James Smith, 1860
Grace is a sweet and precious word. Grace is the free and sovereign favor of God, exercised toward the unworthy. The gospel is full of grace, and the longer we live, the more we feel our need of it. When the Lord Jesus Christ came into our world, he was said to be full of grace and truth. He had truth for the intellect — and grace for the heart. Truth to enlighten — and grace to sanctify us. Grace and truth comprise all we really need as sinners, or as saints. The full and perfect display of grace and truth — will constitute heaven.
There are four views of grace on which I wish for
a few moments to dwell. O to write of grace, in the spirit of grace! O to
write of grace, gracefully!
First, our heavenly FATHER, is called, "The GOD of All Grace."He is the ocean — in which grace dwells! He is the fountain — from which grace flows. The Lord loves to be viewed as gracious by his people. He presents grace as the grand feature of his covenant character, as the first letter of his name. When he proclaimed his name to Moses, in answer to the request, "I beseech you, show me your glory;" he proclaimed himself, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and in truth." And for the encouragement of those who have no claim, and but for this could have no expectation, he says, "I will be gracious, to whom I will be gracious; and will show mercy, on whom I will show mercy." The vilest sinner, the most unworthy creature — may come to the Lord, in full expectation of obtaining the costliest blessings; even the pardon of all sins, a settled peace of conscience, a perfect righteousness, and fitness for the inheritance of the saints in light.
Believer, ever bear in mind, that God has all grace — and
all grace for you. The grace that saves, is in God; the grace that saves,
comes from God; and the grace that saves, leads to God. Believe in God for
all the grace you need at present, or may possibly need while in this
Secondly, the GOSPEL is called, "The WORD of His Grace."Here God tells us . . .
The gospel is a gracious proclamation of . . .
pardon for the guilty,
liberty for the captive,
health for the sick,
salvation for the lost, and
everlasting rest for the weary and heavy laden.
The gospel exhibits God as infinitely gracious, and as delighting to display that grace in the experience of the wretched and miserable. It shows us, that where sin abounded — grace did much more abound; so that though sin abounded, or reigned unto death; even so grace abounds, or reigns through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.
The gospel . . .
gives the most gracious invitations,
makes the most gracious promises,
publishes the most gracious doctrines,
institutes the most gracious ordinances,
and enforces the most gracious precepts.
The gospel is, like its author, full of grace. O my soul, read this gracious gospel, study this gracious gospel, believe this gracious gospel — and seek to prove the truth, and enjoy all the blessings, of this gracious gospel!
If it were the throne of justice — we might fear; or if it were the
throne of holiness — we might be dazzled with its splendors. But it
is the throne of grace — where God meets sinners on the principles
of grace; where God confers on seeking souls, grace to help them in time
of need; and where he manifests the deepest, tenderest sympathy for
miserable and wretched men. At this throne he . . .
Thirdly, the THRONE of God is called, "The Throne of Grace."
To this throne we are invited to carry . . .
our fears, and
our sins — and leave them there!
At this throne we find liberty to . . .
unburden our minds,
relieve our troubled spirits, and
hold communion with our God.
Lost sinner, come to this throne — and obtain peace!
Believer, come to this throne for grace to help you in
every time of need!
Fourthly, the Holy Comforter is called, "The SPIRIT of Grace."He is . . .
He conveys grace to the sinner dead in trespasses and sins; and quickens him together with Christ. He works gracious tempers and dispositions in the soul, and makes us like Christ. He graciously unfolds the Word, and gives us glorious and heart-affecting views of Christ. He by his gracious communications, teaching, and operations — he makes us meet for glory. All that he does for us, or works within us — is of grace.
Gracious Spirit, reveal to us more fully and clearly, the nature and character of our heavenly Father, as the God of all grace.
Unfold and apply to us more and more the Word of grace.
Lead us continually to the throne of grace, and help our infirmities there.
And as the Spirit of grace, work a deep and thorough work of grace in our hearts, to the glory and praise of God!
Beloved, let the God of grace — be the object of
let the Word of grace — be the warrant of your faith;
let the throne of grace — be your place of constant resort;
and may the Spirit of grace — seal you unto the day of redemption.
Grace in God, sent the Word from God, erected the throne for God, and sent the Spirit to lead us to God. The Spirit leads us to the Word; by the Word to the throne; and on the throne we meet with a gracious God.
View the subject therefore, in whatever way we will, our
salvation is wholly of grace.
and grace completed —
the great scheme of salvation!
Grace laid the foundation — and grace will bring forth the top-stone! And the consummation will be, with shouts of, "Grace, Grace, unto it!"