"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
We may indeed cry out with the apostle John, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us!" to save us from a burning pit, to bring us to the heights of bliss. O the depths of God's love! It took its rise in his own eternal heart, for
"What was there in us that could merit esteem,
or give the Creator delight?
Twas even so, Father, we ever must sing,
Because it seemed good in thy sight!"
The great apostle would have the church at Ephesus know, so far as it was to be known, what were the heights, depths, and breadths of that love which passes knowledge. Moses knew as much of the mind of God as most men; he had been with God for forty days on the mount, he had asked God to reveal his glory to him; But when he would tell the people of the infinite, sovereign, and boundless love of the great Jehovah towards them, he says, "God so loved you because he would love you." Such was the love of God towards poor, sinful, dying, worthless worms like we, who are dust and ashes, formed out of the dust, and return to the dust - such was his affection, goodwill, and pleasure towards us, nothing shall stand in the way of our salvation; save us he will. We have so taken his heart, ravished his soul, everything must give place; His wisdom will contrive it, his power will bring it about. Many waters cannot quench his love, or else all our hateful, damnable sins would have done so.
"God only knows the love of God,
O that it now were shed abroad
In each of our cold hearts!"
Will sacrifice and offerings do? No; the sin is too filthy, too black, too heinous for all the blood of bulls and goats to move. God is too holy to connive at sin; He is too just to pass it by without satisfaction; Yet his love toward his people knows no bottom, bound, bank, or shore. They are a people near to him - and bring them to heaven he will. But how is it to be done? Love will always find out a way - let there be love and power, you may depend upon it there will be wisdom and ingenuity called in to display it, and gain and win the object. So we find the Son of God saith, "I looked, but there was none to uphold; and marked well, and there was no intercessor; Therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come." Now, as I said before, what hatred God must have to sin; What a filthy thing sin must be seeing he could not pass it by without satisfaction to his justice and his law. No coming near to him without being reconciled by the death of his Son, and we could meet him upon honorable and just terms. How was it to be done? "O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" Not all the blood of beasts, though millions of them might be bleeding and smoking; not all the incense that was ever prepared from trees and flowers, ascending in a perpetual smoke, could please the great Jehovah, or put away our sins. If he will pardon sin, if he will save a wretch, a rebel, a man damned by the law, if he will let his heart's love run out to save him from what he deserves, then he must part with the of his heart, the joy of his soul - his only begotten Son. Will he do that? Is his love so surprisingly great, boundless, full, and free, that to save an enemy, a vile and a cursed sinner, he will bruise his darling Son? He will; the word declares it, the fact proclaims it. In the fullness of time, according to his decree, purpose, sovereignty, wisdom, love and pleasure, "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law (cursed and damned by it), that we (wretches) might receive the adoption of sons." What will this do in the hearts of all those whom it reaches, and know what it is to be saved by it? It will do in your hearts what it has done in mine, hundreds of times - it has brought me to cry out, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."
"God in the person of his Son,
"Has all his mightiest works outdone."
To put away and pardon sin he must slay his Son. Thus you see what an evil thing it is; we may say with dear Hart- "O thou hideous monster, sin!"
We may say, "O Adam, what hast thou done?" While we may rejoice and sing, and say, "O blessed Lord Jesus, what hast Thou not done?" So we can see in the words of my text what boundless love there is in the heart of God to poor sinful mortals. We can see, too, in my text, what a hateful thing sin must be. We can also see how near and dear God's people must be to him, seeing that he will have nothing separate them from himself; save them he will, bring them to heaven he will; though, to speak after the manner of men, it will go to his very heart. "Can nothing effect it, nothing work it but my own darling, the joy of my heart, who never will offend me in thought, word, or deed; He by whom I made the world and created all things in it, and who is the brightness of my glory, and the express image of my Person? What! shall I give his back to the smiters? Shall I give his cheeks to them that will pluck off the hair? Shall I give him to a rude rabble to mock, to deride, to blaspheme? Shall I see him a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief? Shall I see him mocked by the devil, and tempted for forty days by him? Shall I suffer all this? Yea, shall I, can I bruise him to death? Can I bear his solemn, heart - piercing cry, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? What evil have I done? What hast Thou ever seen in Thy Son thus to chastise, to bruise, to smite, and to break all his bones?'" We may indeed say,
"See the suffering Son of God
Panting, groaning, sweating blood.
Brethren, this had never been,
Had not God detested sin."
"He that spared not his own Son." See how the Holy Ghost will put all questioners and doubters into the background by the truth of his word! "He that spared not his own Son"- not the son of another. Not his Son by adoption merely, but his own Son, as much as yours or mine are our sons. Not one iota did he spare him. I do not wonder at the poet singing as he had a view of him by the eye of faith,
" In his face what sadness dwells!
Sure he feels a thousand hells."
He suffered that hell for you and me, if we are among the number of his elect. Our sins would have brought us into endless ruin; then he must drink of that hell, he must bring in an everlasting righteousness, and satisfy justice, and clear all - not a jot or tittle must be left remaining. The Son of God no sooner steps into our shoes, so to speak, as he is born into this world, but he is circumcised to do the whole law. The eye of justice was never off him for a moment, till he cried out, "It is finished!" and gave up the ghost. Now you find his troubles begin. Herod pursues him directly; his malicious design, cruel intent and purpose was to destroy God's darling Son. We find from that time to the end of his days he was "a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;" He lived in it, walked in it, it was the meat and drink that he had to take, and he died in it. There is only one time in his life upon earth that we hear of his rejoicing. What is that about? Why, in the salvation of God's elect; rejoicing in the Father's will, love, and good pleasure. It is said, "At that time Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight." Now the Son of God being Surety for us, it is said, "He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it." Christ did not take on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. "Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren;" yet without sin. Then it is said God put him to grief; for he laid upon him the iniquity of us all. "He was despised and rejected of men; we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."
"He that spared not his own Son." You can read in your own experience, day by day, how God spares you. Every one of us can say he has not dealt with us according to our sins. You hear David say, "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness; according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions." Then you hear God say to Nathan, "Tell him I have put away his sins." We have daily experience of how God passes over our guilt; we prove that "like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him; for he knoweth our frame, and remembereth that we are but dust." But when his Son comes into our place and case, when he takes on himself our weakness and failings, then it pleases the Lord to bruise him. Then the Son of God may cry our, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me;" but he undertook, and must go through. No sparing. Hearken to his cry, "All My bones are out of joint; My heart is like melting wax in the midst of My bowels." Will God mitigate it in the least? No, my friends, he will not spare him one iota. If the darling of heaven had been spared on thing it would have fallen with eternal weight on us; He must bear it all or we must. No mercy would ever have flowed into your soul, no light from heaven would ever have shone into that dark cavern of thine, no love would ever have been felt in thy soul - if the Son of God had been spared one iota. Therefore the poet says, "He bore all," without leaving a drop or a drain.
"Bore all Incarnate God could bear,
With strength enough, but none to spare."
Now hearken to what he says: "See if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow." From whence does it come? "Wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger." God himself - his own dear Father - afflicted him. O the torrents of indignation and the hell of sufferings that burst upon his righteous soul in a tremendous flood. "He that spared not his own Son." If he would slay sin he must slay his own Son. What was all that Abraham went through when God told him to sacrifice his son compared with this? What was all the tender feeling of the father's heart in the sacrifice of his darling Isaac, compared to the offering of God in his dear Son? Here the Father is bruising him himself, charging all our sins on his guiltless head, and making him an offering for sin. Not for all the agony of the Son of God will he spare him in the least."Sin to pardon without blood Never in his nature stood."
As it pleased the Lord so to bruise him, to put him to grief, and to make him pay the full penalty, this will show what boundless love there is in God to his people. There is no fear of God changing his mind towards them. There is no fear that one of them will ever be lost; nay, nay, they are all eternally safe in his love, and sure in his purpose, and they stand so clear and quit that none can find a fault in them. It is said that "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth." As God charged on him the iniquity of us all, he drowned it in his own blood; so that there is not a wrinkle or spot to be found in the heart of one of God's elect, out of the millions that will get to heaven. Our thoughts are lost, our finite minds cannot comprehend it, when we think of what only our own sins are. Look at thy daily sins: then look through thy life of fifty or sixty years, perhaps - if all those sins must be canceled, then what must the sufferings of the Son of God have been? This is where it seems to me to be so great - God did it himself, to prove to us his love. This made the great Apostle so sure when he uttered these words: "I am persuaded (if God so distressed and afflicted his dear Son as he did for our sins), neither height, depth, death, life, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." O no! How does thy heart run towards Jesus Christ? God had such love to his people that he would not spare him in the least. The Son of God saith, "I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again." What boundless love there was in the Son! For he saith, " 'I come to do thy will, O God; yea, Thy law is within My heart.' As thy wisdom can find out no other way to save these rebels and bring them to heaven but My agony and bloody sweat in fulfilling the law, lo, I come; I will go through all to save them with everlasting salvation." Do you think that the blessed Son of God will have anyone put a finger to it, or that the Father will suffer him to be robbed of the glory that appertains to him? Do you think he will let any mortals lay claim to any merit in that salvation which God perfected himself? How do you feel about it? If you are taught of God you will say, "I do not want to rob him; I would not take the crown from his blessed head." Do you feel so? God saith, "Behold My servant shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high." Why? Because "His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." Does that endear him to thy heart? Does his becoming so mean and vile exalt him in thy esteem? Does his love and mercy to save thee from the burning pit draw out thy affections, so that thou canst say, "Here is my heart, Lord! Take and seal it; bind my willing soul to Thee by Thy agony, and mke me to see, hate, and abhor sin?" Does it make sin more vile to thee? Does it make thee loathe thyself on account of thy sins? Does it make thee pray for grace, that you may never open his wounds, crucify him afresh, or put him to an open shame? What effect has the suffering of the Son of God ever had on thee? Has it made thee ashamed of thyself on account of thy sins, and caused thee to mourn over the blessed Son of God who was bruised for thy sins? It is not merely reading about it, but the effect of it in thy heart. It was not merely his saying, "I come to do Thy will" - He did it. As I have hastily touched upon what it cost him and the Father to do it, if you have an interest in it, it has wrought something in your heart. It has made you sorrow, weep, and grieve over your sins; it has endeared the Christ of God to your heart; it has made you bless and adore rich, free, and boundless grace; and it has caused you to bless God the Father for giving his dear Son to die for sinners like you and me.
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." Now if the Holy Ghost will give you just a glimpse of what I saw in these words, it will do you good. "Delivered him up for us all." "Law, take him! Justice, seize on him!" Like a judge delivering a malefactor into the hands of the executioner - "Hand him, let him die the death!" "Delivered him up!" "I will not spare him," God says. Look at the blessed Christ of God in the garden; see law and justice seizing him and, so to speak, God looking on and saying, "I will not put one word in on his behalf to save him." Then as if the blessed Son of God would say (so to speak), "What! will neither heaven or earth stand up to speak a word for me, to deliver me out of the grasp of law and justice? Will my own eternal Father look on and see me mangled and crushed?" Therefore it is said, "He was delivered for our offenses." Our offenses delivered him up. We find "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." "In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation?" He can say nothing, as our sins roll upon him.
"Delivered him up for us all." Who are these "all" ? Jew and Gentile - some out of every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue. "Oh, it is for everyone," say some. I have no objection; I have neither enmity, malice, hatred, or evil desire towards the vilest of men. If God had said it was for the whole of this parish, I would have said, "Glory to God!" If God had said it was for all in this chapel, then I should give glory to him; then I should give glory to him; then I should see the desire of my soul granted. But the Word does not say so, and when the Word does not speak it is in vain for us to attempt it. Now we can see who this "all" is - "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." That is the "all" "I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me out of the world. Thine they were, and Thou gavest them me." "I lay down my life for the sheep. Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life for the sheep." Now we will just have a look and see who these are, to see whether we are included in this "all." These will all come to him. Now have you come by necessity? Has that driven you to Christ Jesus, while his mercy and goodness has drawn you to him? Can you say, "Behold, I come unto Thee, for Thou art the Lord my God; receive me graciously, and love me freely: for to whom else can I go for the pardon of my sins, and for the salvation of my soul?" Seeing that you must be lost without an interest in him, necessity drives you to him. Has it acted thus in your poor mind? If so, he was delivered up for thee.
Again; "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me." Has faith brought you to him? Do you see that beauty, sufficiency, and suitability in the blessed Son of God that all other things are empty and void in comparison with him? Is he in thy mind at times "the chiefest of ten thousand," and "altogether lovely?" What think you of Christ? Can you say in reality, in truth, and in feeling, "Whom have I in heaven but Thee, and there is none upon earth I desire beside Thee?" Can you say, "None but Christ, none but Christ!"? Can you say-
"Compared with Christ, in all beside
No comeliness I see;
The one thing needful, dearest Lord,
Is to be one with Thee?"
"All that the Father giveth me shall come." Necessity drives them and faith encourages them, so they come. Hearken to how it will be to these folks: none that come will be cast out! Christ died for their sins; He rose again for their justification. God did not spare him, that he might receive them. Mr. Hart says (I know it is a truth, for I have felt it)-
"God looks with everlasting love
On all that love his Son."
His whole heart centers his Christ. If you come to Christ with believing faith, seeing and feeling he is the one thing needful; if you come and plead his blood and name to the Father, you will please him well, and in no other way can you do so. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me." They will come in humility; they will sit down at his feet to receive of his words, and feeling their unworthiness. I will tell you this - nothing is stronger than humility, nothing is weaker than pride. The more humble a man is, he runs out of himself to him that can help. If you are a proud man you are a weak man. You can see by boasting Peter what pride will do; all his strength was in himself when he boasted of what he would do. Now all that come to Christ, come in humility. "I am not worthy." Do you know what that feeling is? I believe I do; I wish I had more of it. I know one thing, there is no getting us low enough this side of the grave. What are we? We are only lumps of sin and dirt. Another thing, whenever you feel a little pride working, when you feel a little better most, look at your black feet - that will spoil all your goodness directly; it has mine many times. It is hard to do anything seemingly good without that wretched self springing up. See how many thing we miss and do wrong.
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." All that love him with a pure heart, and that can say, "I love the Lord with mind and heart." All that love his Son, love his worship, love his people, love him for his goodness, and that feel at times they could not help loving him if he were to send them to hell. They love him because he is so superlatively glorious, and they love him for what he is. If you feel so, you are the very man whose sins the Son of God carried into the land of forgetfulness, and for whom God said to law and justice of his dear Son, "Take him, have him; but spare this guilty rebel that I will bring over to my dear Son in faith and in truth." So now you have got the proof that you are one of this "all." Now the great Apostle says, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again." They have all come to the Son, and he has declared, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." So "there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
In the morning we took a little notice of the eternal love of God towards sinful men. We noticed his love set his wisdom to work how to save these sinful and sinning creatures from a burning pit. We noticed that sacrifices and offerings would not do, and that no man could redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. There was but on way. If there had been another way (with reverence would I say it), God would have chosen it. Therefore we noticed "He spared not his own Son." "Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my Fellow, saith the Lord of hosts." It pleased the Lord himself to bruise him; thus he thrust the sword of justice into the heart of his own dear Son, that mercy might flow to the "vessels of mercy afore prepared unto glory," though cursed and damned by the law, and far off from God by wicked works. His dear Son must suffer that they might be spared. We noticed that there was such love in God towards sinful men that many waters could not quench it. We noticed that he did not spare his Son one iota. The darling of heaven cried out, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." But that we might go eternally free, and that God might look on us in justice and holiness with smiles and kisses, he bruised his own Son; so that he-
"Bore all Incarnate God could bear,
With strength enough, but none to spare."
We noticed, too, that it was his own Son. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." It was the Son of his love, the Son of his life, the co-eternal, co-equal, and co-essential Son of God, that could say, "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." He was the Son that never transgressed, but who the Scriptures declare was the Fathers delight, rejoicing always before him; yet all the sufferings of the damned in hell never came up to the sufferings of the Son of God, nor ever will they do so. Why? They never satisfy the law and justice of God, but Christ did - He went to the very end of it. He bore thousands of hells in his own sufferings in the garden and on the tree; and the Father, as we noticed, never withdrew the sword till he cried out, "It is finished!" and gave up the ghost.
We then noticed that as God "spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all," as he said to law, to justice, to men, to Pilate, to Herod's soldiers, and to the Jews, "Take him, have him!" He bound himself by his Son. As if God would say, "I cannot touch him - I must let him be in thy hands till he has satisfied all that he undertook to do." Therefore it is said he "was delivered for our offenses." Also it is said, "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." He undertook and must go through. He must clear all, satisfy all, and bring in "an everlasting righteousness, which is to all and upon all them that believe:" or we must for ever sink in hopeless despair under the indignation of a holy God, whose law we have broken. The Son of God saith, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." "An hireling fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep;" but he says, "I am the good Shepherd, and I give my life for the sheep." Therefore "He hid not his face from shame and spitting."
God "delivered him up for us all." We noticed this "all" signifies God's elect, that God did not spare him on account of. You may say, "That "all" is a reaching word. I noticed in the morning that I had no objection if God would have it so - if he saved every man that ever breathed I could say "Amen!" I believe there are none that ever tasted the mercy of God but who would willingly save all that come within their reach, if consistent with the will of God. Did it rest with us, we have no objection, to save every one. As a proof that I have no objection, but that my aim is the salvation of sinners in this dark town and neighborhood, and in other places where God may be pleased to send me, my cry is that God would open the eyes of the blind, save sinners, and bid them flee from the wrath to come. Still some before God may be ready to say, "Surely 'delivering him up for us all,' means everyone?" Then I will ask you a plain question: Do you believe that Christ, who bore sufferings above and beyond all that tongues can unfold, died for any that are in hell? Do you believe that "the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God?" "Yes, I do," say you, "if they do not believe." My text provides all the means, and meets all contingencies" He that delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" What shall stand in the way? If you believe that Judas is in hell, according to what the Son of God declared, "Those that Thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled" - if you believe his declaration, "Woe unto you, scribes, Pharisees, and Lawyers! You shall have greater damnation" - if you believe there is a hell into which the ungodly descend, it tells you plainly that this "all" in my text means no more than those for whom Christ died. And that every obstacle that may be met with in the way may be removed, God has so linked the means and end together that there can be no frustrating his purpose. A disappointed God! Tell it not in Gath! God frustrated in his purpose by a puny mortal whose breath is in his nostrils! As I said just now, God has so blessedly linked and made certain all things respecting this, that not one suffering more did the Son of God bear, not an agony or drop of blood, that he shall be satisfied for. Christ shall never cry out, "Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger" - and all that suffering and agony be for naught. God forbid! I value, whether you do so or not, his blood too high, his sufferings too great and precious in the eyes and heart of the great Jehovah, that he should groan one more groan than he shall have the reward of.
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" There shall be nothing wanting to make their salvation complete, their perseverance sure, and their entrance to heaven certain. You may say, "But suppose they will not come?" My text makes it certain. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power." "But suppose their hearts are hard?" "Then I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord." "But suppose they will not believe?" "I will work faith in their hearts, that they shall believe in him whom I have sent." "But suppose they are far off from God, delighting in sin and vanity, and will not have God to reign over them?" The calling of God is- "whom he did predestinate, them he also called." It is an invincible call. "He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out." "But Satan is reigning and ruling in their hearts," you may say. God can "turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God;" "for God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Therefore you see God makes the thing certain, so there are all the means to bring about the end. Whatever is wanting in them God has made provision for and supplied.
"How shall he not with him also freely give us all things? What does the poor thing want? He wants repentance towards God. God will work it in his heart, for Christ is exalted to give repentance unto Israel, and the remission of sins. If you look, you will find how this is supplied. You may say, "I do not know that I have been brought truly to repent." What is it that casts you down, more or less, from day to day? "Oh, my sins," say you. Do you not grieve and groan at sin? Is not that your plague? Do you not say day by day before God, "Pardon mine iniquity, for it is great?" Does not sin pain and distress your heart, and make you cry out, "O my wretched heart, my foolish tongue, my slipping feet!"? Why, poor thing, that is repentance!
"For all the time the Lord they seek,
At sin they grieve and groan."
You keep grieving and groaning about your sins, and nothing more distresses you than your sins. Repentance is like faith - it is not one act of repentance only, it is not one act of faith; there are continual acts. So you are continually repenting on account of your misdoings. "O, what I want is the pardon of my sin," say you, "and to feel the mercy of God coming in." Well, God says, "How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" God likes to show himself gracious, so he will often let the poor creature go struggling and trying in all sorts of ways to remove his sins, on purpose to show him what he can do. There is more mercy in God than guilt in our sins to damn us. Mercy is invincible; it is said God delights in it. God takes delight in coming over all our sins, transgressions, and evils, dropping his mercy in the heart, and giving us to see and feel how great is his mercy.
"To cause despair's the scope
Of Satan and his powers;
Against hope to believe in hope,
My brethren, must be ours."
Nothing has got more the character of Atheism than to question the mercy of God to our sins, and the virtue of the blood of Christ to save us. Satan will set your sins before your face, to cause you to despair that God will ever pick up, shew mercy to, and pardon a sinner like you. Despair strikes at the very power of God and his Christ at once; so to speak it tells God he cannot do it, it tells Christ his blood is not sufficient to do it; but blessed be God, he saith, "All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men." Why? For the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin; so God has opened a fountain for sin and uncleanness. "How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Is it the mercy of God we want? In giving us the greater blessing he will give us the less. He did not hold back the greatest things he could give us; He gave us himself, he gave us heaven, he gave us all that could be given. If faith is wanting in your heart he will give it you. The Son of God saith, "he that believeth hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation." By nature we have got no faith, but "By grace we are saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God." He will work the work of faith in our hearts with power. He will turn the devil out, in the same way as when the poor man brought his child to the Son of God and said, "The spirit often throws him into the fire and into the water, but if Thou canst do anything for us, help us." "How long has this come to him," said Jesus. "Of a child," said the father. "Come out of him," said the Son of God, and he came out. So if the devil has been in you from a child, Christ will cast him out. Whatever grace is needed all your way through you shall have. How often you are ready to halt in your feelings. Have you never thought you should not hold out? "Yes," say you, "what with the devil within and the world without, I have thought I must give up, and come to an end, again and again." God has provided for that, for Paul says, "He that has begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ." The Son of God saith, "What man is there that begins to build, and has not counted the cost, whether he is able to finish it?" God has counted the cost; so then Mr. Hart says,
"To perseverance I agree
The thing to me is clear,
Because the Lord has promised me
That I shall persevere."
If God had not laid my sins on his dear Son, and promised me in his word that I should hold on, I should have no hope; but whatever my unbelief may mutter, or whatever the devil may object, my text comes with a hammer, as it were, and knocks it all down, saying, "How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" "But, Lord, I am such a filthy, guilty sinner, I try to remove the stains from my soul, but cannot." "I have provided for that," God says, "the blood of Jesus Christ my Son cleanses from all sin." "But, Lord, I am such a blind fool, it is not in me to direct my steps, I do not know how to move, nor which way is right. Seeing there are a thousand ways to hell and but one to heaven, perhaps I shall mistake the way." "I will guild you by my counsel," saith God. "But, Lord, I cannot stand before Thee in these nasty rags and nakedness; blushing, shame and confusion fill my face." "My Son has brought in an everlasting righteousness which is to all and upon all them that believe," God answers. "But, Lord, I am continually sinning in thought, in word, and in deed, and Thy law declares, 'He that sinneth in one point is guilty of all.' " "My Son has gone to the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth, all thy sins were on him laid." He bore all our sins in his own body on the tree. "But, Lord, I have no more holiness in my nature than the devil himself; how can I stand before Thee?" "Christ is made sanctification to you; I will form Christ in your heart, the hope of glory." "But, Lord, surely I shall never hold on and hold out." "I will give grace and glory, and no good thing will I withhold from them that walk uprightly." Poor thing, God meets you at every turn.
"How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" As if God would say, "You may have anything there is in heaven, or if there is anything that the blood and sufferings of my Son can do, you shall have it." "I have given you the kingdom," saith God. It is like this: If any man were to come to you, and say, "I have given you a field in such a place," though you had never seen it you would be quite satisfied in your mind there was a right of way to it, and that you could get at it; there would be no thought in your mind, "I wonder whether there is a path to it." Now, as God has given us the kingdom of heaven, he will make plain the way to it. The disciples were flesh and blood, like you and me; they came to the Son of God at one time full of joy and rejoicing, saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us, through Thy name." I do not wonder at that, it would fill me with joy and rejoicing the same. When Satan comes to allure, and I am enabled to say, "Get thee behind me, Satan," or when he visits me, and makes me as miserable as he can, when I am on my knees, and I can tread him down, how I rejoice, and say, "Blessed be God, he did not overcome me." Therefore I can understand what these poor things felt when they said, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name." How glad I should be if the devil was subject to his name in any of your hearts today; if he were cast out of your hearts by the sufferings and agonies of the Son of God. As I just said, this was a cause for rejoicing, but the Son of God said, "Rejoice not that the devils are subject unto you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven." What would be the use of writing their names in heaven if there were no way to it, or if the way were not plain? The Son of God knew the words of my text in truth, therefore he said to the Father, "I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine. Those that Thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition. Thou lovest them as Thou hast loved me. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. Thine they were, and Thou gavest them me." He brings them all at last to heaven, saying, "Behold I, and the children which Thou hast given me: These are they for whom I suffered, these are they for whom Thou didst not spare me, these are they for whom I was I was delivered up to the hands of law and justice, and for whom I was smitten, that no stroke should ever come upon them." How certain! how sure! how fixed! What gospel would it be if it were not so? If the matter were not sure and certain, you or I might go away from here feeling, "It may be, or it may not be;" we might fall from the truth. "It would not be so with me," say you, "I should hold out." You would be the first that would fall. You may be ready to say, "I am sure I should not." The scripture says, "A fool rageth and is confident." The whole of God's election of grace are provided for in the words of my text. There shall be nothing wanting; the means as well as the end are linked together, so God's people can never miss, blessed be God; no, they are too dear to God, they are loved with too great a love, they are bought with too great a price.
"And did the darling Son of God
For sinners deign to bleed?
The purchase of that precious blood
Must needs be rich indeed.
God's wisdom would not pay for toys
So great a price as this;
"Tis God-like glory, boundless joys
Tis unexampled bliss!"
"How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Then, poor thing, there is no fear but that he will take care of you all the way through. You may depend upon this, if a father who is well to do makes his son his heir, he will give him food and raiment suitable to his position. What, shall an earthly parent have that wisdom, tenderness, and care to feed and clothe his child, and give him all things necessary to the position he is going to place him in, and shall the boundless wisdom and almighty power of God give you and me a kingdom, and not pay all the expenses to it? Therefore the Son of God said to his disciples, "O ye of little faith, wherefore dost thou doubt?" We have got more infidelity than faith in our hearts, but this is a mercy, our unbelief does not make the truth of God of no effect. Sometimes God will try the faith of his people sharply, that is only to make it shine out the more. In the same way as he told Abraham he should have a son, but what a long while it was before he had one. God told David he would give him the kingdom, but how many years passed away before the dear man sat easy on the throne. He told the world he would send them his Son, but four thousand years roll on before the promise came to pass. So it may be with you; you are ready to say, "If I could but believe." If you have got faith, you have got unbelief as well. You may see a ship at anchor at times; though it is at anchor, yet the wind and the waves will move it about. So if God has blessed you with faith it will be tossed about, there will be fear and doubt, and then you will be ready to conclude, "Surely if I had got faith I should be fixed and steady." Our faith is like a needle that has been touched by a load stone, it will point to the north; though it trembles about all round the compass when moved, yet when it is still it will point to the north; so, though we are driven hither and thither by doubts and fears, yet we still look to God.
"How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Jesus saith, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you." He means what he says;
"His promise is Yea and Amen,
And never was forfeited yet."
He said to his disciples, "When I sent you out without purse or scrip, lacked ye anything?" "Nothing," they answered. Paul know the truth of my text; he was hard pushed when he wrote to the Philippians. The Holy Ghost told him that in every city bonds and afflictions awaited him; he seems at last to have no friends at all, but what does he say? "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." O my friends, would God give us his Son, his darling, the delight of his eyes, the delight of angels, their song and praise and not give us meaner things? It was never so told in Israel. God may let his people come low, on purpose to show what his power can do. God likes to show himself great and glorious, he likes to come when all other means fail, when we are standing aghast, and are ready to say, "All things are against us." Then his hand is seen and his love is realized. He said to the prophet Elijah, "Arise, and go down to Zarephath: I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee." God has got a heaven for her; let us see how strong her faith is. The prophet goes to her, and says, "Bring me a little water, I pray thee." As she goes to fetch it, he says, "Bring me also a morsel of bread in thine hand." She answers him, "As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruise: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die. God has forgotten us, his mercy is dried up, his love and pity have gone, there is no hope that we can live. "Tis true I have faith in his Christ, and that he has got a heaven to take me to, but I and my son will starve on the earth." "Thus saith the Lord, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruise of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. Thou art near and dear to him. As he has given you heaven, and faith in his Christ, 'how shall he not with him also freely give you all things?' " So you will find it to be; all you will have to complain of will be your unbelief and distrust. When you come to die, you will say, "How could I doubt his words? How could I question his loving kindness towards me? O my base heart!" I will tell you what you will say to those about you, "To trust him endeavor; our fathers trusted in him, and were not ashamed nor confounded."
"How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Why, my friends, do you think he would give us a crown and a kingdom, and not pay the way to it? It may be a dark and narrow way to it, but you will find, though all things are not pleasing to your pride and nature, there will be all things needful, nothing wanting. "How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" You plead that with him, and see if he does not answer it. Go when you are pinched, and say to him, "Lord, Thou hast given me faith in Thy Son, and a hope in Thy mercy, but I am straitened, Lord, and know not what to do. You have said you will surely give me all things; now, Lord, make Thy word and promise good." See if he does not answer it. I have no fear but that he will, or I should not tell thee to do so; I know he is so faithful and loving that he will do it. Therefore he says, "Put me in remembrance, let us plead together, declare thou, that thou mayest be justified." You may have some tossings about it, but you shall say, "For this I prayed, and God has granted me my request." God will have his people speak well of him, and they have reason and cause to do so. Therefore he says, "This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise." Therefore say the words of my text, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely (not niggardly) give us all things" that appertain to this life, and to that which is to come? Blessed be God for his unspeakable mercy, and for the revelation of it to our hearts.