Salvation of the Lord
“Salvation is of the Lord.” Jonah 2:9
Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10
“Salvation is of the Lord,” in the application of it.“No,” says the Arminian, “it is not; salvation is of the Lord, inasmuch as he does all for man that he can do; but there is something that man must do, which if he does not do, he must perish.” That is the Arminian way of salvation. I thought of this very theory of salvation when I stood by the side of that window of Carisbrooke Castle, out of which King Charles, of unhappy and unrighteous memory, attempted to escape. I read in the guide book that everything was provided for his escape; his followers had means at the bottom of the wall to enable him to fly across the country, and on the coast they had their boats lying ready to take him to another land; in fact, everything was ready for his escape. But here was the important circumstance; his friends had done all they could; he was to do the rest; but that doing the rest was just the point and brunt of the battle.It was to get out of the window, out of which he was not able to escape by any means, so that all his friends did for him went for nothing, so far as he was concerned. So with the sinner. If God had provided every means of escape, and only required him to get out of his dungeon, he would have remained there to all eternity. Why, is not the sinner by nature dead in sin? And if God requires him to make himself alive, and then afterwards he will do the rest for him, then verily, my friends, we are not so much obliged to God as we had thought; for if he requires so much as that of us, and we can do it, we can do the rest without his assistance.
Sermon no. 131
10 May (1857)