Sermon 111. A Mighty Saviour
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 4, 1857, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
"Mighty to save."-Isaiah 63:1.
THIS, of course, refers to our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, who is described as "coming from Edom with dyed garments from Bozrah,"and who, when it is questioned who he is, replies, "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." It will be well, then,at the commencement of our discourse to make one or two remarks concerning the mysteriously complex person of the man andGod whom we call our Redeemer, Jesus Christ our Saviour. It is one of the mysteries of the Christianreligion, that we are taught to believe that Christ is God, and yet a man. According to Scripture, we hold that he is"very God," equal and co-eternal with the Father, possessing, as his Father doth, all divine attributes in an infinite degree. He participatedwith his Father in all the acts of his divine might; he was concerned in the decree of election, in the fashioning of thecovenant; in the creation of the angels, in the making of the world, when it was wheeled from nothing intospace, and in the ordering of this fair frame of nature. Before any of these acts the divine Redeemer was the eternalSon of God. "From everlasting to everlasting he is God." Nor did he cease to be God when he became man. He was equally "Godover all, blessed for evermore," when he was "the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief," as before his incarnation. We haveabundant proof of that in the constant affirmations of Scripture, and, indeed, also in the miracles which he wrought. Theraising ofthe dead, the treading of the billows of the ocean, the hushing of the winds and the rending of the rocks, with all thosemarvellous acts of his, which we have not time here to mention, were strong and potent proofs that he was God, most trulyGod, even when he condescended to be man. And Scripture, most certainly teaches us, that he is God now, that he shares thethrone of his Father-that he sits "high above all principalities and powers, and every name that is named," and is the trueandproper object of the veneration, the worship, and the homage of all worlds. We are equally taught to believe that he isman. Scripture informs us that, on a day appointed, he came from heaven and did become man as well as God, taking upon himselfthe nature of a babe in the manager in Bethlehem. From that babe, we are told, he did grow to the stature of manhood, andbecame "bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh," in everything except our sin. His sufferings, his hunger, above all, hisdeath and burial, are strong proofs that he was man, most truly man; and yet it is demanded of us by the Christians religion,to believe, that while he was man he was most truly God. We are taught that he was a "child born, a son given," and yet, atthe same time, the "Wonderful, the Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father." Whosoever would have clear and rightview of Jesus, must not mingle his natures. We must not consider him as a God diluted into deified manhood, or as a mere manofficially exalted to the Godhead, but as being two distinct natures in one person; not God melted into man, nor man madeinto God, but man and God taken into union together. Therefore, do we trust in him, as the Daysman, the Mediator, Son of God,and Son of Man. This is the person who is our Saviour. It is this glorious, yet mysterious being, of whom the text speaks,when it says, he is mighty-"mighty to save."
That he is mighty we need not inform you; for as readers of the Scriptures you all believe in the might and majesty of theIncarnate Son of God. You believe him to be the Regent of providence, the King of death, the Conqueror of hell, the Lord ofangels, the Master of storms, and the God of battles, and, therefore, you can need no proof that he is mighty. The subjectof this morning is one part of his mightiness. He is "mighty to save." May God the Holy Spirit help us inbriefly entering upon this subject, and make use of it to the salvation of our souls!
First, we shall consider what is meant by the words "to save;" secondly, how we prove the fact that he is "mighty to save;", thirdly, the reason why he is "mighty to save;" and then, fourthly, the inferences which are to be deduced from the doctrine that Jesus Christ is "mighty to save."
I. First, then, WHAT ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND BY THE WORDS "TO SAVE?"
Commonly, most men, when they read these words, consider them to mean salvation from hell. They are partially correct, butthe notion is highly defective. It is true Christ does save men from the penalty of their guilt; he does take those to heavenwho deserve the eternal wrath and displeasure of the Most High; it is true that he does blot out "iniquity, transgression,and sin," and that the iniquities of the remnant of his people are passed over for the sake of his bloodand atonement. But that is not the whole meaning of the words "to save." This deficient explanation lies at the root ofmistakes which many theologians have made, and by which they have surrounded their system of divinity with mist. They havesaid that to save is to pluck men as brands from the burning-to save them from destruction if they repent. Now, it means vastly,I had almost said, infinitely more than this. "To save" means something more than just delivering penitents from going downtohell. By the words "to save," I understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire, the firstspiritual conviction, onward to complete sanctification. All this done of God through Jesus Christ. Christ is not only mightyto save those who do repent, but he is able to make men repent; he is engaged not merely to carry those to heaven who believe,but he is mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them; he is mighty not merely to give heaven to one who wishesfor it, but he is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, to constrain the despiser of his name to bend hisknee before him, and to make the most abandoned reprobate turn from the error of his ways.
By the words "to save," I do not understand what some men say they mean. They tell us in their divinity that Christ came intothe world to put all men into a salvable state-to make the salvation of all men possible by their own exertions. I believethat Christ came for no such thing-that he came into the world not to put men into a salvable state, but into a saved state; not to put them where they could save themselves, but to do the work in them and forthem, from the first even to the last. If I believe that Christ came only to put you, my hearers, and myself into a statewhere we might save ourselves, I should give up preaching henceforth and for ever; for knowing a little of the wickednessof men's hearts, because I know something of my own-knowing how much men naturally hate the religion of Christ-I should despairof any success in preaching a gospel which I had only to offer, its effects depending upon the voluntary acceptance of itbyunrenewed and unregenerate men. If I did not believe that there was a might power, and which turns them from the errorof their ways by the mighty, overwhelming, constraining force of a divine and mysterious influence, I should cease to gloryin the cross of Christ. Christ, we repeat, is mighty, not merely to put men into a salvable condition, but mighty absolutelyand entirely to save them. This fact I regard as one of the grandest proofs of the divine character of the Bible revelation.I havemany a time had doubts and fears, as most of you have had; and where is the strong believer that he not sometimes wavered?I have said, within myself, "Is this religion true, which, day after day, I incessantly preach to the people? Is it the correctone? Is it true that this religion has an influence upon mankind?" And I will tell you how I have reassured myself. I havelooked upon the hundreds, nay, upon the thousands whom I have around me, who were once the vilest of the vile-drunkards,swearers, and such like-and I now see then "clothed and in their right mind, "This must be the truth, then, because Isee its marvellous effects. It is true, because it is efficient for purposes which error never could accomplish. It exertsan influence among the lowest order of mortals, and over the most abominable of our race. It is a power, an irresistible agentof good; who then shall deny its truth. I take it that the highest proof of Christ's power is not that he offers salvation,notthat he bids you take it if you will, but that when you reject it, when you hate it, when you despise it, he has a powerwhereby he can change your mind, make you think differently from your former thoughts, and turn you from the error of yourways. This I conceive to be the meaning of the text: "mighty to save."
But it is not all the meaning. Our Lord is not only mighty to make men repent, to quicken the dead in sin, to turn them fromtheir follies and their iniquities. But he is exalted to do more than that: he is mighty to keep them Christians after hehas made them so, and mighty to preserve them in his fear and love, until he consummates their spiritual existence in heaven.Christ's might doth not lie in making a believer, and then leaving him to shift for himself afterwards;but he who begins the good work carries it on; he who imparts the first germ of life which quickens the dead soul, givesafterwards the life which prolongs the divine existence, and bestows that mighty power which at last bursts asunder everybond of sin, and lands the soul perfected in glory. We hold and teach, and we believe upon Scriptural authority, that allmen unto whom Christ has given repentance must infallibly hold on their way. We do believe that God never begins a good workin a manwithout finishing it; that he never makes a man truly alive to spiritual things without carrying on that work in his souleven to the end, by giving him a place amongst the choirs of the sanctified. We do not think that Christ's power dwells inmerely bringing me one day into grace, and then telling me to keep myself there, but in so putting me into a gracious state,and giving me such an inward life and such a power within myself that I can no more turn back than the very sun in the heavenscan stay itself in its course, or cease to shine. Beloved, we regard this as signified by the terms "mighty to save."This is commonly called Calvinistic doctrine; it is none other than Christian doctrine, the doctrine of the holy Bible; fordespite that it is now called Calvinism, it could not be so called in Augustine's days; and yet in Augustine's works you findthe very same things. And it is not to be called Augustinism; it is to be found in the writings of the apostle Paul. And yetit wasnot called Paulism, simple for this reason, that it is the expansion, the fulness of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.To repeat what we have before said, we hold and boldly teach that Jesus Christ is not merely able to save men who put themselvesin his way and who are willing to be saved, but that he is able to make men willing-that he is able to make the drunkard renouncehis drunkenness and come to him-that he is able to make the despiser bend his knee, and make hard hearts melt beforehis love. Now, it is ours to show that he is able to do so.
II. HOW CAN WE PROVE THAT CHRIST IS "MIGHTY TO SAVE?"
We will give you the strongest argument first; and we shall need but one. The argument is, that he has done it. We need no other; it were superfluous to add another. He has saved them, in the full extent and meaning of the word which we have endeavoured to explain. But in order to set this truthin a clear light, we will suppose the worst of cases. It is very easy to imagine, say some, that when Christ's gospel is preachedto some here who are amiable andlovely, and have always been trained up in the fear of God, they will receive the gospel in the love of it. Very well,we will not take such a case. You see this South Sea Islander. He has just been eating a diabolical meal of human flesh; heis a cannibal; at his belt are slung the scalps of men whom he has murdered, and in whose blood he glories. If you land onthe coast he will eat you, too, unless you mind what you are after. That man bows himself before a block of wood. He is apoorignorant debased creature, but very little removed from the brute. Now, has Christ's gospel power to tame that man, totake the scalps from his girdle, to make him give up his bloody practices, renounce his gods, and become a civilised and Christianman? You know, my dear friends, you talk about the power of education in England; there may be a great deal in it; educationmay do very much for some who are here, not in a spiritual, but in a natural way; but what would education do with thissavage: go and try. Send the best schoolmaster in England over to him: he will eat him before the day is up. That willbe all the good of it. But if the missionary goes with Christ's gospel, what will become of him? Why, in multitudes of cases,he has been the pioneer of civilisation, and under the providence of God has escaped a cruel death. He goes with love in hishands and in his eyes; he speaks to the savage. And mark ye, we are telling facts now, not dreams. The savage drops his tomahawk.Says he, "It is marvellous; the things that this man tells me are wonderful, I will sit down and listen." He listens,and the tears roll down his cheeks; a feeling of humanity which never burned within his soul before is kindled in him. Hesays, "I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ;" and soon he is clothed and in his right mind, and becomes in every respect a man-sucha man as we could desire all men to be. Now, we say, that this is proof that Christ's gospel does not come to the mind thatisprepared for it, but prepares the mind for itself; that Christ does not merely put the seed into the ground that has beenprepared beforehand, but ploughs the ground too-ay, and harrows it, and does the whole of the work. He is so able to do allthis. Ask our missionaries who are in Africa, in the midst of the greatest barbarians in the world-ask them whether Christ'sgospel is able to save, and they will point to the kraal of the Hottentot, and then they will point to the houses of theKuraman, and they will say, "What has made this difference, but the word of the gospel of Christ Jesus?" Yes, dear brethren,we have had proofs enough in heathen countries; and why need we say more, but merely to add this-we have had proofs enoughat home. There are some who preach a gospel which is very well fitted to train man in morals, but utterly unfitted to savehim, a gospel which does well enough to keep men sober when they have become drunkards. It is a good thing enough to supplythemwith a kind of life, when they have it already, but not to quicken the dead and save the soul, and it can give up to despairthe very characters whom Christ's gospel was most of all intended to affect. I could a tale unfold, of some who have plungedhead-first into the blackest gulfs of sin, which would horrify you and me, if we could allow them to recount their guilt.I could tell you how they have come into God's house with their teeth set against the minister, determined that say what hewould they might listen, but it would be to scoff. They stayed a moment; some word arrested their attention; they thoughtwithin themselves, "I will hear that sentence." It was some pointed, terse saying, that entered into their souls. The knewnot how it was, but they were spell-bound, and stood to listen a little longer; and by-and-bye, unconsciously to themselves,the tears began to fall, and when they went away, they had a strange, mysterious feeling about them that led them to theirchambers. Down they fell on their knees; the story of their life was all told before God; he gave them peace through theblood of the Lamb, and they went to God's house, many of them to say, "Come and hear what God hath done for my soul," andto
"Tell to sinners round
What a dear Saviour they had found."
Remember the case of John Newton, the great and mighty preacher of St. Mary, Woolnoth,-an instance of the power of God tochange the heart, as well as to give peace when the heart is changed. Ah! dear hearers, I often think within myself, "Thisis the greatest proof of the Saviour's power." Let another doctrine be preached: will it do the same? If it will, why notlet every man gather a crowd round him and preach it. Will it really do it? If it will, then the blood ofmen's souls must rest upon the man who does not boldly proclaim it. If he believes his gospel does save souls, how doesthe account for it that he stands in his pulpit from the first of January till the last of December, and never hears of aharlot made honest, nor of a drunkard reclaimed? Why? For this reason, that it is a poor dilution of Christianity. It is somethinglike it, but it is not the bold, broad Christianity of the Bible; it is not the full gospel of the blessed God, for thathas power to save. But if they do believe that theirs is the gospel, let them come out to preach it, and let them strive withall their might to win souls from sin, which is rife enough, God knows. We say again, that we have proof positive in caseseven here before us, that Christ is mighty to save even the worst of men-to turn them from follies in which they have toolong indulged, and we believe that the same gospel preached elsewhere would produce the same results.
The best proof you can ever have of God's being mighty to save, dear hearers, is that he saved you. Ah! my dear hearer, it were a miracle if he should save thy fellow that stands by thy side; but it were more a miracle ifhe should save thee. What art thou this morning? Answer! "I am an infidel," says one; "I hate and despise Christ's religion."But suppose, sir, there should be such a power in that religion that one day thou shouldst be brought to believe it! Whatwouldst thou say then? Ah! I know thou wouldst be in love with that gospel for ever; for thou wouldst say, "I above almen was the last to receive it; and yet here am I, I know now how, brought to love it." Oh! such a man when constrained tobelieve makes the most eloquent preacher in the world. "Ah! but," says another, "I have been a Sabbath-breaker upon principle,I despise the Sabbath, I hate utterly and entirely everything religious." Well, I can never prove religion to you to be true,unless it should ever lay h old of you, and make you a new man. Then you will say there is something in it. "We speakthat we do know, and testify that we have seen." When we have felt the change it works in ourselves, then we speak of facts,and not of fancies, and we speak very boldly too. We say again, then, he is "mighty to save."
III. But now it is asked, WHY IS CHRIST "MIGHTY TO SAVE?" To this there are sundry answers.
First, if we understand the word "save," in the popular acceptation of the word, which is not, after all, the full one, thougha true one-if we understand salvation to mean the pardon of sin and salvation from hell, Christ is mighty to save, because of the infinite efficacy of his atoning blood. Sinner! black as thou art with sin, Christ this morning is able to make thee whiter than the driven snow. Thou askest why.I will tell thee. He is able to forgive, becausehe has been punished for thy sin. If thou dost know and feel thyself to be a sinner, if thou hast no hope or refuge beforeGod but in Christ, then be it known that Christ is able to forgive, because he was once punished for the very sin which thouhast committed, and therefore he can freely remit, because the punishment has been entirely paid by himself. Whenever I geton this subject I am tempted to tell a story; and though I have told it times enough in the hearing of many of you, othersofyou have never heard it, and it is the simplest way I know of setting out the belief I have in the atonement of Christ.Once a poor Irishman came to me in my vestry. He announced himself something in this way: "Your reverence, I'm come to axyou a question." "In the first place," said I, "I am not a reverend, nor do I claim the title; and in the next place, whydon't you go and ask your priest that question?" Said he "Well, your riv-sir, I meant-I did go to him but he did not answerme to mysatisfaction, exactly; so I have come to ask you, and if you will answer this you will set my mind at peace, for I ammuch disturbed about it." "What is the question?" said I. "Why this. You say, and others say too, that God is able to forgivesin. Now, I can't see how he can be just, and yet forgive sin: for," said this poor man, "I have been so greatly guilty thatif God Almighty does not punish me he ought; I feel that he would not be just if he were to suffer me to go withoutpunishment. How, then, sir, can it be true that he can forgive, and still retain the title of just?" "Well," said I, "itis through the blood and merits of Jesus Christ." "Ah!" said he, "but then I do not understand what you mean by that. It isthe kind of answer I got from the priest, but I wanted him to explain it to me more fully, how it was that the blood of Christcould make God just. You say it does, but I want to know how." "Well, then," said I, "I will tell you what I think to be thewhole system of atonement, which I think is the sum and substance, the root, the marrow, and the essence of the gospel.This is the way Christ is able to forgive. Suppose," said I, "you had killed some one. You were a murderer; you were condemnedto die, and you deserved it." "Faith," said he, "Yes I should deserve it." "Well, her Majesty is very desirous of saving yourlife, and yet at the same time universal justice demands that some one should die on account of the deed that is done. Now,how is she to manage?" Said he, "That is the question. I cannot see how she can be inflexibly just, and yet suffer meto escape." "Well," said I, "suppose, Pat, I should go to her and say, 'Here is this poor Irishman, he deserved to be hanged,your Majesty; I don't want to quarrel with the sentence, because I think it just; but, if you please, I so love him that ifyou were to hang me instead of him I should be very willing.' Pat, suppose she should agree to it, and hang me instead ofyou; whatthen? would she be just in letting you go?" "Ay," said he, "I should think she would. Would she hang two for one thing?I should say not. I'd walk way, and there isn't a policeman that would touch me for it." "Ah!" said I, "that is how Jesussaves. 'Father,' he said, 'I love these poor sinners; let me suffer instead of them!' 'Yes,' said God, 'thou shalt;' and onthe tree he died, and suffered the punishment which all his elect people ought to have suffered; so that now all who believeon him,thus proving themselves to be his chosen, may conclude that he was punished for them, and that therefore they never canbe punished." "Well," said he, looking me in the face once more, "I understand what you mean; but how is it, if Christ diedfor all men, that notwithstanding, some men are punished again? For that is unjust." "Ah!" said I, "I never told you that.I say to you that he has died for all that believe on him, and all who repent, and that was punished for their sins so absolutelyand so really, that none of them shall ever be punished again." "Faith," said the man, clapping his hands, "that's thegospel; if it isn't, then I don't know anything, for no man could have made that up; it is so wonderful. Ah!" he said, ashe went down the stairs, "Pat's safe now; with all his sins about him he'll trust in the man that died for him, and so heshall be saved." Dear hearer, Christ is mighty to save, because God did not turn away the sword, but he sheathed it in hisown Son'sheart; he did not remit the debt, for it was paid in drops of precious blood; and now the great receipt is nailed to thecross, and our sins with it, so that we may go free if we are believers in him. For this reason he is "mighty to save," inthe true sense of the word.
But in the large sense of the word, understanding it to mean all that I have said it does mean, He is "mighty to save." Howis it that Christ is able to make men repent, to make men believe, and to make them turn to God? One answers, "Why by theeloquence of preachers." God forbid we should ever say that! It is "not by might nor by power." Other replying, "It is bythe force of moral suasion." God forbid we should say "ay" to that; for moral suasion has been tried longenough on man, and yet it has failed of success. How does he do it? We answer, by something which some of you despise,but which, nevertheless, is a fact. he does it by the Omnipotent influence of his Divine Spirit. Whilst men are hearing theword (in those whom God will save) the Holy Spirit works repentance; he changes the heart and renews the soul. True, the preachingis the instrument, but the Holy Spirit is the great agent. It is certain that the truth is the means of saving, but it istheHoly Ghost applying the truth which saves souls. Ah! and with this power of the Holy Ghost e may go to the most debasedand degraded of men, and we need not be afraid but that God can save them. If God should be please, the Holy Spirit couldat this moment make every one of you fall on your knees, confess your sins, and turn to God. He is an Almighty Spirit, ableto do wonders. In the life of Whitfield, we read that sometimes under one of his sermons two thousand persons would at onceprofessto be saved, and were really so, many of them. We ask why it was. At other times he preached just as powerfully, and notone soul was saved. Why? Because in the one case the Holy Spirit went with the Word, and in the other case it did not. Allthe heavenly result of preaching is owing to the Divine Spirit sent from above. I am nothing; my brethren in the ministryaround are all nothing; it is God that doeth everything. "Who is Paul, who is Apollos, and who is Cephas, but ministers bywhom yebelieved, even as God gave to every man." It must be "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord." Goforth, poor minister! Thou has no power to preach with polished diction and elegant refinement; go and preach as thou canst.The Spirit can make thy feeble words more mighty than the most ravishing eloquence. Alas! alas! for oratory! Alas! for eloquence!It hath long enough been tried. We have had polished periods, and finely turned sentences; but in what place have the peoplebeen saved by them? We have had grand and gaudy language; but where have hearts been renewed! But now, "by the foolishnessof preaching," by the simple utterance by a child of God's Word, he is pleased to save them that believe and to save sinnersfrom the error of their ways. May God prove his Word again this morning!
IV. The fourth point was, WHAT ARE THE INFERENCES TO BE DERIVED FROM THE FACT THAT JESUS CHRIST IS MIGHTY TO SAVE?
Why, first, there is a fact for ministers to learn-that they should endeavour to preach in faith, nothing wavering. "O God,"cries the minister at times, when he is on his knees, "I am weak; I have preached to my hearers, and have wept over them;I have groaned for them; but they will not turn to thee. Their hearts are like the nether mill-stone; they will not weep forsin, nor will they love the Saviour." Then I think I see the angel standing at his elbow, and whisperingin his ear, "Thou art weak, but he is strong; thou canst do nothing, but he is 'mighty to save.'" Bethink thyself of this.It is not the instrument, but the God. It is not the pen wherewith the author writes which is to have the praise of his wisdomor the making of the volume, but it is the brain that thinks it, and the hand that moves the pen. So in salvation. It is notthe minister, it is not the preacher, but the God who first designs the salvation, and afterwards uses the preacher to workit out. Ah! poor disconsolate preacher, if thou hast had but little fruit of thy ministry, go on still in faith, rememberingit is written, "My word shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and prosper in the thingwhereto I sent it." Go on; be of good courage; God shall help thee; he shall help thee, and that right early.
Again, here is another encouragement for praying men and women, who are praying to God for their friends. Mother, you havebeen groaning for your son for many a year; he is now grown up and has left your roof, but your prayers have not been heard.So you think. He is as gay as ever; not yet has he made your breast rejoice. Sometimes you think he will bring your grey hairswith sorrow to the grave. It was but yesterday you said, "I will give him up, I will never pray forhim again." Stop, mother, stop! By all that is holy and that is heavenly, stop! Utter not that resolution again; beginonce more! Thou hast prayed over him; thou didst weep over his infant forehead, when he lay in his cradle; thou didst teachhim when he came to years of understanding and thou hast often warned him since; but all of no avail. Oh! give not up thyprayers; for remember, Christ is "mighty to save." It may be that he waits to be gracious, and he keeps thee waiting, thatthou mayestknow more of his graciousness when the mercy comes. But pray on. I have heard of mothers who have prayed for their childrentwenty years; ay, and some who have died without seeing them converted, and then their very death has been the means of savingtheir children, by leading them to think. A father once had been a pious man for many years, yet never had he the happinessof seeing one of his sons converted. He had his children round his bed, and he said to them when dying, "My sons, I coulddie in peace, if I could but believe you would follow me to heaven; but this is the most sorrowful thing of all-not thatI am dying, but that I am leaving you to meet you no more." They looked at him, but they would not think on their ways. Theywent away. Their father was suddenly overtaken with great clouds and darkness of mind; instead of dying peacefully and happily,he died in great misery of soul, but still trusting in Christ. He said, when he died, "Oh! that I had died a happy death,forthat would have been a testimony to my sons; but now, O God, this darkness and these clouds have in some degree takenaway my power to witness to the truth of thy religion." Well, he died, and was buried. The sons cam to the funeral. The dayafter, one of them said to his brother, "Brother, I have been thinking, father was always a pious man, and if his death wasyet such a gloomy one, how gloomy must ours be, without God and without Christ!" "Ah!" said the other, "that thought struckme too."They went up to God's house, heard God's Word, they came home and bent their knee in prayer, and to their surprise theyfound that the rest of the family had done the same, and that the God who had never answered their father's prayer in hislife had answered it after his death, and by his death too, and by such a death as would appear to be most unlikely to havewrought the conversion of any. Pray on, then, my sister; pray on, my brother! God shall yet bring thy sons and daughters tohis loveand fear, and thou shalt rejoice over them in heaven, if thou never dost on earth.
And finally, my dear hearers, there are many of you here this morning who have no love to God, no love to Christ; but youhave a desire in your hearts to love him. You are saying, "Oh! can he save me? Can such a wretch as I be saved?" In the thickof the crowd there you are standing, and you are now saying within yourself, "May I one day sing among the saints above? MayI have all my sins blotted out by blood divine?" "Yes, sinner, he is 'mighty to save;' and this iscomfort for thee." Dost thou think thyself the worst of men? Does conscience smite thee as with a mailed fist, and doeshe say it is all over with thee; thou wilt be lost; thy repentance will be of no avail; thy prayers never will be heard; thouart lost to all intents and purposes? My hearer, think not so. He is "mighty to save." If thou canst not pray, he can helpthee to do it; if thou canst not repent, he can give thee repentance; if thou feelest it hard to believe, he can help theetobelieve, for he is exalted on high to give repentance, as well as to give remission of sins. O poor sinner, trust in Jesus;cast thyself on him. Cry, and may God help thee to do it now, the first Sabbath of the year; may he help thee this very dayto cast thy soul on Jesus; and this will be one of the best years of all thy life. "Turn ye, turn ye; why will ye die, O houseof Israel?" Turn unto Jesus, ye wearied souls; come unto him, for lo, he bids you come. "The Spirit and the bride say come;and let him that heareth say come; and whosoever will let him come and take of the water of life," and have Christ's gracefreely. It is preached to you, and to all of you who are willing to receive it, it has been already given.
May God of his grace make you willing, and so save your souls, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.