On Trusting Christ
by John Colquhoun
“3. Be persuaded to trust accordingly in Jesus Christ, for all the inestimable blessings and comforts of a free salvation, to yourselves in particular. Come, as unworthy, as lost sinners in yourselves; come, not upon the ground of any qualifications in yourselves, but upon the warrant afforded you by the gospel-offer, and intrust your whole salvation to the compassionate Saviour. Rely with unsuspecting confidence, on the faithful, the dear Redeemer, for the enjoyment of all that is offered to you, in the glorious gospel. There, all the love of his heart is, in and with himself, offered to you: trust therefore that he loveth you. His consummate righteousness is granted to you: rely upon it for all your title to eternal life. All his salvation is also presented to you, for your acceptance: trust therefore that his right hand will save you. Since it is all offered to you, as a free gift of grace; trust, with the entire approbation and consent of your hearts, that he will save you in a way of boundless grace. Seeing all the good things of this life, which are necessary for you, are likewise offered; trust that he will give you these also, in the kind, and the measure, that he sees good for you. All the promises of his eternal covenant, are, in the indefinite offer, left and directed to you: trust therefore that he will perform them to you, and so, save you with an everlasting salvation. The absolute promises of the Spirit and of faith especially, are, in the offer, given to you: trust that he will give his Spirit to you, and thereby enable you, yet more and more to believe in him. O that ye knew what a comfort it is, that the great Redeemer hath made it your duty, to trust at all times in Him, and in God through him. He commandeth you to trust in him, with all your heart’; and therefore you may be assured that, he will not deceive your confidence, nor disappoint your expectation. Ah! if a faithful and able friend but suggest, that you may depend on him for relief, in some external difficulty, ye will most readily confide in him, and believe that he will not deceive you; and yet, you cannot trust a faithful, an almighty Redeemer, though he commandeth you to do it, and promiseth ‘that lie will not turn away from you, to do you good.’
4. Love not the good things of this world so, as to place, either your happiness, or your confidence, in them. No objects whatever can continue in your possession, except Christ and God in him. No mercies can either be satisfying, or sure to you, but ‘the sure mercies of David.’ Set not, then, such a high value on any of the empty and transitory things of this world, as to put it in their power ever to disquiet your souls. Reproaches, injuries, losses,—these are all without you: they cannot come in to your souls to vex them; unless ye yourselves, open the door to let them enter. The Lord sends affliction upon your bodies, and it may be, permits men to injure you in your good names, and worldly estates; but it is yourselves only, who suffer these, or any other outward calamities, to enter and to vex your souls. The things of this world, are still so high in your estimation, and they lie so near to your heart, that you cannot suffer the loss of any of them, without vexation of spirit . Ah! that the world should seem so great, and that God in Christ should appear so small, in your view, as not to satisfy you, except when ye can have the world along with him! O watch diligently, against the inordinate love of earthly things; for it will dispose you to indulge distracting care, and repining opposition of spirit, to the holy disposals of adorable providence. It is anxious care, and peevish discontent, that are often, at first, the occasions of melancholy. They usually so disturb a man’s mind, as to render it defenceless against those temptations, respecting the state of his soul, with which Satan will afterwards assail him. The disquietness, which hath been occasioned by outward crosses, is then removed to his conscience, and so inflames it, that he begins to be for a long season, oppressed with many fears about the salvation of his soul. Thus, as if the Lord had not afflicted him enough, he adds to his own affliction. Only consider how heinous a sin it is, so to love the world, as to set up your own wills, in opposition to the holy will, and providence of the Most High. By repining against Him, you secretly accuse him, and by accusing him, ye blaspheme his worthy name. Consider that, the resignation of your wills in every thing, to the will of God, is a principal branch of holiness; and that, it is in proportion as ye take complacency in His blessed will, that your hearts are comforted. O be persuaded to trust firmly that, God in Christ loves you and bestows Himself upon you, as your everlasting portion; and that, the Lord Jesus will give you that which is good, and withhold no good thing from you: for that is the way, through the Spirit, to mortify the inordinate love of the world.
5. Be not solitary, but as little and as seldom as possible. A time for retirement from company is, indeed, to those Christians who are well, a season of the greatest value for meditation, self examination, and prayer; but to you, it is a season of great danger. If the devil, with his temptations, assaulted Christ himself, when he found Him in a Wilderness, remote from company; much more will he assail you, if he find you solitary. It is your duty therefore to be, as often as attention to your other duties will permit, in the company of humble, faithful, and cheerful Christians; especially, of those whose views of the gospel are clear, whose faith is strong, and who can speak from experience, of deliverance from dejection of spirit. It may also be of advantage to you, if ye confer at a time, even with Christians, whose cases are similar to your own; in order to be satisfied, that your condition is far from being singular.”
– John Colquhoun (1748-1827), A Treatise on Spiritual Comfort, p. 180-184