By Andrew Bonar
EXTRACTS FROM OLD AUTHORS.
"God would have us pitch our faith upon The Person of His Son, and not barely upon the Promise. And therefore, He has so ordered things in His divine wisdom that the Promises should all hold on Christ, and be Yea and Amen in Him." - TILLINGHAST's Six Sermons, p. 9.
"Saving faith is in the nature of it not a mere assent to a testimony, but a receiving and resting upon The Person of Jesus Christ alone, for salvation both from sin and wrath, and unto all the grace and glory of God." - CUDWORTH's Experience, p. 10.
"Those Divines who in their Catechetical Systems have made the formal object of Faith to be the Promise, rather than The Person of Christ, have failed in their expressions, if not in their intentions." - SPURSTOW on Rom. vi. 1.
"Folk must go first to Christ's Person before they can get good of His offices. Folk must make a direct address to the Person of the Mediator before they reap His purchase. Pardon is sweet, adoption is sweet, grace is sweet, heaven is sweet; but Christ is sweeter. " - WEBSTER'S Sermons, p. 88.
"Faith does not marry the soul to the portion, benefits, and privileges of Christ, but to Christ Himself. I don't say that the soul may not have an eye to these, and a respect to these in closing with Christ; yea, usually these are the first things that faith has in its eye. But the soul does, and must go higher; he must look at and pitch upon The Person of Christ, or his faith is not so right and complete as it ought to be. It is The Person of Christ that is the great fountain of all grace and of all manifestations of God to us; and faith accordingly does close with His Person." - PEARSE's Best Match, p. 160.
Such delight had Samuel Rutherford in The Person of Christ that he writes to his friends such things as the following : - " Holiness is not Christ; the blossoms and flavours of the Tree of Life are not the Tree itself" (Lett. 335). "He, He Himself, is more excellent than heaven. Oh, what a life were it to sit beside this Well of Love, and drink and sing, sing and drink!" (Lett. 288). "My greatest pain is want of Him; not of His joys and comforts, but of a near union and communion." "I have casten this work upon Christ, to get in Himself" (Lett. 187; Lett. 112). "I would be farther in upon Christ than at His joys, in where love and mercy lodgeth - beside His heart !" (Lett. 286). "Oh, if I could doat as much upon Himself as I do upon His love!" (Lett. 160). "I would fain learn not to idolise comfort, sense, joy, and sweet-felt presence. All these are but creatures, and nothing but the kingly robe, the golden ring, the bracelets of the Bridegroom. The Bridegroom Himself is better than all ornaments that are about Him" (Lett. 168). "If the comparison could stand, I would not exchange Christ with heaven itself" (Lett. 111).
Once more. A century ago, Romaine (Life of Faith, p. 159) thus wrote in expounding the verses 1 John ii. 13, 14, - " Many continue little children and weak in faith, because they do not presently attain a solid acquaintance with The Person of Christ."
The sum of the matter is this. There is a vast difference between, on the one hand, believing day by day in a living Saviour, and on the other, resting satisfied with the salvation He brings, as if that were all.