Samuel Pierce

Christ Is The Sinner’s Saviour

Lopen, Oct. 3, 1810.

Dear Sir,

If the Lord please, I shall leave Chard on Monday next for Yeovil and Salisbury, and agreeable to your, and the friends’ request, hope to be at Hartley-row to preach on the Thursday evening in the following week. As it respects the journey, I have had many opportunities of sowing the seed of the kingdom; and I make no inquiries about, or concerning the reception of it. Paul plants, and Apollos waters, and God giveth the increase. There I leave it I consider that I have nothing further to do with it. My only concern is to preach the truth as it is in Jesus, so far as my knowledge of the same extends, and there to leave it: nor am I further soli­citous about it. I do not want a name for preaching, nor to be honoured for it. My desire is that Jesus may be exalted in his person; that he may have a glorious name; that his fame may be increased and his renown spread abroad; and this will be the case in consequence of the preaching of the ever­lasting gospel, whether by my ministry, or by that of others. Here I am sure my end will be obtained: blessed be the Lord for ever and ever. If Christ is exalted, his salvation set forth, his blood and righteousness preached, as the whole of a sinner’s salvation, and the one only foundation of a sinner’s hope, it is enough. Let the Lord choose, and make use of what instruments he pleases. A friend of mine once said to me, ‘No one can preach a better Christ than I do: they may preach Christ more gloriously, but a better Jesus they cannot preach.’ There is a great deal of truth in this. To preach Christ is the grand point. To preach him and his salvation, as most exactly suited to a sinner’s case; and to leave the sinner without the least cause of fear or doubt, arising from anything he is the subject of, is glorious to such as really know their sinfulness and sinnership. It is a great lesson, which the Holy Ghost alone can teach us, to set forth Jesus Christ, as most completely adapted to every part of the disease contained in sin, and as a perfect Saviour for it: by virtue of whose life and death, blood and righteousness, there is everlasting purity, health, and cure, for all sorts of sinful maladies. There is present as well as everlasting life and salvation in Christ crucified. It is a present salvation: and he is a present Saviour. It is but for him to look on the sinner, and the sinner to look to Jesus, and everlasting health and purity are imparted unto the mind. By faith we receive into our minds the real apprehension of the virtue of Christ’s blood, and the perfection of his most glorious, complete, and everlastingly efficacious righteousness. And this faith is nothing more, nor less, than a real spiritual perception of Christ, and his finished work. As there is but one way of receiving light from the sun: so there is but one way of receiving Christ into our minds. The one is by the eye, the other by faith, which is the eye of the mind. When we are receiving light from the sun, through the medium of the eye, we are not thinking about it; so, when we are actually looking unto Jesus, we are not thinking about our faith; but we are wholly swallowed up in contemplating Christ the object of faith. If the minds of God’s people were spiritually engaged in thinking of Christ, they would be fully possessed with every evidence of their interest in him, that they could possibly desire. It is because Christ is so little known, and because there is such a neglect of him, and looking off from him, that the minds of professors are so puzzled and perplexed; and they are such strangers unto him and his grace. They look to what is styled a work of grace in the soul, and for inward evidences of this, as though the very salvation of our souls depended on it; so that this is set up in the very room, and place, of Jesus Christ himself. Why, there is no salvation in us! No. Nor is any part of the Spirit’s work within us, salvation. Salvation is the fruit of the Father’s everlasting love. The Father contrived and proposed it, in the council and covenant of peace, to his Son and Spirit before all worlds. He called, and engaged, his co-equal Son to perform salvation-work, which he hath done and completed. It consisted in “putting away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and in bringing in everlasting righteousness.”

The work and office of the Holy Ghost in the souls of the elect, are to produce in them, a spiritual and supernatural birth, by which they have a spiritual faculty, suited to receive the knowledge of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ. And it is a further part of the Holy Spirit’s work to reveal Christ to the renewed mind, to take of the things of Christ, and shew unto them, and to testify concerning Christ and the Father’s love to them, from the Scriptures of truth. And when the Holy Ghost leads the sinner to Christ, he gives greater evidence to the mind, of Christ’s love to such, and of personal interest in him, in a single moment, than can be obtained by all the legal marks, and signs of inherent grace, throughout the whole course of a person’s life; and ten thousand times more satisfactory.

May the Lord lead all his people off from poring on their gifts and graces, to look to Christ alone. May he also lead them into personal communion with Christ, and with the Father in him. May you never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, in any part or article of it. May you be “a wise scribe; a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

My Christian regards to Mrs. J. and your sister. 

I remain, your’s in the Lord,

S. E. P. 

Samuel Eyles Pierce (1746-1829) was a sovereign grace preacher and writer. In 1783, he was appointed pastor of an Independent church meeting at Truro. After a six year ministry, the congregation charged him with Antinomianism and “preaching above the capacities of the people”. Having been forced out from the community, he lived several years with a friend. In 1802, he was appointed lecturer at the Tuesday-evening meetings at the Good Samaritan’s, Shoe Lane. In 1809, a group of his hearers formed themselves into a church, meeting at Eagle and Child Alley, which became known as Printer’s Court Chapel. He was appointed pastor at that time. He continued throughout the course of his ministry to serve as an itinerate preacher, eagerly sought after by those congregations clinging to “a finished salvation”.