Pristine Grace

The Gospel
by Christmas Evans

The gospel is emphatically the ministration of mercy - the covenant of grace, "ordered in all things and sure - a goodly ship, freighted with the bread of life, and commanded by the Son of God, Who has steered into the harbor of our famishing world, and is dispensing the precious provision to needy sinners. These are "the sure mercies of David."

The law is only a partial revelation of the Divine attributes, which, in the gospel, are all equally exhibited, and all equally glorified. Here, "Mercy and Truth are met together; Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other." The justice of God looks more terrible at the cross of Christ than at the gate of hell; and is more glorified in the sufferings of His Son than in the eternal agonies of all the damned; while His mercy is more beautiful, because more honorable to His administration, than if sinners had been saved without an atonement.

Thus, while the law reveals the righteousness of God, the gospel brightens the revelation of His righteousness, and adds the revelation of His grace. While the law imprisons the sinner, the gospel liberates him, yet liberates him according to the law. While the law shows the malignity of sin, and dooms the sinner to death, the gospel assents to both, but conquers the one and counteracts the other.

The law convinces us of our fall; the gospel assures us of our redemption. The law shows us what we are, and what we ought to be; the gospel tells us what we may become, and how the change must be effected. The law tears open our wounds; the gospel pours in the healing balm. The law plunges us in the ditch; the gospel opens to us the purifying fountain. The law is a mirror in which we behold our own filthiness and deformity; the gospel is a mirror which reflects the glory of God in Christ, and transforms the believer into the same image.

The gospel is more glorious than the law. It enters the sinner's heart, and casts out the love of sin, and scourges the traffickers from the temple of God. It enters the prisoner's cell, knocks off his fetters, and bids him go free. It descends into the valley of dry bones, makes the moldering skeletons living men, and leads them to Mount Zion with songs of everlasting joy. It gives eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, feet to the lame, tongues to the dumb, health to the sick, life to the dead, and revives such as are fainting under the terrors of the law. It is "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."