Today I am continuing to share my reading experience with John Newton. Newton's inspiration for this sermon series was the popularity of Handel's Messiah.
Today's quotes will come from sermons fourteen and fifteen.
From sermon fourteen: Matthew 11:28
But the riches of Christ are unsearchable and inexhaustible. If millions and millions of distressed sinners seek to Him for relief, He has a sufficiency for them all. His mercy is infinite to pardon all their sins; His grace is infinite, to answer and exceed their utmost desires; His power is infinite, to help them in all their difficulties.
There is, indeed, an appointed hour, when the sun shall cease to shine, and the course of nature shall fail. But the true Sun, the Sun of Righteousness has no variableness or shadow of turning (Malachi 4:2; James 1:17); and they who depend upon Him, while in this world, shall rejoice in His light forever.
As no case is too hard for His power, so no person who applies to Him is shut out from His compassion. Him that cometh to Him, whatever his former character or conduct may have been, He will in no wise cast out (John 6:37) This glorious exercise of sovereign mercy, is no less a divine attribute, than the power, by which He created the heavens and the earth.
The Invitation is expressed in very general terms. Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden. There is no qualifying or restraining clause, to discharge any person who is willing to accept it. Whoever hath an ear to hear, let him hear. Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17) I cannot doubt, but these words authorize me to address myself to every person in the assembly.
The preaching of the Gospel is His appointment, and has a great effect, when accompanied with His Holy Spirit, to make a willing people in the day of His power.
But what is it to come to Christ? It is, to believe in Him, to apply to Him, to make His invitation and promise, our ground and warrant for putting our trust in Him. On another occasion, He said, He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth in me shall never thirst (John 6:35). The expressions are of the same import. When He was upon earth, many who came to Him, and even followed Him for a season, received no saving benefit from Him. Some came to Him from motives of malice and ill will, to ensnare or insult Him. Some followed Him for loaves and fishes. And of others, who were frequently near Him, He complained, Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life (John 5:40) But they who were distressed and came to Him for relief, were not disappointed. To come to Him, therefore, implies a knowledge of His power, and an application for His help.
He is seated upon a Throne of Grace; He is to be sought in His Word, and where His people assemble in His name; for He has said, There will I be in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20). They, therefore, who read His Word, frequent His ordinances and pray unto Him with a desire that they may know Him, and be remembered with the favour which He bears to His own people (Psalm 106:4), answer the design of my text. They come to Him, and He assures them that, whoever they are, He will in no wise cast them out. If they thus come to Him, they will of course come out from the world and be separate (II Cor. 6:17). If they apply to Him for refuge, they will renounce all other refuge and dependence, and trust in Him alone.From sermon fifteen: (Matthew 11:29-30)
Though the influence of education and example, may dispose us to acknowledge the Gospel to be a revelation from God; it can only be rightly understood, or duly prized, by those persons who feel themselves in the circumstances of distress, which it is designed to relieve.
Thus our Saviour's gracious invitation to come to Him for rest, will be little regarded, till we really feel ourselves weary and heavy laden. This is a principal reason why the Gospel is heard with so much indifference. For though sin be a grievous illness, and a hard bondage, yet one effect of it is, a strange stupidity and infatuation, which renders us (like a person in a delirium) insensible of our true state. It is a happy time, when the Holy Spirit, by His convincing power, removes that stupor, which, while it prevents us from fully perceiving our misery, renders us likewise indifferent to the only mean of deliverance.
We cannot serve Him acceptably, unless we are taught by Him.
Human learning will neither support the mind under trouble, nor weaken its attachment to worldly things, nor control its impetuous passions, nor overcome the fear of death.
The happy effect of His instructions upon those who receive them, is, Rest to their souls. This has been spoken to before; but as it is repeated in the text, I shall not entirely pass it over here.
By restoring us to our proper state of dependence upon God. A state of reconciliation and peace, and deliverance from guilt and fear. A state of subjection; for until our wills are duly subjected to the will of God, we can have no rest.
By showing us the vanity of the world, and thereby putting an end to our wearisome desires and pursuits after things uncertain, frequently unattainable, always unsatisfying.
By a communication of sublimer pleasures and hopes, than the present state of things can possibly afford. And, lastly, -- By furnishing us with those aids, motives, and encouragements, which make our duty desirable, practicable, and pleasant.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible