Sunday, August 30, 2009

THE LORD'S INVITATION TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH


Preached at Zoar Chapel, London, on July 7, 1844, by J. C. Philpot

"Look unto Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."
(Isaiah 45:22)

When in a solemn moment of spiritual meditation, and such, through mercy, we sometimes have we take a review of what has passed through our hearts, dropped from our lips or occupied our minds, during any space of time, say, the last week, what little genuine religion do we seem to find in our souls. When we separate from the Spirit's work all the doctrines we have learned in the flesh, all the practice we have performed through fear of man, and all the false experience that Satan has deceived us with; and, in a solemn moment, weigh up in the balances of the sanctuary what God has given and taught us, and done in and for us, how small the amount appears. But what a mercy it is to come to this conclusion! What a mercy to feel to have so little religion!

Some may say, "I do not understand what you mean by that expression, that it is a mercy to feel to have so little religion; I cannot agree with you there; for I feel it to be no mercy at all, as my desire is to have a great deal more than I seem to possess." But suppose that you and I had all the religion which we wish to have, would there not be a great danger of our setting up that 'religion' in the place of Jesus Christ; and instead of coming poor and needy, empty and bare to the Lord, as we are now obliged to come, having nothing and being nothing in ourselves--would we not be rather disposed to come to Him with our religion as something to rest upon, and recommend us to His favor?

Is it not, then, really a mercy to find and feel we have so little religion, if it bring us poor and needy empty and bare, to receive out of Christ's fullness, and grace for grace? For the less we feel to have, the more we want to possess; the more empty we find ourselves, the more we desire to be filled, as well as have a greater capacity to receive; the more weak we are, the more we want Christ's strength to be made perfect in our weakness; the more foolish we feel, the more we need God's teaching; as well as the more is God's wisdom magnified in our foolishness; and the more helpless we are, the more we need help from the Lord.

So that, instead of its being a sad and deplorable thing to feel that we have so little religion, when we come, under a sense of our emptiness, to receive supplies out of Christ's fullness, it is our mercy to be sensible how little we have. We then come, not under the description of the rich whom the Lord "sends empty away," but of "the poor" whom He fills with "good things;" and instead of being among the "mighty" whom He puts down from their seats, we are found among the humble and meek whom the Lord exalts to honor, "setting them among princes," and "making them to inherit the throne of glory."

Now, if we look at the Lord's invitations in the Scriptures, to whom are they addressed? Are they not spoken to those who are poor and needy, hungry and thirsty, wearied and heavy laden? Are not these the very people whom the Lord enriches, feeds, refreshes, and blesses? Look, for instance, at the words of the text. There is an invitation in it; for the Lord speaks and says, "Look unto me." But to whom are the words addressed? "Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else." He does not, then, speak to those who are near, but to those who are afar off, the ends of the earth, and to them He addresses this gracious invitation.

I. In examining these words, let us, first, look at the people to whom this invitation is addressed, "The ends of the earth."

II. Secondly, at what the Lord says to them, "Look unto me, and be saved."

III. Thirdly, at the gracious reason why they should look to Him, and why they are saved by looking, "For I am God, and there is none else."


I. The PEOPLE to whom this invitation is addressed. "Look unto me all the ends of the earth." To all the ends of the earth, then, the Lord here speaks. Now He cannot mean the literal, or natural earth, for that has no ears to hear, being nothing but so much inanimate matter. He must, therefore, certainly speak to the inhabitants of the earth, to those who dwell in the ends of the earth, and not to the earth itself. But what people, experimentally and spiritually, are here called "the ends of the earth," to whom the Lord thus addresses Himself? An expression in Psalm 61:2, throws a light upon the question. "From the end of the earth will I cry unto you, when my heart is overwhelmed – lead me to the rock that is higher than I." "The ends of the earth," then, represent characters at the farthest possible distance from God in their feelings, at the remotest bounds of creation, and separated by all this wide interval from that God whom they desire to fear, and in whose approving smile they long to bask.

1. Let us see, with God's blessing, what it is that brings the soul to feel itself to be in this spot, for it is soul feeling here spoken of. Let us see how a vessel of mercy gets to the ends of the earth; because he must come spiritually into that place to feel the suitability and enjoy the application of the promise. Before the Lord, then, quickens our soul into spiritual life, we can draw near with our lips when our heart is far from Him; are full of presumption, pride, and ignorance; and can come into the presence of the Majesty of the Most High without one check in our conscience, one conviction in our soul, or one sense of brokenness before Him.

A. But no sooner do true spiritual light and life enter together into the soul, than the character of God is made known in the conscience, and our own character too, as standing naked and guilty before His great tribunal; and when we thus see and feel the purity of Jehovah, and our own impurity and vileness, and are spiritually shown what wretches we are by nature and practice, a sense of guilt falls upon the conscience, and by that sense of guilt we are driven out from the presence of the Lord.

It was so with our forefather Adam; when sin lay upon his conscience, he hid himself from the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden; and so it is with every sensible sinner – he departs from the presence of the Lord, because it is too terrible for him to bear. Like Jonah, he will flee unto Tarshish, or the remotest parts of the earth, to get from the presence of the Most High. GUILT, then, charged upon a man's conscience, will drive him out to "the ends of the earth," and place a barrier between the Lord God and his soul. And if a man has never felt guilt, and experimentally known distance and separation from God in consequence, the promise does not belong to him, nor does the Lord speak to him in the text.

B. Not guilt only, but SHAME also and confusion of face join to drive the soul to "the ends of the earth." We never know the filthiness of sin until it is opened up in our conscience; we may know indeed something of its guilt, and what sinful wretches we have been; we may fear too the punishment of sin; but we can never know its filthiness, until, in the light of the Spirit, we see God's purity and holiness, and then shame drives us out from the presence of a holy God. Until Adam knew sin he knew not shame.

C. Darkness of mind also – an experience we are utterly unacquainted with until light and life make it manifest – darkness coming upon our soul, such as fell upon Abraham, when the sun was going down Ge 15:12, drives us from Him who is pure light, to the very ends of the earth, where the rays of the sun seem no more to shine.

D. If the Lord has ever brought us near to Himself, and we have basely departed from Him, BACKSLIDDEN from His gracious ways, been overcome by the world, been entangled in Satan's snares, or our own vile lusts and passions; if we have done things unbecoming and inconsistent with our profession – and who here can hold up his head, and say he has not so done? these things bring guilt on our conscience, and banish us in soul feeling to the ends of the earth far away from the presence of God.

But when, in soul feeling, we are thus at the ends of the earth, we learn lessons there which cannot be taught us in any other place. There we learn what it is to be at a distance from God, with a desire to be brought near; there we are brought to know the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and there begin to learn the value of the blood of Christ to purge the conscience; there we become clothed with shame and confusion of face; there we are taught to feel our thorough helplessness and complete inability to bring ourselves spiritually and experimentally near, and feel what it is to wander in confusion without being able to get near the source of light, life, and truth, or feel access of soul to God.

Thus, to be at "the ends of the earth," is a painful but a profitable place; for there we learn lessons which we could not learn anywhere else, and are taught to feel something of the purity of Jehovah, and of our own defilement before Him. Now, it is to those who thus feel themselves to be at "the ends of the earth," that the Lord speaks in the text. He will never encourage presumptuous professors, those I mean who daringly rush on without His sanction, leadings, or drawings. It is better to tarry at "the ends of the earth" all our lives long, than to rush unbidden into the sanctuary, or advance presumptuously into the presence of the Most High. For there is a day coming when the Lord will "thoroughly purge His floor;" and then how many presumptuous intruders into His sanctuary, how many burners of false fire, and offerers of unclean sacrifices, will be detected, and driven out! If the will of God be so, it is better to be poor, condemned criminals at "the ends of the earth," waiting in humility for a smile, pleading in sincerity for a promise, than rush presumptuously on, and claim His gifts as our right and due.


II. Secondly, what the Lord says to them, "Look unto me, and be saved." It is, then, to these poor sinners, these self-condemned wretches, these guilty criminals, who have no hope but in God's sovereign mercy, that the Lord speaks in the text, "Look unto me." They are the only people that will look, the only characters that need so gracious an invitation; others can save, comfort and deliver themselves; but these poor wretched outcasts cannot move a step without the Lord's drawings. The Lord, therefore, takes them in hand, for being in these desperate circumstances, they require the high and out-stretched hand of God Himself to pluck them from deserved ruin. And as the more they look at themselves, the worse they get, He says, "Look unto ME, and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else."

The invitation must be spoken to the heart that with the promise power may come; and when power comes with the invitation, then the scales drop from the eyes, the veil is taken from off the heart, and strength is given to do that which the text invites; they "look unto him," though it be from "the ends of the earth," and as they look, they are "lightened, and their faces are not ashamed." The grace of Jesus shines in the invitation for He is the speaker here; and as this comes into the conscience, they see the King in His beauty, and behold the land that is very far off. "Look unto me," says the Mediator and Advocate, the Friend of sinners, the Savior of the lost! At His word they look, and WHAT DO THEY SEE IN HIM?

1. They behold, first, His glorious Person, that divine mystery couched in the words, "I am God!" And O, what a subject for contemplation is this! What a sight for living faith to behold! The glorious Person of the Son of God! This is the great mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh! And what does faith see in the glorious Person of Christ, but the Mediator, the Intercessor, the High Priest, the Advocate between an avenging God and a guilty soul? But until, in soul feeling, we are at "the ends of the earth," we have no eyes to see, no ears to hear, no hearts to feel what a glorious Mediator there is at the right hand of the Father. Being, in our experience, at this distance from God, we are led to see and feel that He who alone can bring us near, must Himself be God, for we are confident that none but an almighty arm can pluck us from "the ends of the earth," and bring us near to the Most High. Our own righteousness, our tears, prayers, promises, resolutions, cannot, we feel, bring us near unto God; and we learn the meaning of those words, "And came and preached peace to you which were afar off. and to those who were near; for through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."

Thus the more we feel to be at "the ends of the earth," the deeper is our need of Him; and as the Spirit unfolds the mystery of the glorious Person of Christ, and reveals His beauty, the more does He become the object of the soul's admiration and adoration. And O, what a Mediator is held out in the word of truth to living faith! What a subject for spiritual faith to look to, for a lively hope to anchor in, and for divine love to embrace! That the Son of God, who lay in the bosom of the Father from all eternity, equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the second Person in the glorious Trinity, should condescend to take upon Him our nature, that He might groan, suffer, bleed, and die for guilty wretches, who, if permitted, would have ruined their souls a thousand times a day – what a wonder of wonders!

We cannot enter into, nor feel the power of this mystery until we are reduced to such circumstances, that none but such a Savior can save our souls. Can we do anything to save ourselves? Then we need not help from that mighty One on whom God has laid help; and we secretly reject Him. Can we heal our self? Then we need not the good Physician. But when our eyes are opened to see our own thorough ruin and helplessness, and to view the glorious Person of the Son of God, faith is drawn out to flee to and rest upon that glorious object.

2. In looking at His glorious Person from "the ends of the earth," a glimpse is caught of His atoning blood – for the blood is seen to derive all its efficacy from His glorious Person; it is seen as the blood of the Son of God, and Deity giving efficacy to the blood of the humanity, it is seen to have a divine virtue to purge a guilty conscience, and speak pardon and peace to a broken heart. This meritorious blood of the only propitiating Sacrifice is that which is held up to the eye of the poor sinner at "the ends of the earth," to the guilty wretch, to the self condemned criminal; and God the Holy Spirit testifies of it as speaking "better things than the blood of Abel." The eyes of the understanding are enlightened to see the nature and efficacy of this precious blood, and there is a looking to and resting upon it, as speaking peace to the guilty conscience, as the only propitiation for sin, as reconciling enemies, as pardoning rebels, as justifying the ungodly.

3. In inviting the soul to look to Him, the Lord invites it also to look to His glorious righteousness. Now what do we know, what can we know, of Christ's glorious righteousness, except we are brought to feel how naked, how needy, how undone we are without it? But when a soul lies at the "ends of the earth," naked and trembling, fearing to meet a never-ending eternity, terrified in his conscience at a thousand crimes presenting themselves to view, if the Lord does but speak with power, "Look unto me;" and spreads out that glorious robe of righteousness, which is "unto and upon all those who believe," how it encourages the poor soul, lying at "the ends of the earth," to shelter himself under this garment of glory and beauty, and take refuge under the skirt of this heavenly Boaz.

4. In saying, "Look unto me," he also says, "Look at My dying love. At its heights, lengths, depths, and breadths, which pass knowledge. Look unto Me in all My suffering circumstances. My agony, My bloody sweat, and all that I endured for poor sinners." He invites those at "the ends of the earth" to look unto Him as suffering for them; and when they are enabled to see and feel His dying love, a measure of peace flows into the conscience, and the poor soul at the very "ends of the earth," is encouraged and enabled to draw near to the Father.


III. The gracious reason why they should look to Him, and why they are saved by looking, "For I am God, and there is none else." The Lord says, "Look unto me, and be saved." There is salvation then in a look. There is no need, in order to be saved, to heap up numerous treasures of our own righteousness, to accumulate a vast store of good deeds, to make up a certain amount of piety, or to work up ourselves into the heights of creature holiness. A look of faith is all that is needed, an eye opened by divine teaching to see who and what Jesus is. He therefore calls upon "the ends of the earth" to look to His Person, His blood, His righteousness, His love--and to see in Him all that we need, and all that we desire. And when we look unto Him, as He invites and as He enables, and see who He is, and what a sufficiency for every need, we desire no other salvation and no other Savior.

How often we seem not to have any real religion, or enjoy any solid comfort! How often are our evidences obscured and beclouded, and our minds covered with deep darkness! How often does the Lord hide Himself, so that we cannot behold Him, nor get near to Him; and how often the ground on which we thought we stood is cut from under our feet, and we have no firm standing! What a painful path is this to walk in – but how profitable! When we are reduced to spiritual poverty and beggary, we learn to value Christ's glorious riches; the worse opinion we have of our own heart, and the more deceitful and desperately wicked that we find it, the more we put our trust in His faithfulness; and the more black we are in our esteem, the more beautiful and lovely does He appear in our eyes. As we sink, Jesus rises; as we become feeble, He puts forth His strength; as we come into danger, He brings deliverance; as we get into temptation, He breaks the snare; and as we are shut up in darkness and obscurity, He causes the light of His countenance to shine.

It is by being led in this way, and walking in these paths, that we come rightly to know who Jesus is, and to see and feel how suitable and precious such a Savior is to our undone souls. We are needy--He has in Himself all riches. We are hungry--He is the bread of life. We are thirsty--He says, "If any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink." We are naked--and He has clothing to bestow. We are fools--and He has wisdom to grant. We are lost--and He speaks, "Look unto me, and be saved." Thus, so far from our misery shutting us out from God's mercy, it is only the requisite for it; so far from our guilt excluding His pardon, it is the only thing needful for it; so far from our helplessness running our souls, it is the needful preparation for the manifestation of His power in our weakness. We cannot heal our own wounds and sores--that is the very reason why He should stretch forth His arm. It is because there is no salvation in ourselves, or in any other creature, that He says, "Look unto me, for I am God, and there is none else."

1. That He is GOD, is the very foundation of His salvation; for it is His eternal Godhead that gives virtue, efficacy, and dignity to all that as man He did and suffered for His chosen people. If He were not God – God and man in one glorious Person, what hope would there be for our guilty souls? Could His blood atone for our sins, unless Deity gave it efficacy? Could His righteousness justify our persons, unless Deity imparted merit and value to all the doings and sufferings of His humanity? Could His loving heart sympathize with and deliver us, unless, "as God over all," He saw and knew all that passes within us, and had all power, as well as all compassion, to exert on our behalf?

We are continually in circumstances where no man can do us the least good, and where we cannot help or deliver ourselves; we are in snares, and cannot break them; we are in temptations, and cannot deliver ourselves out of them; we are in trouble, and cannot comfort ourselves; we are wandering sheep, and cannot find the way back to the fold; we are continually roving after idols, and hewing out "broken cisterns," and cannot return to "the fountain of living waters." How suitable, then, and sweet it is, to those who are thus exercised, to see that there is a gracious Immanuel at the right hand of the Father, whose heart is filled with love, and whose affections move with compassion; who has shed His own precious blood that they might live, who has wrought out a glorious righteousness, and "is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him."

The Lord says, therefore, to His people, who are at the very "ends of the earth," who fear to draw near, that He is the Mediator between God and man. He says to the guilty, "I am your pardon;" to the naked, "I am your clothing;" to the ungodly, "I am your righteousness;" to the defiled, "I am your sanctification." Being at "the ends of the earth," the purity of God would keep them there forever; but there being a divine Mediator, a glorious Intercessor, an almighty Advocate, an Immanuel, God and man in one glorious Person, though at "the ends of the earth," they may draw near through Him, for they are blessed and accepted in Him. They are indeed at "the ends of the earth," and through guilt and shame dare not draw near; but let Jesus give them one glance, or put forth one touch, and their poor, needy, naked souls will leap forward, spring into His embrace, and find nearness of access to the Father; for by that glance they see there is a Mediator between God and them, an Intercessor and Advocate sitting for them upon a throne of mercy and grace.

Now, if they had never been at "the ends of the earth," never been cast out in their feelings, never known themselves to be filthy and vile creatures, they would never have felt what a suitable and precious Savior there is at the right hand of God. They would have been swollen with pride, swallowed up in business, satisfied with a form of godliness, contented with being Satan's servants and doing his work, or have been buried in their sins and lusts. If they had never felt themselves shut out from God's presence, and driven to "the ends of the earth," they would never have longed to be reconciled, pardoned, and brought near. But when they are there, and the Lord does but speak with power to their souls, "Look unto me," all the distance is removed, the barriers fall down, the separation is at an end, and they draw near unto God, and they see how God can be just, and yet the justifier of him who believes in Jesus.

To this spot, "the ends of the earth," sin and shame may drive them again and again; and repeatedly may they have to feel many cutting sensations, and learn many humbling lessons; they may fear again and again that they may die, and never see Him whom their souls long to see and love; and yet when the Lord again speaks, "Look unto me;" the barrier is broken down, and they can again draw near through the propitiation that the Son of God has made for sin.

2. The Lord says, therefore, to such, "I am God, and there is none else." You may look at your own righteousness, it is but filthy rags; at your own resolutions, they are but cobwebs; at your promises, they will be broken before night comes on; at your consistency, it is but a tangled and defiled web; at yourselves outside of Me – and what are you but a mass of filth and sin? He says, therefore, "I am God, and there is none else." You may go to every other physician, try every other remedy, and look to every other quarter; but all will leave you unpardoned, unaccepted, and unjustified; "for I am God, and there is none else." "Look unto me," He says to all the ends of the earth; and when He speaks forth with the word of a king there is power, strength is given unto the soul to look, and be saved.

Now, I dare say, some of you know what it is in your feelings to be at "the ends of the earth." You cannot get near unto God, cannot feel His presence, cannot see the light of His countenance, cannot taste His love. Sin darkens your mind, burdens your conscience, and oppresses your soul; so that you cannot feel pardon, reconciliation, acceptance, nearness, and peace. There is a distance, a barrier, a separation between God and your soul, and you cannot draw near with holy boldness. How suitable then, how encouraging it is to such sensible sinners, to see that you may draw near under such circumstances. Have I said or done things unbecoming or inconsistent? Has guilt come on my conscience, and despondency filled my heart? Am I therefore to stay at "the ends of the earth?" The Lord says, "Look unto me," that my guilt may disappear. Am I a poor backsliding wretch, roaming after every base idol? Am I to stay therefore at the broken cisterns? The Lord says, "Look to me," that the poor idolater may come back to the fountain of living waters.

When we take a solemn survey of what we are daily and hourly – of what we have been, say, through the past week – what vile thoughts, sinful desires, and base lusts – what vanity, inconsistency, engrossment in the world, love of the world – in a word, what base workings of a depraved nature we have had, must we not plead guilty? Perhaps the guilt of these things now lies on the conscience; but shall they operate as insuperable, impassable barriers? When the Lord says. "Look unto me, all the ends of the earth." And the soul is enabled to do as the Lord invites, does it not see Jesus as its wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption? and does not this bring comfort to the poor, guilty backslider once more? Does not this encourage him once more to draw near? Does not this break the heart of the most stubborn, and draw, as with a cord of love, the poor wretch who can see nothing in himself but a mass of defilement?

If we know, by painful experience what it is to be at "the ends of the earth," the Lord does not say, "Heal yourselves, make yourselves better." He does not give us a long list of duties to be performed, or of observances to be attended to; and when we have done this, and performed that, and made up the quota of bricks in full number and weight, He will look upon us. But the Lord speaks to us in our sad condition – "Here you poor, guilty, wretched backsliders; you that have nothing but sin and guilt; you that cannot bless, save, or comfort yourselves; look unto me!" He does not say, "Do this, and then I will appear; help yourselves a little, and then I will come down to help you;" but He says to us, as we are in our filth, guilt, and shame, "Look unto me!" and as He speaks, He gives the power. And no sooner do we look, than we are saved by the look, blessed by the look, healed by the look. So that all we have to do is to look to Him, as He speaks.

It is true, indeed, that He Himself gives power to do it, for "without him we can do nothing." To behold by the eye of faith His glorious Person, atoning blood, justifying righteousness, and dying love, will do us more good, and bring into our hearts more true peace, than we could get elsewhere in a thousand years.

Now, to know these mysteries by divine teaching, is to know what vital godliness is. What is vital godliness? To make myself good and holy; to make myself religious and serious, and a decidedly pious character? Such husks may satisfy swine, but they will not satisfy a living soul. What must I do, then, to make myself better? Nothing! Can I, by any exertion of creature will or power, change my Ethiopian skin, or wash out my leopard spots? But when the soul lies at "the ends of the earth," and the Lord says to it, "Look unto me," "you are complete in Me, saved in Me, holy in Me, and accepted in Me;" all the barriers between God and the guilty conscience fall, the darkness flies away, the distance is removed, and the soul, black in itself, is manifested as lovely and acceptable in the sight of God.

To be spiritually led into this mystery, to go on increasing in the knowledge of it, and to feel day by day less and less in self; to become more foolish, weak, and powerless; and yet, as poor, needy, weak, and helpless, to be drawing supplies out of Christ's fullness, and to live a life of faith on the Son of God – to know something of this, is to know something of what true religion is; and to know a little of this, will make a man more outwardly and inwardly holy than all the good works or pious resolutions in the world.

Perhaps there may be present here some of these poor wretches at "the ends of the earth;" doubting, fearing, and almost at times despairing, whether mercy can ever reach their souls. Now are you not secretly looking to find something good or holy in yourselves? Is there not some dim hope and expectation of becoming by and by a little better and holier? All this secret leaven of self-righteousness must be purged out; and you may have, under this operation, to sink lower, and yet deeper and deeper into the slough and filth of your vile nature. But there is this comfort for those who feel they can do nothing, that all that is to be done is what the Lord does in us; all that is to be felt, is what He works by His Spirit in us. This is the sum and substance of all salvation and all holiness – "Look unto Me, and be saved, by what I have done and suffered."

There is no other way for spiritual health, salvation, pardon, peace, and deliverance to come into our souls; for He is God, and there is none else. There is no other salvation, no other Savior; no other way of escape from the wrath to come, but by looking unto Him as He enables us, believing on Him as He empowers us, and leaning upon Him as He works in us that which is well-pleasing in His sight. Though you may now seem to yourselves to be at the very "ends of the earth," the Lord sees you there; and He says unto such, "Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth." You are not out of the reach of My arm, nor the sight of My eye, "for I am God, and there is none else." And thus, sooner or later, are all the elect manifestly saved, and experience the sweet testimony and blessed revelation of it in the heart and conscience.

Is it not a mercy to be weaned, emptied, and purged from creature righteousness, natural piety, and a long list of creature duties, not one of which we can properly or acceptably do? Is it not a mercy to have nothing at all to do, except simply what the Lord does in us and for us, and to look to Him in whom salvation is, and from whom salvation comes? O what a rest and respite for a poor guilty wretch, laboring at doings and duties, and by them all only increasing his guilt, to feel and find that all is done for him, and that he has nothing to do but take it; that the feast is provided, and all he has to do is to banquet at it; that atoning blood has been shed, and all he has to do is to feel the power of it; that salvation is finished, that all that is to be done is done already; and all this is freely given "without money, and without price;" freely communicated and brought into the conscience by the operation of God, that He may have all the glory first, and all the glory last, that we may have all the profit and comfort that He can bestow. What a sweet and blessed way of salvation this is to a poor wretched sinner!

How much is contained in those words, "It is finished!" Everything, then, needful for a sinner's salvation is already done for him; the whole work is accomplished, and everlasting salvation brought in; all that remains to be done and the Lord does that, or it never would be done at all, is, for the sinner to receive it into his heart, and live under the blessed unction and power of it.

May this be our soul's happy experience. May we, even from "the ends of the earth," then be enabled to look unto Him, and know that He is God, and none else. Thus may we continually come to Him, believe in Him, and rest on Him, as all our salvation, and all our desire.

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