save him.” “Come unto me. that I dare not. “but I am WITHOUT COURAGE. that ye believe on Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. and comes to you just where you are. come. “Oh. and I will give you rest. Whose septre pardon gives. and eat. Christ comes to meet you where you are. I wish I could do the same but I cannot.” “The Spirit and the bride say. buy wine and milk without money and without price. for Jesus Christ’s gospel is an available gospel. come. Perhaps he may command my touch. and without any sort of reason why he should save you. yea. trembling soul.” “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” says one. I will show you that there is no fitness wanted. but he .” You are without faith in Christ. I am such a timid. he has put it to you in the light of a command. that when I hear that others trust to Christ I think it must be presumption. than those the Savior uses. trembling though thou art. I dare not believe on Christ. come. all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” How sweetly he puts it to you.” I am trying to fish in deep waters after some of you that have long escaped the net. And then the suppliant lives. let him take the water of life freely. come.” Knowing that you would neglect the invitation. come ye to the waters. “Ah! that cannot mean me. for God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. he meets you as such. IV. because you think you are not fit. I dare not. and bids you trust him. you have said. O sir. I will be clear of your blood this morning. “This is the commandment. Without moral or mental qualification. if we confess our sins. that you are commanded now to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as you are. “I’ll to the gracious king approach. and thou shalt be saved. O sinner. We proceed to our fourth point.” Very well. buy. And let him that heareth say. What! is an invitation from him too little a thing for you. come ye. “Ho. every one that thirsteth. I am kept under by such a sense of sin. And let him that is athirst. by very tender invitations. I know when I have given free and full invitations. and he that hath no money. it would look as if I were flying in the face of justice if I were to dare to trust Christ. I do not know where more wooing words could be found. say in thy soul.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. and then to rejoice in the pardon of my sin. when with his loving face streaming with tears.

nor effeminate. David the adulterer and murderer of Uriah. “Eat. nor thieves.” Manasseh the bloody persecutor. nor drunkards. I am an outrageous sinner!” Well now. and yet washed “whiter than snow. for sometimes a black word will drive a soul to Christ where a bright word would not draw it.” but the king says.703 that believeth not shall be damned. “Ah. nor covetous. but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus. sir. There was Lot. and yet he was taken among the thorns. nor revilers. And such were some of you: but ye are washed. so that you may follow their example. “Ah. “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish.” Why. and God had mercy on him. and nothing will save it but the medicine. Like the mother. if these do not induce thee to come. but only out of love to it that it may be saved. who had cut Esaias in two. Ah. glory be to thine Almighty grace. there are some of them so bad that when we have read the description. The weary wing made the poor dove fly to the ark: and the thunderbolts of God’s justice are only meant to make thee fly to Christ the Lord. and yet a saint of God. and yet. In 1 Corinthians 6:9. Other sinners have been saved. timid sinner. disobedient. and by the Spirit of our God. she threatens the child. or I will punish you. even the threat itself has no anger in it. and such thou canst save still. What shall I say of Saul of Tarsus. “Neither fornicators.” says he. my Master has sweetly met your want of courage by bringing many others. so my Master hath decoy-birds that are to draw others to him. nor extortioners. Lot! guilty of drunkenness and incest. O. “you have not hit my case yet.” What a generous and liberal command. what can overcome thy sinful diffidence? “But. Fears of hell sometimes make men flee to Jesus. brethren. “I will command the man to do it. hear the Word of the Lord. nor abusers of themselves with mankind. I will hit it this time. but I am not fit to accept the invitation. . who when the child is near to die. O God! such hast thou saved. As fowlers sometimes have their decoy-birds. sawing him in halves. and yet saved? Sinner. once more. and the child will not drink. can you not trust in Jesus after this? Hear ye the Word of the Lord again (Titus 3:3-5). the persecutor of God’s people? and the robber dying on the cross for his crimes. we wish to forget the sin. who says. others he has cleansed who did but trust him.” Like a poor hungry man with bread before him. it would be presumption on my part to eat. nor adulterers. So the Lord doth add threatenings to commands.” says one. and yet. but ye are sanctified. shall inherit the kingdom of God.” He thought you would say. Beloved. nor idolaters.” “Well. what horrible descriptions there are here.

poor sinner. but according to his mercy he saved us. and hating one another. the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” see how he puts it from his own experience. for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared.” and therefore worthy of yours. “I was before a blasphemer. for the kindness and love of God towards man appears in the person of Christ. But God. even as others. not by works of righteousness which we have done.“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy. and you that hate others. fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” Now. serving divers lusts and pleasures. “and worthy of all acceptation. according to the prince of the power of the air. even when we were dead in sins. hateful. (by grace ye are saved. for his conversion and salvation are a pattern to all those who should believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering.” One more passage. it is Paul who speaks (1 Timothy 1:13). you that are full of malice and envy. wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world. which is in Christ Jesus. who is rich in mercy. because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. hath quickened us together with Christ. you hateful sinners. So sinner. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh. O that this last passage might comfort some of you. and I do hope they will attract some of you (Ephesians 2:1-3): “Dead in trespasses and sins.” “Ah” says one “but he would not save any more. living in malice and envy. . This is a faithful saying. of whom I am chief. “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. timid as you are. here is the gate open even for you.” So that if you trust as Paul did. and I will not weary your attention. for God’s words are more than mine. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love. here Jesus meets you. for his great love wherewith he loved us.”-mark this-he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus. ) and hath us up together. and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Listen to another. you shall be saved as Paul was. unto life everlasting.” What for? “That in the ages to come. and injurious: but I obtained mercy. and were by nature the children of wrath.704 deceived.” Let me go on — . and a persecutor.

But yet more. I hear one more complaint. he has given you of his Spirit. but when God. I will bear the blame for ever. in your inability. call me a false prophet in the day of the resurrection. then. if he casteth one of you away that shall trust him. but had rather that he should turn unto me and live. how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him. can you not believe then? I do think God’s promise-so sure. that you do not repent as you ought. Surely you can believe when the promise and the oath compel you to faith. First. but come to him. thou canst not believe. and ask him to forgive your impenitence. as if he knew that even this were not enough. nor of fitness fondly dream.“As I live. that is your difficulty. “If ye being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children. because he believeth not on the Son of God. Turn ye. so stedfast-must overcome this inability of yours. Soul. I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth.” Can you not believe now? What. “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him. Come as you are: if he rejecteth one of you. You are sinful. promises. But I pawn my life upon it-I stake my own soul’s interest on this-that whosoever cometh unto him. I will in no wise cast out. turn ye. then. do not let the devil tempt you to believe that you are too sinful. why will ye die. that cannot lie.705 O. will you not believe. Come. “will Jesus come just where I am?” Yes. and this is your greatest sin. not only make God a liar but-let me shudder when I say it-will you think that God can perjure his own self? God forbid you should so blaspheme. Do not do this. just where you are. that promise must be true! But next. Remember.” “Let not conscience make you linger. You are black.” saith one. he will in no wise cast out.” Cannot you believe now? Why. “Him that cometh to me. and be clean. I wish I could say a word that would lead you poor tearful ones to look to Jesus. O house of Israel. he has taken an oath with it-and a more awful oath was never sworn.” Surely with this you can . as if he knew that this would not be enough. God meets you. sinner. “I am WITHOUT STRENGTH. O.” Fitness is not needed-do but come to him. and you do not feel your blackness as you ought-that makes you all the blacker. You say you cannot believe. V. saith the Lord. will you doubt God when he swears it. he meets you with his promises. he that believeth not hath made God a liar.

706 believe. believe Christ now. except ye trust in Jesus now. sinner. who I feel in my soul will never have another invitation. There are some of you standing in these aisles and sitting in these pews. but you shall go down to hell impenitent. if ye will neglect it how can ye escape? With tears I would invite you. if ye will be damned. unsaved. would compel you to come in.” Do not think of it. and no warnings shall ever move you. “I will think of it. At your peril reject the voice that speaks from heaven. He will save you. sirs. “But. and if this be rejected to-day. when it thrusts itself in your way.” saith one. I feel a solemn motion in my soul-I think it is of the Holy Ghost-that you will never hear another faithful sermon. if I could. You have deserved the deepest hell. “But. do it at once for this is God’s gospel. for you slight the joys above. I speak not as a man. for Jesus’ sake. trust now. if ye make up your mind that no mercy shall ever woo you. that is not what God commands you to do.” saith one. do it now. God save you. and I command you. in God’s name. Amen. Why will ye not? O souls. “I will try. . oh. When it comes right home to you. no. do not try. God help you to trust him even now. for “he that believeth not shall be damned.” How shall ye escape if ye neglect so great salvation. if you trust in Jesus. then. trust Jesus. no trying is wanted. what chains of vengeance must you feel that slight these bonds of love.” No. and. but I speak as God’s ambassador to your souls.

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