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who, when he looks back on the past, grieves to think of misspent sabbaths, heartless prayer, warnings slighted, the workings of conscience stifled ; who remembers knocks after knocks at the door, which he would not open? Is your case hopeless ? No, even to you our Lord speaks once more with a voice of tenderest mercy, and says, 6. Wilt thou be made whole ?” This day I have a message to you from Him. His arms are still open, if you are willing to fly to them. No man can ever say, that it is the Saviour who rejects the sinner, but the sinner who rejects the Saviour.
Yes, it is to you, whoever you may be, to whom the Saviour speaks. This house of prayer may indeed be to you a Bethesda, a “ house of mercy.” Have you often come to the Lord's house, and gone away none
the better, like the poor man who had laid for years by the pool's side? May your Saviour's kind and gracious words reach your ears, and your heart. Your cure may begin to-day.
Now, when you go home, try to turn to some good account what you have heard. Ask God to touch your heart, and give you his Holy Spirit. And let that short prayer which you will find in the 17th chapter of Jeremiah, be yours, “ Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved.”
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEAD-BELIEF AND SAVING FAITH.
John 6. 64.
“ There are some of you that believe not.”
ALTHOUGH I am speaking to a congregation of professing Christians, and although I trust there are many among you who are truly Christians in heart, yet I dare not hide from you the truth-I dare not conceal it from myself—that “there are some of you that believe not.”
I earnestly pray that the Holy
Spirit may be with us, whilst we consider these three points :
I. What it is to believe.
First, WHAT IS IT TO BELIEVE? The gospel of Christ proclaims to us two great facts.
One is, that man has sinned, and thus shut himself out of heaven. The other is, that God has provided a Saviour, and thus has opened the kingdom of heaven to all true believers.
We will say nothing about those, who entirely reject these truths. But how differently are they looked upon by those even, who profess to receive them! The great mass of people do not for a moment doubt that the gospel is true. They have a great respect for the word of God. They believe that man has sinned, and that a Saviour has appeared on earth. But then it has no effect upon them. They grieve not for that sin: they love not that Saviour. They believe that there is a bell; but they show no anxiety to escape it. They believe that there is a heaven; but they are so content with this present world, that they have no longing for one to
Now, do such persons really believe? They have a kind of faith ; but it is cold, dead, and fruitless. Its seat is not in the heart, and it is therefore worthless in God's sight. A man may have such a faith as this, and yet remain unchanged. The devils have such a faith ; but it only makes them tremble, for they cannot love God.