This is the fourth post on M’Cheyne’s last sermon. In this portion of his sermon, M’Cheyne deals with the third reason why there are vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, that God may show the riches of His glory. God’s glory is what should be sought in every aspect of our lives.
III. I come now to the third point–the reason given why believers are saved. Verse 23 – “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” One reason why there are vessels of wrath fitted to destruction is, that God may show by contrast the riches of his grace on the vessels of mercy. You know, brethren, we learn many things best by contrast: for example, the rainbow is never seen so bright as in the bosom of a dark cloud. So, brethren, we shall never see the love and compassion of God in them that are saved so gloriously displayed as when we see his wrath poured out on the vessels of wrath. This, then, is one reason why there are vessels of wrath.
I believe that the “riches of glory” here spoken of are the whole rainbow of the divine attributes displayed in the salvation of souls. It was for this reason that God provided that there should be vessels of wrath fitted for destruction. This may appear to you very awful: it is so to myself. I could not and dare not speak of it if it were not here in God’s own Word.
This next part needs to be preached in churches today, especially reformed churches….
I would just show you one or two of his attributes that will be brilliantly illustrated in the salvation of souls. One is, the sovereignty of God. I have often told you of this. Many of you do not believe it; but there is a day coming when God will put it beyond a doubt. There are whole churches – whole bodies of professing Christians – that deny it; but there is a day coming when there will be none in heaven, or earth, or hell, that will deny it. Suppose that day were come, and this congregation divided, some on the left hand, some on the right, will you not see then God’s sovereignty in the contrast? You were once all the same. You were under the same condemnation. Some of you came out of the same womb – were nursed at the same mother’s breast; yet it will be seen that some will be taken and some left. What made the difference? Every creature will see that God made the difference, that he had “mercy on whom he would have mercy.”
Another is, the pardoning attribute of God. At present this is denied; but, brethren, in that day it will be made known. God will make known the riches of his glorious mercy on the vessels of mercy. O brethren, when one vessel is cleansed and taken up to glory, and another is left to perish, and when you see that they were equally sinful, then you will see that it was blood that made the difference. God will make known the riches of his mercy in the vessels of mercy, as well as his wrath in the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
The next post will be the fifth and final in this series. M’Cheyne’s finale to this sermon is simply the best part of this whole thing, as if what we have read so far isn’t more than mediocre. Some of the things he says in the last part send chills up my spine. It is terrible and terrific. M’Cheyne shows his longing for the glory of God as he ends his last occupancy in the pulpit serving the master he loved. God Bless!