Edward Payson Archive

Selected Thoughts

The Knowledge of Christ Brings Peace to the Sinner

Even a knowledge of the divine perfections, if it could have been obtained without Christ, would only have driven us to despair, as it did our guilty first parents; for out of Christ, God is a consuming fire. The convinced sinner looks at the great­ness of God, and says, How can he stoop to notice a being so insignificant as myself? He looks at his holiness, and says, God cannot but hate me as a vile, polluted sinner. He looks at his justice, and says, God must condemn me, for I have bro­ken his righteous law. He looks at his truth, and cries, God is not a man that he should lie; he must execute his threatenings and destroy me. He looks at God’s immutability, and says, He is in one mind, and who can turn him? He will never change; he will always be my enemy. He looks at his power and wisdom, and says, I can neither resist nor deceive him. He looks at his eternity and exclaims, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Thus do all the divine per­fections become so many sources of terror and dismay to the convinced sinner. But no sooner does he obtain a knowledge of Christ, than his fears vanish. The divine perfections no longer forbid him to hope for mercy, but encourage him to do it. Instead of the thunders of the law, he hears the compas­sionate voice of Christ saying, Be of good cheer, my blood cleanseth from all sin; thy sins, which are many, are forgiven. He feels boldness to enter into the holiest of all through the blood of Jesus, and exclaims with the apostle, Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Such are the blessed effects which St. Paul experien­ced from a knowledge of Christ, and which every true believer experiences. Can we then wonder, that, in comparison with it, they count all things but loss.

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