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draws sinners savingly to close with Christ, implies an act of divine grace. Nothing short of the power of God can raise sinners to life, and cause them to unite to Christ by faith and love. Qualifications for salvation, therefore, are of grace, as much as salvation itself. Salvation is of God. "This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." The prophet proceeds, and observes thus, "Lord thou wilt ordain peace for us; for thou also hast wrought all our work in us."*
The apostle is abundant, and very particular, in teaching us that salvation is of grace. In his Epistle to the Ephesians, he says, "by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Faith is of grace, as well as salvation itself; therefore he adds, "Not of works, lest any man should boast." To prove salvation by grace, the apostle grounds his argument upon this truth, that man by nature is dead in sin. "God who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he hath loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ; by grace are ye saved."+ Hence, sinners are no less dependent on grace to be raised to spiritual life, than they are to be raised to salvation itself.
And as Satan was the agent, by whose guile mankind were thrown into a state of moral death, so, agreeably to prediction, his head must be bruised, before sinners can be raised from that wretched condition.
Some think that God could consistently give repentance to singers without the atonement. But how would it be consistent for God to bring rebels to repentance until Satan their leader be subdued?
To turn rebels against their leader prior to his being conquered, would be implicitly seeking aid from men, to assist in conquering the serpent. But, "I have
* Isa. xxvi, 12.
† Eph. ii.
trodden the wine press alone, says Messiah, and of the people there was none with me."
Besides, on the ground on which God can consistently give repentance, he can give pardon. That repentance and all holy exercises are gifts of grace, is as evident as that pardon of sin is of grace. If God mean to pardon any, and designs not to pardon any but the penitent, then he must give repentance to those whom he means to pardon. For if he do not give them repentance, he will never have an opportunity to grant them a pardon. What if God should say to a sinner dead in sin, Arise to spiritual life by your own strength, without any aid from me; or come to Christ without being drawn of the Father, and I will pardon your sins: On such a proposal, no one ever would, or ever could be pardoned. If God wait for sinners to repent of themselves in order to receive a pardon, the grant will never be made. If, therefore, God intend to save a sinner, he must give him repentance; and, if salvation is of grace, so is repentance. It would answer no purpose to make provision for pardon and salvation, but none for the gift of repentance: God, therefore, hath exalted his Son "with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins." The glory and the praise therefore of the whole building, from the first foundation to the head-stone of the same, belong to Jesus Christ. God is under obligation to fulfil all his promises to his beloved Son Jesus; but what Christ has done in the work of redemption in making atonement for sin, brings God under no obligation to the sinner. The salvation of the sinner is of grace, and God remains a Sovereign still Atonement diminishes nothing from the freeness of grace. It lessens not the Divine Sovereignty; it encroaches not upon the divine prerogative. God has a right, notwithstanding the atonement, to do his pleasure with rebel man. God will glorify his name, that is, promote the good of his kingdom, by the salvation or destruction,
352 The Victory of Christ over his Enemies,
of those who have rebelled against him. "So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy-Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." God has a sovereign right to leave sinners to perish in the service of him whom they have chosen to serve; or to deliver them from the power and captivity of Satan, and save them with an everlasting salvation. "Shall the spoil be taken away from the mighty? or shall the prey seized by the terrible be rescued? Yea, thus saith JEHOVAH; even the prey of the mighty shall be re-taken, and the spoil seized by the terrible shall be rescued: And all flesh shall know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour; and that thy Redeemer is the Mighty One of Israel "*
Salvation "by grace through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ," is entirely consistent with all the perfections of God. Christ having, by a bruise upon his heel, destroyed Satan, and put to flight all the powers of darkness; it is consistent with truth and justice, for God to save the penitent returning rebel. Or thus, nearly in the very words of St. Paul. Through the atonement of Christ, God can be just and the Jus. tifier of him that believeth in Jesus. According as things have been represented in the foregoing discourse, salvation is altogether of the mercy of God. All the saved of the Lord will ever be sensible that they were indebted for their salvation to the "rich mercy" of God.
According as some writers represent the doctrine of atonement, God is bound by strict and rigid justice. to exempt from punishment all those for whom Christ died. They say that Christ suffered as the sinner's substitute all that which the sinner deserved to suffer; justice therefore requires that the sinner should not suffer. Consequently grace, and the riches of divine mercy are entirely excluded The sentiment of a
*Dr. Lowth's translation of Isa. xlix, 24—26.
tertain author on the doctrine of atonement is expressed thus: "If Christ died for all and all are not saved, the purposes of his death are in many instances frustrated, and he has shed his precious blood in vain. To suppose this would be derogatory of the infinite perfections of the great Redeemer" According to this, God is bound by the law of necessity, either to save all for whom Christ died, or frustrate in many instances the purposes of his death, and treat his precious blood as a vain thing. which would dis parage the infinite perfections of the great Redeemer. But it is inconsistent with the perfect character of God, to do any thing which shall expressly, or implicitly, treat the precious blood of his beloved Son as a vain thing. God therefore must, or tarnish his own ⚫ character, save all for whom Christ died. They, therefore, who embrace this article in the Calvinistic scheme, say that "all will certainly be saved for whom Christ died." Such are reduced to the necessity either to say that all mankind will certainly be saved, or that Christ did not die for all. You must, therefore, consent to one of these three things, either first, that Christ did not die for all, or secondly, be a Universalist, or thirdly, renounce the scheme of substitution. Those of you who believe that Christ has died for all, and yet believe that this doth not imply universal salvation, are constrained to renounce the substitution scheme, and approve of the doctrine as illustrated in the foregoing work; and therefore join in celebrating the rich mercy and free grace of a sovereign God, in the salvation of apostate man.
Christ has laid a foundation for the salvation of millions; and the Father, through the blood of his beloved Son, by the special influences of the Holy Spirit, will form them into a kingdom: whose happy employment will be to ascribe glory, honour and thanksgiving to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, for ever and ever.
VI. Christ, in the work of redemption, having de stroyed the works of the devil, renders it suitable, that this glorious Conqueror of the serpent, and the Captain of our salvation, should be the Supreme Judge in the great day of account. In the day of judgment, Christ will not only appear as the Captain of salvation; but he will appear as a mighty Conqueror. We shall see him in that day "sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." We shall see him on a glorious throne, with all the ensigns of victory, having Satan, whose head he had bruised, beneath his feet, and absolutely at his control. We shall see all those, whom he had delivered from the power of Satan, "a great multitude which no man .could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues, stand before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." And we shall hear them cry, "with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb" And we shall see all the angels, and all the heavenly hosts before the throne worshipping God, and "saying Amen: blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen. And the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
Let us all be careful then to prepare for this glorious, this solemn day! Let us imitate Christ;-let us resist the devil as he did. Let us be patient in tribulation; "for if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him; but if we deny him, he also will deny us." Blessed then are they who will be found in that day, as having come out of great tribulation, "who have washed their robes; and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." How blessed it will be to have him for our friend, who was able by his own power and skill, to bruise the head of the serpent, and to lead