Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. Jesus Christ the righteous: the propitiation for our sins. God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
It is the business of each one of us to apprehend the Gospel of a free, of a personal absolution. “If Jesus Christ took upon Himself the sins of all men, then He took upon Himself my sins—even mine” is an argument not more logically true than individually binding. There must be a personal transaction between God and the soul on this basis. There must be a solemn giving of the individual soul—exactly as it is seen to be and felt to be in history and in circumstance—into the hands of God himself, on the ground of a revelation made by Him in the Gospel as to a free and total forgiveness of all sin through the alone merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. For lack of this, many men are all their lifetime subject still to bondage, even though they say with their lips, and hold tenaciously as a doctrine, “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.” Yes, but of whose sins,—the sins of others, or your own?
Again, it is the business of each one of us to apprehend for himself the Gospel promise of a Holy and Divine Spirit to dwell personally in him as the life of his life and the soul of his soul. God will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him then if that be true—if that be true—I have only to ask and I shall receive. This, too, is a transaction between God and the man, which must by its very nature be individual and even secret. God is a lover of acts; and there are acts of the soul as well as acts of the life. It is the business of each one of us, having thus stamped upon himself, by an individual act, the seal of his consecration—the double seal of a Divine absolution and a Divine indwelling—then to go forth as a forgiven man, and as a spiritual man, not indeed to presume upon what solemnly entered,—but still, I will say it without fear of misconstruction, as much as possible to forget himself; to forget himself in his Saviour’s service, and to forget himself in giving his very life for his brethren. Let the individual life, thus far, and in this holy sense, be merged and lost in the relative. Let no cowardly misgiving haunt him, lest perhaps he be going amongst those who share not to the full—or perhaps share not at all—his convictions and his aspirations. Let him go, not asking where he is safest, but who most want him. Let him go, calling in beforehand, and calling in throughout, the forgiving grace and the inhabiting Spirit. Let him go, not to display himself, but to glorify God; leading others, who mark his kind words, his wise counsels, his gracious spirit, his peaceful countenance, to think of his God with, more reverence, and of his Saviour with more love. And God will keep the feet of His saints; He will not suffer one who thus mixes amongst men to be suddenly surprised or greatly moved. Thus, through him not least, shall the Almighty Lord make good His divine saying: I, lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.
For lo! in hidden deep accord, The servant may be like his Lord. And Thy love our love shining through May tell the world that Thou art true, Till those who see us, see Thee too. GRANT us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall abide; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.