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when the Holy Spirit took the work in hand, when he brought home the law to the conscience, when he poured his pure light into the soul, the man saw with amazement, that the seed of every sin was there, the man felt that in himself, that is in his flesh, dwelt no good thing. All his virtues now appeared but "splendid sins," and his sins appeared of a most aggravated character. Now he knew what Paul experienced when he said, “ Sin revived, and I died.” Yes, he died to all hope of heaven by any works of his own. He died to all hope in anything, and everything, but the perfect work of Christ. “I died." Then the life of Jesus was put forth in him. Then the Holy Spirit imparted new principles, suggested new thoughts, awakened new hopes, and brought him into a new world. The proud philosopher became a little child, and the learned teacher of others sat down at the feet of Jesus, to learn what are the first principles of the oracles of God. Reader, has this ever been your experience ? Have you thus been stripped of your fancied good works P Have you seen all your comeliness turn to corruption P Have you realized, that in you, that is in your flesh, there is not one good thing ? Have you seen yourself a debtor to do the whole law, and at the same time perceived that you had not done any part of it? Have you been made willing to be saved by free and sovereign grace alone? Have you committed yourself to Jesus, and engaged him to be your surety, to pay all your debts, meet all your responsibilities, and answer all demands that shall be made upon you? If Bo, you may say with the Frenchman, not only, “I AM A GREAT SINNER,” but you may add,
"I HAVE A GREAT SURETY.” This is glorious! What need I fear, though my debts are never so numerous, though the sum total be never so large, if I have a surety wealthy enough, and who has bound himself to discharge the whole. This is just the case with the true believer, and this aecounts for the peace he enjoys, and the comfort he experiences, even when looking forward, to appear before God in judgment. He asks, Why should I fear P Satan may reply, and at times conscience may echo his words, “ You are a great sinner!" This is true, he says, and he feels sorrow of heart while he admits it, but he exclaims, “I have a great Surety !" Nor is there any compari, son between the debts he has contracted and the wealth of his Surety, who has undertaken to discharge them. Between his sins, and the merit of his Saviour. His are the sins of a creature, but the merit placed against them is the merit of the incarnate God. His sins are finite, the merit of Christ is infinite. He is but the creature of a day, his Surety is the ETERNAL God. If the Son of God undertakes to discharge his
debts, he will do so honourably. If the Son of God undertakes to satisfy the demands of God's violated law for him, he will magnify that law and make it honourable. If the Son of God undertakes to meet the claims of Divine justice, he will so meet them, that justiee shall be satisfied, and turn round and become the sinner's friend. But Jesus does undertake to do all this, for those who believe in his name; therefore every believer who has committed his case to Jesus, may say with the humbled philosopher, “I am a great sinner, but I have a great Surety."
Reader, every sin must be accounted for, every farthing of your debts must be paid, either by yourself, or else by a surety for you. Can you satisfy God's law and justice for all, and every one, of your sins, your. self! Can you pay every farthing of your debt yourself? It must be paid. God never compounds with sinners. He never says, “ If you do the best you can, my meroy, or my Son, shall make up the rest." No, never, God will have the whole from you, or he will have none. You must be saved by grace alone, or by works alone ; you never can be saved by works and grace together. You must, therefore, make up your mind, either to satisfy the justice of God for your sins, or eternally suffer the consequences ; or else you must, as a poor lost sinner, repair to the Lord Jesus Christ, and exercising faith in him, plead with him to be your Surety. If you do the former, your doom is sealed for ever; you are lost, and lost to all eternity. There is not one ray of hope for you. But if you do the latter, your salvation is certain. Jesus is pledged to res ceive you, for he has said, “ I will in no wise cast out.” Jesus is bound to save you, for he has promised, “ He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.” Let me beseech yout as a poor lost sinner, to go to the Lord Jesus Christ at once; cast yourself at his feet, cry to him for mercy, plead his own precious word, nor rest until, by the Spirit in your heart, he shall say, “I am your salvation." You have every encouragement, for he has saved thousands of sinners just like you; he is saving such now, this day, this hour, and he will gladly save you. Go to him then, as the French mathematician did, renounce everything of your own, and accept his sal-3 vation as it is proclaimed in the Gospel; then in the midst of trials and temptations, on the bed of sickness, and in the prospect of death, you will be enabled with confidence to say, “I AM A GREAT SINNER, BUT I HAVE A GREAT SURETY !"
TWO QUESTIONS FOR THE CHRIS
1. ARE SOULS PERISHING? What a question! How solemn! Ought it not to penetrate our hearts and stir our nature to its very depths ? A soul is the noblest production of Divine Power, one of the finest displays of the creative wisdom of God, intend. ed to live for ever. It may change. It may perish. But it can never be annihilated. It must live. It must be conscious. It must be happy or miserable. It must live in conscious happiness or misery for ever. It must be saved to enjoy the highest honours and the sweetest pleasures ; or it must be lost, and suffer the deepest degradation, and most exquisite torments for ever. No being is placed in such a solemn position as man, between heaven or hell; and placed there to make his election, his election for eternity. Angels are above danger, confirmedin Christ; deyils are below hope, reserved unto eternal fire; but man is placed on earth between the two, warned to escape from the one, and in. vited to ascend to the other. Every man makes his own election; he chooses heaven, by embracing Christ; or he chooses hell, by rejecting the Saviour...