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take you off your own hand, and that both for provision and protection, as he did the spouse, in the following verse; as to provision, you shall have it to say, “ He brought me to the banquetting house;" and as to protection, that his banner over me, was love;" and in both he will take you off your own hand: for when you essay stretching out the withered hand, or endeav. our to sit down under his shadow, or in the use of appointed means to be active, then he will make you sweetly passive, by taking you up in his arms: 6. He brought me to his banquetting-house;" and by lifting up his banner over your head, " His banner over me was love.” In this way you cannot fail not only to be more than conquerors in the issue, but even in the midst of all your adversaries and adversities; “ In all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us.” Live under this conquering banner.
(2.) See the duty of sinners, that are strangers to this glorious, and victorious Captain of salvation, through whom all believers and lovers of bim are more than conquerors through his love : you are yet slaves to sin and Satan, captives to the world, and the flesh, and the lusts thereof, warring against God; but, “ Who can harden bimself against God and prosper?" Your duty is, if you would not live and die in captivity to sin and Satan, and remain in perpetual slavery and misery, O come and inlist with our Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation, that through him you may be coine conquerors over sin, and Satan, and death, and misery.
I have a ministerial commission, which neither men nor devils can take from me, and it is to take on soldiers to our Lord Jesus Christ, and to call them to come under his banner of love: his name is the Lord that loved us, he is a lover of ours, éven of mankind sinners; and he courts you with bis love, with a word of love, and a word of reconciliation. What! Is he willing to receive such a rebel as I am ? Yea, he not only says he is willing, “ Whosoever will, let him come, and him that cometh, I will in no wise cast out;” but he swears that he is willing : “ As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of sinners;" as sure as death will be in earnest with you ere long, so sure is he in earnest, praying you to be reconciled to him.
0 enemy, will you henceforth lift up arms of rebellion against that God who hath thrown down his arms of war and wrath against you, saying, in Christ, "1 am pacified toward you, for all that you have done ?” What! pacified in Christ toward you! And, for shame! will you not he pacified, or at peace with him? If you will not be drawn to him with these cords of love, nor conquered to him with the power of his love, to your eternal salvation, you shall be conquered by the power of his wrath, to your eternal perdition : If you would not be crushed with his anger in the day of wrath, O refuse not to be conquered with his love in the day of grace. O sirs, slighted mercy will bring you to the hottest bell! If this offer of mercy be slighted, it will gall you to the heart for ever, as the murderer that, when he was to be execute for many murders, confessed, that nothing stared him in the face, nor galled him so much, as his murdering a pleasant child, when it was smiling in his face. Well, will you fight against mercy, when it is smiling in your face, and spurn against the bowels of love that are moving and yearning towards you? If you do so, nothing will torment you in hell so much as this. Therefore remember his name that is calling you to come to him: to whom is the gospel calling you to come? It is to him that loved us; it is to a lover. Oh! will you render him hatred for love? Is there any here saying, Is there love and mercy for me, for the like of me? Yea, for the like of you; though you have been like a devil for enmity God hitherto. He speaks to you
He speaks to you like a God of lovt; and if this fire of divine love melt your heart, and coquer your enmity, and draw your heart to him, ten you may go away with a glad heart, triumphing
this valiant lover, that was able to win sứch a heart is yours, and saying, " Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or perseck tion, or famine, or nakedness, or peril
, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conqueris, through
The Day of EFFECTUAL CALLING, a Levelling Day : Or, The Heights from which Sinners come down in the Day of EFFECTUAL VOCATION*
LUKE xix. 5.
-Zaccheus, make haste and come down.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is such a wonderful Physician, that he has a salve for every sore, a remedy for every malady, and a cure for every case, that any sinner on earth can possibly be in. In the close of the preceding chapter we find him miraculously healing Bartimeus of his bodily blindness; and here, in the beginning of this chapter, we find him curing Zaccheus of his spiritual blindness. Bartimeus was a poor man, sitting by the way-side, begging; and he is mercifully raised up to be effectually cured of his disease. Zaccheus was a rich man, sitting very high on a tree by the way side, gazing; and he is mercifully brought down to be effectually cured of his disease. Whether people be in low or high circumstances, there is suitable help and relief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, this Zaccheus is here described in the context six different ways.
1. By his nature and nation, ver. 1. He was a Cen. tile, and a man of Jericho; a place once destroyed nd cursed by Joshua: yet even in this very place, as the was a Rachab to be saved, so there was a Zaccheusi be converted, by the Lord Jesus. The baseness of place does not hinder Christ from calling his chosen. Heaven is open to one place as well as another; therefore, wherever ministers of Christ go, they may open up their heavenly commission, and preach the gospel to every rational creature under heaven, not knowing where a blessing may light. The cross of Christ, if we may
* This cubject was handled in two discourses, on a sacramertal solempity at b.LKIRK, May 20th, 21st, 1750. The first on Lath, the secols on the Monday.
allude thereunto, had four corners, inviting the four quarters of the world to come to him. If we consider the body of Christ upon thecross, we may learn how every part of him bids welcome to all comers : his feet fixed on the cross, to wait and expect all passengers; his arms stretched out and spread abroad, to embrace all that come to him; his head being down to sound into sinners ears, “ Behold the love of a Saviour!" bis blood gushing out like a stream, to refresh all that come; and none shall be excepted, but these that except them. selves. But, again,
2. He is described by his profession and occupation, ver. 2. He was a publican, and the chief among the publicans. They were persons detested by the Jews; for, after the Jews were subject to the Roman empire, they received the tribute-money; and they were Romans and heathens; and be being the chief of the publicans, it is probable also that he was a notorious sinner; for, we find frequently that publicans and sinners were joined together. When Christ would describe a notorious and incorrigible sinner, he says, Matt. xviii. 17. “ Let him be to you as a heathen man, and a publican.” Now, this Zaccheus was a publican, and so hated by the Jews; a sinner, and so hated of God, who is angry with the wicked every day ; but Christ came to call sinners to repentance, and so bring them into favour with him, as all that belong to Christ will be, they being loved in him with an everlasting love. Let no sinner then despair of mercy through Christ. It is true, if they go on in sin, and live and die, in a sinful, Christless state, they have ground to despair; and everlasting horror and despair will be their latter end; but if they come down with Zaccheus to the Lord Jesus, and so leave off their sinful course, as he did, they shall meet with the same welcome. Despair of the mercy of God in Christ, which is infinite and flowing, is one 1 of the most prodigiously aggravated sins : Cain sinned
more in despairing of mercy, than in killing his inno. cent brother. Judas sinned more in hanging himself, through despair, than in betraying his Master, through avarice. It is dangerous to pass a peremptory sentence upon any man's final state :-here is a publican called.
3. He was described by his quality ; he was rich, ver. 2. It is hard for a rich man to enter into heaven, when he makes his wealtihis strong tower: and hence, “ Not many rich and noble are called;" but some there are. Riches, in themselves, are not hinderances to Christ One observes, concerning Joseph of Arimathea, he was a great man in the eyes of the world, but a greater in the eyes of God: the wise men that came out of the east to worship Christ, were both rich and honourable. Neither the poverty of blind Bartimeus, nor the riches of this man, Zaccheus, did hinder the Lord Jesus Christ from shewing favour and mercy towards them. Let rich and poor, high and low, and all sorts of sinners here, “ Look unto him, and be saved," and seek after a sight of him, as Zaccheus here did; who is described,
4. By his present disposition and intense inclination, ver. 3. “He sought to see Jesus.” It would seem, from the event, that it was something more than curiosity that prompted him to seek after a sight of Jesus. It is probable, that by this time, the Spirit of God bad convinced Zaccheus that he was a sinner, a great sinner; and now he hears the report of Christ as a Saviour sent from God : and while the convinced sinner is hearing of a Saviour, even before effectual calling, he may be under such impressions, by the common motions of the Spirit of God, as tend to carry him out toward a blind, yet ardent desire after a yet unseen and unknown Jesus: though yet these convictions, impressions, and desires may have nothing in their nature saving; however, in the elect of God, they may be saving evidentially, by virtue of the divine decree connecting them in the issue with his saving work. Thus Zaccheus, while other rich men were despising Christ, and would not give a farthing for a sight of him, is filled with an earnest de