James Smith, 1855
The Gospel is good news, or glad tidings. It is . . .
sent from Heaven,
proclaimed on earth,
heard by sinners, and
gladly embraced by those who are ordained to eternal life.
The Gospel is the glorious glad tidings of the Blessed God! It informs us that God is love, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, that he has blessed his people with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and has given us the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
The Gospel is the glorious good news of Christ! It informs us:
that he is appointed and anointed to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance and the remission of sins;
that he has borne our sins, suffered in our stead, and removed our transgressions by his death;
that he has conquered Satan, blotted out the handwriting that was against us, and made our peace by the blood of his cross;
that he now fully and eternally justifies all who believe on his name, is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, and has pledged his Word that he will cast out none that come unto him;
that he has finished the transgression, made an end of sin, brought in everlasting righteousness, made reconciliation for iniquity, abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light.
The Gospel is the glad tidings of the undeserved favor of God toward poor sinners. It sets forth grace as reigning — to conquer, pardon, and justify sinners without works. It tells us how grace abounds over sin, brings us salvation, and conforms us to the precepts of Heaven. It is the good news of salvation.
The Gospel informs us that . . .
eternal redemption is obtained,
a way into the holiest opened, and
all condemnation removed from those who believe in Jesus.
The Gospel is the glad tidings of a hope laid up for us
in Heaven — a rest, a portion, an incorruptible inheritance . . .
given by the Father,
secured to us by the Son, and
revealed by the Holy Spirit, who becomes the pledge of it in our hearts.
The gospel comprises . . .
doctrines to be believed, and precepts to be obeyed;
promises to encourage, and rules to direct;
invitations to embolden, and warnings to guard;
ordinances to be observed, and relations to fill.
The gospel reveals . . .
a Savior, in whom we must trust;
a Sovereign, whom we must obey;
a Priest, on whose atonement we must rest;
a Mediator, through whom we must apply for every blessing which we need;
a Prophet, from whom we must learn;
a friend, in whose love we must confide;
a brother, from whom we may expect;
a father, whose authority we must revere;
an apostle, whose mission we must study; and
an advocate, to whom we must commit our cause.
The gospel . . .
flows from the free love, rich grace, and abundant mercy of our God;
is founded in the Savior's person, mediation, and death;
becomes efficacious through the revelation, operation, and application of the Holy Spirit. By it, he begets faith, imparts love, and excites hope; and when accompanied by his blessing — it is received in demonstration and power.
The gospel . . .
produces penitence — and godly sorrow for sin;
begets hatred to sin — and love to holiness;
weans from the world — and wafts the affections to Heaven;
makes us zealous for God — and the good of immortal souls;
delivers us from the power of darkness — and translates us into the kingdom of God's dear Son;
crucifies the flesh — and liberates the spirit;
unites Christians in love — and raises them above the fear of death;
fortifies us against persecution-and makes us rejoice in suffering shame for Immanuel's name;
humbles the spirit — and dignifies the man;
destroys covetousness — and makes us benevolent;
roots out pride — and implants meekness;
transforms us from the world — and conforms us to God;
begets hatred to uncleanness — and makes us chaste;
throws down idolatry — and leads us to worship God;
conquers SELF — and exalts Christ;
softens the hard heart — and produces kindness;
delivers from sin, Satan, and the world — and devotes body, soul, and spirit to the Lord.
The gospel is proclaimed below — to sinners of every name; and it is enjoyed above — by all who have felt its power. It belongs to Messiah's reign at present — but shall never be driven from Immanuel's dominions in future.
It is called the GLORIOUS gospel. It is . . .
glorious in its Author,
glorious in its nature,
glorious in its effects, and
glorious in its design.
It is said to be an EVERLASTING gospel. It is unchangeable in its nature and eternal in its existence.
It is called the TRUE gospel, or the gospel of truth, because it contains the truth of God and is opposed to all false religions.
It is the gospel of PEACE. It proclaims, imparts, and
leads all who receive it into the enjoyment of peace:
peace with God,
peace with conscience,
peace with the church, and
peace with all mankind.
It is opposed to all human systems, and triumphs over all opposition. Is is founded in the highest inflames, attended by the power of the Spirit, and designed to glorify God in the salvation of his people!
It must stand,
it will spread,
it shall ultimately prevail.
It differs from the law — but is not strictly speaking, opposed to it: both are useful in the church, for both have a work to perform.
The law wounds — the gospel heals.
The law discovers the disease — the gospel presents the remedy.
The law sounds the alarm — the gospel provides the refuge.
The law inflames the house — the gospel supplies the water that quenches it.
The law awakens fear — the gospel begets hope.
The law demands payment — the gospel finds a surety.
The law shoots the arrow that wounds and rankles — the gospel applies the balm that soothes and heals.
The law wrecks the vessel — the gospel brings the life-boat to save the lost.
The law stirs up sin — the gospel purges away guilt.
The law binds with fetters — the gospel proclaims freedom.
The law strips us naked — the gospel clothes us in the best robe.
The law condemns the sinner — the gospel acquits him of all charge.
The law says, "I must die!" The gospel says, "Christ died for me!"
The law says, "God is angry!" The gospel says, "God is reconciled, his anger is turned away!"
The law stirs up sin, and ministers wrath and death; the gospel saves from sin, and ministers love and life.
The gospel is compared . . .
to the great jubilee trumpet — which proclaimed liberty, restoration, and wealth;
to honey — which is sweet, strengthening, and medicinal;
to a net — which, cast into the sea, catches, collects, and draws the fish to shore;
to leaven — which works, assimilates, and makes light;
to seed — which grows buds, and blossoms;
to treasure hid in a field — which is valuable, useful, and prized by the finder;
to light — which discovers, detects, and cheers;
to gold — which is tried, pure, and costly.
It is called . . .
"the gospel of God,"
"the gospel of Christ,"
"the gospel of the grace of God,"
"the glorious gospel,"
"the everlasting gospel."
The Scriptures speak of the gospel in the highest terms.
They call it "the joyful sound." The Apostle said that he was not ashamed of
it, "for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes."
It turned the Thessalonians from dumb idols "to serve the living and true
God." It made Paul the object of the world's hatred, Satan's envy,
and the Church's love. It turns . . .
lions into lambs,
leopards into kids, and
vultures into doves.
It turns swords into ploughshares, and spears into pruning-hooks.
It turns a wilderness into Eden, and the desert into the garden of the Lord.
Wherever it is received by faith, a new creation appears; instead of the thorn — comes up the fir-tree; instead of the brier — comes up the myrtle-tree.
The gospel is an everlasting monument of God's wisdom,
grace, and love. O may I feel more of the power, receive more of the
light, and manifest more of the spirit of the gospel! O may I
find it as sweet as honey, yes sweeter than the honeycomb to my taste! May I
be taught to despise everything in compare with it, and say —
Should all the forms that men devise,
Assault my faith with treacherous art;
I'd call them vanity and lies,
And bind the gospel to my heart!