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are worthless, but with his own precious blood. God himself first announced to Adam that a Saviour would come; additional revelations were afterwards made; fresh beams of light from time to time were emitted upon the world, till the Sun of righteousness himself came with the effulgence of the Gospel.
This is a great salvation in reference to its provisions for deliverance from wrath, and admittance to glory.
The stain of sin is so deep that nothing but the blood of Christ can wash it out. Sin, an inexorable tyrant, rules with a rod of iron, and binds his vassals in chains. What this tyranny is, the tragical history of the world affords melancholy evidence. We see families ruined in estate and happiness, their reputation blasted and their hopes blighted; we see interminable discords in neighbourhoods and communities; we see oppression, violence, and murder; we see kingdoms drenched in blood. From all this does salvation grant us final deliverance. It does more than this: it saves us from the wrath
It is salvation from the sting and the fear of death. It does still more: it not only frees the believer from the galling chains and the "filthy rags" of sin, but it places on his head a crown of life, and clothes him in robes
of righteousness and garments of salvation. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath covered me with the robes of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." Thus it gives to the slaves of Satan the " “power to become the sons of God.” It grants to the children of wrath the privilege to become “ heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” It puts believers under the mild dominion of grace. It gives them the indwelling of the Spirit, to overcome the power of indwelling sin. It brings them into a state of favour with God, sealing them by the Spirit unto the day of complete redemption. It brings them into the enjoyment of God's loving-kindness, which is better than life. It takes the vassals of Satan, and places them on
a throne. him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my
throne; even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne;" there to enjoy a life of God, a life of promise in heaven, a life of happiness, a life of glory, and such a life forever and ever.
Second. This salvation is great; it not only delivers from all evil, and grants blessings of
infinite value ; it is not only a complete salvation in every respect, but it is a suitable one. It is suitable to the sinner, because it is near. The sinner's case requires a speedy relief. Its advantages are near, and its offer is near. On God's part all things are now ready. The jailer obtained speedy relief, and so may others. The terms of this salvation are suitable to the sinner's case. He cannot purchase salvation, and therefore he must have it as a gift, if he have it at all. Its nature is suited to the sinner's wants. Does he need pardon ? he may
have it. Does he need repentance ? he may have it. Does he need grace and mercy ? these, too, he may freely have. The security it offers is suited to the sinner's desires. It is security, and that alone, which can satisfy him. And what security can be greater than God's covenant promise, confirmed by an oath? It puts believers in a sure possession of eternal blessings.
SECTION VII. Certainty of salvation to true believers.--First. The first argument for the certainty of the believer's salvation, is drawn from the immutability of the divine purposes. In all the controversies among Christians about divine decrees, scarcely any have ventured to allege that God has not determined the salva
tion of believers. If all who believe will not be infallibly saved, it must be either because God changes his purposes, or because he falls short of accomplishing them. But the divine purposes must be unchangeable, because he is so himself. “I am the Lord, I change not."
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
And as God cannot change his purposes, so he cannot fall short of accomplishing them. · And we have the sure word of God, that those who believe shall be saved." Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Now the word and purpose of God must stand. 66 The
withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever." 66 The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back ?" “ None can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou ?” We thus have the purpose and promise of God. We have more than this: there is a covenant; this covenant has seals appended to it for its ratification; the Lord Jesus Christ is the surety of this covenant; the blessings of this covenant were purchased by the blood of the Son of
God; the purchase is made over by way of legacy to believers ; this testament, being confirmed by the death of the testator, is unalterable; the Holy Spirit is left, if we may so speak, as executor of this will; and hence no believer can fail of salvation.
Second. We have another argument in the experience of believers. We may here lay down the proposition, that all believers at death attain the full possession of this great, complete, suitable, and eternal salvation. But without insisting on this, we maintain that believers, even in this life, have some experience of this salvation. We do not say that all have the same degree of it, or that all can give equally distinct accounts of their experience. But all may understand that salvation comprehends a deliverance from evil, and a grant of all that is good. All true believers have experience, that a gracious deliverance from wrath is begun. Before they gave their hearts to the Lord, they were brought to see destruction as it were before them, and they beheld it with “a fearful looking for of wrath and fiery indignation.” While trembling on the verge of ruin, they discovered the Lord Jesus Christ. They saw his sufficiency, and understood the terms of safety.