The Grace of Christ, or,
Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness

William S. Plumer, 1853

"We believe it is through the grace of our
 Lord Jesus that we are saved." Acts 15:11


Jonathan Edwards has written an admirable work, called "The History of Redemption." He who reads it, will be well rewarded. But in no sense will the history of redemption be complete until the last of the elect shall be called, justified, sanctified and glorified. And in the highest sense that history will never be finished, for redemption will forever be evolving new objects of admiration and thanksgiving. It may well be doubted whether all the books extant, which record the wonders of God's love in the application of redemption to the souls of men, possess interest and variety equal to the rich storehouse of spiritual knowledge, which would be opened to us, if the religious experience of all living Christians were perfectly delineated. Indeed the inward life of every child of God is the history of the application of redemption in epitome. What heights and depths of religious experience belong to every generation of the people of God! The thief on the cross was, doubtless, not the last dying culprit, who sought and found mercy. Saul of Tarsus was not the last blasphemer and persecutor, to whom the Lord sent salvation. Manasseh was not the last gray-headed sinner that repented and turned to the Lord, who "was entreated of him, and heard his supplication." Scores of such are living in every Christian nation, proving that a man can be born again when he is old.

There are now living and may be seen thousands of people, who well illustrate the patience of the saints, who are patterns of meekness, who love Jesus tenderly and strongly, who constantly lament the sins of their times, who have learned in whatever state they are therewith to be content, who rejoice in tribulation, who bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things, and yet count not themselves to have attained, neither are they already perfect—but they are striving after higher attainments, and pressing forward towards the mark for the prize of their high calling in Christ Jesus.

It is great kindness in God to give to the world, in the persons of his people of every generation, bright examples of virtuous, happy poverty; of cheerful submission in affliction; of a noble spirit of self-sacrifice; of great gentleness of heart; of tenderness of conscience; and of the true fear of God—so undeniable that even men of the world see and reverence the power of divine grace. God also from age to age deals with much patience and gentleness towards timid, feeble-minded, humble souls. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings he ordains strength. In times of vengeance he spares his people "as a man spares his own son that serves him;" he comforts them as a mother comforts her own child; he is to them a sun and a shield, a rock of defense and a high tower, a refuge and a present help in time of trouble. From them he withholds no good thing; he gives them peace in believing; he is merciful to their unrighteousness; he blots out their sins; he loves them freely; he accepts them graciously. In them he shows what his grace can still do; to them he fulfills all the exceeding great and precious promises of the covenant. The worm Jacob threshes the mountains. God evinces every day that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. By his grace—the feeble among the saints are yet as David, and the house of David as the angel of God.

All these things occur from age to age in a manner so striking as to arrest the attention of all, who have spiritual discernment. In every generation the God of patience grants to his servants with one mind, and one mouth to glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The oath of the covenant, the blood of Jesus, his intercession in heaven, and the power of his Spirit achieve these wonders. God is unchangeable. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The covenant is perpetual. A promise made to a believer three thousand years ago is good and true in the case of all believers. "Whatever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."

One of the most remarkable chapters in the history of God's church has, been furnished by modern missions to the heathen. Wherever the gospel is preached and takes effect—it produces marvelous results. A Hindu woman applied for baptism. The servant of Christ told her, as in fairness he was bound to do, what she must suffer—the loss of caste, the displeasure of her husband, and many persecutions. She replied: "I know all this; I considered all that before I came to you. I am ready and willing to bear it all. I am ready to sacrifice all to my Lord. Surely, sir, I cannot endure anything in comparison to what he suffered for me." On his death-bed John Brown of Haddington said: "Here is a wonder—a sinner saved by the blood of God's Son! There are wonders in heaven, and wonders in the earth—but the least part of redemption's work is more wonderful than them all."