THE METHOD OF MERCY
Soul, dost thou feel the power of thy own corruption?-Are these thy meek, yet bitter cries? 0 hear, and may thy God enable thee to believe, the glad tidings of His own salvation!
Thou art a sinner, it is true; and thy mercy it is to see, in due measure, how great a sinner thou art. It is the first line in the large book of humiliation, which thou must be reading all thy life long. But Christ died for sinners such as thou art; for all sinners that come unto God by Him; for the vilest of sinners that see and feel the vileness of sin, and bemoan it, as thou dost. He saved Mary Magdalene the harlot, Matthew the publican, Paul the persecutor, Peter the swearer, liar, and denier of his Master, the malefactor on the cross, who had been a thief and a murderer, and ten thousand more like these; and He hath just the same power, and means, and mercy to save thy soul, even thine.
He saves graciously, that is, freely: because no wisdom nor worth of man have contrived, or could have obtained, this greatness of salvation. It was planned in grace, and performed by grace. It is all of grace, and bounty, and love, from beginning to end.
For this purpose He came into the world and took our nature upon Him. He took it in its meanest and humblest form; and was content to be born in a stable, to be brought up by a labouring man, to labour with him too, to suffer the worst evils of human life, and the sorest pains of human death, that so He might be an oblation or sacrifice in the stead of His people, and render an atonement to the justice of God for them. These sufferings and this atonement are the debt due to the law and holiness of God, without which, consistently with His attributes. He could not spare the sinner, but by which He can be both just, and yet the Justifier of him who taketh refuge in Jesus. Yea, this dear Saviour having paid the penalty due to his transgressions, God is now faithful and just to forgive him his sins, or rather, more faithful and just to forgive them, than He could be in laying on the punishment again, which Christ endured in their behalf.
Christ also lived upon earth to fulfil all righteousness; and He fulfilled it completely for His redeemed. He makes Himself over to them; and all He hath is theirs, through faith in Him. Thus they have a right to call Him, what He is, “The Lord our Righteousness.” God is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake, and beholds every poor sinner who trusts in Christ, and lives in Him, as unblamable and unreprovable in His own most piercing sight, yea, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. This righteousness is that garment of salvation, which covers them wholly, and fits them perfectly for the kingdom of heaven. Contrite soul, believest thou this? Is this good news, the very gospel or good news of God? Search and see. Read and pray over thy Bible, and thou wilt find that it is the very voice and will of thy Lord. O that the fallow, the hard and barren ground of thy heart may be so broken up by His power, as to welcome this joyful news, like the thirsty soil receiving showers from the skies!
From the Christian Remembrancer