WHAT THE SALVATION OF CHRIST CONSISTS OF
By William Law
But you will say, do not all christians desire to have Christ as their savior? Yes, but here is the deceit: all want Christ to be their savior in the next world, and to help them into heaven when they die, by his power and merits with God. But this is not desiring Christ to be your Savior; for his salvation, if it is to be had, must be in this world. If he saves you, it must be done in this life by changing and altering all that is within you, by helping you to a new heart, as He helped the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the dumb to speak.
To have salvation from Christ is nothing else but to be made like Him. It is to have His humility and meekness; His mortification and self denial; His renunciation of the spirit, wisdom, and honors of this world; His love for God; and His desire to do God's will and to seek only His honor. To have these qualities formed and begotten in your heart is to have salvation from Christ. But if you do not want to have these tempers brought forth in you, if your faith and desire do not seek and cry to Christ for them in the same way as the lame asked to walk and the blind to see, then you must be said to be unwilling to have Christ as your savior.
Again, consider,how was it that the carnal jew, the the well read scribe, the learned rabbi, the religious pharisee, not only did not receive, but also crucified their savior? It was because they did not want and desire the savior that He was. They did not want the inward salvation that He offered to them. They did not desire any change of their own natures, and inward destruction of their own natural tempers, any deliverance from the love of themselves and the enjoyments of their passions.
These jews liked their carnal states, the gratifications of the old man, their long robes, their large ornaments, their greetings in the markets. They did not want to have their pride and self love dethroned, their covetousness and sensuality subdued by a new nature from heaven derived into them. Their only desire was the success of judaism; they wanted to have an outward savior, a temporal prince, who would establish their laws and ceremonies over all the earth. And therefore they crucified their dear redeemer and would have none of His salvation, because it all consisted in a change of their natures, in a new birth from above, and a kingdom of heaven to be opened within them by the spirit of God.
Oh, Christians, do not look at the jews of old, but see yourselves in this light. May the sad truth be told that on this day, a Christ within us, an inward savior, raising a new birth of His own nature, life, and spirit within us, is rejected as foolishness or fanaticism. The learned rabbis take offense at it. The propagation of protestantism, the success of some particular church, is the salvation about which priests and people are chiefly concerned.