Why Grace Gems?
At a time like the present, when so much religious material is already afloat, and when so many high professions are made of their supposed adherence to the truth; it may be, to some—a matter of surprise that we should venture to launch our 'little vessel' into so wide an ocean, lest the first tempest that it meets with, should sink it into oblivion, never to appear again.
But, when we see among the churches—most fearing to express Scriptural truths, lest they should give offense; others insisting on the 'spirituality' of certain dead religious forms; and others, with all the mockery and mummery of Popery, returning to the "mother-church" who gave them birth, and to again partake of her corruptions and fornications; when we see that there is so much flesh-pleasing conformity to the spirit of the world; and so little desire manifested to set forth the simplicity and preciousness of the Gospel, as it is in Jesus—we confess that, under the Divine blessing, and guided by unselfish motives—we trust that we shall meet with that encouragement from the true followers of the Lamb, which will keep our vessel upon the wave, despite all the storms and batterings of men with which it may be assailed.
In our labors, we hope ever to keep in view the following points, and to expound them, in all their beauty, whether men will listen—or whether they will refuse to hear:
The love of the Father displayed in Election,
the love of the Son shown in Redemption,
the love of the Holy Spirit expressed in Regeneration—and the glorious blessings arising therefrom, and connected therewith:
1. That in eternity past the Lord, foreseeing even the most minute circumstance of events, chose to Himself, in Christ—a people whom He is determined to save with an everlasting salvation, and who shall show forth His praise; while the rest of mankind, being left to the hardness of their evil hearts, must inevitably perish in their sins.
2. That His blessed Majesty will lead His quickened children into the mystery of the iniquity of their carnal hearts; and into the glorious mystery of Christ—as suited to and designed for them—thus glorifying Christ in their hearts as all and in all.
3. That the imputed righteousness of Christ is absolutely necessary for the justification of a sinner, and His holiness for their sanctification; fallen, ruined, guilty man, by nature as well as by practice—being incapacitated from doing anything towards the salvation of his own soul.
4. That nothing short of the divine power and energy of God the Holy Spirit in the heart of a sinner—will make him spiritually repent; all other repentance would be like Judas'—only fleshly.
5. That wherever the blessed Spirit begins His work of grace in a sinner's heart, He will perfect it; being not in the power of Satan or men to wrest one soul out of His hands!
6. That the Gospel, which contains all the glory of all the laws that ever were promulgated from the throne of God, and in which harmonize all the glorious doctrines, promises, and precepts of the grace of God—is the only perfect rule of the believer's life and conduct—everything else leaves him destitute of all hope.
While it will be our privilege ever to adhere to these God-glorifying, man-abasing sentiments, we shall publish writings which will tend to the comforting, instructing, or edifying of the flock of Christ—knowing that the weakest instruments are sometimes made the greatest blessings.
Into the hands of the Divine Master, we give ourselves. If it should please Him to make our labors a blessing to the poor of His household, we shall give Him all the glory!
(Adapted from the Gospel Standard Magazine, 1835)
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