Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

God will treat with you do more, when a gulph sball be fix. ed betwixt him and you for ever, Luke xvi. 26. O what will you do when the leason of mercy, and all hopes of mercy, shall end together! When God thall become inaccessible, inexorable, and unreconcilable to you for evermore.

( what wilt thou do, when thou Malt find thyself fut up voder eternal wrath / when thou shalt feel that misery thou art warned of! Is this the place where I must be! Are these the tormeots I must endure! What, for ever! yea, for ever : Will pot God be fatisfied with the sufferings of a thoufand years ? no, por millions of years! Ah finners, did you but clearly fee the present and future mifery of unreconciled opes, and what that wrath of the great and terrible God is, which is coming as falt as the wings of time can bring it upon you, it would certainly drive you to Christ, or drive you out of your wits. O it is a dreadful thing to have God for your eternal enemy : to have the great and terrible God causing his infinite power to avenge the abuse of his grace and mercy.

Believe it, friends, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God : knowing the terrors of the Lord we perfuade men : an eternal weight hangs upon an inch of time. O that you did but kpow the time of your visitation! That you would not daretto adventure, and run the hazard of one day more in an upreconciled state.

Thirdly, and lastly, This point speaks to those who have believed our report, who have taken hold of God's strength, and made peace with him: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy: who once were afar off, but now are made nigh by the blood of Christ : with you I would leave a few words of exhortation, and I have done.

First, Admire and stand amazed at this mercy. " I will

praise thee, O Lord, (faith the church, lla. xii. 1.) Though " thou walt angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and " thou comfortest me.” Ohow overwhelming a mercy is here before you! God is at peace, at peace with you that were " enemies in your minds by wicked works,” Col. i. 21. AC peace with you, and at eomity with millions as good by nature as you : at peace with you that fought it not: at peace for ver; no dissolving this friendship for evermore. O let this confideration melt your hearts before the Lord, and make you cry, What am I, Lord, that mercy should take in me, and put our fallen angels, and millions of men and women as capable of mercy as myself! O the riches ! O the depths of the mercy and goodness of God!

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Secondig, Beware of new breaches with God: God will fpeak peace to his people, and to his faints : but let them not tura

again to folls,” Pfal. lxxxv. 8. What tho this state of friend. fhip can dever be dissolved, yet it is a dreadful thing to have it clouded:

: you may lose the fense of peace, and with it all the joy of your hearts, and comforts of your lives, in this world.

Thirdly, Labour to reconcile others to God: especially those that are endeared to you by the bonds of datural relation : When Paul was reconciled to God himself, his heart was full of heaviness for others that were not reconciled; for his “ bre" threa and kinsmen according to the flesh,” Rom. ix. 2, 3. When Abraham was become God's friend himself, then, • " that Ishmael might live before thee !" Gen, xvii. 18.

Fourthly and lastly, “Let your recoaciliation with God relieve

you under all burdens of affliction you shall meet with ip your way to heaven :" Let them that are at eomity with God droop under croffes and afflictions; but do not you do fo. Tranquillus Deus tranquillat omnia, Rom. v. 1, 2, 3. Let the peace of God keep your hearts and minds. As aothing can comfort a man that must go to hell at last, fo nothing should deject a mio that shall, through many troubles, at last, rcach heaven.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Explaining the work of the Spirit, as the internal, and most effectual Means of the Application of CHRIST.

JOHN vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father which

hath sent me, draw him.

UR laft difcourse informed you of the usefulness and influ

ence of the preaching of the gospel, in order to the ape plication of Christ to the souls of men. There must be (in God's ordinary way) the external ministerial offer of Christ, before men can have union with him.

But yet, all the preaching in the world can never effect this union with Christ in itself, and in its own virtue, except a superoárural, and mighty power, go forth with it, for that end and purpose. Lct Boanerges and Barnabas try their rength, let

Y ?

the angels of heaven be the preachers ; till God draw, the fou! cannot come to Christ.

No saving benefit is to be had by Christ, without union with his person, no union with his person without faith, no faith, or. dinarily wrought, without the preaching of the gospel by Christ's ambasadors, their preaching hath no laving efficacy, without God's drawings, as will evidently appear, by considering these words, and the occasion of them.

The occasion of these words is found (as learned * Cameron well observes) in the 42d verse. “And they said, is not this Jesus “ the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?” Chrift had been pressing upon them in his ministry, the great and ne: cessary duty of faith; but notwithstanding the authority of the preacher'; the holiness of his life; the miracles by which he confirmed his do&trine ; they still objected against him, “is not this “ the carpenter's Son?" From whence Christ takes occasion for these words ; “ No man can come unto me, except my Father “ which hath feat me, draw him,"q. d. Jo vain the authoricy of my person urged; in vain are all the miracles wrought in your fight, to confirm the doctrine preached to you; till that secret, almighty power of the Spirit be put forth upon your hearts, you will not, you cannot, come unto me.

The words are a negative proposition.

In which the author, and powerful manner of divine operatis on in working faith, are contained : there must be drawing before believing, and that drawing must be the drawing of God: every word hath its weight: we will consider them in the order they lie in the text.

Ovdus--No Man] not one, let his patural quelifications be what they will, let his external advantages, in respect of means and helps, be never fo great: it is not in the power of any man: all persons, in all ages, need the same power of God, one as well as another; every man is alike dead, impotent, and averse to faith in his natural capacity. No mad, or-not one, among all the sons of men.

Aviatok ----Can] or is able: he speaks of impotency to special and saving actions, such as believing in Christ is: no act that is saving, can be done without the concurrence of special grace. Other acts that have a remote tendency to it, are performed by a more general concourse and common assistance; fo meu may come to the word, and attend to what is spuķen, remember, and consider what the word tells them; but as to believing or com:

Cameronis Myrothec. p. 139.

ing to Christ, that no man cap do of himself, or by a general and common assittance. No man can.

EyJev tpos pue, ----Come unto me] (i. e.) believe in me unto salvation. Coming to Christ, and believing in him, are terms aequipollent, and are indifferently used to express the nature of faving faith, as is plaio ver. 35. “He that cometh to me, shall " never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall ņever thirst:” it notes the terms from which, and to which the soul moves, and the voluntarioess of the motion, notwithstanding that divine power, by which the will is drawn to Christ. Eæy

Hero Ilctape---Except my Father] not 'excluding the other, two persons ; for every work of God relating to the creatures, is common to all the three persons : nor only to note that the Father is the firft in order of working : but the reason is hinted in the next words.

O ze Ya Ms--who hath sent me,] God hath entered into covenant with the Son, and feat him, stands obliged thereby, to bring the promised feed to him, and that he doth by drawing them to Christ by faith : so the next words tells us the Father doth. Ελκυση αυτον.- :

-Draw him.] That is powerfully and effectually incline his will to come to Christ: “+ Not by a violent

coaction, but by a benevolent bending of the will which was "averse;" and as it is not in the way of force and compulsion, so neither is it by a fimple moral suasion, by the bare proposal ofan object to the will, and so leaving the finner to his own electie 00; but it is such a persuasion, as hath a mighty overcoming efficacy accompanying it: of which more anon,

The words thus opened, the observation will be this :
Doct. That it is utterly impossible for any man to come to

Jesus Christ, unless he be drawn unto him by the special and

mighty power of God, No man is compelled to come to Christ against his will, he that cometh, comes willingly, but even that will, and desire to come, is the effect of grace, Phil. ii. 13. " It is God that work. “eth in you, both to will, and to do, of his own good pleasure.”

“ If we desire the help and assistance of grace, (faith | Ful

Non violenta coactio immediata, sed voluntatis a Deo'averse benevola fiectio. Glas. Rhet. Sacra p. 236.

Ut ergo defideremus adjutorium, hoc quoque eft gratiæ ; ipfa Hamque incipit effundi, ut incipiat pofci. Fulgen, Epift. 6. ad Theod.

I

gentius) even the defire is of grace; grace must first be bed " forth upon us, before we can begin to defire it :” “

By grace " are ye faved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is “ the gift of God," Eph. ii. 8. suppose the utmost degree of natural ability; let a man be as much dispofed and prepared, as nature can dispose or prepare bim, and to all this, add the pro, posal of the greatest arguments, and motivés, to induce him to come ; let all these have the advantage of the fitteft feafov to work upon his beart; yet no man can come till God draw him : we move as we are moved; as Christ's comiog to us, fo our coming to him are the pare effects of grace.

Three things require explication in this point before us.
First, What the drawing of the Father imports.
Secondly, In what manner he draws men to Chrift.

Thirdly, How it appears that none can come till they be fo drawn.

First, What the drawing of the Father imports.

To open this, let it be considered, that drawing is usually distinguished into physical and moral. The former is, either by co-action, force, and compulsion : or, by a sweet, congruous efficacy upon the will. As to violence and compulsion, it is none of God's way and method, it being both against the Dature of the will of man, which cannot be forced, and against the will of Jefus Christ, who loves to reign over a free and willing people, Psal. cx. 5. “ Thy people thall be willing in " the day of thy power." Or, as that word may be rendered, they shall be voluntarinesses, as willing as willingness itfelf. It is not then by a forcible co-action, but in a moral way of perfuafion, that God the Father draws men to Jesus Christ : He draws with the bands of a man, as they are called, Hof. xi. 14, (i. e.) in a way of rational conviction of the mind and confcience, and effectual persuasion of the will.

But yet by moral persuasion, we must not understand a simple and bare propofal, or tender of Christ and grace, leaving it still at the fioner's choice, whether he will comply with it or BO. | For though God does not force the will contrary to its pature, yet there is a real internal efficacy implied in this draw

# We do not fee God preaching, writing, and teaching, yet we believe as if we saw thus ; for all truth hath a power of inclining the mind to affent; the greater truth, the greater power, and the greatet truth, the greatest power of all; But why then do not all believe the gospel? I anfwer, because all are are not drawn by God, Bape tift Mantuanus de patientia, lib. 3. cap. 2.

« ElőzőTovább »