How is it?
(James Smith, "Manna in the Wilderness" 1863)
When we look around upon people and observe their ways, we see that there is . . .
not a sin prohibited — but they willfully commit it;
not a duty prescribed — but they cheerfully neglect it;
not a mercy bestowed — but they wickedly abuse it;
not an attribute of God's nature discovered — but they daringly insult it;
and that they have altogether become abominable, filthy, and condemned!
We ask, "How is it that the all-knowing, righteous and omnipotent Jehovah — bears with such daring, hardened, impenitent, and rebellious creatures; and instead of cutting them off, and consigning them to misery and despair — still supplies their needs, and continues His bounties?"
The answer is, that God appeared in human nature — to save His people from their sins! He labored, and suffered, and died, the just for the unjust — to bring us to God with honor, and to Heaven with certainty. Jesus has . . .
made an infinite atonement;
completely paid His people's debt;
blotted out the handwriting that was against them;
overcome the world;
spoiled principalities and powers;
opened the way into the holiest by His blood;
procured the Holy Spirit to be the quickener, sanctifier, and teacher of His people;
and ascended to Heaven, to plead their cause — and silence their accusers!
The Holy Spirit comes in the name of Jesus, to honor His work by calling His people "out of darkness into His marvelous light."
Under His quickening — they live;
by His teaching — they become wise unto salvation;
through His operations — they are washed, sanctified, and justified.
He makes them His temples — and fits them to be the dwelling place of the Father and the Son. He . . .
exalts Christ before them,
honors Christ in them, and
endears Christ unto them! "Unto you therefore who believe — He is precious!"
Thus the Father draws the plan of salvation,
the Son executes it, and
the Holy Spirit applies it.
The Father chooses His people,
the Son dies for their redemption,
and the Spirit sanctifies and fits them for Heaven.
The Father gives them to His Son,
the Son ransoms them at an infinite price, and
the Holy Spirit claims them as personal property.
The Father employs His wisdom,
the Son sheds His blood, and
the Holy Spirit exerts His power.
The Father draws them,
the Son receives them, and
the Holy Spirit leads them into truth.
The work of salvation is wholly of God!
It is entirely of free and sovereign grace!
So also, our many deliverances as we travel through this 'wilderness' — are of the Lord. He delivers us . . .
from the world, and
from the power of sin!
His eye is upon us for good,
His heart beats towards us with love, and
His hand is stretched out to help, relieve and befriend us!
He saves by . . .
and His graces!
For we are saved . . .
from despondency and despair — by hope;
from the world and the fiery darts of Satan — by faith;
from indifference and carnal security — by love.
"Salvation is of the Lord!" Jonah 2:9
He is the author, worker, applier, and end of our Salvation!