special grace and the light of His heavenly guidance. He illumines their hearts so that they may
be able to understand their own inner condition and may truly know God. By filling their hearts with
love to Himself, who first loved them, He enables them to go on gaining more and more spiritual
strength, so as to keep His commandments, attain to purity of heart, and acquire perfect knowledge
of the truth (John viii. 31; Rom. v. 5; viii. 5; I Cor. i. 4, 5; 2 Cor. iv. 6; Eph. i. 15-23; Phil.
iv. 13; Col. ii. 3; Titus ii. 11-14; Heb. ix. 11-14). Another result of the Atonement is that Christ
has thereby freed His true disciples from the slavery of Satan, has delivered them from the love of
sin, and has made them heirs of eternal felicity (Rom. viii. 12-17; 2 Tim. i. 9, 10; Heb. ii. 14,
15; 1 Pet. i. 3-9).
Now, since the salvation offered to sinners in Christ is so blessed and so precious a thing that
by it men are cleansed from the defilements of sin, have the gate of God's good pleasure and
loving-kindness opened to them, find enlightenment and sanctification, and at last enter upon the
enjoyment of eternal life and endless, pure and holy felicity, it is therefore clearer than the sun
at noonday that the doctrines of the Gospel are those which satisfy those yearnings of man's heart
of which we have spoken in the Introduction. Hence the Bible must be the True Revelation, the Word
(كلام) of God.
If a man who has heard the good tidings of salvation rejects it, the reason no doubt is that he
has not repented of his sins, and is ignorant of the state of his own heart in God's sight. If a man
is indifferent to his own dangerous condition, and does not perceive that his spirit is attacked by
the deadly leprosy of sin, which is hastening him to eternal death, then he will not seek for the
cure which the one true Physician of the soul is offering him. But to the man who, being aware of
the sinful state of his own heart, knows that sin is hateful in the sight of the Most Holy God, and
that he himself is in the greatest danger of perishing because of his sins, since he cannot make
atonement for them, the glad tidings of the salvation which Christ has purchased for him with His
own most precious blood, and which He freely offers to every true Christian, must be the most sweet
and comforting of all things. This good news of a freely proffered salvation is a balm which is able
to heal his heart, bruised and crushed by the intolerably weighty burden of sin. If, however, a man
is in slavery to his own sensual desires and base passions, and is sunk in the abyss of love of the
present world, then he is like the bat, which hates and shuns the light of the sun. Such a man flees
from the light of the glorious Gospel, and by rejecting the light he condemns himself to abide in
the outer darkness (John iii. 19-21). It is not possible for such persons to understand spiritual
things, hence the Gospel seems to them foolishness, as it seemed to the heathen Greeks of old (I Cor.
i. 18-25; ii. 14). On the other hand, to the man who is earnestly seeking the truth and wishes to
know and to do God's will, the revelation of God's love and mercy in Christ Jesus, and the
manifestation of the way of salvation through Him, come as a well-spring of true blessedness at
which he can quench the thirst of his heart as he journeys through the desert of this life below.
In the Divine Plan of Salvation God's love and mercy, as well as His justice and holiness, are
clearly manifested. Out of the abundance of His love, and to save man from the destruction caused by
sin, God hath freely given His only Son, the effulgence of His glory, in order that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. Thus does this priceless doctrine exhibit
most clearly those Attributes of God which it behoves us most to know, and, by teaching us how
abhorrent sin is in His most holy sight, it urges us to obey His commandments and walk in the way of
faith in Christ which leads to eternal life.