Faith in Christ
These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.John 20:31
We ought to believe in Jesus Christ to the saving of our souls. Faith in Christ is a necessary duty. There is no salvation except in Christ; and without faith in His name, we can obtain none of His precious blessings. “Saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness”; “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned.” If so, who would not wish above all things to know the character of Him in whom we are called on to believe: what is meant by believing on Him; what ground we have for our faith; and what motives or encouragements we have for looking exclusively to Him for the salvation of our souls?
In Whom are we to Believe?
How shall we believe in Him of whom we have not heard? We cannot trust in Christ for salvation unless assured on unimpeachable evidence that He is able and willing to save us. If He were able but not willing to save, His power would be the object of terror, and not of confidence. If not almighty, His willingness to save would be worthless, for only an omnipotent arm could deliver sinners from the ruins of their fallen condition. But blessed be God, from the writings of the prophets and apostles we have the most perfect assurance of the infinite grace and infinite power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Take only the testimony of John, the beloved disciple, who wrote his gospel that we might believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that believing, we might have life through His name. In its opening sentence he gives such an account of the person of Christ as must convince every unprejudiced reader that our Saviour is the Great God, equal in power and glory with the Father, and therefore “mighty to save.”
“In the beginning was the Word.” This “Word” was a distinct person from another person who is called God.
These two persons do not differ in essence, for the Word who was in the beginning with God is God. The Word is in no respect inferior, for He who lay in the bosom of the Father was the Creator of all things, and “without him was not anything made that was made.” If Christ had not been a divine person, He could not have been entrusted with the salvation of our souls.
Only “in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength”;
“who is God, but the Lord; who is a rock, save our God?”
“The Word was made flesh,” and tabernacled among the Jews. Most of them saw no beauty in the incarnate Word that they should desire Him; but the men whose eyes were opened by the grace of God “saw his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” He was from eternity appointed to be the Savior of self-ruined sinners. In consequence of this appointment, He took part of our flesh and blood, that He might obey the law, and satisfy all its demands in that nature by which it had been violated. The Messiah was cut off, but not for Himself. For sinful men He lived a holy life, and died an accursed death. Being made perfect through sufferings, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him. Had Jesus continued forever under the power of death, our faith and our hope had been vain, “but now is Christ risen from the dead, and is become the first-fruits of them that slept.” God hath not only raised Him from the dead, but all power in heaven and earth has been given unto Him, that He might give eternal life to all that believe on His name.
Such is the account which the Scriptures give of Him in whom we are called to believe. They assure us that He is a person truly divine and yet incarnate, having assumed human nature that He might do everything needful for our salvation. Further, they assure us that every saving office belongs to Him by His Father's appointment, and His own voluntary undertaking; that He is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world; a light given to the Gentiles, that He might be God's salvation to the ends of the earth; a King highly exalted, seated on a throne of mercy, that He may dispense in rich abundance spiritual blessings to perishing sinners. In the representations given of the Lord Jesus Christ we find everything fitted to impart perfect confidence in His ability and willingness to save. We behold in Him all divine excellencies, every saving office, an exhaustless fullness of grace and truth, an everlasting righteousness, and a complete salvation, purchased by His precious blood, placed before our view, offered and recommended to our acceptance by the blessed God, the Author of the glorious gospel. What shall we say to these things? Shall we not say with joy and gratitude.
“We will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is our strength and our song, and he also is become our salvation.”
When we believe in Christ, we give not that glory to another which is due only to God (Ps. 146:3-5). The confidence we place in the Redeemer is not alienated from God. Our justification is through faith in Christ, as Paul shows at great length in Romans; and yet in the same epistle he sometimes speaks of that faith by which we are justified as if it were placed in God the Father:
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt he saved” Romans 10:9; 4:24
To believe in Christ as an exalted Savior is to believe in God, who raised Him from the dead.
We cannot come to Christ without coming to God by Him, and we cannot come to God but by Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
The name of Christ is frequently represented as the object of our faiths. By His name is meant the full representation made of Him in Holy Scripture. We cannot believe the word of truth without believing in Christ. For what is the gospel, but the revelation of Christ as our Savior; and what is the faith of the gospel, but faith in Him whom it so clearly displays to our view (Rom. 1:16, 17).
The Nature of Faith
What is that faith which is so necessary for our salvation, and so highly commended in the Bible?
There have been many disputes about the true nature of faith; and yet one would think that the characteristics of this grace must be fully described in a book which was designed by divine wisdom to be a light to our feet and a lamp to our path.
If the Scriptures do not clearly explain the way of salvation, how can they be a light to guide our feet in the way that leads to life everlasting? We are not to suppose that some men are saved in one way and some in another.
“There is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved, but the name of Jesus.”
There is no other way in which we can receive salvation from Jesus but by faith; and there is only one kind of saving faith. How important, therefore, the question, “What is faith in Jesus Christ?” How dangerous to be mistaken on a point of such vital consequence!
It is, however, a comfortable thought that different men may exercise the same faith in Christ, and obtain the same salvation through His name, who use very different language in describing their faith in Him.
All men do not mean the same thing by the same words. Those who deny something to belong to the nature of faith which others hold to be essential to it, may, in a greater or less degree, practice, under another name, that which they deny to be needful. There are some, for instance, who allege that it forms no part of our faith to assure ourselves of salvation, and yet they may really enjoy personal assurance of salvation by receiving and resting upon Christ. There are others who maintain that coming to Jesus is a distinct exercise of the soul from believing, and yet allow that it is inseparably connected with faith. It is, however, of great importance to have clear, precise, and distinct apprehensions of the true nature of faith, that the exercise of our hearts in believing may not be perplexed and encumbered by mistakes or doubts. Besides, if we err simply in words in regard to this grace, we may lead other men into errors of judgment or practice, by conveying to them our sentiments in language to which they may affix very different ideas from our own.
One thing is certain, our faith, if genuine, must be in exact accordance with the word of the truth of the gospel. Hence, in Scripture it is called obedience to the gospel, or the “obedience of faith.” If we receive the testimony of man, the testimony of God is greater; and if we know what is meant by the belief of a man's testimony, we may from this form a clear idea of the nature of that grace by which we set to our seal that God is true.
Faith must include a full persuasion of the truth of those great doctrines concerning Christ which are revealed in Scripture. We must believe in our hearts that God hath raised Him from the dead (Rom. 14:9). But it does not follow from that expression that no more is necessary to be believed than that single article of Christian doctrine. The belief of that doctrine includes the belief of the whole truth included in our salvation by Christ – His divinity, His incarnation, His substitution, His sufferings, His glory. We accordingly find the same stress laid upon the belief of other parts of the work of Christ that is here laid upon belief in the fact of His resurrection (1 John 5:1, 5; John 8:24).
A firm, intelligent assent to the doctrines concerning our Lord Jesus Christ is less common than many suppose. Numbers give but a wavering, precarious assent to the capital articles of our religion. They scarcely know what they believe, or why! They were trained up in the persuasion that the Bible is the Word of God, just as Islamic people are trained in the belief that the Koran is a divine book.
If they hear no objections made to the truth of Christianity, they continue in the profession of what they believe; and if they be persons of decent behavior and steady minds, they will not be easily shaken by anything that may be alleged against their faith, although they can give no better reason for the belief that is in them, than Islamic people can give for believing that Mohammad was the Apostle of God. But if their tempers are flexible and their judgments unimpressed with reverence for ancient institutions and creeds, very trifling arguments, or even foolish jests, will be apt to shake or overturn the whole fabric of their belief. It is not, however, to be denied that men may be able to describe and defend their creed with strong arguments, and may continue to profess their belief of its truth with unshaken firmness, whilst they are still destitute of the faith of God’s elect. It is certain that the faith which is merely the effect of reason, or of natural principles, cannot be that faith which distinguishes Christians from other men; for it cannot be doubted that there are arguments so conclusive in favor of the doctrine of Christ, that they cannot fail to approve themselves to the judgment of every candid, thoughtful inquirer.
The fact that Jesus wrought many miracles cannot well be called in question; and if so, then the doctrine confirmed by them can admit of as little doubt. Men, by the mere force of truth, may be convinced that Jesus Christ really did come from God, and that His religion is divine, while they themselves continue in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. We meet with not a few illustrations of this sad truth in the Word of God. At one of the Passovers which Jesus attended at Jerusalem, we are told that many believed on His name when they saw the miracles which He did; but Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because “He knew all men.” These men were surely destitute of saving faith, for all true believers are regarded and treated by Jesus as His friends.
There are others of whom it is said that “they believed in Jesus,” and yet we find them continuing under the reigning power of worldly dispositions (John 12:42, 43). The faith ascribed to Simon Magus may be taken as another instance of a sort of belief which came short of securing the salvation of the soul (Acts 8:21-23).
The assent given to the truths of Christianity by such hypocrites or formalists is something altogether different from that of those whose eyes have been enlightened, and whose hearts have been disposed to believe, by the influence of the Holy Spirit. “It is the will of him that sent me,” saith Christ, “that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life.” That we may believe in Christ to eternal life, it is necessary that we should see Him; and they who really see Him in His beauty and glory, assent to the truth of the Gospel, not merely because it has been confirmed by miracles, and prophecies, and other incontrovertible evidences, but because they see in it so much of the love of God as proves it to be from heaven – just as the marks of His eternal power and godhead on the face of nature proclaim Him to be the Creator of the material universe. God Himself shines into their minds to give them the light of the knowledge of His own glory in the face of Jesus Christ. He speaks to their ears and hearts in the gospel. They receive it not as the word of man, but as it is in truth, the Word of God.
The glory and salvation of Christ is manifested to them, not by flesh and blood, but by the Father who is in heaven (Matt. 16:17). Along with this assent there must be a cordial reception of Christ as the gift of God to sinners.
Our faith must correspond with the declarations of the gospel. But the gospel not merely reveals Christ to the understanding – it sets Him before us as the unspeakable gift of God, to be gratefully received and trusted in.
Jesus preaching to a great multitude of unbelievers said, “My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.” These men had asked Christ to give them such bread from heaven as Moses gave to their fathers in the desert. Jesus tells them that God was much kinder to them than they desired; He had given them bread as much superior to that given to their fathers as the substance is better than the shadow. Every Israelite in the wilderness was permitted to go out of the camp and freely gather and eat the manna; and every hearer of the gospel has an equal right to receive Christ, and with Him all the blessings of salvation. God in His Word makes to them a free grant of Christ. There are, alas! too many who despise this gift. They will have none of Christ, they do not feel their need of Him, or they are not fully convinced of God’s sincerity in calling them to receive Christ and His salvation – but notwithstanding all this, the offer is to them as well as to others, and if they will only arise and come, they shall not be sent empty away.
When the manna fell around the camp of Israel there might be some to whom the precious gift was useless, through their inability to partake of it. The sick, for example, whose “soul abhorreth dainty meat,” would be unable even to eat of that heavenly bread. Still, they had the same right to it as their neighbors. In like manner, all who hear the gospel have a right given them by God to receive Christ and all His benefits. If they are not nourished and strengthened by the spiritual manna, the reason is to be sought for in themselves. They have no relish for the bread of heaven, or no confidence in the grace and truth of the Giver of it. We cannot receive the precious gift of God if we have no real desire for the blessings of grace.
No man can believe in Christ in opposition to his own will. But mere desire is not enough. An avaricious man may be anxious to obtain food, without eating it. A criminal may earnestly desire a free pardon though he has not the slightest hope of receiving it. And so there may be many eager desires for salvation in the heart of one who is still a stranger to saving faith. His desires have not for their object that complete salvation which is revealed in the gospel, but something which men call by the same name, although God has never promised to give it – a deliverance not from sin itself, but from the miserable consequences of sin. Sincere desires for deliverance from the present dominion and power of sin are inseparable from true faith, and shall certainly be satisfied (Matt. 5:6).
When we receive Christ we appropriate Him as our own. Isaiah directs us to this exercise of faith when he declares, “Surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength!” There are indeed true believers who cannot use these words as the joyous record of their own experience. Though their faith is genuine, it is feeble and imperfect, and they are often harassed with doubts of their saving interest in Christ. There is flesh as well as spirit, unbelief as well as faith, in real believers, though these remnants of unbelief are a burden to their hearts. Men are sometimes vexed with doubts concerning some of the doctrines of our holy religion, though clinging with all their souls to the grand fundamental truths wrapped up in the sight of God.
They may also stagger at the promises of God through unbelief, although they would not for a thousand worlds let go that confidence which will have a full recompense of reward. There is nothing wished for by them with greater earnestness than to be able to say, “Behold, the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, and he also is become my salvation” – but as yet the limit of their attainments is just that of the poor man, who could only say, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” They have as much of assurance as of faith; but their faith is weak, and therefore their personal assurance of salvation through Christ is disturbed by anxious apprehensions. Christ is greatly displeased with such fears – but He is pleased with their deep anxiety about salvation, with their fervent desires and with such faith as they have. The bruised reed He will not break, and the smoking flax He will not quench: He will bring forth judgment unto victory. Though expressed in different words and phrases, this will be admitted by all – that when men come to Christ, and trust in Him, they receive Him; and their assured confidence of being saved by Him is just according to the measure of their faith. Further, it must be admitted that those are dangerously deceived who place a presumptuous confidence in Christ, instead of that humble faith which looks to Him alone as the Savior of the lost.
We read of many wicked persons in the days of Isaiah and Micah who called themselves of the “Holy City”, and stayed themselves upon “the God of Israel, whose name is the Lord of Hosts,” but not in truth and in righteousness (Isa. 48:1, 2; Micah 3:11). When the ancient Jews apostatized from God, they still hoped that He would save them from their enemies, because they were His peculiar people; because His temple was amongst them; because they were the seed of the patriarchs; because they thought their crimes were no crimes at all, or at least not such as deserved the wrath of God (Jer. 2:23-35; 7:4; Isa. 58:1-3).
A similar spirit is manifested now-a-days by those who build their hopes of salvation on the gospel privileges they enjoy, or on their fancied innocence, or their good wishes and resolutions. If they look for eternal life, in some measure, to the free grace of God, they also look for at least a part of it to themselves. They cannot deny that they are sinners, but refuse to believe that sin is so malignant in its nature as to expose men, by a righteous sentence, to everlasting condemnation. Such persons presume upon the mercy of the Lord, and seek safety in what they shall discover to be a “refuge of lies” (Isa. 28:16, 17).
So it is with those who in their unscriptural views regard Christ as if He were a Savior from hell, but not a Savior from sin; and who put asunder what God has inseparably joined together – salvation from sin and salvation from wrath. To such men eternal misery is the object of dread, but deliverance from the bondage of corruption is a matter of comparative indifference. They forget that where there is pardon there must also be purity. “Thou shalt call his name Jesus,” said the angel, “for he shall save his people from their sins”; from their power and defilement, no less than from their guilt and penalty.
Our faith must correspond to the characters under which Christ is set before us in the gospel.
These are all suited to our needs as sinful creatures. The first thing that disquiets an awakened sinner is the consciousness of guilt. The number and heinousness of his sins are vividly impressed on his mind, and he feels that on account of them he has become exposed to God’s righteous displeasure. But when his eyes are opened to see the excellency of Christ as an atonement for sin, he rests on Him, and is emboldened to say, “Iniquities prevail against me; but as for our transgressions thou shalt purge them away. Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” For surely Christ was “wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).
Unconverted persons are apt to imagine that it is in their own power to deliver themselves from the dominion of sin whenever they choose to put forth their full strength; and this most of them intend doing when they have had their fill of the pleasures of sin.
Widely different from this are the feelings of the man who has been really roused from spiritual sleep. He feels that he can no more deliver himself from the power of his lusts than he can merit the forgiveness of his iniquities. He groans under the oppression of his spiritual enemies, and feels that deliverance can come to him through Christ alone. On Him therefore he depends for sanctification as well as righteousness, knowing that “he bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead unto sin should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Cor. 6:11; Rom. 7:24, 25).
The lusts that war in our members are dangerous foes, but we must wrestle likewise with principalities and powers. It is folly to imagine that anyone can triumph over such enemies in his own strength. The true believer trusts for safety and victory to the Captain of his salvation (Eph. 6:11, 12).
We are called to the discharge of many duties, none of which by our own might can we perform in a manner acceptable; but Christ is revealed to our faith as the “lord our strength,” and we are invited to rely on Him for all needful supplies of His Spirit, as well as for the acceptance of all our holy services (Phil. 4:13). We cannot walk alone in safety through this ensnaring world. But we have a Guide of unerring skill and almighty power in our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God has given for a Witness to the people, for a Leader and Commander to the people. We are to commit ourselves to His guidance, that we may be led by His Word and Spirit to the place where He dwells, and where we hope to be with Him forever (Ps. 74:24).
While in this world, we need also daily supplies for the present life. For these also we must depend on Christ, to whom all judgment is committed by the Father (Matt. 6:26-34). Here also we may lay our account with constant changes in our condition and relationships; but, through faith, we shall amid them all maintain a peaceful, happy frame of mind; for it will enable us to live under the powers of the world to come, and make us feel that all earthly vicissitudes will turn to the furtherance of our salvation, and that in all things, whether by death or life, Christ will be magnified in us.
The Ground and Warrant of a Sinner’s Faith
It is certainly a point of the highest importance to be assured that we have sufficient ground and authority for believing on Christ. That we are fully justified in assenting to the great truths revealed in Scripture, will be denied by no one who believes the Bible to be true.
Those who make reason the rule of their faith rather than the Word of God, will doubtless find means of explaining away all that is taught us in Scripture regarding the divine and mediatorial glory of our blessed Redeemer. But those who accept the Bible as the revelation of the divine will, and who study it with unbiased minds, must admit that these doctrines relating to the person and offices of Christ are set forth with sufficient clearness, and that the gospel is hid only from those whom the god of this world hath blinded.
Even in Old Testament times the Word of God was a lamp to men’s path, and a light to their feet, but now life and immortality are enlightened by the gospel, and the “righteousness of God without the law is manifested,” even that righteousness which was formerly “witnessed by the law and the prophets.” Different interpretations have indeed been given of some passages of Scripture, but it does not follow that their meaning is uncertain. Let not the infirmities of men be charged against the Word of Christ. In the writings of Paul there are some things dark and “hard to be understood,” but he himself assures us that he uses great plainness of speech in setting forth those truths which are of eternal importance to the souls of men (2 Cor. 4:2-6). It would be a most unjust reflection upon a book given as the rule of our faith to allege that it leaves us at a loss to know whether our Savior is really God, or simply a created being; whether we are indebted to Him for our entire salvation, or only for a part of it; and what is the nature and design of those offices and relations which as our Savior He sustains. But the “law of the Lord is perfect,” and in its revelation of Christ it affords firm footing for our faith. Our fathers hoped in Him and they were saved: and no one who places implicit confidence in Jesus shall be disappointed. We are assured that whosoever believeth in Him shall not be confounded (Rom. 10:13; Isa. 28:16).
When the Bible says that whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed, it is plain that according to the rule of His Word all men are warranted to believe in Christ. If a house had stood firm from the beginning of the world, and if we were assured that it would remain immovable till the consummation of all things, we would not hesitate to say that it had a good foundation. If all men, whatever be their tempers, capacities, characters, and circumstances, are warranted to believe in Christ for salvation, it is evident that their warrant for doing so cannot consist in anything which distinguishes one man from another; and therefore men of exceptionally good dispositions must not imagine that their right to come to Christ depends on their moral virtues or amiable behavior. If it did, they would be more welcome to Christ and the enjoyment of His blessings than other men whose dispositions were the reverse of theirs. But that this is not the case appears abundantly plain from the Word of God. “Go,” said Christ to His disciples, “and preach the gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” And “him that cometh unto me,” says our gracious Savior, “I will in no wise cast out.”
There are many who take it for granted that a deep sense of sin and misery is necessary for authorizing men to believe in Jesus. It is admitted that no man will seek salvation through Christ until deeply impressed with a sense of his wretchedness through sin; but this feeling of need does not constitute his warrant to come to Christ. A man will not avail himself of the physician’s skill until he feels that he is sick or suffering; but it is not his apprehension of disease or danger that gives him a right to the physician’s care. A man will not think of soliciting a pardon from his prince until he finds himself condemned; but the knowledge of his perilous condition by no means entitles him to pardon. In like manner, no man will truly believe in Jesus until he is thoroughly convinced of his sin and misery; but it is not that conviction that warrants him to look to Christ for salvation. The ground of faith lies not within us, but without us, in the gospel; not in the frames and feelings of our own hearts, but in the finished work of Christ as set forth in the Word of truth. To all men without exception Wisdom calls, and her voice is to the sons of men, saying, “come, eat of my bread and drink of my wine which I have mingled” (Prov. 8:4; 9:5).
“Come unto me,” says our Lord, “all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” From these words some have inferred that none but those who are heavy laden with a sense of their iniquities are warranted to apply to Christ for salvation. On the supposition that such persons were referred to by our Savior, it does not follow that they only are authorized to come to Him for rest. All the seed of Israel are called on to fear God (Ps. 22:23), but we are not to conclude that to fear God is the exclusive duty of the house of Israel (Jer. 10:7). That highly favored people were under peculiar obligations to fear God, but all nations are bound to have regard to the will of their Creator and Judge, and make Him their fear and their dread.
So likewise, persons feeling the weight of their sins are in a position which supplies peculiar motives for their coming to Christ, but He came to call sinners in general to repentance, and if so, they are all entitled to believe in Jesus, for He is the only way to the Father, and it is only through Him that men can turn from sin unto holiness. But there is no good reason for restricting the word “heavy laden” to those burdened with a sense of sin. All men in their natural condition labour and are heavy laden; the most senseless sinners are those who are most heavily laden with iniquity (Isa. 1:3, 4). “All things are full of labour, man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” All who unsuccessfully are seeking rest are invited by Jesus to come and find it in Himself. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” Who are they that thirst? All who seek for happiness but cannot find it, because they seek it in those things which never gave happiness to any man on earth (Isa. 55:2). It is certain that none but those who feel their absolute need of Christ will seek salvation in Him; but if they are taught that a deep sense of their need of Christ is necessary to give them a right to Him, they will be under strong temptation to neglect the exercise of believing in Christ from day to day, and from year to year, that if possible they may establish a better right to believe in His name. And as they will never think that their sense of the evil of sin is what it ought to be, they may continue through life in a state of painful suspense as to whether or not they are warranted in placing their dependence upon Christ for salvation. But when men are fully persuaded that whatever be their state and character they are authorized and invited to come to Jesus for rest and happiness, one of the greatest stumbling-blocks in the way of the most important of all duties will be removed.
That all sinners are called by the gospel to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation, is made very plain by the discourse of our Savior recorded in the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. It was addressed to a class of men who were for the most part strangers to the true nature of Christ’s kingdom, and who were much more interested in the comforts of the present life than in the things pertaining to life everlasting, and yet all of them, without exception, were invited to come and eat of that spiritual bread which was typified by the manna. They waited upon His ministry not because He spake as never man spake, but because they did eat of His miraculous bread, and were filled. They expressed an earnest desire that Jesus would feed them in the same way as their fathers had been fed in the wilderness. But He tells them that He had been commissioned by His Father to give them, not the meat which perished in the using, and which when eaten could not hinder them from perishing, but the true bread, which nourished up to everlasting life. “My Father,” said He, “giveth you the true bread from heaven.” He gave it as really to these earthly minded Jews, as the manna had been given to their fathers. They might forfeit the benefit of the donation, as the greater part of them actually did, by refusing to receive or to eat that bread, but their refusal did not affect the reality of the gift, or the sincerity of the Giver. It is evident that the people in general had this grant made to them as the ground of their faith. No exception is made by our Lord of any one in the crowd, although He upbraided them for their worldliness and unbelief. He expressly declares that none should be disappointed who would accept His gift. “He that cometh unto me shall never hunger; he that believeth on me shall never thirst; and him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” By such language He plainly intimates that the gift of that spiritual manna of which He spake was equally free and extensive as that which was rained from heaven in the days of old. To induce all who heard Him to accept and improve His generous offer of such rich spiritual provision, our Savior adds, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”