"Salvation." What "salvation?" Salvation by grace, full and free; salvation without any intermixture of creature righteousness; salvation gushing from the bosom of God; salvation flowing wholly and solely through the blood of the Lamb. But salvation can never be tasted without a previous foretaste of condemnation. Heaven can never be looked up into before there has been a looking down into the wicket-gate of hell. There must have been an experience of guilt, before there can be the enjoyment of pardon.
"Now is come salvation." From what? From the accusations of Satan, the curses of the law, the fear of death, the terrors of hell, and sentence of damnation. And how does salvation come? Whilst the battle is going on, whilst the issue is doubtful, whilst hand to hand, foot to foot, and shoulder to shoulder, Satan and the soul are engaged in deadly strife, there is no felt experience of salvation. There may be hope, enabling the soldier to stand his ground; there is no shout of victory till the enemy is put to flight. But when Satan is defeated, his accusations silenced, and the soul liberated, then "is come salvation."
The sweetest song that heaven ever proclaimed, the most blessed note that ever melted the soul, is "salvation." To be saved—saved from death and hell; saved from "the worm which dieth not, and the fire which is not quenched;" saved from the sulphurous flames of the bottomless pit; saved from the companionship of tormenting fiends, and of all the foul wretches under which earth has groaned; saved from blaspheming God in unutterable woe; saved from an eternity of misery without hope; and saved into heaven—the sight of Jesus as he is, perfect holiness and happiness, the blissful company of holy angels and glorified saints! And all this during the countless ages of a blessed eternity! What tongue of men or angels can describe the millionth part of what is contained in the word "salvation!"