Free grace and sovereign mercy


J.C. Philpot

“From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” [Isaiah 1:5,6]

Every thought, word, and action is polluted by sin. Every mental faculty is depraved. The will chooses evil. The affections cleave to earthly things. The memory, like a broken sieve, retains the bad and lets fall the good. The judgment, like a bribed or drunken judge, pronounces mindless or wrong decisions. The conscience, like an opium eater, lies asleep and drugged in stupefied silence.

When all these ‘master faculties of the mind’ are so drunken and disorderly—need we wonder that the bodily members are a godless, rebellious crew? Lusts call out for gratification. Unbelief and infidelity murmur. Tempers growl and mutter. Every bad passion strives hard for the mastery. O the evils of the human heart, which, let loose, have filled earth with misery, and hell with victims—which deluged the world with the flood—burnt Sodom and Gomorrah with fire from heaven—and are ripening the world for the final conflagration! Every sin—which has made this fair earth a ‘present hell’ has filled the air with groans, and has drenched the ground with blood—dwells in your heart and mine!

Now, as this is opened up to the conscience by the Spirit of God, we feel indeed to be of all men most sinful and miserable—and of all most guilty, polluted, and vile. But it is this—and nothing but this—which cuts to pieces our ‘fleshly righteousness, wisdom, and strength’—which slays our delusive hopes—and lays us low at the footstool of mercy—without one good thought, word, or action to propitiate an angry Judge. It is this which brings the soul to this point—that if saved, it can only be saved by the free grace, sovereign mercy, and tender compassion of Almighty God!


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