My hearers, salvation is in and by Christ alone!
Dependence must be nowhere else!
It is wholly in Him--it will not do to depend partly on Christ and partly on our own works!
O! No. He is the one only, Saviour; and He is also our dependence--see Zechariah 2:5, "For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her" - a wall of fire, and He will burn up our enemies on every side, and "Nothing shall by any means hurt" His Church!
Now to understand this fully, you must be tried and tempted, you must be in tribulation.
Trials bring out the reality of all this--it is in the path of trial and of trouble that we learn these things; it is the skilful Artist that darkens and blackens the picture, in order, afterwards to bring out the bright and telling touches of a master hand!
The non-artistic dauber cannot do that!
And so it is with the Christian. It is in trouble of soul--it is in the furnace, it is in the deep waters, that we are made to learn the need of a Saviour--the value and efficacy of His precious blood and constant love and care--like the old woman who said, when one visited her in her cottage, in affliction and trouble, and who tried to comfort her, and pity her; "O," she said, "if I had no trials I should feel my Lord had forgotten me," (or words to that effect.)
"For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."
By J.J. West