Page images

But in the next place, observe further, he says, "ALL that the Father giveth me shall come unto me." Observe, then, beloved brethren, here is no doubtful issue. ALL shall come. There can be no doubt whatever, because he that speaks the word is possessed now of the power to put that word into effect. But some will say, perhaps, And what is there so great in this, that ALL shall come? Beloved brethren, to bring a sinner to Christ requires the same exercise of Almighty and sovereign power, as it did at first to create the world and bring it out of nothing. Think not it is a small matter to bring a sinner to Jesus.. Consider the state in which you are by reason of sin-consider the total corruption of your nature-consider what you are in the flesh, how that in your flesh dwelleth no good thing, and “he that is born of the flesh is flesh;" yea, it is corrupt flesh also, and that none of its propensities tend heavenward, but all tend to the ground from whence we were first taken out. Beloved brethren, what are we but dust and ashes, yea, sinful dust and ashes? We are under the bondage of Satanwe are under the corruption of sinwe are the children of wrath, even as others, until we come to the blessed knowledge of Jesus Christ, by the power of his Spirit. There is no good thing in us; there is no power; nay, there is no will whereby we may come to GoD in Christ Jesus. There are two texts which show both the one and the other. "No man," says he,


gave the church away, so as to be absolutely and completely out of his hands. When the Father gave the church to Christ, he did not give them to Christ so absolutely, but that he held them fast in his own hands, so that we may say that the church has always been secure in the hands of the Father and of the Son together. Hence Jesus says, in the tenth chapter of John, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one." Here, then, we have the church of Christ in the hands of Christ and of the Father.

And so likewise, beloved brethren, there is one thing more I will call to your attention, which is this, the care which Jesus takes of those whom GoD the Father hath put into his hands. We see, in the seventeenth chapter of John, when he comes to give an account of them, he says, "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine." And then he says again, "Whilst I was with them in the world I kept them in thy name and now come I unto thee." Now, he says, I am no more in this world, and, therefore, having kept them, as it were, until he could keep them no longer, for he was now about to die; therefore, in consequence of his care over their persons he gives them over again into those very hands from which he received them, in order that they might be kept safe and secure from all harm. Oh, then, the blessed view of this truth, that Jesus Christ so keeps his people, whom the Father hath given to him, that he will suffer them to pass into no other hands but those of the Father, from whom he received them.

can come unto me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him." And again he says, concerning the will, "Ye WILL not come unto me that ye might have life." What, then, shall we say, when both these powers are corrupt? What can we, poor sinful mortals, do? Therefore we depend on the drawing of GOD's Holy Spirit; we depend on the teaching of

God our Father; for it is said, con- never know any thing but flesh. Man, cerning all God's elect, that “all thy in his unconverted state, is incapable children shall be taught of the LORD; of rising above that state ; and so in and great shall be the peace of thy converted people, the flesh that still children." And Jesus himself hath remains in them is incapable of rising taught us, that “It is the Spirit that higher than itself; therefore, a man who worketh in us to will and to do of his has a true and spiritual faith, it comes own good pleasure."

down from above ; it is implanted in BUT THEN WHAT IS IT TO COME? him by the mighty power of the Spirit Let us explain the words as we find of the living God, sent forth from the them explained for us. To come is no hands of Christ Jesus his Saviour. other than to believe. Hence, in the Now, then, Jesus says “ All that the sixth of John, “I am the head of life; Father giveth me shall come.” And, he that cometh to me shall never hun blessed be God, this has been fulfilled, ger; and he that believeth on me day after day, even down unto the preshall never thirst.” Again, in the sent time. All those that have been seventh of John, “In the last day, given, all these shall come to Christ. that great day of the feast, Jesus stood But how do they come? It is by the and cried, saying, If any man thirst preaching of the Gospel—it is by the let him come unto me and drink. He power of the word in their souls; for, that believeth on me, as the Scripture as the Apostle Paul says to the Ro. hath said, out of his belly shall flow mans, " Faith cometh by hearing, and rivers of living water.” We see, then, hearing by the word of God.” Be. in both cases, the word coming'explain- loved brethren, then it is a most sure ed by the word believing—and, beloved and certain truth, that God's elect, brethren, so it is that faith is not of be they scattered wherever they may our own power, but it is the gift of in the midst of this wicked, and sinful, God. Oh! faith is something greater and lost generation, amongst whom we than many are apt to imagine. Faith live, God will find opportunities, God is not the bare believing with the head will find means, God will find minia certain portion of truths which are sters, GOD will raise a testimony contained in the Divine word; but it which those that are dead shall hear, is the inward power of the soul-it is and hearing shall come forth unto life. the implantation of the Spirit of God Yes, beloved brethren, all must be -it is a firm persuasion concerning brought to him. Our present state, those things which are spoken in indeed, is comparable to the state of God's word—it is giving a firm assent the children of Israel during their -a laying hold on those truths and bondage in Egypt. We find that those testimonies which God hath Pharaoh oppressed them—we find that given us in his word concerning his their task-masters oppressed them Son and concerning salvation by him. and we find that Pharaoh did all that The faith of a natural man is but a he could to prevent their exodus from natural faith ; the faith of a spiritual the land of Egypt, but still how could man is a spiritual faith. In order to he, or all his opposition, stand against have a spiritual faith we must first be the unchangeable and firm purpose of made spiritual men; for in our natu- GoD ? because God had said, at a cerral state we are incapable of any thing tain period of time, that they should above nature. We know, beloved come forth; therefore all Pharaoh's brethren, that things cannot rise above endeavours were vain, and forth they their own level, so that the flesh can must needs come. We see, therefore,

that although Pharaoh endeavoured to | nothing but sin, yet, blessed be God! he views us not as sinners, but he views us as saints; he views us as righteous-he views us as perfect, clothed with the perfection, with the loveliness, and with the holiness of Christ Jesus, his well-beloved Son.

compromise the matter, for, after certain of the plagues of GoD had fallen on him he would have let part of them go, but still he says, your little ones and your cattle must stay behind. But no, the word of God, by the mouth of Moses, is this, "We will go with our young and our old, we will go with our wives and our children, yea, with our flocks and our herds we will go, and not a hoof shall remain behind." Oh! this is the case with the church of GOD in this present time. There is not a single member of Christ's mystical body but must, in GoD's appointed time, be brought to the knowledge of GOD; and every one of those so put into the hands of Christ, at the set time, must be brought home to the spiritual light and life, and become heirs of the everlasting kingdom which GOD hath prepared for them that love him. "All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me."

For see, beloved, how this comes to pass, because the man who comes to Christ is, as we know, a believer in Christ; and so in the sixth of John we have believing in Jesus set forth under a blessed figure. What is it? "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." He that eateth Christ in the same manner as the food enters into the body, and so becomes as it were a part of the body, so, likewise, he who feedeth on the Lord Jesus Christ becomes a part of him, and we are really and truly united unto Christ, our head, our husband, our sovereign, and our Lord; we are truly one with him, and he is truly one with us. There is this blessed union between Christ and his people, and between his people and the Lord Jesus Christ. By reason of this union, whatsoever belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ belongs to me, therefore I have his righteousness, therefore I have his holiness, therefore I have all things, yea, and all things are mine if I am but Christ's; for, as he says, "We are the members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." What more blessed union can there be? What can be more sweet than this, to be made so completely one with Christ our Lord? Then, brethren, if the case be thus, if I have this oneness with Christ, GoD looks upon me not as I am in myself, but as I am in Christ Jesus. Now, then, who shall dare to say, that although in ourselves we are evil and sinful, yet, when considered and viewed in Christ we are or ever can be any thing else than righteous or holy. For, mark what the word of the Lord says

But, beloved, let us now speak a word concerning the blessed state of those who do so come. In what state are they as viewed before GOD? Oh, we feel in ourselves-when we have once felt the arrows of conviction sticking fast within us-we feel-we know we cry out under the sense of it, that we are indeed lost and miserable sinners! We say, with Paul, "I know that in my flesh dwelleth no good thing; I know that I am a sinner; I know that I deserve eternal death; therefore enter not into judgment with me, O Lord! for in thy sight shall no man living be justified;" and therefore it is, that out of the depths we cry unto Gop in the distress of our souls we come unto him, and blessed be the Lord, he heareth our voice, and he does for us exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think. Beloved brethren, though we feel therefore, and know that sin dwelleth in us, and that in ourselves we are




in the fourth chapter of the Canticles. speaks concerning his people, saying, After, in the first chapter, the spouse He hath not beheld iniquity in of Christ had been complaining, “I Israel, neither hath he viewed peram black but comely, O ye daughters verseness in Jacob.” Observe, again, of Jerusalem." Yet Christ speaks to God says, “ I will blot out thy transher in the fourth chapter and says, gressions as a thick cloud, and as a Thou art all fair, my love; there is cloud thy sins.” Now, what blotted no spot in thee.” No spot is to be out is not seen, and cannot be disfound, no wrinkle, no blemish, nor covered. Again, « Blessed is the man any such thing in him, that trusteth in whose iniquities are forgiven, and the Lord Jesus Christ, because he is whose sin is covered.” God covers truly one with him. Beloved bre- all his sins with the blood of Christ. thren, there is no spot in the believers So it is that God doth not behold it, in Jesus as they stand before God. because it is covered with the precious

And let us view it in another way. blood of Christ. Now, some one will We know there is no condemnation say, doth not God know we for them that are in Christ, and why is sinners, and doth he not know every it? It is on account of the righteous- | thought of our hearts, and therefore ness which the believer has in conse- must he not see our sins ? Beloved quence of his union with Christ Jesus. brethren, it is one thing to know We know, beloved brethren, that God them, and another thing to see them. cannot condemn the righteous, and he I may know, at this present moment, that believeth is righteous even as He that this book is under my hand, but is righteous. There is no such thing I see it not because it is covered with as condemnation on this account, be that hand, so God may know that my cause we stand complete in the righte- sins are in me, but he seeth them not, ousness of another, even of Christ our because they are covered with the Lord. But, beloved brethren, observe blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore let the blessedness of it. Being one with the poor trembling sinner hold up his Christ-Christ hath taken away- head; yea, let him hold up the hands Christ hath carried away-Christ hath that hang down, and the feeble knees; borne away,-Christ hath blotted for God will not behold his sins, beout all our sins and iniquities in cause he hath laid them on his wellhis most precious blood. Beloved beloved Son Jesus Christ. This is brethren, accustom yourselves to me- the reason that God does not behold ditate upon this, accustom yourselves sin. It is because he hath put it away to look at the simple word of God, elsewhere—it is because he hath transand to think how great it is, and to ferred it to his Son Jesus Christ, bethink what a blessed word it is when cause he hath laid upon Christ the it says, “ The blood of Jesus Christ, iniquities of us all; and Jesus Christ the Son of God, cleanseth us from all himself, like the scape-goat, hath car. sin.” Now it is not some sin only, it ried them away to the land of forgetis not this sin, nor that sin, nor the fulness : they are no more to be found, other sin, but it is all sin together because “now once in the end of the which is washed and swept away in world hath he appeared to put away the flood of Jesus Christ's most pre- sin by the sacrifice of himself.” By cious blood. Beloved brethren, mark the sacrifice of Christ, sin is abolished how Scripture delights to dwell, to as a cloud is dispersed by the power rest on this truth, the putting away of of the sun. Observe, every cloud consin by the blood of Christ. Yea, so tains many million water drops, but putting it away that God himself I still there are more sins in the be

liever in Jesus than there are drops of But, again, these things I speak not, water in the cloud; but mark when beloved brethren, in order to incite the sun rises, it is able and capable of sinners to sin. God forbid. “Shail dispelling that cloud, so that not one we continue in sin, that grace may drop remains; and so when Christ abound? God forbid.” It is not sothe Sun of Righteousness rises upon nay, it cannot be so, where grace has the sipner by the power of his beams, once made a conquest in the heart, it he puts, away all the sin that is in

is utterly impossible that it can lead a him, he puts it away out the sight of sinner to continue in that state in God, so that God beholds it no more, which he was before. It is of a difbut beholds him in the righteousness ferent principle; and so, beloved breof Christ, and is well pleased with him thren, the person that cometh to Christ, thereby.

and who is in this blessed state before And one thing more will arise out God which I have just mentioned, he of this view of the subject concerning is likewise a sanctified person, because those that come to Christ, which is he is sanctified by faith in Christ Jesus. this, that their state is peculiarly Now then, let us consider this state, blessed, because God, seeing all their not as he is before God but as he is sins upon Christ, and therefore none to himself, as he appears to be in himof them upon themselves, he is not self, and as he is towards man. Beangry with his believing people even loved brethren, the work of the Spirit when they revolt from him, when they of God upon us renews us indeed; know that rebellion still lurks in their but, then, it renews us only in part. heart. Still God is not angry—still Our body is not changed at all by the there is not a drop of wrath in God, power of the Holy Spirit working in for all hath been poured out upon us, it is only subdued; but we are Christ (and God is not angry twice made new creatures in Christ Jesus for the same offence), God will not by the power of the Spirit of God; come upon us, because he hath come and then, that being the case, we have and demanded of Christ the payment, the very image of God himself enand he hath paid in full for all our stamped upon our souls; we are made offences and transgressions. Beloved dew men, and that new man, as Paul brethren, therefore, when we look at says, “is after God, created in righGod in Christ Jesus, let us think of teousness and true holiness.” Bethe words of the prophet, when he loved, we may see perfectly well, from says, “ Fury is not in me.” There is the Epistle of John, what it is to be no wrath in the mind of God towards a sanctified person, that is, that as any soul that trusteth in the Lord many as are the children of God bear Jesus Christ, it is gone, gone for ever. the image of God enstamped upon All the seven vials of that wrath are their souls. Now the person who poured out on the head of Christ who cometh to Christ we know is a bealone was able, who alone could, and liever in Christ; and then what says who alone did bear the whole weight that Apostle concerning the believer? thereof. Therefore now God is well “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is pleased with us in Christ Jesus his the Christ is born of God: and every Son, he beholdeth us clothed in his one that loveth him that begat, loveth perfections, and he is infinitely well him also that is begotten of him." He pleased, because he sees us in the is born of God, saith the Scripture, same light as he sees his Son, now and therefore he is a child of GOD, that he is at his own right hand in and we know that the Father begets in heaven.

his own likeness. So that when God

« PreviousContinue »