Free grace! Unmerited mercy! Sovereign love!

(Octavius Winslow, "The Soul After Conversion")

No truth shines with clearer luster in the Bible
than that salvation, from first to last, is of God.

God is sovereign in salvation!

He often selects . . .
  the poorest,
  the vilest,
  the most depraved,
  the most fallen,
as if utterly to explode all idea of human
merit, and to reflect the free grace of His
heart in its richest luster.

O precious truth!

It stains the pride of human merit!

It lays the axe at the root of self!

It humbles and abases!

It empties and lays low!

It ascribes all the praise, honor and glory,
might, majesty and dominion, of the new
creation in the soul, to the Triune God!

No worthiness of the creature allures Him to the
sinner's heart! What worthiness can be supposed
to exist--what merit can there be in . . .
  a guilty criminal,
  an outlawed rebel,
  a poor insolvent,
  one whose mind is enmity,
  one whose heart is swelling with treason against
God, His government, and His Son? One who owes
millions, but has 'nothing to pay'? None whatever!

And that the eternal Spirit should enter
the heart of such a one . . .
  convincing of sin;
  subduing the hatred;
  breaking down the rebellion;
  leading to Jesus, and
  sealing pardon and peace upon the conscience;
oh! what but free grace, unmerited mercy, and
sovereign love
could thus have constrained Him?

"Lord, what did You see in me," exclaims the
converted soul, "that moved You with compassion,
that drew You to my heart, and that constrained
You to make me Your child? Nothing on my part,
but poverty, wretchedness, and misery! Nothing on
Your part, nothing but love, sovereignty, and
unmerited favor!"

O the riches of His grace!