Page images
PDF
EPUB

everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power, and the lake of fire which burneth for ever and ever.”

We have seen the world in its enmity, ruin, and sin, and as we think of the holiness of God, we may well exclaim that justice, eternal justice, demands punishment without mercy; but, oh, wonder of wonders ! a way

has been found by which God can be just, and the Justifier of the believer; and in this action of our God we learn His love, for we read this very world is that which “God so loved, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”-not the elect world, the refined world, the religious world, but this world of sinners of the deepest dye—this world that in itself deserves nothing but righteous indignation and eternal condemnation.

And now notice the contrast between it and the heart of God. In chapter ii. the love has manifested itself in providing a righteous basis upon which it can act, “Grace reigning through righteousness," not at the expense of it, and so we read of a propitiation, not merely for the Jew, but for the whole world. A Jew understood a mercy-seat; it was a new thing for a Gentile; but the heart of God must take in the whole world—nothing less. So there is a golden seat, upon which blood, precious blood, has been sprinkled, God's claims have been satisfied, justice, holiness, and all His attributes fully, completely, entirely met. Man sinned -Christ died. Man outraged God—that very God provided a

MERCY-SEAT.

In chapter iv. 9 we read, “ In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his Son into the world, that we might live through him.” Sin had reigned unto death, grace now reigns through righteousness unto eternal life. Man had destroyed himself, but God had not changed, and so we find His blessed love delighting itself in conferring upon prodigals, lost and dead,

LIFE ETERNAL.

But the next verse (10) tells us that we are guilty sinners, as well as dead sinners, and so we need an atonement to be made for our guilt. Again God acts, satisfying His own claims, and meeting the sinner's need. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son the propitiation for our sins.” God is holy, we are unholy; none could by any means give to God a ransom for his soul, so God, out of the fulness of His love, provided a

PROPITIATION

for our sins. Man had sold himself to Satan, departed from God, earned hell and destruction; to save, deliver, rescue him from this, God has provided a Saviour (ver. 14), and that Saviour is no less than His beloved Son, through whose name is preached the joyful news of a full, free, present, and eternal

SALVATION.

Nay, more, God has not only wrought this salvation, but Christ having taken our place in judgment, we have His place before God, as a present reality, and the result is,

BOLDNESS

in the day of judgment; and in order to assure our hearts, and give us the enjoyment of our place before Himself, being justified by faith, we have peace with God; all the floodgates being removed, God can let in the mighty tide of His love into our souls, and shed abroad that love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, and thus

EJECT FEAR FROM OUR HEARTS.

Nay, more, in chapter v. we find that one simple act of faith has so connected us with Christ, and all that is Christ's, that we get

VICTORY OVER THE WORLD,

we are

as the result of present association with Christ, the victorious Conqueror, and instead of being “ of the world,” we are delighted to hear Him tell us of God," and praise and adore, as we marvel and say, « Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Beloved, it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John iii. 1, 2.)

It is thus we are entitled to speak who through grace have found our sins atoned for, God's claims met, eternal life given, peace made, fear ejected, boldness conferred, and victory ours, and that through Christ alone, as the divine channel through which God can righteously bless.

Is

my reader a stranger to these things? If so, permit me to direct your earnest, instant, serious gaze to the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, and listen to the word of God. “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," and be privileged to possess and enjoy eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. v. 21); peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. v. 1); joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. v. 11); and a full, final and complete victory over sin, Satan, and death, through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. xv. 57.)

H. N.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Filled! yea filled to overflowing,
Gracious Spirit! what so precious to my soul
As thy sweet presence? What so effectual
To exclude all else—the strivings
Of this " present evil world;" “ the flesh,” “the devil,”
All so ready to intrude upon the heart
Which Thou alone shouldst fill.
Oh, fill, fill, fill my soul,
Leave no room for aught beside.
The ever-living, ever-giving power sent from above
To reign within the temple built for Thine abode !
Why shouldst Thou ever,
Grieved or quenched by me, lie dormant ?
Forbid it, that I should not watch or wait
The coming of the glorious One,
Who promises to make us like unto Himself
On that, to us, bright resurrection morn,
When “we shall see Him as He is.”

109

CORRESPONDENCE.

21. “J. F. B.," Penzance. We do not remember the

paper to which you refer. 22."J. S.," Edinburgh. Your appeal is hardly suitable for our pages.

23. “ C. M. J.," Dawlish. Your lines have come to band.

24. “R. B.,” Oxon. If you were, as you say, so “ careless, in different, and utterly hardened,” we do not think you would have written such a letter to us. The very fact of your writing to ask us what we think of your case, proves, in our judgment, that you are by no means indifferent to the momentous question of your soul's salvation. You say, “My heart is as hard as a stone; and I don't suppose I should ever think or care

Ι one bit about it, if I were not afraid to die, or to think of our Lord's second coming.”

Now, dear friend, if your heart were as hard as a stone, you would not be troubled about your state at all. The very fact of your feeling and deploring the hardness of

your
heart

proves that less, indifferent, and utterly hardened.” Why are you afraid to die? Why do you dread the thought of the Lord's coming ? Whence come these exercises ?' Do you not think the Spirit of God is working in you, in order to make you see your true condition in the sight of God, that you may judge yourself, and look to Christ, in true repentance? It is well you should judge the hardness of your heart—well to feel your guilt and danger-well to be afraid of death or the Lord's coming. There is good cause for all this.

But you have no ground whatever for fearing “ that God has given you over to impenitence.” This is a suggestion of the devil. God has not given you over. He is calling you to come. The door of mercy stands wide open. You never were, and you never can be, more welcome than you are this moment.

What was

you are not "

care

« PreviousContinue »