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The grave of Horatius Bonar

Here are some beautiful words on the finished work of Christ by the great Scottish preacher Horatius Bonar. Both selections come from the final chapter of his short but good book, The Blood of the Cross (I’ve been reading this edition at Reformation Heritage Books)First, hear him tell of the glory of Christ in some words defining what Christian faith is:

Faith may seem a slight thing to some; and they may wonder how salvation can flow from believing. Hence they try to magnify it, to adore it, to add to it, in order that it may appear some great thing, something worthy of having salvation as its reward.

In so doing they are actually transforming faith into a work, and introducing salvation by works under the name of faith. They show that they understand neither the nature nor the office of faith.

It saves, simply by handing us over to the Savior. It saves, not on account of the good works which flow from it; not on account of the love which it kindles; nor on account of the repentance it produces; but solely because it connects us with the Saving One.

Its saving efficacy does not lie in its connection with righteousness and holiness, but entirely in its connection with the Righteous and Holy One.

Toward the end of the book, Bonar returns to the sufficiency of Christ once again, this time in describing how a sinner comes to Christ:

Do you ask, How am I to find salvation, and how am I to go to that God, on the blood of whose Son I have trampled so long? I answer,

Go to Him in your proper and present character–that of a sinner.

Go with no lie upon your lips, professing to be what you are not, or to feel what you do not.

Tell Him honestly what you are, and what you feel, and what you do not feel.

‘Take with you no words’; but let them be honest words, not the words of hypocrisy and deceit.

Tell Him that your sin is piercing you; or tell Him that you have no sense of sin, no repentance, no relish for divine things, no right knowledge of your own worthlessness and guilt.

Present yourself before Him just as you are, and not as you wish to be, or think you ought to be, or suppose He desires you to be.

Recount your necessities; make mention of the multitude of His mercies; point to the work of the blessed Son; remind Him how entirely righteous it would be for Him to receive and bless you.

Appear before Him, taking for granted just that you are what you are, a sinner; and that Christ is what He is, a Savior; deal honestly with God, and be assured that it is most thoroughly impossible that you can miss your errand.

‘Seek the Lord while He may be found’; and you will see that He is found of you.

‘Call upon Him while He is near’; and you will find how near He is.