The Unchangeable Method of God

"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners
to repentance." Luke 5:32. That is—such as see
themselves as sinners, and thereby in a lost condition.
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the
lost." Luke 19:10
God will have the soul truly sensible of the bitterness
of sin
—before it shall taste the sweetness of mercy.
The plough of conviction must go deep, and make
deep furrows in the heart, before God will sow the
precious seed of grace there—so that it may have
depth of earth to grow in.
This is the unchangeable method of God in
bestowing grace—to begin with conviction of sin.
  First to show man his sin—then his Savior;
  first his danger—then his Redeemer;
  first his wound—then his cure;
  first his own vileness—then Christ's righteousness.
The sinner must see the worthlessness and vileness
of his own righteousness—before he can be saved by
righteousness. The Israelites are first stung
with the fiery serpents—and then the brazen serpent
is set up to heal them.
We must see the leprosy of our righteousness, and
be brought to cry out, "Unclean, unclean!" We must
mourn for Him whom we have pierced—and then
He sets open for us "a fountain to cleanse us from
all sin and impurity." Zechariah 12:10, 13:1.
Be convinced of the evil of sin—the filthy and heinous
nature of it. Sin is the greatest evil in the world—
  it wrongs God;
  it wounds Christ;
  it grieves the Holy Spirit;
  it damns a precious soul.
All other evils cannot be compared with this. Though
to DO sin is the worst work—yet to SEE sin is the best
sight! Sin discovered in its vileness—makes Christ to
be desired in His fullness!
Alas! it is Christ's infinite righteousness which
must atone for our sins—for it is an infinite God
whom we have sinned against!
If ever your sin is pardoned—it is Christ's infinite
mercy which must pardon it!
If ever you are reconciled to God—it is Christ's
infinite merit which must do it!
If ever your heart is changed—it is Christ's
infinite power which must effect it!
If ever your soul escapes hell, and is saved at last
—it is Christ's infinite grace which must save it!

-Matthew Mead, "The Almost Christian" 1661

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