The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant!
Charles Spurgeon, October 2nd, 1859,
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens
"The blood of the everlasting covenant!" Hebrews 13:20
All of God's dealings with men have had a covenant character. It has so pleased him to arrange it, that he will not deal with us except through a covenant — nor can we deal with him except in the same manner. Adam in the garden was under a covenant with God — and God was in covenant with him. That covenant he speedily broken. There is a covenant still existing in all its terrible power — terrible I say, because it has been broken on man's part, and therefore God will most surely fulfill its solemn threatenings and sanctions. That is the covenant of works. By this he dealt with Moses, and in this does he deal with the whole race of men as represented in the first Adam.
Afterwards when God would deal with Noah — it was by a covenant; and when in succeeding ages, he dealt with Abraham — he was still pleased to bind himself to him by a covenant. That covenant, he preserved and kept, and it was renewed continually to many of his seed. God dealt not even with David, the man after his own heart except with a covenant. He made a covenant with his anointed. And beloved, he deals with you and me this day, still by covenant.
When he shall come in all his terrors to condemn — he shall smite by covenant — namely, by the sword of the covenant of Sinai. And if he comes in the splendors of his grace to save — he still comes to us by covenant — namely, the covenant of Zion; the covenant which he has made with the Lord Jesus Christ, the head and representative of his people.
And mark, whenever we come into close and intimate dealings with God, it is sure to be, on our part, also by covenant. We make with God, after conversion, a covenant of gratitude; we come to him sensible of what he has done for us, and we devote ourselves to him. We set our seal to that covenant when in baptism we are united with his church; and day by day, so often as we come around the table of the breaking of bread, we renew the vow of our covenant, and thus we have personal fellowship with God.
I cannot pray to him except through the covenant of grace; and I know that I am not his child unless I am his, first through the covenant whereby Christ purchased me, and secondly, through the covenant by which I have given up myself, and dedicated all that I am and all that I have to him.
It is important, then, since the covenant is the only ladder which reaches from earth to Heaven — since it is the only way in which God has fellowship with us, and by which we can deal with him — that we should know how to discriminate between covenant and covenant; and should not be in any darkness or error with regard to what is the covenant of grace, and what is not. It shall be my endeavor, this morning, to make as simple and as plain as possible, the matter of the covenant spoken of in our text, and I shall thus speak —
first, upon the covenant of grace;
secondly, its everlasting character;
thirdly, the relationship which the blood bears to it.
"The blood of the everlasting covenant!"
I.First of all then, I have to speak this morning of THE COVENANT mentioned in the text.
1. And I observe that we can readily discover at first sight — what the covenant is NOT. We see at once that this is not the covenant of works, for the simple reason that this is an everlasting covenant. Now the covenant of works was not everlasting in any sense whatever. It was not eternal; it was first made in the garden of Eden. It had a beginning, it had been broken; it has been violated continually, and will soon be wound up and pass away: therefore, it is not everlasting in any sense. The covenant of works cannot bear an everlasting title; but as the one in my text is an everlasting covenant, therefore it is not the covenant of works.
God made a covenant first of all, with the human race, which ran in this way: "If you, O man, will be obedient — you shall live and be happy; but if you will be disobedient — you shall perish. In the day that you disobey me — you shall die." That covenant was made with all of us in the person of our representative — the first Adam. If Adam had kept that covenant, we believe that every one of us would have been preserved. But inasmuch as he broke the covenant — you and I, and all of us, fell down into sin — and were considered henceforth . . .
as inheritors of sin,
as the heirs of wrath,
as prone to every evil,
and subject to every misery.
That covenant has passed away — with regard to God's people; it has been put away through the new and better covenant which has utterly and entirely eclipsed it by its gracious glory.
Again, I may remark that the covenant here meant is not the covenant of gratitude — which is made between the loving child of God, and his Savior. Such a covenant is very right and proper. I trust all of us who know the Savior have said in our very hearts:
"Tis done! the great transaction's done;
I am my Lord's — and he is mine!"
We have given up everything to him. But that covenant is not the one in the text, for the simple reason that the covenant in our text is an everlasting one. Now our covenant of gratitude was only written out some few years ago. It would have been despised by us in the earlier parts of our life, and cannot at the very utmost, be as old as ourselves.
2. Having thus readily shown what this covenant is not — I may observe what this covenant IS. And here it will be necessary for me to subdivide this head again, and to speak of it thus: To understand a covenant, you must know . . .
firstly, who are the contracting parties;
secondly, what are the stipulations of the contract;
thirdly, what are the objects of it; and
then, if you would go still deeper, you must understand something of the motives which lead the contracting parties to form the covenant between themselves.
1. The contracting PARTIES.How, in this covenant of grace, we must first of all, observe the high contracting parties between whom it was made. The covenant of grace was made before the foundation of the world between God the Father, and God the Son. Or to put it in a yet more scriptural light, it was made mutually between the three divine persons of the adorable Trinity.
This covenant was not made directly between God and man. Man did not at that time even exist; but Christ stood in the covenant as man's representative. In that sense, we will allow that it was a covenant between God and man — but not a covenant between God and any man personally and individually. It was a covenant between God and Christ; and through Christ indirectly — with all the blood bought seed who were loved by Christ from the foundation of the world.
It is a noble and glorious thought, the very poetry of that old Calvinistic doctrine which we teach, that . . .
long before the day-star knew its place,
long before God had spoken existence out of nothing,
long before angel's wing had stirred the unnavigated ether,
long before a solitary song had disturbed the solemnity of the silence in which God reigned supreme
— God had entered into solemn counsel with himself, with his Son, and with his Spirit — and had in that council decreed, determined, purposed, and predestined the salvation of his people.
He had, moreover, in the covenant arranged the ways and means, and fixed and settled everything which would work together for the effecting of the purpose and the decree.
My soul flies back now, winged by imagination and by faith, and looks into that mysterious council-chamber — and by faith I behold the Father pledging himself to the Son, and the Son pledging himself to the Father, while the Spirit gives his pledge to both, and thus that divine compact, long to be hidden in darkness, is completed and settled — the covenant which in these latter days has been read in the light of Heaven, and has become the joy, and hope, and boast of all the saints.
2. And now, what were the STIPULATIONS of this covenant?They were somewhat in this way: God had foreseen that man after creation would break the covenant of works; that however mild and gentle the tenure upon which Adam had possession of Paradise, yet that tenure would be too severe for him, and he would be sure to kick against it, and ruin himself. God had also foreseen that his elect ones, whom he had chosen out of the rest of mankind — would fall by the sin of Adam, since they, as well as the rest of mankind, were represented in Adam. The covenant therefore had for its end — the restoration of the chosen people.
And now we may readily understand what were the stipulations. On the Father's part — thus ran the covenant. I cannot tell it to you it in the glorious celestial tongue in which it was written. I am glad to bring it down to the speech which suits to the ear of flesh, and to the heart of a mortal. Thus, I say, ran the covenant in lines like these:
"I, the Most High Jehovah, do hereby give unto My only begotten and well-beloved Son, a people, countless beyond the number of the stars —
who shall be washed from sin by Him;
who shall be preserved, and kept, and led by Him; and
at last, who shall be presented before My throne without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing by Him.
I covenant by oath, and swear by Myself, because I can swear by no one greater, that these whom I now give to Christ — shall forever be the objects of My eternal love!
These, I will forgive through the merit of my Son's blood.
To these, I will give a perfect righteousness.
These, I will I adopt and make my sons and daughters.
And these shall reign with Me through Christ eternally!"
Thus run that glorious side of the covenant. The Holy Spirit also, as one of the high contracting parties of the covenant, gave His declaration, "I hereby covenant, that all whom the Father gives to the Son —
I will in due time quicken.
I will show them their need of redemption.
I will cut off from them all groundless hopes, and destroy their refuges of lies.
I will bring them to the blood of sprinkling.
I will give them faith whereby this blood shall be applied to them.
I will work in them every grace.
I will keep their faith alive.
I will cleanse them and drive out depravity from them.
And they shall be presented at last spotless and faultless in Heaven!" This was the one side of the covenant, which is at this very day being fulfilled and scrupulously kept.
The Lord Jesus also, as one of the high contracting parties of the covenant, gave His declaration, "My Father, on My part, I covenant that in the fullness of time, I will become man. I will live in their wretched world — and for My people, I keep the law perfectly. I will work out a spotless righteousness for them, which shall be acceptable to the demands of Your just and holy law. In due time, I will bear the sins of all My people. You shall exact all their debts upon Me. The chastisement of their peace — I will endure; and by My stripes — they shall be healed. My Father, I covenant and promise that I will be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. I will magnify Your law, and make it honorable. I will suffer all that My people ought to have suffered. I will endure the curse of Your law — and all the vials of Your wrath shall be emptied and spent upon My head! I will then rise again, and ascend into Heaven. I will intercede for them at Your right hand. I will make Myself responsible for every one of them — that not one of those whom You have given me, shall ever be lost! I will bring all My sheep of whom, by My blood, you have constituted Me the Shepherd — I will bring every one safe to You at last!"
Thus ran the covenant; and now, I think, you have a clear idea of what it was and how it stands — the covenant between God the Father and God the Spirit — and God the Son, as the covenant head and representative of all God's elect. I have told you, as briefly as I could, what were the stipulations of it. You will please note, my dear friends, that the covenant is, on one side, perfectly fulfilled.
God the Son has paid the debts of all the elect. He has, for His people and for their redemption — suffered the whole of wrath divine. Nothing remains now on this side of the question, except that he shall continue to intercede, that he may safely bring all his redeemed to glory.
On the side of the Father, this part of the covenant has been fulfilled to countless myriads. God the Father and God the Spirit have not been behindhand in their divine contract. And mark, this side shall be as fully and as completely finished and carried out as the other. Christ can say of what he promised to do, "It is finished!" and the like shall be said by all the glorious covenanters. All for whom Christ died shall be pardoned, all justified, all adopted. The Spirit shall quicken them all, shall give them all faith, shall bring them all to Heaven, and they shall, every one of them, without let or hindrance, stand accepted in the beloved, in the day when the people shall be numbered, and Jesus shall be glorified.
3.And now having seen who were the high contracting parties, and what were the terms of the covenant made between them — let us see who were the OBJECTS of this covenant. Was this covenant made for every man of the race of Adam? Assuredly not; we discover the secret — by the visible. That which is in the covenant is to be seen in due time with the eye, and to be heard with the ear. I see multitudes of men perishing, continuing wantonly in their wicked ways, rejecting the offer of Christ which is presented to them in the gospel day after day, treading under foot the blood of the Son of Man, defying the Spirit who strives with them. I see these men going on from bad to worse and at last perishing in their sins. I have not the folly to believe that they have any part in the covenant of grace!
Those who die impenitent, the multitudes who reject the Savior, are clearly proved to have no part and no lot in the sacred covenant of divine grace; for if they were savingly interested in it — there would be certain marks and evidences which would show us this. We would find that in due time in this life — they would be brought to repentance, would be washed in the Savior's blood, and would be saved.
The covenant — to come at once straight to the matter, however offensive the doctrine may be — the covenant has relationship to the elect — and none besides. Does this offend you? Then be offended even more. What did Christ say? "I pray for them; I do not pray for the world — but for those who you have given me; for they are yours." If Christ prays for none but for his chosen — then why should you be angry that you are also taught from the Word of God, that in the covenant there was provision made for the same people, that they might receive eternal life. As many as shall believe, as many as shall trust in Christ, as many as shall persevere unto the end, as many as shall enter into the eternal rest — so many and no more, are savingly interested in the covenant of divine grace.
4. Furthermore, we have to consider what were the MOTIVES of this covenant?Why was the covenant made at all? There was no compulsion or constraint on God. As yet, there was no creature. Even could the creature have an influence on the Creator, there was none existing in the period when the covenant was made. We can look nowhere for God's motive in the covenant — except it be in himself, for of God it could be said literally in that day, "I am, and there is none beside me!"
Why then did he make the covenant? I answer, absolute sovereignty dictated it. But why were certain men the objects of it — and why not others? I answer, sovereign grace guided the pen. It was not the merit of man; nor was it anything that God foresaw in us — which made him choose many, and leave others to go on in their sins. It was nothing in them — it was sovereignty and grace combined, which made the divine choice. If you, my brethren and sisters, have a good hope that you are interested in the covenant of grace, you must sing that song —
"What was there in me to merit esteem — or give the Creator delight?
Twas even so Father I ever must sing — for so it seemed good in your sight!"
"He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy," "for it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs — but of God that shows mercy."
His sovereignty elected,
and his grace distinguished,
and immutability decreed!
No motive dictated the election of the individuals — except a motive in himself, of love and of divine sovereignty.
Doubtless the grand intention of God in making the covenant at all — was his own glory. Any motive inferior to that, would be beneath his dignity. God must find his motives in himself — he has not to look to moths and worms for motives for his deeds! He is the great "I AM!"
"He sits on no precarious throne,
Nor borrows leave to be."
He does as he wills, in the armies of Heaven. Who can stay his hand and say unto him, "What are you doing?" Shall the clay ask the potter for the motive for his making it into a vessel? Shall the thing formed, before its creation, dictate to its Creator? No! Let God be God, and let man shrink into his native nothingness! And if God exalts him — then let him not boast as though God found a reason for the deed in man. He finds his motives in Himself. He is self-contained, and finds nothing beyond, nor needs anything from any — but himself. Thus have I, as fully as time permits this morning, discussed the first point concerning the covenant. May the Holy Spirit lead us into this sublime truth.
II. But now, in the second place, we come to notice ITS EVERLASTING CHARACTER.
It is called an everlasting covenant. And here you observe at once its antiquity. The covenant of grace, is the oldest of all things. It is sometimes a subject of great joy to me to think that the covenant of grace — is older than the covenant of works. The covenant of works had a beginning — but the covenant of grace had none. And blessed be God, the covenant of works has its end — but the covenant of grace shall stand fast when Heaven and earth shall pass away!
The antiquity of the covenant of grace demands our grateful attention. It is a truth which tends to elevate the mind. I know of no doctrine more grand than this! It is the very soul and essence of all Scripture! In sitting down and meditating upon it — I confess my spirit has sometimes been ravished with delight!
Can you conceive of the idea, that before all things — God thought of you? That when as yet He had not made his mountains — He had thought of you; you, a poor puny worm?
Before the magnificent constellations began to shine, and before the great center of the world had been fixed, and all the mighty planets and myriad worlds had been made to revolve around it — then had God fixed the center of his covenant, and ordained the number of those lesser stars which should revolve round that blessed center, and derive light therefrom.
Why, when one is taken up with some grand conceptions of the boundless universe, when with the astronomers we fly through space, when we find it without end, and the starry hosts without number — does it not seem astonishing that God should give poor insignificant man the preference, beyond even the whole universe besides? Oh this cannot make us proud — but it must make us feel happy. Oh believer, you think yourself nothing — but God does not think so of you. Men despise you but God remembered you before he made anything. The covenant of love which he made with his Son on your behalf is older than the hoary ages, and if you fly back when as yet time had not begun, before those massive rocks that bear the marks of grey old age upon them, had begun to be deposited — he had loved and chosen you, and made a covenant on your behalf. Remember well these ancient things of the eternal hills.
Then, again, it is an everlasting covenant from its sureness. Nothing is everlasting, which is not secure. Man may erect his structures and think they may last for ever — but the Tower of Babel has crumbled, and the very Pyramids bear signs of ruin. Nothing which man has made is everlasting, because he cannot ensure it against decay. But as for the covenant of grace, well did David say of it, "It is ordered in all things, and sure." It is,
"Signed, and sealed, and ratified,
In all things ordered well."
There is not an "if" or a "but" in the whole of it, from beginning to end.
Free-will hates God's "shalls" and "wills" — and likes man's "ifs" and "buts". But there are no "ifs" and "buts" in the covenant of grace. Thus the tenure runs: "I will" — and "they shall." Jehovah swears it — and the Son fulfills it. It is — it must be true. It must be sure, for the great "I AM" determines it. "Has he said — and shall he not do it? Or has he spoken — and shall he not make it good?" It is a sure covenant.
I have sometimes said, if any man were about to build a bridge or a house, if he would leave me just one single stone or one timber to put where I liked — I would undertake that his house would fall down. Let me, if there is anyone about to construct a bridge, have just simply the placing of one stone — I will select which stone it shall be — and I will defy him to build a bridge that shall stand. I would simply select the key-stone, and then he might erect whatever he pleased — and it should soon fall.
Now, the Arminian's covenant is one that cannot stand, because there are one or two bricks in it (and that is putting it in the slightest form; I might have said, "because every stone in it," and that would be nearer the mark) that are dependent on the will of man. It is left to the will of the creature — whether he will be saved or not. If he will not, there is no constraining influence which can master and overcome his will. There is no promise that any influence shall be strong enough to overcome him, according to the Arminian. So the question is left to man — and God the mighty Builder, though he puts stone on stone, as massive as the universe — yet He may be defeated by his creature! Such blasphemy is rubbish!
The whole structure, from beginning to end — is in the hand of God. The very terms and conditions of that covenant have become its seals and guarantees, seeing that Jesus has filled them all. Its full accomplishment in every jot and tittle is secure, and must be fulfilled by Christ Jesus — whether man will or man will not. It is not the creature's covenant — it is the Creator's covenant. It is not man's covenant — it is the Almighty's covenant, and he will carry it out and perform it, the will of man notwithstanding.
For this is the very glory of grace — that man hates to be saved, that he is at enmity with Him — yet God will have him redeemed — that God's covenant is, "you shall!" and man's intention is, "I will not!" And God's "shall" conquers man's "I will not." Almighty grace rides victoriously over the neck of free-will — and leads its captive in glorious captivity to the all-conquering power of irresistible grace and love. It is a sure covenant, and therefore deserves the title of everlasting.
Furthermore, it is not only sure — but it is immutable. If it were not immutable, it could not be everlasting. That which changes, passes away. We may be quite sure that anything that has the word "change" on it, will sooner or later die, and be put away as a thing of nought. But in the covenant, everything is immutable. Whatever God has established must come to pass, and not a word, or a line, or a letter, can be altered. Whatever the Spirit vows — shall be done; and whatever God the Son promised — has been fulfilled, and shall be consummated at the day of his appearing.
Oh if we could believe that the sacred lines could be erased — that the covenant could be blotted and blurred — why then my dear friends, we might lie down in despair.
I have heard it said by some preachers, that when the Christian is holy — he is in the covenant; that when he sins — he is crossed out again; that when he repents — he is put in again; and then if he falls — he is scratched out once more; and so he goes in and out of the door, as he would in and out of his own house. He goes in at one door — and out of another. He is sometimes the child of God — and sometimes the child of the devil; sometimes an heir of Heaven — and at another time an heir of Hell. And I know one man who went so far as to say that although a man might have persevered through grace for sixty years, yet should he fall away the last year of his life — if he should sin and die so, he would perish everlastingly, and all his faith, and all the love which God had manifested to him in the days gone by would be for nothing.
I am very happy to say that such a notion of God is just the very notion I have of the devil. I could not believe in such a God — and could not bow down before him. A God who loves today — and hates tomorrow; a God who gives a promise — and yet foreknows after all, that man shall not see the promise fulfilled; a God who forgives — and punishes; who justifies — and afterwards executes; is a God that I cannot endure! I am certain that He is not the God of the Scriptures — for he is immutable, just, holy, and true, and having loved his own, he will love them to the end, and if he has given a promise to any man, the promise shall be kept, and that man once in grace, is in grace forever, and shall without fail by-and-bye enter into glory.
And then to finish up this point. The covenant is everlasting, because it will never run itself out. It will be fulfilled, and it will stand firm. When Christ has completed all, and brought every believer to Heaven; when the Father has seen all his people gathered in — the covenant will come from consummation — but not to a conclusion, for thus the covenant runs: The heirs of grace shall be blessed forever, and as long as "forever" lasts, this everlasting covenant will demand the happiness, the security, the glorification, of every object of it.
III.Having thus noticed the everlasting character of the covenant, I conclude by the sweetest and most precious portion of the doctrine — the relation which the blood bears to the covenant. "The blood of the everlasting covenant!" The blood of Christ stands in a fourfold relationship to the covenant:
1. With regard to Christ, his precious blood shed in Gethsemane, in Gabbatha and Golgotha, is the fulfillment of the covenant. By this blood, sin is cancelled. By Jesus' agonies, justice is satisfied; by his death, the law is honored; and by that precious blood in all its mediatorial efficacy, and in all its cleansing power, Christ fulfills all that he stipulated to do on the behalf of his people towards God. Oh, believer, look to the blood of Christ, and remember that there is Christ's part of the covenant carried out.
And now, there remains nothing to be fulfilled but God's part, there is nothing for you to do; Jesus has done it all; there is nothing for free-will to supply; Christ has done everything that God can demand. The blood is the fulfillment of the debtor's side of the covenant, and now God becomes bound by his own solemn oath to show grace and mercy to all whom Christ has redeemed by his blood.
2. With regard to the blood in another respect, it is to God the Father the bond of the covenant. When I see Christ dying on the cross, I see the everlasting God from that time, if I may use the term of him who ever must be free — bound by his own oath and covenant to carry out every stipulation. Does the covenant say, "A new heart I will give you, and a right spirit I will put within you?" It must be done, for Jesus died, and Jesus' death is the seal of the covenant. Does it say, "I will sprinkle pure water upon them and they shall be clean; from all their iniquities will I cleanse them?" Then it must be done — for Christ has fulfilled his part. And, therefore, now we can present the covenant no more as a thing of doubt; but as our claim on God through Christ, and coming humbly on our knees, pleading that covenant, our heavenly Father will not deny the promises contained therein — but will make every one of them yes and amen to us through the blood of Jesus Christ.
3. Then, again, the blood of the covenant has relation to us as the object of the covenant. It is not only a fulfillment as regards Christ, and a bond as regards his Father — but it is an evidence as regards ourselves. And here, dear brothers and sisters, let me speak affectionately to you. Are you relying wholly upon the blood? Has his blood — the precious blood of Christ — been laid to your conscience? Have you seen your sins pardoned, through his blood? Have you received forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus? Are you glorying in his sacrifice, and is his cross your only hope and refuge? Then you are in the covenant!
Some men want to know whether they are elect. We cannot tell them, unless they will tell us this. Do you believe? Is your faith fixed on the precious blood? Then you are in the covenant. And oh, poor sinner, if you have nothing to recommend you; if you are standing back, and saying "I dare not come! I am afraid! I am not in the covenant!" still Christ bids you come. "Come unto me," says he. "If you cannot come to the covenant Father, come to the covenant Surety. Come unto me — and I will give you rest." And when you have come to him, and his blood has been applied to you, doubt not, but that in the roll of election stands your name. Can you read your name in the bloody characters of a Savior's atonement? Then shall you read it one day in the golden letters of the Father's election! He who believes is elected. The blood is the symbol, the token, the pledge, the surety, the seal of the covenant of grace to you. It must ever be the telescope through which you can look to see the things that are afar off.
You cannot see your election with the naked eye — but through the blood of Christ, you can see it clearly enough. Trust in the blood, poor sinner — and then the blood of the everlasting covenant is a proof that you are an heir of Heaven.
4. Lastly, the blood stands in a relationship to all three, and here I may add that the blood is the glory of all.
To the Son it is the fulfillment,
to the Father the bond,
to the sinner the evidence,
and to all — to Father, Son, and sinner — it is the common glory and the common boast.
In this, the Father is well pleased;
in this the Son also, with joy, looks down and sees the purchase of his agonies;
and in this must the sinner ever find his comfort and his everlasting song — "Jesus, your blood and righteousness — are my glory, my song, for ever and ever!"
And now, my dear hearers, I have one question to ask, and I am done. Have you the hope that you are in the covenant? Have you put your trust in the blood? Remember that the gospel is freely preached to all. The decree is limited — but the good news is as wide as the world. The good spell — the good news, is as wide as the universe. I tell it to every creature under Heaven, because I am told to do so. The secret of God, which is to deal with the application, that is restricted to God's chosen ones — but not the message, for that is to be proclaimed to all nations.
Now you have heard the gospel many and many a time in your life. It runs thus: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Do you believe that? And is this your hope — something like this: "I am a sinner. I trust Christ has died for me; I put my trust in the merit of his blood, and, sink or swim, I have no other hope but this.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to your cross I cling."
You have heard it; have you received it in your heart, and laid hold on it; then you are one of those in the covenant. And why should election frighten you? If you have chosen Christ, depend upon it — he has chosen you. If your tearful eye is looking to him — then his omniscient eye has long looked on you. If your heart loves him — his heart loves you better than ever you can love. And if now you are saying, "My father, you shall be the guide of my youth," I will tell you a secret — he has been your guide, and has brought you to be what you now are, a humble seeker, and he will be your guide and bring you safely at last to Heaven.
But are you a proud, boastful, free-willer, saying, "I will repent and believe whenever I choose; I have as good a right to be saved as anybody, for I do my duty as well as others, and I shall doubtless get my reward" — if you are claiming a universal atonement, which is to be received at the option of man's will, go and claim it, and you will be disappointed in your claim. You will find God will not deal with you on that ground at all — but will say, "Depart from Me, I never knew you. He who comes not to me through the Son, comes not at all."
I believe the man who is not willing to submit to the electing love and sovereign grace of God, has great reason to question whether he is a Christian at all, for the spirit that kicks against God — that is the spirit of the devil, and the spirit of the unhumbled, unrenewed heart. May God take away the enmity out of your heart to his own precious truth, and reconcile you to it and then reconcile you to himself through THE BLOOD of his Son, which is the bond and seal of the everlasting covenant!