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mentality, by the instrumentality of just such persons as yourself? And that a word spoken, with prayer for the blessing of the Holy Spirit, very often accomplishes the momentous work ? Can you believe these important truths, and yet day after day, 'pass sinners and not speak to them? O methinks if we really believed what we profess to be. lieve-it we really felt as we ought to feel, we should pray for perishing sinners without ceasing-and never let a favourable opportunity slip, without a word of warning, a pointed appeal, a loving invitation, or the utterance of some impressive portion of God's holy word. Surely our hearts must be colder than ice, harder than adamant, and more insensible than steel, to allow any one near us to perish without an effort to save him!
Come, sinners, to the Gospel feast;
THE SINNER AND THE SAVIOUR.
“ Lord, save me.” So cried Peter, when he was sinking in the waves, and so must every one cry, that desires to be saved from the wrath to come. Peter's situation very well represents the sinner's. He was in the vessel, and was safe. But he was dissatis. fied with his position. Without a command, on a bare permission, he left the safety of the vessel, and ventured on the water, the element of destruction. He soon found himself sink. ing. He cried to his Master, who stretched out his hand and caught him, led him across the waves ; and placed him once more in the vessel safe. So the sinner kept not his first estate, but listening to temptation, he ven. tured in his own strength on forbidden ground, thus he came into imminent danger, and now there is neither help nor hope for him, but in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus can save him from sinking into the bottomless pit, but Jesus only. To the reader of these lines, who in a spiritual sense, is in as great danger as ever Peter was in a physical one, I shall suppose the Saviour, in answer to his cry, proposing seven questions.
" Do you need to be saved ?” That is, do you really feel that you are lost, ruined, and undone ? That if left to yourself your case is desperate, as Peter's on the water would have been ? Do you need one to undertake your case and obtain for you pardon, peace, righteousness, holiness, strength, and a title to eternal life? If so, “Do you desire to be saved ?” That is, do you feel that salvation is the one want of your soul, and do you hunger for it, as the hungry man for food ; and thirst for it, as the thirsty man for drink ? Do you desire salvation, more than a sick man would desire health, or a poor man gold, or a fettered slave liberty P We never know ourselves to be really lost, until we desire salvation more than life itself. “ Do you believe that I can save you?” Jesus always requires faith. Do you then believe, that the Lord Jesus can take you just as you are, and procure for you the pardon of all your sins, the justification of your person, the sanctification of your nature, and a title to eternal life? That he can do all this for such a sinner as you are. That he can save you now? “ Are you willing to be saved by me?” Jesus saves, but only as a favour. He saves the sinner entirely, and claims all the praise and glory. He never helped a sinner to save himself, nor he never will. If you are saved by Christ, you must come to his terms, put yourself into his hands, and 318
let him save you without money and without price. You must give up all hope in your. self, in anything that you can do, or suffer, or experience, and let Christ save you altother." He must do the work, and while you get the benefit, he must have the praise. “ Do you believe that I am willing to save you ?” Jesus has invited all the weary and heavy laden, all the thirsty, and all of every class and condition who will, to come to him and find rest, refreshment, and salvation : and he has solemnly pledged his word, that he will cast out none that come unto him. Every one that ever came has been received and saved. Greater proof of his willingness to save sinners, he cannot give. Do you then believe that Jesus is willing to save you? He requires you to do so, and if you are willing to be saved by him, he is heartily willing to save you, and to save you now. “If I save you, will you serve me?" Jesus first saves, and then employs. He wishes to confer on you the greatest favour that he can, and then he wishes you to do what you can for him. The service he requires, is the service of saved souls. Having saved the soul fully, he wishes it to serve him cheerfully. " Are you prepared to be saved now, just as you are?” Jesus never will, never can be more willing to save you, than he is at this moment: and if you are willing to be saved in your present cold, hard-hearted, polluted,
and miserable condition, he is willing to save you. He does not wish you to get better first. He does not wish you to feel fitter for him. He wishes to save you, just as you are now. Better you never will be, until you are saved. Fitter for Christ you never will be, than you are at this moment.
Reader, how is it to be ? Do you need salvation? Do you desire to be saved ? Do you believe that Jesus can save you? Are you willing to be saved by Jesus P Do you be. lieve that Jesus is willing to save you? If he saves you, will you serve him? Are you willing to be saved now, just as you are ? If so the matter is settled at once, and in less than five minutes you are saved, and saved for ever. Cast yourself at the feet of Jesus, surrender yourself to Jesus, commit your soul into the hands of Jesus, and you are saved. - All things are ready, it is only be. lieve-only venture on Jesus, only confide in his word and work, and you are delivered from the wrath to come. Then, delay no longer, hesitate no more, but at once, and once for all, cast your soul on him and find peace. In vain do you wait for a fitter frame. In vain do you hope to be more prepared for Jesus. He asks nothing of you. He requires nothing from you. He has all, every thing you need, and he bids you come to him and receive. Cry then to him, as Peter did, “ Lord, save me :" and the hand that