he knowledge of that gracious character, as interpreted by the cross of Christ, is the true remedy for our disquietness. Insufficient acquaintanceship with God lies at the root of our fears and gloom.
I know that flesh and blood cannot reveal God to you, and that the Holy Spirit alone can enable you to know either the Father or the Son. But I would not have you for a moment suppose that this Spirit is reluctant to do his work in you; nor would I encourage you in the awful thought, that you are willing while he is unwilling; or that the sovereignty of God is a hindrance to the sinner, and a restraint of the Spirit.
The whole Bible takes for granted that all this is absolutely impossible. Never can the great truths of divine sovereignty and the Spirit’s work land us, as some seem to think they may do, in such a conflict between a willing sinner and an unwilling God.
The whole Bible is so written by the Spirit, and the gospel was so preached by the apostles, as never to raise the question of God’s willingness, nor to lead to the remotest suspicion of his readiness to furnish the sinner with all needful aid. Hence the great truths of God’s eternal election, and Christ’s redemption of his Church, as we read them in the Bible, are helps and encouragements to the soul. But interpreted as they are by many, they seem barrier-walls, not ladders for scaling the great barrier-wall of man’s unwillingness; and anxious souls become land-locked in metaphysical questions, out of which there can be no way of extrication save that of taking God at his word.
By thy cross, incarnate God,
Hear me when with Thee I plead;
By the merits of Thy Blood
Succour me in this my need!
By Thy Name, all names above,
Oh, regard my bitter cry;
By Thy finished work of love,
Jesus, hear me, or I die!