« PreviousContinue »
SALVATION TO BE OBTAINED
ONLY THROUGH CHRIST.
ACTS [v. 12.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there
is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved *
The most precious gift which man can receive, is the gift of salvation. With this, all other gifts, however precious and however splendid, are not worthy to be named. We may be rich and powerful: we may be, what the world calls, great and honourable ; but still, if we be “ far from God," and without any well-grounded hope of salvation, we are of all creatures in the world the most miser
* There are some who, in order to elude the doctrine contained in these words, have represented them as applicable, not to the soul, but to the body. To justify this representation, they refer us to the connexion. Peter, say they, is here in-. forming the Jews, by what power the man who had been lame from his birth, and “ laid daily at the gate of the Temple called 5. Beautiful,” had been made whole. He declares, that he had been made whole by the power « of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
“ whom the Jews crucified, and whom God raised from the “dead-even by him (it is added) doth this man stand before you
whole. This is the Stone which was set at nought of you * builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is " there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under “ heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved:”that is, say they, healed; for so, they allege, the original word ortivær ought to have been translated. But to this it may
be answered, that ow@nwes is not the most appropriate word to express healing : Had the Apostle meant to convey this idea, it is likely he would have employed either the word Siperiudhes or szenvas.
But supposing that owoñvas might here be translated healing, still it must mean spiritual and eternal healing, that is, salvation; for the Apostle takes it for granted, that both he, and all those whom he addressed, stood in need of this healing. But can we suppose that he and they were all, at that moment, afflicted with bodily disease? Or supposing that they were, yet had the Apostle any warrant to promise all of them supernatural recovery? To what miserable shifts are men put, when they are determined to avoid the peculiar doctrines of Christianity! Among those who interpret this passage so absurdly, I am sorry to find so judicious and eminent a commentator as Dr. Whitby.The truth is, the Apostle, after calling the attention of his hearers to the power of Christ, to restore health and strength to the diseased and infirm body, naturally turns their thoughts to his power, to save the immortal soul. He declares Him to be the only Saviour: “ There is,” saith he, « salvation in no “other--none other name onder heaven, given among meni
whereby we must be saved."
able. Whoever then pretends to the chasacter of a rational being, is inexcusable, and acts in a manner altogether unworthy of his nature, if he neglect to make salvation the subject of his most solicitous inquiry. He ought solicitously to inquire, whether salvation may be obtained—what blessings it includes—and what is the
way in which he may receive it. That salvation may be obtained, he cannot doubt, if he will only believe the word of God: “ Look “ unto me,” saith God, “ and be ye saved, all “ the ends of the earth*.” And the blessings which this salvation includes, are as great and abundant as the capacity of our nature will admit. They are eternal purity and peaceperfection and happiness. They are such as eye
hath not seen, nor ear heard;"-nay, such as it hath not “ entered into the heart “ of man” to conceive. How important then, how necessary, to consider the way in which we can receive them? We can receive them only through the obedience, sufferings, and death of Jesus Christ : 66 There is salvation in no other." Vain man may devise other means of salvation ;
Isaiah xlv. 22.
but unless man be wiser than God, is it possible that these means should ever be
productive of the intended effect? “ The wis" dom” of man " is foolishness with God.” God hath declared, that “ there is none 6 other name under heaven, given among
men, whereby we must be saved,” but the name of Christ.
Let us consider what is requisite to our being saved; and it will then be evident, that we can be saved only by Jesus Christ. Salvation includes our escape from eternal death, and admission to eternal life. That we may enjoy this salvation, then-our sins must be pardoned ;-ample reparation must be made to the divine law, which we have violated ; and we ourselves must be made holy: made meet for the presence and enjoyment of God.
The Society whom I have now the honour to address, deeply impressed with the truth and importance of these things, have felt themselves constrained to propagate zealously, among their unenlightened brethren, CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. who beholds every labour of love “ with a
“ pleasant countenance,” smile upon their “ abundant labours, and crown them with in" creasing success!
First, then, that we may be saved, our. sins must be pardoned.
Need I enter into any elaborate reasoning to
prove, that we are all sinners, and stand in need of pardon ? Alas! this is a melancholy fact, but too fully verified. It admits not even of the possibility of a doubt.--I refer you to the whole history of man, ever since the fatal apostacy of Adam. It has been emphatically styled, a lengthened record of follies and crimes.--I refer you to the general practice of the world, which every open your
view. What day did you ever see, without witnessing the commission of sin—without witnessing deluded men turning a deaf ear to the voice of God, foolishly preferring the interests of the perishing body to those of the immortal soul ; zealous in the pursuit of the things which are seen and temporal, but negligent, if not madly scornful, of those things which are unseen and eternal ?-I refer you to the unerring declarations of the Holy Scrip