« PreviousContinue »
SALVATION BY GRACE
ILLUSTRATED AND IMPROVED, IN TWO SERMONS.
I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST; FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD
UNTO SALVATION, TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVE TH.-Rom. i. 16.
CHURCH AND CONGREGATION
TO WHOM THE SUBSTANCE OF THESE SERMONS WAS PREACHED,
AND AT WHOSE DESIRE THEY ARE PUBLISHED.
My Dear Brethren and Friends, beloved in our common Lord, When I first preached these plain sermons to my own congregation, which I here offer to your perusal, I was much surprised at the request which several of them made, that they might be printed: But I was yet more surprised, when, after having delivered the substance of them in one discourse at Rowell some time after, you so unanimously and affectionately made that request your own. I apprehended, that though the many excellent treatises we have on this subject already, might excuse my backwardness to comply with the first motion of this kind; yet absolutely to have refused your repeated solicitation might have appeared disrespectful to my good friends, and perhaps have looked like some unwillingness to bear my testimony to this great and important doctrine, in an age, in which the credit of many evangelical truths seems to be fallen very low.
I am really sorry I have delayed this little service so long ; but it was chiefly owing to my desire of finishing my Sermons on Regeneration, which indeed cost me more labour than I at first apprehended. That seemed a business of such importance, that I knew not how to interrupt it: But as they are now almost printed off, I send out these discourses as a kind of supplement to them; and therefore they are printed in a form very fit to bind up with them. The delay is more excusable, as salvation by grace is not a subject which grows out of date in a few months. This glorious doctrine has been the joy of the church in all ages on earth; and it will be the song of all that have received it in truth throughout the ages of eternity, and be pursued in the heavenly regions with evergrowing admiration and delight.
I cannot conclude this short address, without congratulating you on the abundant goodness of God to you as a church, in bringing among you that worthy and excellent person*, under whose pastoral care you are now so happily placed. I know he is a faithful witness to the truths of the gospel, and rejoice in that rich abundance of gifts and graces which render him so fit to state and improve them in the most advantageous, as well as most agree
* The Rev. Mr. Jonathan Saunderson,
able and delightful manner. I hope and believe, that the grace he so humbly
My dear Friends,
In the bonds of our common Lord,
Northampton, Sept. 1, 1741.
SERMONS ON GRACE AND FAITH.
On Salvation by Grace.
Ephes. ii. 8.-For by Grace are ye saved, through Faith; and that not of your
selves; it is the Gift of God. YOU are often, my dear brethren and friends, hearing of the duties of a religious life: And it cannot but be a pleasure to every
faithful minister of Christ to observe, how willing, nay, how glad you are to hear of them; and with respect to many of you, how ready you are to practise them. But I am now coming to you with a renewed admonition on another head, which is always to be taken in connection with the former; and which, I persuade myself, will in that view be welcome to you all. I am to inculcate it upon you, that when you have Done your utmost, how much soever that be, should still
you are unprofitable servants*: and endeavour to maintain a deep sense of it upon your hearts, that, as the apostle admonishes the believing Ephesians in the words of the text, by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
The apostle, in his preceding discourse, speaks of the happy change which the gospel had made in the state of these poor Heathens. He freely acknowledges on this occasion, that the Jews were likewise in a very bad state, and if not entirely sunk into the same enormities, yet Were by nature children of wrath even as otherst. So that on the whole, both Were (as it might be expressed by an easy and very proper figure) dead in tres. passes and sins f, indisposed for any religious sensations and actions, and far more odious to God than a putrid carcase is to
But he adds, that God by his grace had saved them ; that his unmerited goodness had begun their salvation, and having thus far carried it on, would undoubtedly complete it: And
* Luke xvii. 10.
| Ver. 1,5.
† Eph. ii. 3.