I thought of this a few weeks ago when visiting at another church. At the time when the sermon was meant to be preached, the pastor gave a fine lecture on the Bible a good, redemptive historical exposition of an Old Testament passage. The congregation waited politely for the abracadabra-hey-presto! moment when, like a bunny from a magician’s top hat, Jesus is pulled as if by magic from the chosen Old Testament passage. And, hey presto, there he was, right on cue, where he’d never been seen before! — though there were no gasps of amazement, as the congregation had, I presumed, seen the trick performed a thousand times before with other texts. The old `I bet you never saw Jesus there before’ gets a bit predictable and tiresome when its the only application, I guess. This was truly a lecture and no sermon.
From Vol. 5 of His Works…pg. 23
By means of these and the like presumptuous conceptions of unenlightened minds, the consciousness of men are kept off from being affected with a due sense of sin and a serious consideration how they may obtain acceptance before God. Neither the consideration how they may obtain acceptance before God, neither the consideration of the holiness or terror of the Lord, nor the severity of the Law, as it indispensably requireth a righteousness in compliance with its commands nor the promise of the Gospel, declaring and tendering a righteousness, the righteousness of God, in answer thereunto, nor the uncertainty of their own minds upon trials and surprisals, as having no stable ground of peace to anchor on, nor the constant secret disquietment of their consciences if not seared or hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, can prevail with them whose thoughts are prepossessed with such slight conceptions of the state and guilt of sin to fly for refuge unto the only hope that is set before them or really and distinctly to comport with the only way of deliverance and salvation.