The Gracious Lips of Jesus!
by Charles Spurgeon
"Grace is poured into Your lips." Psalm 45:2
It is marvelous what a never-ending theme there is in the name and person of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The poets of Scripture never mention his person but they fall into rhapsodies at once; they never sing of his name, or of his glories, but at once they seem to be so enchanted by the spirit of poetry that they soar up with ecstasies of joy, and their love scarcely knows how to find language to express itself. Love sometimes overleaps language among sensitive men; and so it does more palpably in Sacred Scripture. Take, for instance, the Canticles. There, love has strained language to the uttermost, in order to embody its vehement passion; yes, so strained it, that some of us, not so filled with love to God, can scarcely appreciate its glowing utterance. Here too, you see, the psalmist, no sooner begins to meditate on the person of the Messiah, with harp in hand, than he cries, "My heart bubbles up with a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. You are fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into your lips."
We shall have no time for a preface, but must proceed at once to the discussion of our text. Grace is poured into the lips of Christ. Let us consider, firstly, the plenitude of this grace; secondly, the nature of this grace; and, thirdly, endeavor to show you in what offices Jesus Christ proves that grace is poured into his lips.
I. We commence with the word "POURED" as suggesting THE PLENITUDE OF GRACE. "Grace is poured into your lips."
Others among the children of men have had "grace." Poets have spoken gracious words, and prophets of old have uttered wondrous sayings, which were divinely inspired; so that it might be said that their doctrine "dropped" as the rain, and their speech "distilled" like the dew. Such imagery, however, is too faint to describe our Lord Jesus. Not merely did he speak as the dew, nor did his message simply drop as the small rain; it "POURED" from his lips. Whenever he spoke, a copious stream of gracious words flowed from him like a very cataract of eloquence. Jesus Christ had not a little grace, but, it was "poured into" him; not a phial of oil on his head, but he had a cruse and a horn of oil emptied upon him. Grace was poured into his lips.
I notice that Calvin translates this passage thus, "Grace is shed from your lips." Not only did God give to his Son grace on his lips, but the Son, whenever he speaks, whether he addresses the people in doctrine and exhortation, or whether he pleads with his Father an their behalf- whenever his lips are open to speak to God for men, or from God to men, he always has "grace shed from his lips." And when I turn to the Septuagint translation of this passage, I find that it has the idea of the very exhaustion of grace, "Grace is poured from your lips," as though emptied out until there is none left. Jesus Christ had grace exhausted in his person. In him "dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." All grace was given to him; the very exhaustion of the inexhaustible store; as much as to say that God could give no more, and that Jesus Christ himself could not receive or possess more grace. It was all poured into his person; and when he speaks, he seems to exhaust grace itself. Imaginationís utmost stretch cannot conceive of anything more gracious; and the contemplation of the most devoted Christian cannot think of any words more majestic in goodness, more tender in sympathy, more full of honey, and more luscious in their sweetness, than the gracious words that proceeded out of the lips of Jesus Christ.
"Grace is poured into his lips." Ah, Christian! you may have some grace on your lips, but you have not got it "poured" into them; you may have some grace in your heart, but it is dropped there like small rain from heaven, you have not got it "poured" there; you may be ever so full of grace, but Christ is more full than you are; and when you are ever so reduced in grace, it is a consolation that with him is plenteous grace, plenty that knows no lack, for grace is poured into his lips. Be not afraid to go to him in every time of need, nor think that he will fail to comfort you. His comforts are not like water spilled on the earth, that cannot be gathered up; they will yield perpetual streams, for grace is poured into his lips. He has no stinted supply, no short allowance to give you; but ask what you will, you shall have as much as your faith can desire, and your heart can hold, for grace is poured into his lips in the richest plenitude.
II. Not to expatiate further on this, let us pass on to consider THE KIND OF GRACE THAT JESUS CHRIST HAS, WHICH IS THUS POURED INTO HIS LIPS, AND SHED FORTH FROM HIS LIPS. It is important to remark that Jesus Christ has what none of the sons of men ever had, he has inherent grace. Adam, when he was created by God, had some inherent grace, which God gave to him; yet not so much of Godís grace as to preserve the uprightness of his character. He had but the grace of purity, as it could be displayed in the innocence of his intelligent nature. There must have, been much grace in the constitution of the man, seeing he was originally created in the likeness of God; yet there could not have been perfect grace in him, for he did not keep his first estate. But Jesus Christ had all the grace that Adam had, and all the grace that any innocent man could have had, in the most sublime perfection; and that grace was always in him. You and I have none of that inherent grace. We have heard men say that children are not born in sin, nor shaped in iniquity, but that they have inherent grace. But we have never yet met with the man who has found so wonderful a child. At any rate, the children have been mightily spoiled in growing to maturity, for they have not given much proof of grace afterwards. No, beloved; We Are Naturally Graceless, a seed of evil-doors; all our inherent grace was spoiled by Adam. However full the pitcher might have been originally, it has been emptied out by the Fall. Adam broke, the earthen vessel, and spilt every drop of its contents, and we have none left. Jesus was born, not a sinful man, but begotten of the Holy Spirit, made of a pure virgin. In the conception of that Ďholy Oneí there was no hereditary sin- his body was without taint or pollution, and his soul was impeccable. It was not possible for him to sin, for in Jesus there was no sin- he had inherent grace in himself.
And next, he had grace which he derived from the constitution of his person, being God as well as man. The manhood of Christ derived grace from the Godhead of Christ. I do not doubt that his two natures were united in such wonderful union that what the man did, the God confirmed, and what the God willed, that the man did. Nor did the man Christ Jesus ever act without the God Christ Jesus. Nor did he ever speak without the God, -the God within him, -the God whom he is as truly as he is man. We speak but as men, except when the Spirit of God speaks through us. The greatest and mightiest of all prophets have but spoken as men inspired; but Jesus spoke as man and God conjoined. "Grace" ó this unutterably divine grace-his own grace of Godhead, was poured into his lips, and shed forth from his lips.
But more. I conceive that the Lord Jesus Christ, when he spoke, had also, as well as his ministers, the assistance of God the Holy Spirit. In fact, we are told that God gave not the Spirit unto him by measure. It is a most remarkable fact, and I believe it is put in Scripture on purpose to make us honor the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ as a preacher- so far as we can judge from the Word of God- was not so successful in conversion as some of his followers have been. If you turn to the life of Paul, you will notice how many thousands were brought through his preaching to know the Lord; and if you read the account of Peterís sermon on the day of Pentecost, you will see that three thousand were converted on that one day. You never hear of such an instance in the life of Christ. When he died, he left only about five hundred disciples behind him; the reason was this, Jesus said, "I will honor the Holy Spirit; I will let the world know that it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord. And though I speak as never man spake, and have more eloquence than mortal ever again can attain, yet I will, in my sovereignty, restrain myself from the exercise of that Spirit. The peopleís eyes shall be dull, and they shall slumber, their hearts shall wax fat, and they shall be gross. Then, in after years, I will speak more through a humble fisherman than I did myself. I will honor more the weakest instrument than I have done even my own self as a preacher."
Ah! It is wonderful how God magnifies the ministry of the Holy Spirit! We are so apt to forget his essential offices of the covenant- that God, as it were, says, "Here is my own Son- although he preaches, I will show you that the preacher must rest on the Holy Spirit. And I will give him a congregation that shall take him to the brow of a hill to cast him down headlong. While Paul, who is but a stammerer, I will clothe with such majesty, that wherever he goes his testimony shall go with the power of the Spirit to abase the gods of the heathens, and make their idols totter to the dust."
Yet Jesus Christ had the Spirit without measure, for every sentence of his was instinct with energy divine. "The words," said Jesus, "that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Thus, you see, his words are not merely of the Spirit, but they are Spirit. It seems to me that, as he that has seen Christ hath seen the Father, so he that hath heard Christ has heard the Holy Spirit. Still, the fruits of his ministry, like the homage due to his person, lay beyond the brief term of his sojourn on earth. He was rejected of his generation but afterwards "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." In like manner, his words, though not seemingly productive at the time, were so full of the Spiritís quickening power that they were afterwards the means of conversion to millions of millions beyond the capacity of mortals to count. All conversions under Peter, Paul, and the other apostles, were by Jesus Christ. The words that he spoke in secret, they published far and Wide. All Conversions Now Are in His Name, and by His Word. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." If an apostle spake of himself, his words fell to the ground; but what his Master told him to say was abundantly successful. Jesus Christ has the Spirit without measure; and herein is another kind of grace, of which it can be said, "Grace is poured into your lips.
III. We have very hastily passed over these two divisions, that we may dilate on the third. We are now to consider THE VARIOUS OFFICES IN WHICH WE MAY DISCERN "GRACE" AS BEING "POURED INTO THE LIPS" OF CHRIST, AND SHED AGAIN FROM HIS LIPS. First, let us regard our Savior as the eternal Surety of the covenant, and we shall see that grace was poured into his lips. When God the Father originally made the covenant, it stood somewhat in this form: "My Son, you desire, and I also agree with you, to save a multitude, that no man can number, whom I have elected in you. But, in order to their salvation, that I may be just, and yet the Justifier of the ungodly, it is necessary that someone should be their Representative, to stand responsible for their obedience to my laws, and their Substitute to suffer whatever penalties they incur. If you, my Son, will stipulate to bear their punishment, and endure the penalty of their crimes, I on my part will stipulate that you shall see your seed, shall prolong your days, and that the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in your hands. If you are prepared to promise that you will bear the exact punishment of all the people whom you would save, I on my part am prepared to swear by myself, because I can swear by no greater, that all for whom you shall atone shall infallibly be delivered from death and hell, and that all for whom you bear the punishment shall hence go free, nor shall my wrath rise against them, however great may be their sins." Jesus spoke the word, and he said, "My Father! lo, I come: in the volume of the Book it is written of me, I delight to do your will, O my God."
Now, that was spoken in eternity, farther back than faith on eagle wings can soar, and such grace was poured into the lips of Christ when he made that simple declaration, that tens of thousands of saints entered heaven, simply on the ground of his solemn pledge. Such grace was there shed from the lips of Jesus that, from the days of Adam, when one transgression involved the race in ruin, down to the times when the second Adam made reconciliation for iniquity, the (O.T.) saints all entered heaven upon the faith of Christís promise alone. Not one drop of blood had been shed, not one agony suffered, the contract was not performed, the stipulation not yet fulfilled; but the Suretyís oath was quite enough, in the Fatherís ears there needed no other confirmation. His heart was satisfied. Yes, more; in that self-same moment, when Jesus spake that word in his Fatherís ear, all the saints were in him justified and rendered complete, their salvation was secure. As soon as ever Jesus Christ said, "My Father, I will pay the penalty, they shall have my righteousness, and I will have their sin," their acceptance was an eternal fact. In union with the Lamb, from condemnation free, the saints of God forever were, and shall forever be. Oh! Was not grace POURED into his lips- that one single promise could redeem all the people of God, and carry thousands to heaven; even without a single performance; because God the father could so rely on him. He would never go back from his agreement, nor ever turn aside from his covenant. This is the first aspect in which we behold grace shed forth from Christís lips.
Secondly, grace is poured into his lips as the greatest of all prophets and teachers. The law was given by Moses, and there was some grace on his lips; for Moses, even when he preached the law, preached the gospel, privileged as he was to look steadfastly to the end of that which is abolished. When he taught the offering of the lamb, the bullock, and the turtle-dove, there was gospel couched in the law itself, in the law of Levitical ceremonies. But Moses had but little grace. The beams that shone on the face of Moses were but beams of grace, they were not "the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
They were the glory of JUSTICE, but not the glory of GRACE. And when other prophets rose at different periods of the first dispensation of the law, they each had some measure of grace.
Whether we consider the heroic Elijah, or the plaintive Jeremiah, or Isaiah, that seraphic seer, who spoke more of Christ than all the rest; we find that each and all had some grace in their lips; what they preached was gracious doctrine, and well worthy to be received, but who ever taught such doctrines as those of Jesus? Where, amongst the writings of the prophets and sages of antiquity, can we find such words as those which Jesus uttered? Who ever taught the people that they should love all men? Who ever taught the people such wondrous doctrines as those which you find in all his sermons? Who could have been so great a teacher? Who could so blessedly have prophesied to his people but Jesus Christ himself? My soul, contemplate Jesus as the only Rabbi of the Church; view him as the only Lord and Master; take your doctrines and articles of faith from his lips, and his lips alone; study his Word, and make that alone your guide; interpret all the rest by his light. When you have done so, you will say, "O Prophet of my salvation, you Teacher of Israel, verily grace is poured into your lips! No books afford me such instruction as yours, no ministers address me in such words as my Shepherd speaks. No learning has in it such depths of wisdom as the wisdom of Christ." More to be desired are his words than gold; yes, than much fine gold. Grace was poured into his lips as the greatest of all prophets.
Thirdly, Christ had grace poured into his lips as the most eloquent of all preachers. One of the joys I anticipate in heaven is to hear Christ speak to his people. I conceive that there was such a majesty about Jesus Christ, when he spoke on earth, as not Demosthenes, Cicero, nor Pericles, nor all the orators of ancient or modern times could ever approach. He had a voice, I suppose, more sweet than even the music which came from the harps of angels. He had an eye expressive of sympathy with those whom
he addressed. He had a heart which animated every feature of his countenance. His was pathos which could break the stony heart; his was sublimity which could elevate the sensual Mind; Each Word of His Was a Pearl, Each Sentence Was of Pure Gold. "Never man spake like this man." No poet, in his most rapt ecstasy, could have grasped such sublime thoughts as those the Savior delivered to his hearers; and when, stooping from his flights, he condescends to speak in plain and simple words to his fellows, there is naked, ungarnished simplicity in the familiar discourse of Christ to which man cannot in the least Approach. Jesus Christ Was the Greatest and the Plainest of All Preachers. We could put aside every other in comparison with him. We have known men who could curb the restless multitude, and hold them spellbound. Some of us have listened to some mighty man of God who chained our ears, held us fast, and constrained our attention all the while he spoke. Justice, sin, righteousness, and judgment to come have absorbed us while they enlisted our sympathies. But had you heard the Savior, you would have heard more wondrous things than any mere man ever could have spoken.
Methinks, if the wild winds could have heard him, they would have ceased their blustering; if the waves could have listened to him they would have hushed their tumult, and the rough back of ocean would have been smoothed; if the stars could have heard him, they would have stopped their hurried march; if the sun and moon had heard him whose voice is more potent than that of Joshua, they would have stood still; if creation could have heard him then, charmed, it would have stopped its ceaseless motions, and the wheels of the universe, would have stood still, that all ears might listen, that all hearts might beat, and that all eyes might glisten, and that so souls might be elevated while Jesus Christ spoke. It was fabled of Hercules that he had golden chains in his mouth with which he chained the ears of men, it is true of Jesus that he had golden chains in his mouth, that chained menís ears and hearts too. He had no need to ask attention, for grace was poured into his lips.
Happy day! happy day! when I shall sit down at the feet, of Jesus Christ, and hear him preach. O beloved, what we shall then think of our poor preaching, I cannot tell! It is a mercy that Jesus Christ does not preach here now, for, after hearing him, none of us would preach again, so ashamed should we be of ourselves. Sometimes, when we try to preach, and afterwards hear a more able minister, we feel so outdone that our preaching seems nothing, we hardly dare try again. It is a mercy there is a veil between us and Christ. We cannot hear him preach, or else we should all vacate our pulpits. But, in heaven, I hope to sit enchanted at his feet; and if he will speak for a million years, I would ask him to speak yet, another million; and if he will still speak, even then, for the sweet redundance of that grace which is poured into his lips, my raptured soul would sit, and love, and smile itself away in ecstasies of joy to hear my Savior speak. "Grace was poured into his lips" as the most eloquent of preachers.
Fourthly, grace was poured into the lips of Christ as the faithful Promiser. I look upon all the promises of Godís Word as being the promises of Jesus as well as the promises of the Father and of the Holy Spirit. Every word which is spoke here to the Christian, is spoken by Jesus Christ. All the promises of God, we are told, are yes and Amen in Christ Jesus, unto the glory of God; and as the promises are all made in him, so they are all spoken by him. Now, will you not concur with me when I say that, verily, grace is poured into his lips as the faithful Promiser? We have sometimes read his promises, we have heard them with our ears, and oh, what grace there is in them! Take, for Instance, That Great Honeycomb Promise: "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the Lord that has mercy on you."
Turn to another: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you." "Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, says the Lord, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." Listen to such sweet words as these: "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls." Beloved, you do not need that, I tell you how precious these promises are. The best way to preach of the faithful Promiser is to tell you some of his promises. I will not tell you what treasures there are in Christís cabinet; I will break the door open, and let you look at some more of the treasures for yourselves. "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you. Behold, I have graven you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me." "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." "Even to hoar hairs will I carry you." "All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise caste out." Is he not indeed full of grace as the faithful Promiser? You, poor souls, who have been drinking from the wells of promise, well know his faithfulness, and the grace therein; you have come sick and weary oftentimes to this well, and your strength has been renewed until you were like giants refreshed with new wine. Your spirits have been depressed, and your souls have been melancholy; but when you have come here, you have tasted that wine which makes glad the heart of man. Oh, did ever man speak like this man, when he speaks as the faithful Promiser? "Grace was poured into his lips."
Fifthly, grace is poured into his lips as the Wooer and the Winner of his peopleís hearts. O beloved, Christ has hard work to win his peopleís love! He prepares his feast, the fatlings are killed, but those that are bidden will not come, so he says to his messengers, "Go out into, the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Yet what a hard matter it is to bring poor souls to be in love with Jesus! In vain does the minister dilate upon his charms; in vain does he try to paint his features as well as he can. We are poor daubers, and we mar the beauty which we attempt to portray. Sinners say, "Is that Jesus? then there is no beauty in him that we should desire him;" and they turn away, and hide their faces from him. With tears streaming from our eyes, we seek "to find out acceptable words," and we use the best language our hearts can dictate, but we cannot win your souls. Sometimes we address you in rough words that we have borrowed from some ancient Boanerges; at other times, with smooth words such as a Chrysostom might approve; yet they are alike in vain.
But oh, when Jesus pleads his own cause, how sweetly does he plead it! Have you never watched the heart when Jesus Christ begins to woo it, when he opens the ear, and says, "Poor soul, I love you, and because I love you I will tell you what you are. You are cast out into the open field, you are lying in your blood; you are dead in trespasses and sins; yet I love you, will, not you love me?" "Nay," says the heart, "I will not." "But," says Jesus, "my love is deep as hell, it is insatiable as the grave; I will be yours, and you shall be mine." And have you noted how soon the stubborn soul begins to yield, and the hard rock begins to flow like Niobeís tears, until at length the heart says, "O Jesus! love you? Yes I do, because you did first love me?" Why is it that some here have not given their hearts to Jesus? Perhaps it is because Jesus has not revealed himself to them in person; but when he does, they cannot deny him. I challenge any man to hold his heart back when Jesus comes for it. When he displays himself, when he takes the veil off our eyes, and lets us look at his lovely face, shows us his wounded hands and his bleeding side, methinks there is no heart but must be drawn forth to him. Ah, Christian! do you not remember the hour when he pleaded with you? He knocked at the door, and you would not let him in. But your Beloved put his hand in
the latch of the door, and your affections were moved for him. And how sweetly did he tell you of your sinnership, and with the next word made known to you your redemption; then told you of your death, and with the next word made you alive; then told you that you were powerless, and with the next word made you strong; then told you of your unbelief, and with the next sentence gave you faith. Oh! is he not filled with grace as he wins the hearts and affections of his people?
Sixthly, Jesus Christ has his lips filled with grace as the great consolation of Israel, the comfort of all his people. There is no comfort except that which comes from the Lord Jesus. At No Brook Can You Slake the Thirst of The Soul but at That Stream of Grace Which Flows from Christ and Never Can Run Dry. Let us rehearse his mighty acts; let us go back over our life, and see the various Ebenezers we have raised to his sovereign grace and mercy.
Do you not remember how he appeared to you in the solitude of the wilderness, and said to you, "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love?" Do you not remember when, torn with the thorns and briars of this world, you were despairing and ready to die, how he came and touched you, and said to you, "Live," when he bade you turn your eye upwards to him, and you could then say, "Since Jesus is mine, I will fear nothing?" O you who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, go again to the banqueting house, where the Savior comforted you with flagons and fed you with apples, where he gave you the sweet fruits of the kingdom, and took of the clusters of Eshcol, and squeezed them into your mouth. Do you not remember when he gave you something better than angels food at the Lordís table, or how he manifested himself to you in the use of the means while you were waiting upon him? And will you not say, "O Jesus, verily grace was poured into your lips?" Desponding soul, if Jesus speaks to you today you will not be desponding any longer. There is such potency in the word "Jesus" that methinks it ought to be sung in all hospitals to charm away diseases; at least, in every lazar-house for souls. Wherever there are diseased hearts and troubled spirits, I would always go and sing, "Jesus!" There is no medicine able to cure melancholy like the body and blood of Jesus. When he draws near to comfort his people, midnight becomes noon, the thickest darkness becomes a blaze of meridian splendor; for grace is poured into his lips.
Seventhly, grace is pouted into Christís lips as the great Intercessor for his people before the throne. Before Jesus ascended up on high, and led captivity captive, as Toplady says, "With cries and tears he offered up his humble suit below;" but now that Jesus Christ has gone up on high, "with authority" he pleads before his Father. It must have been wonderful to hear the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane; but oh, if we might see our blessed Lord this morning pleading in heaven! He stands before his Fatherís throne, points to his pierced side, and shows his wounded hands. When our prayers rise to heaven, they are broken prayers, but Jesus knows how to mend them. There are things in them that should not be there, so he corrects them, and then he takes the amended edition of our prayers, and says, "My Father, another petition I have come to lay before you." Says the Father, "From whom is it?" "From one of my people." And then Jesus Christ says, "Father, I will -it must be done. Look, here is the price!" And he, holds up his hands, and shows his side, and then the Father says, "My Son, it shall be done. Whatsoever you ask, in prayer, for your sake it shall be bestowed."
Do you see yonder poor man? His name is Peter. At no great distance is Satan, who wants to destroy his soul. He has a large sieve, in which he desires to sift Peter. Can you imagine Satan presenting himself before the Lord, as in days of yore? He says, "O Lord, let me have Peter in my sieve, that I may sift him as wheat!" Down goes Jesus before the throne, and says, "My Father, I beseech you let not this grain of wheat fall to the ground." Satan goes and catches Peter, and begins to sift him. The first time, he is a little frightened; the second time, he says, "Man, I know not what you say;" the third time, he says, "I know not the Man;" and he begins to curse and swear. How terrible is that sifting! But Christ looks at him, and out goes Peter; the prayer of Jesus availed for him, the look of Jesus prevailed with him: "he went out and wept bitterly," and his soul was saved. Oh, the mighty power of intercession! I do not think our prayers would ever be heard in heaven if it were not for Jesus Christ. He is the great Mediator by whom our prayers must be presented.
Eighthly, Jesus Christ, has grace poured into his lips as the Counselor for his people. You may have seen a special pleader rise with a brief in his hand; he shows the case against the prisoner to be a very bad one. Then witnesses are called. Afterwards another advocate gets up to plead the prisonerís cause- to rebut, if possible, the accusation, or to set forth extenuating circumstances in mitigation of punishment. Now, when we stand before the judgment bar of God, Satan will rise up- that old accuser of the brethren, and will gather together the evidences of our guilt, and the reasons why we should be condemned. Methinks I hear him say that we were born in sin, and shaped in iniquity, and, therefore, we deserve to be lost; that we have a corrupt nature, that we had the sin of Adam laid to us; and then, with malicious spleen, he will allege that we transgressed at such -and- such a time, when we were young; following up our career from youth to manhood, and even down to hoar hairs; clenching all his arguments by an appeal to our unbelief, that, though we have professed to believe, we have doubted the promises, and could not, therefore, be children of God. Well might we, as transgressors, tremble when, with a bad case, the grounds of judgment against us are so maliciously stated. But there stands forth on our behalf the Wonderful, the Counselor; and he bakes his brief in his hand, and begins to plead. Hark what he says, and see, how all opinion is turned at once! "I confess," says he, "that every word is true that the accuser has uttered.
My client pleads guilty to every charge; but I have a full pardon signed by Godís own hand, purchased by my own blood;" and, stripping himself, he shows his wounds, and says "These people were given to me of my Father before the foundation of the world. I bore their sins in my own body on the tree; My Father justified them, and I pardoned them." And then, mounting to the highest point, he reaches the climax of grace as he exclaims, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of Godís elect? Can you, O God? Have you not justified them? I cannot, for I died for them." Then he sits down in triumph, saying, "Whom heí justified, them he also glorified.
Nothing shall be able to separate them from the love of God." Shall not each ransomed sinner shout with joy, "Oh righteous Advocate, grace is poured into your lips!"
And now, lastly, grace is poured into the lips of Jesus as the great Judge of all at last. That will be a gracious judgment which Jesus Christ shall dispense; it will be gracious, because it will be at once merciful and just. Sinners, ungodly men and women, now in this house of prayer, you have never heard the voice of Jesus, and you have never known what it is to confess that grace was poured into his lips, but let me tell you, the time will come when you will be made to confess that grace is poured into his lips. You will stand there, and hear him say to his own people, "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." When you hear it, you will think within yourselves, "Never did such music break on our ears before. Oh what precious words!" Ay, but you will fall down, and ask rocks to hide you, and mountains to cover you, because the words were not spoken to you. You will tremble as, one by one, the faithful soldiers of Jesus Christ come before him. He will say to one, "Verily, you have been faithful in a few things, I will make you ruler over many things." To another he will say, "You have fought a good fight, you have kept the faith, receive the crown laid up for you from the foundation of the world." You will then say, "Oh, what grace was poured into his lips! How graciously he speaks!" And you all the while will feel that he is not speaking to you; you will stand there, and know that your turn will never come when he shall speak gracious words to you. You will stand fixed to the spot petrified as you listen while you hear those matchless syllables. You laugh at the saints now, you will envy them then. You despise them now; but you will be ready to kiss the dust of their feet if you might but get into heaven. You would not ask to sit on a throne with them; but to lie at their feet would be enough for you if you might but hear Christ, say to you, "Come, you blessed."
But, in a moment, instead of gracious words, my hearers- I am not telling you a dream, but a reality- in a moment- O believe me! for God speaks it- instead of words of grace, there shall come words of terror, and there shall be found no blessed place for you. These are the words: "Depart, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." You would not wish to hear those gracious lips utter such a sentence as that to you. I am sure you are none of you anxious to make your bed in hell, and find your abode in damnation; but, my hearers, I must warn you faithfully. There are some of you who, if you die as you are, will never go to heaven; there are many of you, my regular attendants, and some of you who have just strayed in here this morning, who know, and your heart confesses it, that you are "in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."
Christians, weep for them. Let your tears flow in rivers. It were sad if they were sick, but this is worse, for they are sick unto the second death; it were painful if they were condemned to die by the law, but they are "condemned already." My beloved brethren and sisters, there are some of you now- start not- there are some sitting side by side with you in the pews, who are condemned criminals. How would you feel this morning if, as you sat in your pew, there was a man beside you who was to be hanged tomorrow? You would say, "Oh, that God might bless the word to that poor creatureís soul! Oh, that God might send it into his heart, for he is a condemned man!" Do you not know that it is so? There is a saint of God, and sitting by his side is a black child of hell; here is an heir of glory and immortality, and the neighbor who touched his arm this morning is dead in sins, and condemned to die!
What! will you not weep and feel for them? Will your hearts be like stone and steel? Will you let them perish without a sigh, without a prayer, without a tear? No; we will pray for them, that God in his mercy may yet give them grace to save them from the wrath to come. Poor sinners, do not despise my blessed Master, I beseech you. If you knew him, you would love him, I know. O poor wicked sinner, you who feel self-condemned, conscience-stricken, have you no love to Jesus? Ah! if you did but know how much Jesus Christ loves you, you would love him at once. I know a man who said he never was so struck by anything in all his life as when
he heard that line ó "Jesus, Lover of my soul!" "Oh!" said he, "I did not recollect anything of the sermon; but only those words at the beginning of a hymn, ó "Jesus, Lover of my soul!" He went to a friend of mine, and he said, "Do you think Jesus Christ is the ĎLover of my soul?í If I thought he was, I think I could love him at once." The friend said, "Ah, well! if you feel like that, Jesus is the Lover of your soul."
O beloved, what would you give if you might but call Jesus Christ your Lover and your Friend, if you could but know that he loved you? Do you sigh for an interest in his love? Ah! then he does love you, for you would not have wanted him to love you if he had not set his heart upon you. Have you a desire for Jesus? Then Jesus has a thousand times as much desire for you. I tell you Christ is more pleased to save poor sinners than poor sinners are to be saved. The Shepherd is more ready to reclaim the lost sheep than the sheep is to be reclaimed. So let me tell you, poor soul, that Jesus has no pleasure in the death of him that dies; but he has a pleasure deep as the sea, high as heaven, wide as the East is from the West, and as unsearchable as his own divinity, in saving souls. Only believe in his name, sinner; to you I preach, you actual, bona fide sinner; you real sinner, to you I preach. Jesus Christ says, "Whosoever believes in me shall never die." Do you believe this? Will you put your trust in him?
Will you drop into his arms, and let him carry you? Will you fall flat upon the Rock of ages, and let that sustain you? If you do it now, this moment, you shall become in this happy moment a changed man. You shall be no longer an heir of wrath, but a child of grace; and your salvation shall become as inevitably secure as if you were even now among the glorified.