The Only Way

 

A SERMON – Preached on Sunday Morning, October 30th, 1870 By

Mister JAMES WELLS

 

VOLUME XII. - No. 625.

 

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go way: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” John 16, 7

 

 

So unalterable is the economy of grace, so unalterable is the everlasting covenant, so unalterable are all the departments of eternal salvation, that our text seems to say that a schism could take place in the eternal Deity before any one department of the salvation of a sinner could be altered. Look at the language, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;” the Holy Ghost will not come. Why, the Lord Jesus Christ must stand to his solemn engagements in order to keep up that harmony that exists in the eternal Three in the salvation of a sinner. Men talk of salvation as though it was a sort of loose, un-devised, unsettled, conditional sort of thing, that might be right today and wrong tomorrow. No, my hearer; nowhere does immutability so shine as in the great matter of eternal salvation. Angels may be hurled from their thrones to eternal perdition, but not one iota of the new covenant shall ever even be shaken; Adam may fall, and the human race fall in him, and ten thousand revolutions take place in this world, and God makes all those changes subservient to that great plan that changes not. And amidst those solemn scenes the voice of the Son of God was heard in the deepest of agony, and at the same time sweating great drops of blood falling down to the ground, with, “Father, if it be possible—for of course the cry was altogether submissive, “let this cup Pass from me’’ —but it was not possible; “for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come;” therefore, “not my will, but thine be done.” It is then, I say, a very remarkable and a very solemn scripture. But then if you take another view of it, it is a delightful scripture, because it sets forth the immutability—in other words, the un-alterability—of the great plan of eternal salvation. Those of us that know that everything else has broken down, could we once believe that one of the bulwarks of Zion could give way, that one of the foundations of the new Jerusalem could give way, that one of the gates of the heavenly city could be unhinged, and an adversary could enter there, and that anything belonging to our eternal welfare was based upon something short of God himself in his eternal love, and power, and wisdom, what a wretched, miserable condition should we be in! The apostle might well say, “of all men the most miserable.” Bless the Lord, then,

 

“His Truth shall stand, his word prevail,

And not one jot nor tittle fail.”

 

Here is something we may rely upon. And if God give us a word of assurance pertaining to our souls, or pertaining to anything, although everything in appearance is directly against what appears to be the meaning of that word, we have nothing to do with that; let God say the word, there the matter is settled; and though everything may seem to contradict its fulfilment, yet those very things that seem to contradict its fulfilment, it shall afterwards turn out, were the very means divinely appointed subserviently to bring about the fulfilment of his blessed word. See his plan, how well laid in relation to the death of Christ! Little did Satan and the adversaries of Christ think that they were doing the will of God; not making that their motive, but they were doing it subserviently, —doing whatsoever his hand and counsel determined to be done. “Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further.” How sweet the privilege to rise so high as described in one scripture, “Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength!”

 

There are three things I shall aim at this morning. First, the departure of the Savior; secondly, the reasons that the Holy Spirit will not come unless the Savior depart; thirdly, his faithfulness to his promise, “but if I depart, I will send him unto you;” and so he did.

 

First, the departure of the Savior. And the first question that arises is, as he is about to depart, which way is he to go? It must be some very mysterious way; so far so that be said to Peter, “Thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me afterwards.” The first part of the path I shall notice that he went in his departure is the way of our sins; that I shall just say a word or two upon, that where our sins were, that is the way he went. He went that way to take up every one of our sins; he went that way in order to bear every one of our sins; he went that way that he might compass all our sins; he went that way that he might overturn all our sins; he went that way that he might atone for all our sins; he went that way that he might destroy, annihilate, put an entire and an eternal end to all our sins. Let us come to ourselves for a moment. When you and I depart by and by out of the world, it will be a question, Which way am I going? Am I going the way of my sins? Am I going where they are? Am I to be carried by my sins into the presence of my Judge? Am I to be carried by my unbelief, and ignorance, and enmity against God into the presence of my Judge? If so, down I sink, lost, lost, lost forever. Oh, what a frightful scene! Even death sometimes, when accompanied with much suffering, is a most terrible hour; but when we look a little beyond that, and ask ourselves the question when we come to die, How shall I depart? shall it be in unbelief or in faith? shall it be in blind enmity against God’s truth, or in the love of it? shall it be in ignorance of God, or shall it be in the knowledge of Jesus, so that when I come to die he shall be in my dying hour what he has been in my living hours—the way, the truth, and the life? To look and to see Jesus as the way of escape from every one of our sins, original, past, present, and to come; for we shall not recognize the value of this manner of the Savior’s departure unless we look at it in this its immediate reference to ourselves. There is no other way, no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must he saved. Thanks, infinite thanks, then, to his dear name that he did go that way where our sins were, that he did take up our sins, that he did bear our sins in his own body on the tree. This was his very mission into the world, all summed up in the beautiful words we never seem weary of repeating, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” Well might Watts say,—

 

“If sin be pardoned,”—

 

there’s the sore, there’s the grief, there’s the damnation, there’s the horror, there’s the terror—sin; but

 

“If sin be pardoned I am secure,

Death has no sting beside;

The law gave sin its damning power,

But Christ my ransom died."

 

Oh, what a departure was this, then! —the dear Redeemer did by his death what all the angels in heaven and men on earth could not do. No; Lebanon was not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof for a burnt offering; but Jesus was sufficient. Believe you this? Does everyone now within the sound of my voice believe that Jesus, and Jesus only, could thus meet your sins, atone for them, put them away, blot them out, and thus forgive them? has he himself become your way, your way of life, your way of hope, your way of access to God, your way in which you hope to escape the wrath to come? There is also in this department something that one cannot find language to explain; we cannot enter into it; the time will come when we shall enter more into it; —I mean the thought of his standing by us, of his abiding by our sins until he had agonized the last out of existence, until upon him had been inflicted the last wound. He did not give up, he stopped nowhere, he fainted nowhere, he failed nowhere. And if you look at what the work was, the prediction looks almost like a tremendous hazard, but it was not a hazard; God knew what he was about when he put that prediction upon record in Isaiah 42; as though the prophet was looking at the tremendous scene, and saying, Is it possible that he will accomplish it? Why this sin, that hath its cursed foundation laid low as the deeps of hell; —this sin that is broader than the sea, longer than the earth, high as heaven; this tremendous sin; —will this one person be able to compass and atone for the sins of countless millions? and shall he, when he arrives at the end of their sins, in vision see them rise in all the perfection in which his atonement hath constituted them? —as though the prophet was exercised upon this; then the Holy Spirit revealed to him this wondrous prediction: “He shall not fail, nor be discouraged.” Those that know something of these things will not for a moment question the personal deity of Jesus; when they see his manhood nailed to the cross, and read in the face of that scene that “with his own arm”—and what arm? not his human arm, no; there was an invisible arm, and that invisible arm was an omnipotent arm, that invisible arm was his eternal power, the eternal power of his personal, his eternal deity— “with his own arm he brought salvation.” My fellow travelers to eternity, religion consists in flying for refuge to this wonderful person. Creature doings are all excellent in their place, but they are not of the slightest use in this great matter of sin being put away, that the Holy Spirit may come: What a solemn departure, an awful departure! I say awful in what he had to endure; but how firmly he abode by us. So then, as he went the way of our sin, we, if we know him, shall not go that way; he himself is our way, and in him is no sin; he himself is our way, and he is the end of sin; he himself is our way, and he is the end of every wrinkle, spot, or blemish. Again, he not only went the way of our sin, though all I have to say in addition to this of course is included in that, but he also went the way of divine justice. There was the flaming sword waiting for him; he is to be cut off, not for himself, —oh no, no; but for us. “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts; smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” So, he went the way of the flaming sword, and having met it, the sword is now gone forever. You never read of a sword in the heavenly paradise; there was a sword in the earthly paradise, to show that it was in the earthly paradise that we sinned, and brought the flaming sword between us and God; but Christ met that sword, and endured all that justice demanded, so that there is no more sword, there is no more curse, there is no more sorrow, no more grief; all is ended. How little we know of what the Savior achieved in this wondrous departure from this world! And you see how mildly he puts the words: “I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away.” Oh what a presentation the Savior could have given us here of what he was about to endure, such perhaps that we could hardly have endured to read, therefore he hides it, and puts it in this mild way: “I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away!” This going away, as you all see, as here intended, was of infinite and eternal value. And as he went the way of our sin, and went the way of the curse, there is now no curse for us. We now can meet God where there is no wrath; that’s it, that’s everything. If you have that faith in Christ by which to live with God in Christ, and by Christ Jesus, where there is no wrath, then you do already in effect see your Makers face with joy; and if you see your Maker’s face with joy now, and the light of his countenance as the light of your souls at times now, and his presence is at times your refreshing now; then, when we depart to another world, it will be into the open presence of the same pleasing, the same smiling God. Godliness—why it’s everything; it’s the only thing under the heavens that hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. He went, then, the way of our sins, and the way of wrath, and the way of death; he hath taken the sting of death away. But I must again say that notwithstanding the sting of death being taken away, death is a tremendous hour, death is a solemn hour. A good man, a hearer of ours, said to me, thirty years ago, —and I do not wish to state his feeling as the precise feeling of all, but it made a deep impression upon my mind, —he said, “I think I am within a few hours of eternity; and I thought so too, and so it proved. And he said, “No one knows what it is to be where I am, under the hidings of Gods face, fearing that my sins are not taken away, and fearing that my soul is not redeemed. I am just entering into eternity; oh,” he said, “ten thousand worlds would I give for one ray of light from the Lord’s presence, to make me feel I have a little hope in his salvation, Sir,” he said, “I never saw eternity before as I see it now, never felt its awfulness before as I feel it now.” But the Lord didn’t suffer him so to die; before he deported the Lord stepped in, and trod Satan down under his feet, and the good man realized the fulfilment of that scripture, “Mark the perfect man” —perfect in Christ— “and behold the upright’’ —which he was; upright in his profession, he was sincere in his decision for the truth; “the end of that man is peace.”

 

So, then, Jesus must thus depart. Having such a Savior as this, what shall we say? I know what you will say; you will say, he is indeed the pearl of great price; you will indeed say that no excellency can for one instant rival his excellency, and that, no value can make any approach towards his value. Here is that unspeakable gift of the blessed God to the salvation of poor sinners. So, then, he did depart, and accomplished in that departure what he was designed to accomplish. “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.” Is not this a solemn scripture? Truly so; “will not come unto you?” Such is the infallible integrity of the eternal Three in this great matter of salvation; God the Father punctually faithful to his Son; God the Son punctually, faithful to the Father; the Holy Spirit punctually faithful to Christ, and punctually faithful to the Father, punctually faithful to everything. Let me once more, for the ten thousandth time, say to you that these are matters in which the great Creator is infinitely and eternally interested. He does not hold any of these matters in a loose way; he does not hold your souls in life in a loose way; he has got you in his hand, and declares that none shall pluck you out of his hand, that he will guide you by the skillfulness of his hand, and that he will feed you according to the integrity of his heart. The dear Redeemer did not, and does not, and will not hold any of the blessings of the covenant in a loose way; no, there is nothing loose, nothing of that loose color or fashion in it at all; all is punctually managed and carried on. Not an atom can get out of its place; not a tach, not a loop, not a board, not a socket, not a thread, not anything. Oh, I like the words of Watts, for he is perfectly right, especially in these matters, that while on the one hand—

 

“Our lives through varying scenes are drawn,

And vexed with trifling cares.

Thine eternal thought moves on,

Thine undisturbed affairs."

 

We see the rise and fall of monarchs, the tremendous revolutions of nations—these mighty earthquakes; yet none of them can disturb his affairs; he is indeed “calm amidst tempestuous motion;” he does indeed hold the winds in his fists, and hide the waters in the hollow of his hand; he does indeed have his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

 

Secondly, I notice the reasons why the Holy Spirit would not come except the Savior depart. The first reason would be the testimonies which the Holy Spirit had put upon record as to what Christ should do. If you read in one place that “to him gave all the prophets witness,” the reason why all the prophets gave witness to Christ was because the Holy Ghost was their teacher. It was the Holy Ghost that opened up to the prophets the personal glory of the coming Messiah. Now for the Holy Spirit to come contrary to Christ’s dying, as the Old Testament sets forth, would be to deny the meaning of all the types and shadows of the ceremonial law, would be to deny the Psalms, to deny Isaiah, to deny all ancient predictions; because it would deny the testimony that the Messiah should be cut off. The Holy Spirit will not falsify his own truth. There is nothing in this great matter based upon anything of a creature kind; it is all with God and all of God: “All these things,” said the apostle, “are of God, who hath reconciled us unto himself by Jesus Christ.” Thus, then, the Holy Spirit will not falsify his own testimony. Now look at this truth in your experience. If I have a hunger, if I have a thirst, if I have a desire, and if I have a confidence in and look to the Lord, there are the Holy Spirit’s testimonies that such desires shall be answered. And will the Holy Spirit (for he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God) suffer his testimonies to come to nothing? No, they will stand good. We cannot have too much confidence in God's blessed word. That then is one reason why the Holy Spirit would not come except the Savior departed. And the second would be because of the immutability of God; I shall mention four reasons. Why, you will say, I should think the chief reason was that he would not come except Christ atoned for sin. Well, you will perceive in the next proposition that is included. The immutability of God. “Jesus Christ was verily fore-ordained as a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Will God alter from, this? Certainly not. Then if God will not alter from this, there is no other way in which the Holy Spirit can come consistently with the will of the Father; and there cannot be by any possibility any schism in the eternal Three; and that is the reason there could be no schism in our salvation; all the parts of salvation are as firmly united together as are the eternal Three. If you go back to God’s foreknowledge, you cannot separate that from the gracious decree of conformity to the image of Christ; and you cannot separate that from effectual calling; and you cannot separate effectual calling from justification, and we cannot separate justification from glorification. All these are joined together with the same firmness that the eternal Three are one; so that the people are in this way as firmly united to Christ as the Divine persons are one to the other; and you might just as scripturally hold that there could be a schism in the Trinity, as that there could be a separation of one child of Cod from the love of God, from the choice of God, from the salvation of God, from the Spirit of Christ, from the kingdom of God from the blessings of God, from that glory which he has for his people. So, then, as God the Father would not change, but still abides by his wonderful decree concerning the death of Christ, the Holy Spirit would not come contrary to that will; and, bless the Lord, there was no necessity that he should. The third reason the Holy Spirit would not come except the Savior departed, is not only because he would not go contrary to the testimonies he had put upon record, and not only because he would not go contrary to God’s will, but because there could be no substitute found. If a substitute can be found for Christ’s atonement, something put in the place of Christ’s righteousness, if you can substitute something for him, then the Holy Spirit may have a way in which he can come. I must not, as your time is short, occupy it in reminding you at any length of a very awful truth, and it has been so in all ages, —that we have had a great many substitutes for Christ. Only think of the Pope; he is called the vicar of Christ; now “vicar” means one that is put into the place of another, and so he is put into the place of Christ. Poor old man! the Lord God have mercy upon him, that’s all I say. And ten thousand things have been put into the place of the truth of Christ, and into the place of the work of the Spirit of Christ; and into the place, if not wholly, yet in part, of the atonement of Christ; and into the place of the suretyship and responsibility of Christ. I have already quoted the words in that beautiful chapter, Isaiah 40, and it is a great and a wonderful chapter, from which the 8th of Romans seems in spirit and substance taken; the Holy Spirit looks around, and when he looks at Lebanon he says, —Lebanon, that cannot quench the fire; that is not sufficient to burn; he looks at the mighty droves of cattle and of beasts in that great forest, and he says, “The beasts thereof are not sufficient for a burnt offering.” Jesus is a substitute for others, but there can be no substitute found for him; no one can come and take his place. The high priest under the law had the ox, the goat, and the sheep, as it were, to take his place; he had not to die personally; he had not to endure these things personally. But here, in this matter, no substitute can be found; there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Let us pray for grace, that while no substitute could be found for him, and therefore, the Holy Spirit will come in no other way, we should dread the thought of a substitute for him; for he is so suited to us that we hope we do not commit an act of irreverence when we say that if our blessed God himself were, as it were, to set his infinite wisdom to work, he could not find anything for us so suited. The dear Savior is every way suited; how well we are satisfied; how heartily we receive him. “They gladly received him;” they were all waiting for him, And yet, while we are thus willing to receive him, and to renounce and reject with all our souls all others, we are such poor creatures as to fear he will not receive us; and it is a remarkable thing that we assign those very things against ourselves which the word of the Lord assigns everywhere in our Savior. Take the two men to whom we so often refer. Here is the one; -Well, you receive the God of the Hebrews? Yes, oh yes. And do you think he will receive you? Of course, he will. And why do you think he will receive you? Because, in the first place, I am not so bad a man as that Publican; that is one reason why he will receive me; and the other is that I fast twice a week, and I attend to the temple, I pay tithes; so that the temple does not lose anything by me; I pay tithes of all I possess; and therefore, I think I shall be received. Well, the Publican would say, I should think so too; I wish I were you, but I am not you, and therefore, I cannot take that ground; all I can say is, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” By and by it comes out that the man who thus thought he should be received was rejected; and the man who, because he was such a sinful wretch, such a guilty creature, thought he should be rejected, standing afar off, and would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, needed someone to lift up his eyes to heaven for him; smote upon his breast, with “God be merciful to me a sinner no sooner were the words out of his mouth than a tide of mercy rolled into his soul, and he went down to his house a pardoned man, a sanctified man, a received man, a justified man, a saved man, a triumphant man, a happy man. Oh, my hearer, we make use of that wretchedness which we feel more or less from time to time as a reason to fear the Lord will not receive us, yet these are the very persons he does receive namely, the poor and the needy. So, then, the Holy Spirit would not come contrary to his own testimony; he would not come, seeing the Lord had appointed no other way; and he would not come, because no substitute for Christ can be found. And you that know the Lord when you look around at the infinitely contemptible gospels, the trash and rubbish that set up for gospels, when you compare them with the perfection that is in Christ, Jehovah’s majestic “I wills” and “They shall,” and the unalterable decision of God’s eternal truth, “Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation, and shall not be ashamed or confounded, world without end,” In what infinite contempt can you afford to hold all human gospels when set by the side of the gospel of the everlasting God! There is one more reason I shall assign, and that is this, —that the Holy Spirit was to come not only on the ground of Christ’s atonement, but he was to come also on the ground of Christ being accepted at the right hand of God. My hearer, forgive me if I seem wrong in just for a minute or two speaking after the manner of men; as though the Holy Spirit should say, I will stop; let me see if he is received into heaven; let me see if he ascends, let me see if he be accepted in heaven, let me see if he be enthroned; let me see if he ascend into all power; let me see this, as though the Holy Spirit should say, Of course I am speaking after the manner of men. And when Jesus was received, when Jesus was enthroned, then the Holy Spirit comes to Jesus, and says to this exalted Savior in heaven, What will you have me to do? The Holy Spirit asked, as it were, I do not say of course in the words literally, but in substance, —What will you have me to do? And so, the Holy Spirit, by Christ’s authority, and at Christ’s desire, and at Christ’s command, came down, and “hath shed forth this which ye see and hear.” Jesus must be exalted, for if he be not glorified, the Holy Spirit is not given; but if Jesus be glorified, the Holy Spirit is given. There was no danger of any one that preceded the Savior’s day reaching that place, the right hand of God. In the case of human monarchs, sometimes one is aiming at a throne, but another gets it before him, and so he is cast back again. Not so with Jesus; ages rolled on; his throne in a sense (understand, of course, I speak after the manner of men), was vacant—none there; —by and by, when he comes, he does what none other had done or could do, finds the throne vacant, the scepter, the glory, the province; takes up his place there, at the right hand of the Majesty on high.  Now as though the Holy Spirit should say, I have nothing to fear; all is done now, all is settled now; now I shall be a free Spirit. I care not for the death that is in the souls of the people—I will soon cast that out; I care not for the dryness that is in the bones—I will give them life and feeling; I care not for their disorganization—I will organize them; I care not for their being without sinews—I will lay sinews upon them; I care not for their being without flesh—I will put flesh upon them; I care not for their being without skin—I will clothe them with the beauteous skin of immortality and eternal bloom; I care not for their being without breath—I will breathe into them the breath of eternal life; and in the strength of what I shall make them, they shall stand upon their feet an exceeding great army; for Jesus’ name must be glorified, his trophies must appear, his triumphs must be demonstrated, and countless millions shall, in the beautiful language of the hymn,

 

“I shall in life through Jesus reign.”

 

I have always been a believer, and always shall be, in the sovereign freedom of the Holy Spirit. I believe he regenerates the soul and carries on his work as independent of the creature as Christ wrought his work independent of the creature; I believe that the Holy Spirit begins his work and carries it on as independent of the creature as God loved and chose the people before the foundation of the world independent of the creature. The Holy Spirit dependent upon me! What, that Holy Spirit that taketh up the isles as a very little thing; that Holy Spirit to whom all nations, Isaiah argues, are as a drop of a bucket, dependent upon me! No, but I am dependent upon him. What wonders hath the Holy Spirit enabled the saints to do in different ages of the world! So then these are the four reasons why he would not come except Jesus go away; —first, because he would not come contrary to the testimonies upon record; secondly, because he would not come contrary to the will of God, which he would if he came in any way but by the atonement of Christ; thirdly, because there is no substitute for Christ, therefore the Holy Spirit will not come any other way; and fourthly, because the Savior must be exalted in order to crown the whole; —that does crown the whole, and now the Savior is at liberty to reign, the Father is at liberty to bless, and the Holy Spirit is at liberty to do just what he pleases; there is no legal hindrance, and if there be no legal hindrance, other hindrances are only circumstantial, and therefore must be counted in his almighty hands just nothing at all. I do not like to be a believer in God the Father in his counsel and sovereignty, and to be a believer in Christ in his perfection, and then come to the Holy Spirit and in some one sense or more, view him as inferior to the Father and inferior to the Savior. No, these Three are One; whatever is the one, that is the other two. I am, to my very soul, a thorough Trinitarian. My hearer, slight the doctrine of the Trinity, make light of that, you thereby lower the personal deity of Christ, and get rid of all the majesty and dignity of eternal salvation.

 

But lastly, I notice the Savior’s faithfulness to his promise: “If I depart, I will send him unto you.” Now there are two ways in which I might deal with this last part of my subject; the one would be to show that the Holy Spirit did come on the day of Pentecost to the Jews, and that they were brought to Christ and were baptized. When the Holy Spirit was sent to Cornelius and those with him, and their eyes were opened, the question was, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized,” and they were. Ought we not to do the same? That is one way in which I might deal with this latter part of my subject, but I will not do so. There is another way, upon which I must say a word or two, because I feel so very much concerned for myself and for you that our evidences from time to time may be strengthened. My hearer, be assured, when we come presently into the dark cloud of the shades of death we shall want our evidences we shall want our reasons why we believe we are Christians; and if we can see those evidences, they will be of great use to us, they are of mighty use to us now, and they will be of greater use to us still then. Now in this chapter you have the signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit. “I will send him unto you;” what shall he do? Convince “of sin.” If therefore we are so convinced of sin as to see that none, but Christ can be the remedy, then he has sent the Holy Spirit unto us; for if he had not, we should not have had that conviction of sin which we have. Secondly, he shall convince of righteousness: “of righteousness, because I go to my Father;” that is, as I understand it, that Christ’s work is perfect, therefore he ascends to the throne. We are as convinced of this, I was going to say, as we can be when we are in heaven; we see the perfection of his work, we see the righteousness of his enthronement, we see the righteousness of his reign; we see that he is that king that reigns in righteousness, and that he is “an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” We are convinced of that; it is the Holy Spirit that has done this; these are evidences that we are taught of the Spirit. And then there is one more truth the Spirit teaches, and with that I must close, because your time is gone; and very beautifully it accords indeed with what, through mercy, we know: “of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged:” that is, that Satan is finally and entirely defeated. There is no way in which Satan can lay anything to our charge; he is ultimately defeated, according to that Scripture in the Old Testament, “The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy, thou shalt not see evil anymore.” Is not this just your sentiment? You say, Here am I, a poor sinner; I see that Jesus only is the way, and that by him the enemy is defeated; so that if I gain the victory, it must he by faith in the blood of the Lamb.

 

May the Lord increase us in our fellowship with these things, for his blessed name’s sake. Amen.