Page images

I. Briefly to explain what we are to understand by salvation

II. To show that this salvation is in Christ, and in him alone; And then

III. To apply the subject especially in reference to the object of our present meeting.

I. I would briefly explain what we are to understand by salvation.

Salvation implies danger and misery, and sometimes ruin. When a person is threatened with any calamity, and escapes it, he may be said to be saved from it. When he is dangerously sick, and recovers; or is involved in any affliction, and is delivered out of it, he experiences a temporal salvation. So also, when a man is condemned to die, and receives a pardon, he is saved. And when a person has become habituated to vice, and has lost his influence, reputation, and usefulness, and sunk into a state of moral degrailation ; if he afterwards breaks off from his vicious courses, reforms his life, and pursues a contrary and virtuous course, so as to regain his reputation, influence, and usefulness in society, he is said to be saved from ruin. These remarks


assist us in understanding the salvation of the gospel.

The salvation of the gospel implies danger, misery, and ruin; and was provided for persons in such condition. Such is the condition of mankind. They have sinned against God, their creator, and rightful sovereign. They have transgressed his righteous law; and by reason of transgression have incurred its dreadful curse, which is death, or eternal misery; and are by the law condemned to suffer this curse; and are really now, in a greater or less degree, in a suffering state, which is the commencement of the execution of the curse. They have also lost the image of God, so that they are morally in ruins, destitute of any

disposition to the holy service of God, unfit for the enjoyment of God, averse to holiness, in love with sin, and prone to evil in the sight of God continually.

To deliver our sinful race from this danger, and recover them out of this misery and ruin, the salvation revealed in the gospel was provided. This salvation is deliverance from the execution of the sentence of the divine law, dooming the sinner to the second death. It is the forgiveness of sin, and the restoration of the sinner to the forfeited favor of God. It is the renovation of the depraved heart, and the restoration of the lost image of God

to the soul. It is, in short, deliverance from the punishment, the power, and the love of sin; and restoration to the image, the favor, and the enjoyment of God; and after becoming prepared for it here, through sanctification of the Spirit, admission to the perfect and eternal joys of heaven. Such is a brief explanation of what we are to understand by the salvation spoken of in our text.

II. This salvation is in Christ, and in him alone. That there is salvation for sinners of our race, in and through Christ, is clearly implied in the text; and is explicitly asserted in numerous other passages of Scripture. This truth is the grand theme of the Scriptures, both of the Old Testament and the New. Salvation by Christ was the import of the first promise after the fall; viz. that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. The same was the substance of many other of the promises of the Old Testa

To predict this salvation the prophets were inspired; and to prefigure it numerous types were instituted. This salvation was the grand tidings which the angel was sent to announce to the shepherds, and which was the subject of the song of praise of the heavenly host which hovered over Bethlehem at the birth of the Savior, and


this was the grand theme of the instructions of Christ himself when he was upon earth ; and of the preaching and writings of his inspired apostles after his ascension to glory.

To provide this salvation, the Son of God became incarnate, and obeyed the law, and suffered, and died. Though being in the form of God, and esteeming it not robbery to be equal with God, he thus humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, that he might remove the difficulties in the way of the sinner's salvation, and purchase eternal redemption for us. And he did succeed in this work. By the union of the divine nature with the human, the atonement he made for sin was of infinite value ; and the Father accepted his work, for the purposes for which he performed it. In him there is salvation ; and in, and through him, the sinner may obtain the pardon of his sins, deliverance from condemnation, the renovation and sanctification of his nature, the favor of God, and eternal life. And in and through him alone, can this salvation be obtained. This is explicitly asserted in the text. "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” This is the point to which I would more



particularly call the attention of the audience, as adapted to the present occasion.

There is salvation in Christ alone. Several passages of Scripture, besides the text, explicitly affirm this. Such are the following. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life ; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”—“ I am the way—no man cometh unto the Father but by

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be dam

“ Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." " There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." “ He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” These passages are most explicit, that there is salvation for sinners of our race in none but Christ.

The same is taught by the fact, that no other way of salvation is suggested any where in the revealed word of God. The Bible, which God has graciously given to men to guide them into the way of truth and duty, and salvation while it

« PreviousContinue »