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THE DAY OF SALVATION.

A SERMON, BY THE REP. WILLIAM JAY.

TREACHED AT ARGYLE CHAPEL, BATH, ON SUNDAY EVENING, JAN. 5, 1840.

“Beliold, now is the day of salvation.”---2 Cor. vi. 2. Our world is full of wonders, and I tion from the dead, and His being crowned agitations, and enticements : a thousand with glory and honour. The“ time" voices are endeavouring to arouse and to when God " accepts” the supplications secure our attention. The broachers of of sinners in His name. And the "time" error, the heralds of vice, the votaries of when sinners “accept” the Divine mercy, dissipation, the advocates of science, are are made “ willing in the day of His all inviting and awakening regard ; and power," and are induced to submit them'Lo, here !' and 'Lo, there !' is heard selves to the righteousness which is of in every quarter.

God. Among all these claims and these ad- “Behold, now is the day of salvation." dresses, my brethren, we break in upon When a season is named by anything you, this evening, with a Divine commis- which peculiarly and supremely abounds in sion—a holy remonstrance, and a hea- it, (and this is often the case) we need not venly announcement. “Wherefore do wonder that the apostles should call the ye spend your money for that which is Gospel “the day of salvation ;" because not bread ? and your labour for that which salvation is its design, its grand aim, all satisfieth not ? hearken diligently unto its business, and its supreme distinction Me, and eat ye that which is good, and and glory. “Behold, now is the day of let your soul delight itself in fatness. In- salvation." cline your ear, and come unto me: hear, There are three things here, my and your soul shall live; and I will make brethren, which we shall endeavour an everlasting covenant with you, even briefly to explain and improve; the blessthe sure mercies of David." "Behold, ing-the period—and the attention. The now is the accepted time : behold, nou is blessing-“salvation ;' this is the first : the day of salvation.

| the period—“the day of salvation;" this The words immediately preceding the is the second : the attention--" behold;" text are these; "We then, as workers this is the third: for you cannot imagine together with Him, beseech you also that that God has employed this in vain, or ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” that we should pass it over without notice. The words "with Him” are supplied, and, “ Behold, now is the day of salvation.” we think, very improperly. "We then, With these reflections we shall dismiss as workers together, beseech you also the topics that are appropriate to the that ye receive not the grace of God in season of the year. Only pray, “ So vain.” “ The grace of God" here means teach us to number our days that we may the Gospel; the “receiving it in vain” apply our hearts unto wisdom.” means the receiving it ineffectually, or for no experimental or practical purpose. I. TAE BLESSING:- salvation.” Now Against this St. Paul says, that, as salvation always refers to some evil. And ministers, they jointly entreat and warn. numberless are the evils which are emFor the privilege is infinite; and the battled against man in his passage danger of losing the season in which the through this vale of tears, and from which blessing can be realised, is great and alone he is protected by the God of salawful. “ For He saith, I have heard vation, to whom belong the issues from thee in a time accepted, and in the day death," and who is therefore called “the of salvation have I succoured thee. Be- Preserver of men.” Nor do we wish you, hold, now is the accepted time.” There my dear friends, to overlook any of your are three ways of understanding this. The deliverances from flames, and floods, and "time" in which He was “ accepted” as accidents, and diseases, and wicked and Mediator between God and man; loving unreasonable men: but we do not come us, and giving Himself for us, as an offer-here only, or principally, to deal with you ing and sacrifice to God for a sweet concerning your poor bodies, and the life smelling savour;"evinced by His resurrec-i that now is. We know that the graves VOL. XIII.

2 c

are ready for you: we know that when and falling again under the dominion of “ the dust returns to the earth as it was, I those adversaries! Their deliverance the spirit will return to God that gave from the land of Egypt and the house of it:" we know that “after death is the judg-bondage, aud their emancipation from ment:' and we know that you are fallen, | the Babylonish captivity, were temporal and guilty, and depraved, and perishing, deliverances; and their effects soon and, in yourselves, helpless creatures. ceased. Where now is the rod of Moses,

"To the law and to the testimony," which inflicted all the plagues upon then: let us appeal to the infallible Pharaoh, and opened a passage through standard of Scripture; and there we shall the Red sea ? "Where now is the ark soon find a deliverance, emphatically which sheltered Noah and his family called always " salvation,-so great from the flood ? Among the lumber of salvation;" great-and so great, so inex- the creation, or the dust of the earth. pressibly great, so inconceivably great, But, iny brethren, “ Israel shall be saved that, compared with it, every other sal- in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: vation is nothing, and less than nothing, they shall not be ashamed or confounded, and vanity.”

world without end.” Lift up your eyes Now this salvation is not, so to speak to the heavens, and look upon the earth merely negative : it includes more than beneath: for the heavens shall vanish mere deliverance. A traveller may be away like smoke, and the earth shall wax rescued from assassins, and left to go on old like a garment, and they that dwell his journey alone : a man may be for therein shall die in like manner : but My given, and not enriched : the king may salvation shall be for ever, and My righsend a criminal a pardon, and not an es. teousness shall not be abolished.”' " He tate. But the salvation of the Gospel that believeth on Me," says the Saviour, has always, in the Scriptures, something “ hath everlasting life, and shall never positive in its import. It is not only a come into condemnation." deliverance from something, but to some. It may therefore be well called a full thing; a deliverance “ from darkness to salvation ; for it leaves no evil unremoved, light, and from the power of Satan unto no want unsupplied, no hope unaccomGod;" from condemnation to adoption; plished. It brings wisdom, righteousfrom the curse of the law to all the pro- ness, sanctification, and redemption : it mises of the Gospel; and from hell to brings a sun in our darkness, a shield in heaven.

our danger, strength in our weakness, “ Buried in sorrow and in sin,

peace in our trouble, joy in our sorrow. At bell's dark door we lay ;

It “ blesses us with all spiritual blessings Till we arise by grace Divine,

in heavenly places in To see a heavenly day."

Christ." It

is “ profitable unto all things, having Nor is this salvation terminable. I promise of the life that now is, and of Permanency " adds bliss to bliss.” The that which is to come.” more valuable any possession is, the more We feel therefore inclined to use a faalive are you to its stability; and the vourite term with many, and to call it a more miserable you become in proportion finished salvation, as well as a full salvaas you discover the probability, or the tion; only we must be allowed to explain possibility even, of leaving it. Now as to the term in our own way. If by “ finished all the treasures we lay up on earth, salvation” is intended the purchase or the “moth and rust do corrupt, and thieves procurement of it, we accede in the fullest break through and steal.” The man who manner to the notion ; it is thus finished. is raised up from the borders of the grave, Jesus said in the garden, “ I have finishis only reprieved; the sentence is still led the work which Thou gavest Me to suspended over him, and he will by and do ;” and when He expired, He said, bye hear a voice, saying, “Return, yes It is finished :” nothing more can be children of men." Hezekiah was re-added to its perfection; and “the death covered of his boil; and he had fifteen l of Christ," as Watts finely says, still reyears added to his life, and then saw cor- mainsruption. A captive has been delivered,

“Sufficient and alone.” and yet conquered, and enchained, and But as to its actual application, it is not a enslaved again. How often do we read finished salvation yet: so far from it, the in the Scriptures of the Israelites being apostle tells the Philippians, that God had saved from the hands of their enemies, begun a good work in them," and would

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"perform it till the day of Jesus Christ,” | and need you be told that the curse enclearly intimating that till that period it tered with every breach of the law ? and would be imperfect and progressive. The that “ cursed is every one that continueth late excellent Dr. Ryland published an not in all things written in the book of admirable sermon some years ago, the the law to do them ?” and that “ the wages title of which was—" Salvation, as to its of sin is death ?” and that God is " of imputation, finished at the death of Christ, purer eyes than to behold iniquity ?" You and, as to its application, finished at the must judge of sin by His nature. Here death of the Christian.” Here was some is a man who will swear twenty oaths; truth sacrificed to fancy. No, my bre- you reprove him for it; 'Oh! says he, thren; it is not entirely true, that salva- . there is no harm in this. You turn to a tion is finished as to its application at the godly man and say, Will you swear ? death of the Christian. No; his body will you call upon God to damn your is the temple of the Holy Ghost; this limbs ? No,' says he ; he would ra. will be re-edified. No; his body is a part ther die than he would do it. Here is a of the Saviour's ransom; and it will be | drunkard; you reprove him; he mocks at demanded, The Christian is “looking your rebuke. You turn to a good man; for that blessed hope," when He shall you say, “Will you be a drunkard ? will “change his vile body, that it may be you abuse your reason ? will you become fashioned like unto Christ's glorious a brute ? will you abuse the bounties of body.” He is to be absolved before the Divine providence?' 'No,' says he ; “I world; he is to be publicly glorified; he would rather die than I would do so.' is to hear, as an embodied creature, the Now you see how the very same sin which Saviour's language, - Come, ye blessed of the wicked trifle with and disregard is felt My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared by the good man; it is offensive to him : for you before the foundation of the world:” | and if offensiveto him, with his imperfect “Well done, good and faithful servant,” holiness, how much more offensive must (the language of free grace) “enter thou it be to the holy angels! and if it be into the joy of thy Lord.”

offensive to them, how much more offenTherefore you see that this salvation is sive must it be to that Being, in whose of Christ; and so entirely, in all its parts sight the very heavens are not clean ; and in the whole, in its commencement, who is “ righteous in all His ways, and progress, and completion, that the apos- holy in all His works;" who is angry tle told the Jews, 16 There is salvation in with the wicked every day;" who says, none other; for there is no other name “ Tlie wicked shall not stand in My sight; under heaven given among men whereby I hate allthe workers of iniquity !” No; we must be saved.” And our Saviour you must be saved therefore, or you must bears the same testimony of Himself: “I perish. And is it not desirable that you am the way, the truth, and the life; no should be saved ? Would you not be man cometh unto the Father but by Me." much happier now, if you were delivered No; “in Him we have redemption through from the tyranny of your lusts and pasHis blood.” We are “God's workman- sions, and if you could believe that God ship, created in Christ Jesus unto good “ was pacified towards you for all your works." “If any man be in Christ, he abominations,"and that you were received is a new creature; old things are passed into His favour? Can you be happy away; behold, all things are become without this? What, if you missed hea

ven, where there is “fulness of joy !4 Salvation ! Ob ! the joyful sound!

What, if you fell into hell, where there is What pleasure to our ears !

“the worm that dieth not, and the fire A sov’reign balm for every wound,

that is not quenched !" And is it not A cordial for our fears."

attainable, as well as desirable? Is it not But, my brethren, it will be this “joyful " a faithful saying and worthy of all acsound” only to those who know and feel ceptation, that Jesus Christ came into that they are lost. As to others it will be the world to save sinners ?” Did He not rather repulsive; because the implication | suffer "the just for the unjust, that He will be felt to be, as it really is, a reflec | might bring us to God?” And is He not tion. But how is it with you? Do you an able Saviour, a mighty Saviour, a not feel your need of this salvation? Can willing Saviour, whoseyou deny that you are sinners? and know

"heart is made of tenderuess," you not that is the soul that sinneth it, whoseshall die?” Are you not transgressors ?! - "bowels melt with love ;"

new."

and who is now saying, “ Him that cometh , lievers were praying for this; and thereunto Me I will in no wise cast out ?" fore the Church said, “For Zion's sake

will I not hold my peace, and for JeruNow let us pass from the blessing to- salem's sake I will not rest, until the

II. The perIOD :- from salvation to the righteousness thereof go forth, and the day of salvation. “ The day of salvation” salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." intends the season of the Gospel dispen- ' And “ the day of salvation” is “now," sation, which had then recently been an- because it is freely offered. Now let me nounced; not exclusive, indeed, as to explain. What I mean is this; that not what went before, but perfective of it, only is the blessing revealed to your view, and which is to continue to the end of but pressed upon your acceptance, and time.

the acceptance of all, without exception. Now the Gospel may well be called, for | Therefore says the Saviour, “Look unto three reasons, is the day of salvation.” Me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the

For, first, “the day of salvation” is earth.” Never question the sincerity of “ now," because it is plainly revealed. this invitation and address. When the It was early announced; it was mentioned King made a marriage for His Son, He even in the garden of Eden. “ The seed sent forth His servants, and ordered them of the woman shall bruise the serpent's to bid as many as they should find to the head,” was the first ray of that “ shining wedding. There were many who relight, which shineth more and more unto fused to come; but the invitation was as the perfect day.” The revelation of Him sincere with regard to those who refused, therefore increased with time. Abraham as it was with regard to those who comdesired to see this; and though he saw it plied. Do not look to me for an explaonly in type and in promise, he “re- nation of all this; but “let God be true, joiced and was glad." The apostle tells and every man a liar." The invitation the Hebrews, that the Gospel is not an therefore is universal and impartial. appendage to Judaism, but the perfection “Whosoever will, let Him take of the of it; God “having,says he, - provided water of life freely.” And well may this some better thing for us, that they with- / be called “the day of salvation,” when out us might not be made perfect." And even “ the Gentiles are made partakers our Saviour, you will remember, is not of the same body;" when He is not only speaking comparatively with reference to the glory of His people Israel,” as He heathenism, but Judaism, when He says was from the beginning, but “a light to to His disciples, “Many prophets and lighten the Gentiles;" when He is “c for righteous men have desired to see those God's salvation to the ends of the earth." things which ye see, and have not seen Well may it be called “the day of salvathem; and to hear those things which tion" when He sends forth His servants, ye hear, and have not heard them. But saying, “Go ye into all the world, and blessed are your eyes, for they see; preach the Gospel to every creature, bapand your ears, for they hear.” To tizing them in the name of the Father, them a Saviour was far off; He has and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” approached us: they saw Him with a Again ; “now is the day of salvation," veil, in types and ceremonies; we be- | because it is actually enjoyed. What we hold Him with open face, and can see all mean is, that it is not a future blessing His lovely features. “Of this salvation,” only. Then, that period is deservedly the apostle Peter says, “the prophets in- “ the day of salvation:" but it is a present quired and searched diligently, who pro- benefit; and therefore now is the day phesied of the grace that should come of salvation.” Why, the apostle conunto you; searching what, or what man- tinually addresses Christians as saved alper of time the Spirit of Christ which was ready (and there must be a very imporin them did signify, when it testified be- | tant sense in which it is true)- "By grace forehand the sufferings of Christ, and the ye are saved.This salvation is ensured glory that should follow. Unto whom it as to the whole, and it is begun as to its was revealed, that not unto themselves, parts. When Zaccheus heard , our Sabut unto us they did ininister the things, viour's address, “ Make haste, and come which are now reported unto you by them down, for to-day I must abide at thy which have preached the Gospel unto house; and he made haste, and came you with the Holy Ghost sent down from down, and received Him joyfully;' the heaven; which things the angels desire to Saviour said to him, , “ This day is salvalook into." Therefore the ancient be I tion come to this house.” And when you

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are enabled to believe on the Son of God, , behold, now is the day of salvation.” Only and to give yourselves up to Him; when take care, that as Peter says, you are not you can say, “Lord, I am Thine ; save found among the number of those, who me;'_“In the Lord have I righteousness“ behold, and wonder, and perish :" for and strength ;" He says, “ This day is this will be the case with multitudes. In salvation come to thy soul.”

| order that it may not be the case with Some of you know (blessed be God !) | you, let me call upon you to “ behold,” and that this is the day of salvation.”' to remember, and admire the goodness You have experienced it. You have been of God. “ called out of darkness into marvellous If we had been informed that God was light.” You know, that “ blessed are the going to send His only begotten Son into people that know the joyful sound;" for our world, and that He would “shake the you walk in the light of His counte- heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and nance," " rejoice in Him all the day,” | the dry land, and all nations," our guilty and " in His righteousness you are ex- consciences would have led us to infer alted.”

that He would come to punish His eneThere are many more who are enjoying mies, and that He would bring them forth this, besides you ; and this adds to your and slay them before His face. But, happiness. There are many of God's “be astonished, 0 heavens! wonder, O hidden ones, there are many you know earth !” “God sent His only begotten nothing of, who love him and His salva- Son into the world, not to condemn the tion. And what numbers will be made world, but that the world through Him partakers of this salvation besides, when might be saved." There is a day of wrath, " a nation shall be born in a day;" when as well as a day of salvation ; and “the “the nations of them that are saved shall wrath of God is revealed from heaven walk in the light of the Lord ;' when“ He against all unrighteousness and ungodly shall sprinkle many nations ;' when“ all men." But the design of this«revelation is nations shall fall down before Him, and but to prevent the execution of it. The all kings shall serve Him." If only one design is to produce fear, that fear may sinner had been saved, it would have produce flight, and that in your flight you been enough to have immortalized that may be directed to "flee for refuge, to period to the end of time ; yea, and lay hold of the hope set before you in through all eternity. But it is not one, the Gospel." it is not one thousand, it is not one mil. “Behold, now is the day of sal-lion, but many millions are made partak-vation." And remember, that this ers of this grace. Our Saviour saysam day, with regard to you personally, is “There is joy in heaven over one sinner, only the day of your life ; for with you that repenteth.” Well, then, with regard the dispensation ceases with life. "And to such myriads, we repeat what we have what is your life? It is even a vapour, intimated already. The season is named that appeareth for a little time, and then from its subject—from its leading, pre- vanisheth away.” Is there any thing, vailing subject. Yes; it is “the day of however expressive of brevity and rapisalvation," because salvation is its design, dity, that the sacred writers have not its full importance, its only business, its seized, in order to show the vanity of supreme distinction and glory. There that only period (I mean, the vanity of it are many things, which distinguish the as to duration), upon which you depend day in which we live. It is a day of li- entirely as to your realization of this berality, a day of discovery, a day of the blessing? A dream, a tale that is told, a spread of education, and of the march of flower of the field, the weaver's shuttle, intellect, and of new openings for trade the flight of the avaricious hungry eagle and for commerce. But what of all this? / darting down upon its prey, and the moThis is the grand thing, that the time in tion of a vessel which proudly sails before which we live, my dear hearers, is " the the wind : these and many others are day of salvation' -a free, full, finished, the representations given of your "day of and eternal salvation.

| salvation, which means the day of your But let us pass from the blessing, and life. from the period, to

* Great God, on what a slender thread III. THE ATTENTION. Behold,says

Hang everlasting things !

The eternal states of all the dead, God—behold, now is the accepted time; Upon life's feeble strings."

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