of Grace (1)
The way of salvation is now most easy. It is nigh thee; that is, the matter is
not far off; it is neither in heaven or in hell; it is at man's hand and may
be quickly reached. It is in thy mouth; poor men may now express and speak the
business, and every man hath it in his mouth - it is so well-known. It is in
thine heart, that is, the thoughts of man can fathom it, it is so plain; it is
no mysterious thing; neither is it a business of great outward oration or observation;
it is a thing transacted in the heart and inward affection; if the heart desires
it, it is won.
It is a thing which is preached by poor, simple men and is secretly conveyed
to men by preaching the gospel. So we are not to expect any extraordinary revelation
or communication about this matter, but we are to close with it in the offer
of the Word. In a word, it is of faith. Well then, since all is resolved
into faith, we must show that faith is in some respect an easy thing.
Is not that an easy thing which, if a man seriously desire it, he hath it?
Such a thing salvation now is, as is its condition: "Blessed are they that
hunger . . . for they shall be filled". Is not that easy, towards which if
a man move, he hath it? Such a thing is salvation; for if a man but "flee for
refuge to lay hold on the hope set before him", it is his. Is not that easy
which, if a man greedily look to with his heart, he hath it? Such a thing is
salvation; if a man but look to Christ, he is saved.
Is not that easy, which a man gets just by loving the market where it is,
although he have nothing to buy it with? Such a thing is salvation. "Come without
money", says Isaiah.
Is not that an easy thing which a man hath if he will but take it when it
is offered to him? Such a thing is salvation; if you receive, all is your own.
Is it not an easy thing which a man hath if he will but let another fasten
it on him, if he will but open his mouth and let God put it in, if he will
but open his hand and let God lay it in his palm? Such a thing is salvation.
In a word, is it not an easy thing which a man hath as soon as he begins to
think highly of it and to value it? So Christ is precious to those who believe.
O how easy a business is salvation now made for poor weak man! May we not
say that, the matter being of faith, it is properly of grace; and so the promise
is sure to all the seed, weak and strong?
1. An extract from a sermon on Romans 10:6-9, preached
in 1662 by the minister of Fenwick in Ayrshire (1620-1669). Guthrie is best
known for his valuable The Christian's Great Interest, which is available
from the Free Presbyterian Bookroom.