The Horn of Salvation
James Smith, 1842
"The horn of my salvation!" Psalm 18:2
Salvation is a comprehensive, important, and sweet word.
Salvation is comprehensive — for it
refers to the past, present, and future. It is deliverance already
experienced — and deliverance to be yet realized. It has reference to our
lost and ruined estate, as the children of guilty Adam. It embraces . . .
pardon of sin, through atoning blood;
deliverance from a state of nature, by almighty power;
access into the presence of God, through the Spirit's teaching;
preservation throughout the journey of life, by the watchful care of Jehovah;
and an introduction to eternal blessedness, by the grace of Jesus.
Salvation secures all spiritual blessings, and insures all temporal supplies.
Salvation includes . . .
the prevention of evil,
the working of good,
protection from harm,
and safe guidance to glory.
It says, "The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11.
Salvation is an important word; it has reference to eternity, and in the light of eternity we should read it. How vastly important does salvation appear on the bed of death, when the soul is about to be ejected from its clay cottage, when it hangs quivering about the portals, and fears to launch into an invisible world. Oh to know salvation then! to be assured of salvation then! What would thousands give, at such a season, to know the blessedness of being "saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation!"
But could we look into the gloomy prison of despair, could we hear the groans and cries of tormented souls suffering "the vengeance of eternal fire," could we for a moment feel the torments of the damned — how would the importance of salvation appear to us then! Oh! methinks, while the flesh was trembling, the eyes starting, the hair rising, the heart quaking, the teeth chattering, the joints loosing, the bosom heaving, the spirits sinking, and the soul despairing — we should be ready to exclaim, "Oh the importance, he infinite importance of salvation!"
Could we look into paradise, and there see Jesus smiling, saints reigning, angels serving, glory shining, and bliss eternal flowing from the presence of the great THREE-ONE — how important would salvation appear!
To be entitled to that glory,
to share in that felicity,
to appear in that company,
to be exalted to that dignity,
to drink from that overflowing fountain —
oh how important, how infinitely important this!
Salvation is a sweet word. So sweet, that
we are never weary of . . .
meditating on the delightful subject;
feeling its sacred power as exerted in our hearts;
looking forward to the delightful prospects which it opens to our view.
We are never weary of . . .
its author, Jehovah — Father, Son, and Spirit;
its center — Jesus the glorious Mediator;
the presence of its applier — the Holy Comforter;
its attendants — peace, liberty, and fellowship with God.
Salvation is . . .
light that never confounds,
honey that never cloys, and
a treasure without the worm of care.
Salvation is . . .
the creature's honor,
the saint's delight, and
the church's present Heaven.
Jesus is set forth, in the portion of holy Scripture we are considering, as the horn of salvation.
The horn is the emblem of AUTHORITY. Jesus has authority
by right as Jehovah; He has authority . . .
by appointment as Mediator;
for the glorification of Himself and His Father;
for the salvation of His people.
His authority to govern is universal — over "all flesh."
His authority to save is restricted — hence, addressing His Father, he says, "You have given him authority over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him." John 17:2. Our salvation is founded in, springs from, and is secured by — the authority of Jesus.
The horn is the emblem of POWER. There may be authority with little power — or there may be great power without authority; but in Jesus we see omnipotent power with high authority. The Father's statute book alone restricts Immanuel's authority — and His power executes whatever is in accordance with its contents. Therefore we hear Him say, "I delight to do your will, O my God; yes, your law is within my heart!" Psalm 40:8.
By His blood, He delivered His people
By His power, He delivers them experimentally.
He shed His blood to save them honorably, and
He stretches out His arm to save them certainly.
His blood was shed for the satisfaction of injured
His arm is exerted for the glory of sovereign mercy.
His shed blood, gave Him right to claim, and
by His power, he uses that right to His people's endless satisfaction.
Our salvation is founded in Immanuel's high
and is certainly effected by His saving arm.
Were He short of power — we might doubt whether He would claim all whom He redeemed; but now we dare not hesitate to believe that He will save all for whom He died on the tree.
Gracious God, never let us embrace sentiments which reflect dishonor on our Savior's character, name, or work; never let us think that He would shed His blood to ransom, which was hard; and fail to put forth His power to convert, which is easy.
The horn was an emblem of PLENTY. In Jesus there is
plenteous redemption, Psalm 130:7. A fullness of salvation, and spiritual
blessings, He . . .
purchased by His death,
received of the Father at His ascension, (Acts 2:33) and
is exalted in princely dignity to bestow, Acts 5:31.
He has purchased repentance and pardon for
and He will bestow repentance and pardon upon us.
He is a merciful and faithful High-priest: merciful to our unrighteousness — and faithful to supply our needs. Precious Lord Jesus! never let us doubt your faithfulness, or distrust your mercy. Holy Spirit! preserve our minds from conceiving, and our lips from uttering sentiments which would justly lead any to infer, that Jesus will fail to accomplish all He undertook to perform; or allow any that were given to him to be saved — to perish in impenitence and unbelief!
And now let us inquire: Is Jesus the horn of my salvation? Do I view His authority and power as procuring and effecting my certain salvation? Do I see a fullness of salvation in Him? Is He my boast, my glory, and my joy? Reader, is it thus with you? Are you saved? Do you view your salvation in Jesus alone, by Jesus alone, and from Jesus alone?
Upon the cross my Savior hung,
And shed His vital blood;
And every wound is now a tongue
To plead my cause with God!
For guilty me He intercedes,
That sin might be forgiven,
That God would give the grace which leads
My wayward feet to Heaven!
The powerful plea is heard above,
And straight the grace descends;
I now enjoy forgiving love,
And God and I are friends!