As noted before, the gist of the message by Jefferson’s pastor is that before a holy God, sinful man is in trouble. That’s why Jesus came to be our Savior.
Rev. Charles Clay
God, The Adversary of the Sinner [continued]
Agree with thine adversary quickly whiles thou art in the way with him, lest at any time the Adversary deliver thee to the Judge, and the Judge deliver thee to the Officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast paid the utmost farthing.
And this is the method the Son of God observes in reconciling the sinner to the adversary – he first convinces him of sin, by the preaching of the word, or some other way that his infinite wisdom is pleased to direct. The sinner is by this means awakened from the lethargy in which he had been so long lulled; he sees his wretchedness, he mourns over his guilt and cries mightily to God for pardon and deliverance; the now sees his utter inability to help himself, and desires to rely on the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ alone. He is thus wounded in order that he may be healed. The same good Spirit that has awakened him to a sense of his danger enables him to see his help laid on one is who willing and mighty to save. He is led to the throne of Jesus where he finds rest and peace ( ) to his soul. He has the comfortable sense that his sins are pardoned witnessed to his soul by the Spirit of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with his spirit that he is the child of God. You then who desire to be reconciled or to agree with your adversary have a way opened for you. You indeed have forfeited all little to the favor of God, by the violation of his law, but the blessed Jesus has made full satisfaction to his Father’s wrath. He has obeyed the law of God in every the most miniscule particular; and by virtue of his perfect obedience, shall you be accepted. I now invite you to agree with your Adversary, by turning from sin and believing in the name of Jesus Christ; or rather beg of God to give you his Holy Spirit, that you may be made acquainted with your own hearts, and desire to be experimentally aquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. It is not enough that you look on him as a redeemer in general, unless you can know him to be indeed your Savior; that he died to expiate your sins, and to bring pardon and peace to your souls. But this is the gift of God, it is not in man to turn himself unto God. Implore then his Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth, [that] you may know what the will of the Lord is if you turn to God with your whole hearts, you shall be justified from all you sins by faith which is in him. His death shall be thy sacrifice Oh sinner, and his obedience shall be thy righteousness. Thou shalt be looked upon as perfect in Jesus Christ thy head. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. If you ask how you shall be able to know when you have true saving faith in your Redeemer, I answer your faith is then genuine when it (enables you to see your sins pardoned, and is with all) a vital principal of holiness within you, reforming your life and teaching you to practice the duties of the Gospel. Defer not then Oh sinner! this important work. Set about it today; for the night cometh when no man can work.
And this leads us to examine at what time we are to agree with our adversary. “Agree with thine Adversary quickly; whiles thou art in the way with him.”
There is no time to be lost; this moment you can ( ) call your own; let me exhort you therefore quickly to be reconciled to our offended God. Sinner whoever thou art (and by the term sinner I mean all those that have experienced nothing of the grace of God upon their hearts). Sinner, whoever thou art, the Almighty God is thy Adversary. Agree with him therefore quickly. Lose no time but embrace the opportunity whiles thou art in the way with him. Now thou art in the way with him, because thou art on this side eternity. Now is thy time to call upon him. Thou hast seen numbers fall beside thee, but as yet thou art spared. Remember a few days will put a period to thy life, and then thou art fixed forever. When once the curtain of life shall be dropped, then thy doom shall be unalterably fixed. Now mercy may be had. Now the Lord Jesus Christ waits to be gracious unto thee; he invites thee to be reconciled unto him here that thou mayest reign with him for ever. When you come to lie on your death bed, you will see the truth of what I am now advancing; but then perhaps it may be too late. Behold now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. Again thou art at present in the way with God in the course of his judgements; Thousands have fallen victims to his wrath, but thou art spared. But who knowest thou Oh man! but his judgments are hasting towards thee? And art thou ready supposing God should call upon thee by some alarming judgment? If thou art not, resolve to give no sleep to thine eyes, nor suffer the temples of thy head to take any rest till thou hast made a friend of this incensed God. I hope it is with this desire we are all assembled here this day! O wrestle with him then by prayer, entreat him to cast thy sins behind his back, and to wash thy polluted soul in the blood of Jesus.
Again thou art in the way with tine adversary Oh sinner, at this present time; thou art in the way with him in his word. The eternal Lord of Angels and men is now in the midst of this congregation; he now sees the inmost thoughts of every heart before him. He sees whether you have offered up your prayers unto him with sincerity or not. He sees whether you are only formal in your devotional duties, or whether your hearts are truly humbled. The Great God of Heaven and Eternity sees whether you are attending on this word with an humble desire for instruction and information, or whether you are secretly opposing and rejecting it. Be humbled then my brethren in the presence of that being, before whom the angels are not pure in his sight. This God is now inviting you by me to turn and live. The Lord Jesus Christ invites you by the worm that now addresses you to com to him that you may have life. The dying Jesus calls to you from his cross, not to make his wounds wider by your ingratitude and impiety. Thrust not thy unhallowed hands into his precious side. He has suffered enough already. Behold the purpole ( ) streaming from his side, but do not trample upon it, do not join the chief priests in deriding him, but be reconciled unto him. Pity thy agonizing bleeding God. Hear him calling unto you, is it nothing unto you all thee that pass by? Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow. Now this Savior waits to be gracious, he pities thee O Sinner; he feels more for thee than for himself he wants to embrace thee. Return then, whoever thou art that hast been ungrateful unto him. Serve his enemies no longer. I call thee in behalf of God; my blessed Master wants to cleanse thy polluted soul, and to cloathe thee with the robe of own righteousness. I have spoken to your ears; may the Lord Jesus Christ speak unto all your hearts; for unless you obey the call of mercy now, you must expect to hear the voice of judgment hereafter; for unless you agree with thine Adversary my brother, you will be assigned over to a just Judge. And this brings me to show in the third place, who is meant by the Judge, “…lest at any time the Adversary deliver thee to the Judge.”