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earth with this for å song in his mouth, "I am forgiven, I am forgiven ; I am pardoned ?" I think it is one of the sweetest songs in all the world-scarcely less sweet than that of the cherubim before the throne“Oh, how sweet to view the flowing With divine assurance knowing, Of his soul redecming blood!
He has made my peace with God.” Oh! what would you give for such a salvation as this, ye mourning souls? It is preached to you without money and without price, and I am bidden to cry “ Ho! ho! Every one that thirsteth; if you feel your need of Christ, if you are now ready to confess your sins, come and take it freely without money and without price.” But the best remains for the last. The pardon which is proclaimed to-night, is not only a free, and full, and present, but it is a pardon that will last for ever. If the Queen pardons any one-grants a free pardon-it is impossible that man should be punished for the same offence. Very often, however, the Queen grants a reprieve that is not a full pardon. There are cases in which persons are so far pardoned, that they are not executed for the crime, but confined during Her Majesty's pleasure. Now. our Lord never does that; he makes a clean sweep of it: there is not one sin that he allows to remain. When he does wash a soul, he washes it whiter than the driven snow. God doth things perfectly. But the best of it is, that what he does once is done for ever. This is the very glory of the gospel. If you get pardon to-night, you are saved now, but you never shall be condemned. If a man believeth in Christ with all his heart, his salvation is secure beyond hazard; and I always look upon this as the very jewel of the crown of salvation, that it is irreversible. If I commit my soul into the hands of God, “His honour is engaged to save
Not death or hell shall e'er divide
His fav'rites from his breast;
They must for ever rest." God does not make you his child to-day, and turn you out to-morrow; he does not forgive you to-day, and then punish you the next day. As true as God is God, if thou gettest thy pardon to-night Christian, the earth may melt away just as a moment's foam dissolves into the wave that bears it and is lost for ever; the great universe may pass away and be like the hoar-frost before the morning sun; but thou never canst be condemned. As long as God is God, he who has got his pardon signed and sealed, is beyond the reach of harm. I would not preach any other-I dare not. It would not be worth your receiving, it would not be worth my taking the trouble to preach; but this is worth any man's having indeed, for it is a sure investment. He who puts himself into the hands of Christ has a sure keeper, come what may-and there may come strong temptations and strong affections, and there may come strong pains and hard duties, but he that hath helped us bears us through, and makes us more than conquerors too. Oh! to be pardoned once, with the certain assurance that we shall be pardoned for ever, beyond the hazard of being cast away!
And now again, I will just preach this salvation, for this is the wine and milk which is proclaimed without money and without price. Beloved, all this is to be gained by faith in Christ--whosoever believeth in him who died upon the tree, and groaned away his life for us-shall never come into condemnation; he is passed from death unto life, and the love of God abideth in him,
II. And now, having thus exhibited the article, my next business is to BRING THE BIDDERS UP TO TAE AUCTION BOX AND SELL IT. My difficulty is to bring you down to my price, as old Rowland said. He was preaching in a fair, and he heard a man selling his goods. “Ah!” said he was for those people over there, their difficulty is to bring people up to their price; whereas, my difficulty is to bring you down to my price.”
Now, here is a gospel fully preached, without money and without price. Here comes some one up to the sacred desk, transformed for the moment into an auction box, and he cries, “I want to buy." What will you give for it? He holds out his hands, and he has such a handful; he has to lift up his very lap with more, for he can hardly hold all his good works. He has Ave-Marias and Paternosters without number, and all kinds of crossings with holy water, and bendings of the knee, and prostrations before the altar, and reverence of the host, and attending at the mass, and so on. In French, they call the mass the messe, and a mess it is and no mistake; but there are a great many people who trust in it; and when they come before God, they bring all these things as the ground of their reliance.
And so, Sir Romanist, you are coming to get salvation are you? and you have bronght all this with you. Friend, I am sorry for thee, but thou must go away from the box with all thy performances, for it is “withont money and without price," and until thou art prepared to come eapiy handed thou canst never have it.
If thou hast anything of thine own thou canst not receive it “ But," says he " I am no heretic. Am I not true to the Pope? Do I not make confession and get absolution, and pay my shilling? Do you my friend? Then because you pay your shilling for it, it is good for nothing, for that which is good for something you can have “ without money and without price.” The light we pay for is a sickly thing, but that which we get from heaven for nothing, is the rich healthy light which makes the heart glad. So the pardon that comes from Christ is “ without money and without price."
Then another comes up and says “ I am glad you have served the Romanist like that. I hate the Church of Rome; I am a true Protestant, and desire to be saved." What have you brought, sir? “ Oh I have brought no Ave-Marias, no Paternosters; I abhor the names; I do not like those Latin names, not I. But I say the collect every Sunday; I am very attentive to my prayers. I go to church almost as soon as the doors are open,” or (if he is a Dissenter) “ I go to chapel three times on the Sabbath, and I attend the prayer-meetings; and beside that, I pay everybody twenty shillings in the pound; I had rather pay twenty-one shillings than nineteen, I would not like to hurt any body; I do not tread upon a worm if I can help it; I am always liberal, and assist the poor when I can. I may make a little slip, just now and then. I may turn aside a little; still, if I am not saved I do not know who will be. I am as good as my neighbours, and I think, sir, I certainly ought to be saved, for I have very few sins, and what few there are do not hurt other people; they hurt me more than any one else. Besides, they are mere trifles; only one or two days in the year I break loose, „and a man must have a little amusement after all. I assure you I am one of the best, most honest, and sober, and religious people going.” Well, my friend, I am sorry to hear you quarrelling with the Romanist, for I do not like to see twin brothers disagree. You are both of the same kith and kin, believe me, for the essence of Popery is salvation by works and ceremonies. You do not practise his works and ceremonies, but then you hope to be saved by your own, and you are just as bad as he. I will send you away; there is no salvation for you, for it is “ without money and without price;” and as long as you bring these fine good works of yours you cannot have it. Mark, I do not find any fault with them, they are good enough in their place, but they won't do here to-night, and they won't do at the judgment bar of God. Practice those things as much as you like; they are good in their place; but still, in the matter of salvation you must leave them out, and come for it as poor guilty sinners, and take it “without money and without price.” Says one, “Do you find fault with good works?” Not at all. Suppose I see a man building a house, and he were food enough to lay the foundation with chimney-pots. If I should say, “My dear man, I do not like these chimney-pots to be put into the foundation,” you would not say I found fault with the chimney-pots, but that I found fault with the man for putting them in the wrong place. Let him put good solid masonry at the bottom, and then when the house is built he may put on as many chimney-pots as he likes. So with good works and ceremonies; they will not do for a foundation. The foundation must be built of more solid stuff. Our hope must be built on nothing less than Jesu's blood and righteousness, and when we have built a foundation with that, we may have as many good works as we like-the more the better. But for a foundation, good works are fickle and feeble things, and he that useth them will see his house totter to the ground.
But see another man. He is a long way off, and he says, “Sir, I am afraid to come; I could not come and make a bid for the salvation. Sir, I've got no larnin', I'm no scholard, I can't real a book, I wish I could. My children go to Sunday-school; I wish there was such a thing in my time, I can't read, and its no use my hoping to go to heaven. I goes to church sometimes, but oh dear! it's no good; the man uses such long words I can't understand 'em, and I goes to chapel sometimes, but I can't make it out. I knows a little of the hymns my child says, about
Gentle Jesus meek and mild,'--and
"Oh! that will be joyful, when we meet to part no more.' I wish they would preach like that, and then, maybe, I could make it out. But I'm no scholard, sir, and I don't think I can be saved.” () my dear friend, you need not stand over the at the back. Come along with you. It wants no scholarship to go to heaven. The more you know the better it will be for you on earth, no doubt, but it will be of no particular use to you in heaven. If you can “read your title clear to mansions in the skies," if you know enough to know yourself a lost sinner, and Christ a great Saviour, that is all you want to know to get to heaven. There is many a man in heaven that never read a letter on earth-many a man that could not, it his life depended on it, have signed liis name, but was obliged to write a cross is Tun Stiles's mark"--- and there he is aipong the brightesi. Puier
himself has not a brighter place than many poor ignorant souls who looked to Jesus Christ, and were enlightened. I will tell you something to comfort you. Don't you know that Christ said, the poor had the gospel preached to them; and besides that, he said, “ Except a man be converted, and become as a little child, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven,” What does that mean, but that we must believe the gospel like little children? A little child has not much learning; he just believes what he is told; and that is what you are to do. You are to believe what God tells you. He says, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. That is no hard thing, is it? You can believe that; and if you can, if you are destitute of all human knowledge, you shall without doubt, know
Now, I see a man come up to the stall, and he says, “ Well, I will have salvation, sir; I have made in my will provisions for the building of a church or two, and a few almshouses; I always devote a part of my substance to the cause of God; I always relieve the poor, and such-like; I have a pretty good share of money, and I take care not to hoard it up; I am generous and liberal; I try to set up poor irades-people, and so forth. Won't that carry me to heaven?” Well, I like you very much, and I wish there were more of your sort. There is nothing like generosity and liberality certainly, where it is exhibited towards the sick and the poor, the destitute and the ignorant, and in the cause of God; but if you bring these things as your hope of heaven, my dear friend, I must undeceive you. You cannot buy heaven with gold. Why, they pave the streets up there with it. Are we not told in the book of Revelation, that the streets of the city were all of pure gold like unto transparent glass. Why, if you had twenty thousand pounds
heaven if he spent all his money for it. It is too precious a place to be bought with gold and silver. If all the wealth of the Indies could be shot out in order to buy one glimpse of heaven, it would be useless. There is no man that could get so much as a distant peep within its pearly gates for all the gold that heart could conceive or covetousness desire. It is given away for nothing. Christ will never sell it-never-because there is nothing that can be brought at all equal to its value. What Christ bought with blood you cannot buy with gold. He redeemed us not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with his precious blood; and there is no other price that can ever be allowed. Ah! my rich friend, you are just on a level with your poorest labourer. You may wear broadcloth, and he fustian, yet he has as good an opportunity of being saved as you. Ah! my lady, satin has no preference in heaven above calico or cotton.
“None are excluded hence but those who do themselves exclude.” Wealth makes distinction on earth, but no distinction at the cross of Christ. You must all come alike to the footstool of Jesus, or else not come at all. I knew a minister who told me he was once sent for to the dying bed of a woman who was very well to do in the world, and she said, “Mr. Baxter, do you think when I get to heaven Betsy my servant will be there?” “Well," he said, “I don't know much about you, but Betsy will be there; for if I know any one who is a pious girl, it is she.” őr Well,” said the lady, " don't you think there will be a little distinction? for I never could find it in my heart to sit down with a girl of that sort; she has no taste, no education, and I could not endure it. I tliink there ought to be a little difference.” “Ah! you need not trouble yourself, madam," said he, “there will be a great distinction between you and Betsy, if you die in the temper in which you now are; but the distinction will be on the wrong side; for you will see her in Abraham's bosom, but you yourself will be cast out. As long as you have such pride in your heart, you can never enter into the kingdom of heaven,” He spoke to her very plainly, and she was mightily offended. But I believe she preferred to be found out of hearen to submitting to sit with her servant Betsy. Let us respect rank and title here, if you please: but when we preach the gospel we know no such thing. If I preached to a congregation of kings, I would preach just the same gospel that I would preach to a congregation of clodhoppers. The king on his throne, and the queen in her palace, have no gospel different from you and me. However humble and obscure we may be, there stands the gate of heaven wide open; there is the king's royal highway for us. The highway is as much for the poor man as for the rich man; so is the kingdom of heaven—" without money and without price.”
Now I hear my friend the Calvinist over there say, “Well, I like that, but still I think I can come, and though I can say with you,
“Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.' Yet I can say this, I have had a deep experience, sir, I have been led to see the plague of my own heart, and I have felt a great deal. When I come to Christ, I rely a great deal upon my feelings. I do not think you are right in calling all kinds of sinners to come to Christ, but you are right in calling me, for I am one of the right sort. I am one of the publican sort; I am pharisaical enough to think that; I think that I most certainly have a special commission to come, for I have such an experience that if I were to write my biography, you would say, 'This is a good experience; this man has a right to come to Christ.'” Well, friend, I am sorry fo upset you, but I shall be compelled to do so. If you bring your experience to Christ when you come to him, you are as bad as the Romanist who brings his masses and Ave-Marias. I like your experience very well, if it be the work of God's grace in your heart, but if you bring it when you come to Christ, you put that before Christ, and it is an Anti-Christ. Away with it! away with it! When we have been preaching to poor sinners and tried to describe their state by nature and their feelings, I have been afraid after all, that we were fostering a spirit of self righteonsness, and teaching our hearers to think that they must get certain feelings, before they can come to Christ. Let me just, if I can, preach the gospel in the broadest way possible, and that is the most truthful way. Christ wants your feelings no more than he does your money, and that is, not at all. If you want good experience you must come to Christ:
“All the fitness he requireth, is to feel your need of him." Yes, but stop
“ This he gives you, 'tis his Spirit's rising beam." You are to come to Christ to get everything. You are not to say, “ Well, I will believe first, and then cone." No; go to Christ for faith. You must look to the cross even to get a sense of sin. We do not feel our sins so much before we see the cross, but we feel them most afterwards. We look to Christ first; then repentanee flows from both our streaming eyes. Remember, if you go anywhere else to find a Saviour, you are on the wrong track. If you try to bring anything to Christ, to use a homely proverb, it is like bringing coals to Newcastle. He has plenty--he does not want any of yours, and what is more, as soon as he sees anything in your hands he will turn you straight away. He will have nothing to do with you until you can say
- Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling." I have heard of a negro who was convinced of sin, and at the same time his master was under conviction. The negro found peace with God, but the master was a long time seeking without any hope; and at last he said, “I cannot make out how it is that you found comfort so soon, and I cannot get it at all.” So the negro, after asking his master to excuse his speaking plainly, said, “ Massa, I tink it is just dis. When Jesus say, Come along,' he say, 'I give you a righteousness dat cover you from head to foot.' I, poor negro, looks down at myself, covered all over wid filthy rags, and I say, 'Lord, clothe me, I am naked,'—and off go my rags. Now, massa, you not so bad as dat. When he say, 'Come along,' to you, you look at your coat, and you say, “Well, it wants a little mending, but I tink it will wear a little longer. Dere is a great hole here, but a little darning and stitching will do it up again.' So, massa, you keep your old coat; you keep on darning and stitching, and you never get comfort. But if you would take it off, you would get comfort at once." That is just it, we will be trying to get something before we come to Christ.
Now I dare say in this congregation I have a hundred different phases of this singular fatuity of man-the desire to bring something to Christ. "Oh," says one, " I would come to Christ, but I have been too great a sinner." Selt' again, sir, your being a great sinner has nothing to do with that. Christ is a great Saviour. and however great your sin, his mercy is greater than that. He invites you simply as a sinner. Be you big or little, he bids you come to him and take his salvation * without money and without price.” Another says, " Ah! but I do not feel it enough." Self again. He does not ask you about your feelings; he simply says, “ Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth.” “But, sir, I cannot pray." Self again. You are not to be saved by your prayers; you are to be saved by Christ, and your business is simply to look to Christ; he will help you to pray afterwards. You must begin at the right end by clinging only to his cross and trusting there. “But," says another, "if I felt as So-and-so did." Self again. What business have you to talk so? Christ is where you are to look, not to self. “Yes," you say, “I think he would receive anybody but me." Please, who gave you any leave to think at all in the matter? Does he not say, “Him that cometh unto me I will in nowise cast out?” Why, you are thinking your soul into eternal ruin. Give up thinking, and bclieve. Are your thoughts as God's thoughts? Remember, his thoughts are as much higher than yours as heaven is higher than earth. “But,” says one, “I have sought him and I have
not found him.” Dear friend, can you truly say that you have come to Christ with nothing in your hand, and have looked alone to bim, and yet he has cast you away? Do you dare to say that? No; if God's Word be true, and you are true, you cannot say that. Ah! I remember how that struck my heart when I heard my mother say it once. I had been some years seeking Christ, and I never could believe he would save me. She said she had heard many people swear and blaspheme God, but one thing she had never heard-she had never heard a man say he had sought Clirist, and Christ had rejected him. “And," said she, “I do not believe that God would permit any man to live to say that." Well, I thought I could say it; I thought I had sought him, and he had cast me away, and I determined I would say it, even if it destroyed my soul: I would speak what I thought was the truth. But, I said to myself, “I will try once more;" and I went to the Master, with nothing of my own, casting myself simply on his mercy; and I believed that he died for me:-and I have never said that, and blessed be his holy name, I know I never shall. Nor will you. Oh, do try him.
“Make but a trial of his love; How blest are they, and only they, Experience will decide
Who in his love confide." If you will come down to this price, and take Christ for nothing, just as he is, “ without money and without price," you shall not find him a hard Master.
III. Now, I have to use a FEW ARGUMENTS with you, and may God apply them to your hearts! I would first speak to some of you who never think about these things at all. You have come here to hear the Word to-day, because it is preached in a strange place; otherwise you might not have been in the house of God at all. Very seldom you vex yourselves with religious questions; you do not ask yourselves many questions about it, because you feel it would be an awkward thing for you if you were to think much of religion; you feel there would be a necessity for a change of life in you, for thoughts about religion and your present habits would not suit well together. My dear friends, bear with me a moment if I press you very much home. Did you ever hear of the ostrich? When the hunter pursues it, the poor silly bird flies away as fast as it can, and when it sees that there is no way of escape, what do you suppose it does? It buries its head in the sand, and then thinks it is safe, because it shuts its eyes and cannot see. Is not that just what you are doing? Conscience won't let you rest, and what you are trying to do is to bury it. You bury your head in the sand; you do not like to think. Ah! if we could bring men to think, what a wonderful thing we should have done! That is one of the things, sinner, that, without Christ, you dare not do. Do you think? We have heard of men afraid to be alone half an hour because of thoughts too terrible for them. I challenge any of you without God, to spend one hour on that heath, or in this balcony, or in your own house at home, and just chew these thoughts, masticate them_“I am an enemy to God; my sins are not forgiven; if I die to-night, I am damned to all eternity; I have never sought Christ, and never found him to be mine." I defy you to keep at that an hour. You dare not; you would be afraid of your shadow. The only way sinners can be happy is by thoughtlessness. They say, “Cover it up; bury my dead out of my sight.” They put such thoughts away. Now is this wise? Is there anything in religion? If not, it will be consistent in you to deny it; but if this Bible is true, if you have a soul that is to live for ever, is it rational, is it sensible, is it prudent, to be neglecting your eternal soul? If you suffered your bodies to starve, you would not want much argument, would you, to induce you to eat? But here is your soul perishing, and yet no mortal tongue can persuade you to attend to that. Ah! is it not strange that men are going to live for ever in eternity, and yet they have never provided for it. I have heard of a certain king who had a fool in his court, who made a great many merry jests, and the king gave him a stick, and said, “Keep that till you find a bigger fool than yourself." At last the king came to die, and when he lay a-dying, the jester came to him and said, “ Master, what is the matter?” “I am going to die," said the king. “Going to die—where's that?” “I am going to die, man, don't laugh at me now. “How long are you going to be there?” “Well, where I am going I shall live for ever." *"Have you got a house there?" "No." "Have you made any preparation for the journey?" "No." "Have you got any provision whatever, as you are going to live there such a long time?" "No." (There, take the stick; fool as I am, I have made preparation. I am not such a fool as to have to live in a place where I have not got a house." Christ has prepared for his people a mansion in heaven. Tnere was much wisdom in the jester's language. Let me speak to you, even though it be in his language, but very seriously. If men are to live for ever in heaven, is it not a strange, wil, frantic freak of intolerant madness, that they never think of the world to come. To-day they think, but for ever--they put that away. Time, and its poor baubles and its toys do fill the hce; buut vivrnity-that