The Pilgrim’s Companion

MARCH 2.

So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. Rom. 9:16

INTIMATELY connected with the sovereignty, is the free grace of the Spirit’s operation. No worthiness of the creature allures Him to the sinner’s breast. What worthiness can be supposed to exist—what merit in an adjudged criminal—an outlawed rebel—a poor insolvent—one whose mind is enmity, whose heart is swelling with treason against God, His government, and His Son—one who owes ten thousand talents, and has “nothing to pay”? None whatever. And that the Eternal Spirit should enter the heart of such an one—convincing of sin—subduing the hatred—breaking down the rebellion—leading to Jesus, and sealing pardon and peace upon the conscience—oh! what but free grace—unmerited mercy—sovereign love, could thus have constrained Him? In exercising his sovereignty in conversion, let none suppose that that which decides Him in the selection of His subject is anything more worthy, or more lowly He discovers in one than in another. Oh no! He often selects the poorest, the vilest, the most depraved and fallen, as if utterly to explode all idea of human merit, and to reflect in its richest luster the free grace of His heart.

Behold, then, the grace of the blessed Spirit’s operation, He comes—He knocks—He unbars—He enters, and creates all things new, irrespective of any merit of the creature, if merit that may be called, which is so wretched and poor, that language fails adequately to describe it. Oh the riches of His grace! How it is magnified—how it is illustrated—how it shines in the calling of a poor sinner! “Lord, what did you see in me,” exclaims the convinced soul, “that moved You with compassion, that drew You to my breast, and that constrained You to make me Your temple?” Nothing, on my part, but poverty, wretchedness, and misery—on Your part, nothing but love, sovereignty, and unmerited favor.” Reader, turn not from this glorious feature of the blessed Spirit’s operation; it glorifies God, while it humbles man—it exalts Jesus on the ruins of the creature.

Poor in spirit, blessed are you! You are rich in your poverty—you are exalted in your lowliness. All the love that is in God—all the grace that is in Jesus—and all the tenderness that is in the Spirit, all, all is for you. Lift up your head, then, and let your heart sing for gladness. Though poor, though nothing, though despised, though worthless in your own eyes—ah! and in the eyes of the vaunting Pharisee—yet for you Jehovah pours out all the treasures of His grace—gave His well-beloved Son, and sent His blessed Spirit. “All things are yours,” you poor in spirit, you broken in heart—”all things are yours.” How vast the compass of your blessings! “All things are yours; for you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” Oh, could you know how dear you are to the heart of God—could you know with what tenderness Jesus yearns over you—how the blessed Spirit delights to make you His dwelling-place, you would rejoice in that you are made low. “For thus says the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

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“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” Titus 2:11