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you feel that you are nothing in yourself, and that you can do nothing of yourself? And do you lie at the cross, as a sinner; at the throne as a suppliant; and at your heavenly Father's feet as a little child? If so, happy are you, for God will give you more grace. Expect grace from God, ask grace of God, and use all the grace you receive for God. Proud, unhumbled sinner, you must be brought down. Like Manasseh, you must be humbled, and as a poor, perishing creature crave a pardon at God's hands, and seek sal. vation through the Saviour's blood. You may be made humble, you may enjoy all the good things we have been speaking of. If you would, you must seek them of God, and be willing to receive them as favours from God. The Lord make us all humble, holy, and happy!
Jesus to my soul impart
“Do any persons deceive themselves now !" No doubt they do. They fancy they are Christians, when they are not. They profess Christ, before they are experimentally acquainted with him. They join the church, before they possess the proper qualifications. “ Are the self-deceived ever convinced of self-deception P” Yes, occasionally we meet with a person who has been stripped of all his false coverings by the Holy Spirit, and has been filled with alarm, confusion, and distress. “What would you recommend one to do, who has discovered that he has deceived himself, or is afraid he has ?" We should say to such an one--Admit the fact at once ; never attempt to excuse or palliate it; but go to the Lord in your true character as a self-deceiver, confess your sin, deplore your state, plead the name of Jesus, appeal to the mercy of God, and pray for pardon and a thorough work of grace in your heart. “But is there no hope for a self-deceiver p” Yes, as much as for any other sinner. The blood of Christ is quite sufficient to procure his pardon; and the righteousness of Jesus will justify his soul. It would be a sin, a grievous sin, to set up
the sin of self-deception above the merits of Christ. Christ is able, and Christ is willing, to save a soul that has deceived himself. His words are as applicable to such a character as any other : “ Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” “What, not a self-deceiver P” No, not any one that cometh unto me! “But will not self-deception, long persevered in, be sufficient to procure a refusal P” No, whosoever cometh I will in no wise cast out! You see then that any sinner, and every sinner, be he who he may, or what he may, is warranted to come to Jesus, and is promised a gracious reception. Again, “ Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, but he that believeth not, shall be damned.” The gospel brings glad tidings to every creature, the glad tidings of a certain salvation to every one that believeth. It would not be good news to every creature, if it was not good news to a poor self-deceiver, who, being convinced of his state, and alarmed at his danger, desires to be saved. But the fact is, your salvation is as easy, and as certain, as the salvation of any creature under heaven, if you only receive the message of Jesus, seek to be saved by Jesus, and trust your soul, your cause, your all, in the hand of Jesus. Once more, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” A poor creature who
las deceived himself, and is now convinced of it, calls on the Lord in earnest, fervent prayer, for pardon and sanctification ; then that poor creature must be saved; for “ Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
In a word, salvation is a favour conferred gratuitously on the unworthy, but so con. ferred, that no one can justly say, “I am excluded from it." For, while no one has any right to this favour, which is a free gift of Divine sovereignty, yet any one may have it by applying for it; because God has sent to inform every creature of it, and has promised it to every believer, to every appli. cant, and says in all the languages of the world, to all, to every creature, “ Whosoever will, let him come, and take of the fountain of the water of life freely." “Let him come,” no one must hinder him, or put any impediment in his way, “Let him come," for he has a good warrant, and shall receive a hearty welcome. “Let him come,” at any age, from any place, under any circumstan. ces, though his sins be as scarlet, or red like crimson. "Let him come, and take freely," as though he felt he had a right to it. “ Take freely," as if it were provided on purpose for him, and him alone. “ Take freely," without hesitation, or gainsaying, or doubting. “ Whosoever will, may come;" therefore you, my poor self-deceived brother, may come. You may come now, come just as you are, come, and with the greatest confidence; for no one can exclude you, except you exclude yourself. “But am I bound to confess to man, that I have deceived myself p" You are not bound to confess to man in this case ; and until you have obtained pardon, and found peace, the less you say to man about it the better, except you could meet with a well-experienced and judicious Christian, who could enter into your case, sympathise with you, pray for you, and open up more fully God's mind to you. But when you can rejoice in God's salvation, when you feel in yourself that you are healed, then it would be well occasionally and at proper times to speak of it, to the praise and hon. our of divine grace. As a rule, it is best, even when tempted to believe that we are deceived, or have been under a delusion hitherto, not to reason over the case, but carry it direct to the Lord, and cast the soul afresh into the arms of Jesus, on the ground of some free and general promise. If you cannot go as a Christian, go as a sinner; if you cannot come to God as a child, come as à poor perishing stranger; if you cannot plead any special promise, plead the blood, the free invitation, and gracious assurances of Jesus. If tempted to think all the past has been wrong, go to the Lord as if you had never gone aright before, and seek salva