Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

to every individual of mankind, under heaven, whose hope is not built on Christ; and surely, emphatically, it so pronounces with respect to all, out of Christ, who live under the light of the gospel. My hearers, if any of you are indulging a hope of salvation, without an interest in Christ, by a living, purifying, transforming, and obedient faith, you are in a fundamental error, which will prove eternally ruinous, if it is retained. Be convinced of your error, and renounce it; seek an interest in Christ by faith in him; and be satisfied with nothing short of Scriptural evidence that you have such interest; for if you die without it, you will surely be eternally miserable. And your guilt and punishment will be greatly aggravated by the circumstance that so great salvation was provided, and was revealed and offered to you, and you neglected and rejected it. 3. Finally, our subject presents a strong appeal to those who have the gospel of salvation, to send it to those who are destitute of it. This is the point of practical improvement, to which I would more especially invite your attention, at this time. If it be true that there is salvation for sinners of our race, only in Christ;-if it be true that there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved;—then what is the necessary conclusion in regard to the Heathen Is it not that they must be strangers to salvation ? For they know not Christ; and have never heard of him and his salvation. They therefore cannot believe in him. For as Paul asked— “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?”—And if they do not believe in him, they cannot have an interest in his salvation; for the word of God abundantly teaches that such interest can be obtained only by faith. Unless therefore, there be some other way of salvation, than through Christ, and by faith in him, they cannot be saved. But our text unequivocally declares that there is no other way; and its declaration is supported and confirmed by many other passages of Scripture, explicitly affirming the same thing; and also, as we have seen, by several conclusive arguments drawn from the Scriptures. I know not but God sometimes may, in some way, communicate to a Pagan without the gospel, such a knowledge of the Savior, and of his atonement; and may make such an application of his atonement, and so renew the heart, by the Holy Spirit, that he may be saved. But if he ever does this,

salvation is still through Christ; and such instances, if they ever occur, which is at least very doubtful, are very rare. The Lord gives us no authority from his word to expect it; neither do the accounts which missionaries give us of the universal destitution of holiness, which they find in all pagan lands that they have visited, leave us much ground to hope that in any instance are the heathen saved through Christ without a knowledge of the gospel. If, then, we would have the heathen saved, we must send them a knowledge of the salvation of Christ revealed in the gospel. Real benevolence of heart, if we possess it, will lead us to feel for them in their miserable condition, and to endeavor to send them a knowledge of the only remedy, and to bring them. practically acquainted with it; and Christ has made it our duty so to do. After he had finished the work of providing salvation, and had risen from the dead, before he ascended to heaven, he gave in charge to his ministers and church, to have his salvation made known throughout the world. This command was—Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature—Go teach all nations. And that re

pentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. The apostles and their fellow laborers in the gospel ministry, and the primitive church, felt that the field of their operations was the world, and endeavored accordingly to carry the instructions of their ascended Lord into effect. In this they in a good degree succeeded; and if their successors, in the several ages since had had the same correct views of duty, and had been actuated by their spirit, and followed their example in labors, all nations would long since have been enlightened and blessed with the gospel of salvation. But alas! Christ’s ministers and church have, ever since the apostolic age, appeared, in a great measure, to lose sight of his command; and have slept amidst the groans and miseries of unnumbered millions, who have lived in darkness and sin and wretchedness; and died, and gone to the judgment bar, and to their eternal state, without a knowledge of the only salvation through Christ. Some may consider it uncharitable thus to represent the condition of the heathen, without the knowledge of Christ; but the Bible, unquestionably, thus represents their condition. And the contrary sentiment, that the heathen may be saved without a knowledge of Christ, and in some other way than through the salvation he purchased, is an infidel sentiment; and it is practically far more uncharitable. For it paralizes exertion to send the gospel to them, and leaves them without help, in the condition where the Bible declares that sinning without law, or the revealed word, they shall perish without law, or without the aggravated condemnation of those who perish from under the light of the gospel; while the truth, that the heathen can be saved only through the salvation of Christ, leads those acquainted with this salvation, and who have benevolent hearts, to devise plans to send the gospel to them, and to lend their aid to execute such plans. The truth declared in the text—“Neither is there salvation in any other," is the grand spring of missions to the heathen. About six hundred million of our fallen and sinful race are, at this time, in pagan, or Mohammedan darkness, destitute of a knowledge of the only name under heaven, given among men, whereby they must be saved, and of him whom the Bible declares to be the only Mediator between God and men; and ignorant of the salvation that is in him alone; and as depraved and wicked as they are ignorant—

« AnteriorContinuar »