beyond the reach of mercy

Spotted recently, in a certain denominational magazine – a sermon by William Trail, minister of the Free Tron Church in Glasgow after the Disruption, where he discusses obstacles which a person might imagine in the way of believing, or being forgiven. Just thought it fits with a couple of earlier posts, here and here.

“Perhaps the two most comon obstacles with which an anxious soul obstructs its approach to Christ are: (1) mistaken views of a sinner’s warrant to come to Christ; (2) a dread that some unpardonable sin has been committed, or that he has gone to such lengths in wickedness that he has put himself beyond the reach of mercy. …

“(1) … My sole warrant to believe in Christ is God’s testimony in the Word. … The free invitation is sufficient warrant for you, or anyone else, to believe in Christ.

“(2) The alarmed soul says, ‘I have sinned beyond the possibility of pardon. Others may be forgiven, but I am beyond the reach of mercy.

When the sinner says that his sins are so many and so heinous as to put him beyond the reach of hope, are we to try to persuade him that he has an exaggerated view of his sins, that he is judging his heart too harshly? No, we are to strive to convince this sinner that it is impossible for anyone to exaggerate their sins, for they are far greater than they yet understand. So, when the sinner cries out, ‘My sins are as scarlet, they are red like crimson,’ we may, as it were, echo back his confession: Yes, your sins are as scarlet; they are red like crimson, but there is hope even for you, for ‘though your sins be scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’

Yes, though your sin is a great evil, Christ is a still greater Saviour; his blood cleanses from all sin. And if you also, desponding soul, would only wash in it, these sins of yours will be so cleansed as to rival in whiteness the driven snow or the spotless fleece. To say that any sinner can be so vile that Jesus cannot or will not save him would be to pluck the brightest jewel from his crown as the Saviour of the chief of sinners.”

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