plain commandments

[Excerpt from a sermon by Thomas Guthrie – colleague of Thomas Chalmers in Edinburgh in the mid-19th century.]

“Allow no difficulties about this or that doctrine to hinder you from giving instant attention, and earnest obedience, to these plain commandments, Pray without ceasing – Labour for the bread that never perisheth – Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure – Take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

“Why is it that many, that perhaps you, are not saved? ‘Will the Lord cast off for ever, and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for ever more? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?’ Is heaven full? Has the cry ceased, ‘Yet there is room?’ Has the blood of Christ lost its efficacy, or the heart of God its pity? No. Men carefully preserve gold and jewels, but throw away their souls, as of no value; – they are not saved; but why? They give themselves no trouble, take no pains to be saved. …

“I am persuaded that many more would be saved, if fewer abused the doctrines of man’s depravity, and God’s free, sovereign, saving grace. It is the gospel, that Without shedding of blood there is no remission; it is the gospel, that Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; it is the gospel, that Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; but remember, I pray you, that according to the same gospel, those who receive are those who ask, and those who find are such as seek. The door opens to the knocking hand.”

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