Sermon Extract 1

The discovery that pardon and full reconciliation with God are offered gratuitously to all men in Christ, had been the turning point in Mr. Chalnier's own spiritual history ; and the most marked characteristic of his pulpit ministrations after his conversion was the frequency and fervour with which he held out to sinners Christ and His salvation as God's free gift, which it was their privilege and their duty at once most gratefully to accept. Most earnest entreaties that every sinner he spoke to should come to Christ just as he was, and "bury all his fears in the sufficiency of the great atonement," were reiterated on each succeeding Sabbath, presented in all possible forms, and delivered in all different kinds of tones and of attitudes. He would desert for a minute or two his manuscript, that with greater directness and familiarity of phrase, greater pointedness and personality of application, he might urge upon their acceptance the gospel invitation. "He would bend over the pulpit," said one of his old hearers, "and press us to take the gift, as if he held it that moment in his hand, and would not be satisfied till every one of us had got possession of it. And often when the sermon was over, and the psalm was sung, and he rose to pronounce the blessing, he would break out afresh with some new entreaty, unwilling to let us go until he had made one more effort to persuade us to accept of it.

"It is not," such were the words in which, upon one of these memorable Sabbaths, he addressed his parishioners, "because you are not so great a sinner that I would have you to be comforted ; but it is because Jesus Christ is so great a Saviour: it is not the smallness of sin, but the greatness of Him who died for it. I would have you to be satisfied, but not with yourself; for this would be to lull you asleep by the administration of a poisoned opiate. I would have you to listen to that loud and widely- sounding call - Look unto me, all ye ends of the earth, and be saved. I would have you to look unto Jesus; and if truth and friendship have a power to charm you into tranquillity, you have them here.

I would never cease to press the salvation of the gospel upon you as a gift; and as faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, I would call into action these appointed instruments for producing in the heart of the despairing sinner the faith which accepts the offer, and which holds it fast. I cannot ascend into heaven to bring down Jesus again upon the world, that you may hear the kindness which fell from His lips, and see the countenance most frankly expressive of it; but I can bring nigh unto you the word which He left behind Him. I can assure you upon the faith of that word which never lies, that what He was on earth He is still in heaven; and if in the history of the New Testament He was never found to send a diseased petitioner disappointed away, be assured that when He took up His body to the right hand of the everlasting throne, He took up all His kind and warm and generous sympathies along with Him.

I cannot shew you Him in person, but I can reveal Him to the eye of your mind as sitting there; and if you array Him in any other characters than in those of love and mildness and long-suffering, you do Him an injustice. He no longer speaks in His own person, but He speaks in the person of those to whom He has committed the word of reconciliation; and in the confidence that He will not falsify His own commission, or fall back by a single inch from the terms of it, we stand here as the ambassadors for Christ: as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God. I would have you to know the gift of God. I would have you to look upon it in the simplicity of an offer, on the one hand, and of a joyful and confiding acceptance on the other.
When He was on earth great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them. Come to Him with your disease - the disease of a guilty and despairing mind. Do not think that either the will or the power of healing you is wanting. You approach Him in the most peculiar and in the greatest of His capacities, when you approach Him as the physician of souls; and be assured that the voice which He uttered in the hearing of His countrymen is of standing authority and signification to the very latest ages of the world - ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Yes if rest is to be found at all it must be given. It is upon the footing of a gift that I offer it to you. Not that you are worthy to receive the present, but that it is a present worthy of His generosity to bestow. Take it ;- there is not a single passage in the Bible to exclude you from this act of confidence. Be not afraid - only believe - and according to your faith so will it be done unto you. You know not how ready - you know not how able - you know not how free - you know not how perfectly willing - nay, how eager and how delighted the Saviour is to receive all who come unto Him - to listen to their complaints - to heal their diseases - to supply their every want, and administer to every necessity. This is the true and the faithful representation of Christ. Could I give you a real and a living impression of Him - could I fix in your hearts the image of Him such as He is - could I bring Him before you, offering and inviting, nay, beseeching you to be reconciled - could all this be done, (and I pray that this work of faith may be wrought in you with power,) then the melancholy which oppresses your heart and keeps it dark would be dissolved in an instant - the gospel would come to you not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance - and the object for which Paul laboured with the Galatians would be accomplished in you: Christ would be formed in you, and He would be made unto you of God, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."

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