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sus; yea, with the high and glorious God, but warts to be as gods, and above God; but you must come down and bumble yourself to 'walk with God.
2dly, Why must they make haste and come down? What is the haste say you? Why, there is need of that haste here which David speaks of, Psalm cxix. 59,
, 's I to delayed not, to keep thy commandments." Phere is need of answering the gospel-call in haste.
1. Because time is hasting away ; 'the wings of time are flying with the utmost speed. Osirs, time, time; short and precious: therefore, make haste and close with Christ, while it is the accepted time, and day of salvation.
2. Because the day of salvation is hastening a way; gospel-offers, 'sermons, and sacraments, ministers and ordinances, all are in haste. I have read of the birds of Norway, where the days are shortest, that the birds are swiftest. The day of grace being a short day,
there is need of haste: “Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
3. Because death is making haste. That black scythe is mowing down old and young, like grass, here and there; and death shuts the door of gospel-offers for ever; therefore there is need of haste.
4. Because judgments are making haste; temporal judgments and spiritual judgments; and the particular judgment at deaih, and the general judgment of the great day. All are making haste, and crying to us to make baste to get into the city of refuge before it be too late, and the avenger overtake us. -5
5. Eternity is making haste. “ 'The angel is about to cry, with his hand lift up to heaven, and to swear by him that liveth for ever and ever, that time shall be no more," Rev. X.5. What then will follow ? Nothing but eternity ; eternity of well or wo.
6. Because Christ' is calling on us in haste, saying, Come, come;" Whosoever will, let him come." His lanjuaye not only is, Come to me, poor soul; but also, Come with me: “Come with me from Lebanon." He
is making haste to put a close to his work of redemption by power, even as he was in a haste to accomplish, the work of redemption by price'; and he will never rest, till he hath it to say of this, as of the former, “ It is finished.”
V. The fifth thing proposed, was, To deduce some inferences for the application. Is it so, That in the E day of effectual calling, there are heights to which men
are apt to climb, from which the Lord calls them to come down, and hastily to come down ? Then hence, I infer these following things.
1. See how high and haughty men are by nature ; de for, as mean and low as they are, yet they affect heights
from whence they must come down. The heights to which they aspire are several ways expressed in scripture, and whence they, like Zaccheus, need to make
haste down. Some are as high as the towers on which bi they build their hope; thus it is said, “ The rich man's
wealth is his strong tower.” Soine are as high as the mountains on which they confide; but in vain is sal
, tains; “ Truly in the Lord only is the salvation of his À people.”. Some would be as high as the clouds; but
they are called clouds without water, and morning clouds that pass away. Some would be as high as the
stars, but they are called wandering stars, to whom is i reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Yea,
some are said to be as high as heaven in respect of certạin privileges; but though they are exalted unto heaven, they shall be cast down to hell. What shall I say! Men affect to be even as high as God: “ Ye shall be as Gods,” was the first temptation; and this prevailing, men set themselves in the throne of God; yea, would exalt themselves, like so many Antichrists, "Above all that is called God;" and hence spurn at the government of God, and strive with their Maker; and hence no wonder than men seek to be above one another; yea, to be gods over others. The spirit of Diotrephes, and love to have the pre-eminence, and to be lords over God's heritage, and over men's con. sciences is too evident in many.
2. Hence see, that the gospel-market may be called a down-coming market; and gospel-grace, down-bringing grace. Men generally have a false notion of the gospel. So much do they affect to be high, that they think, if they see Christ, they must climb up, and be very high, very holy, very good, very penitent, yea, very eminent folk; but know not that they must come down from their heights, from their imaginary holiness and goodness, and be laid flat with the ground, andbe nothing. They must come down from that thought that they are rich, and increased with goods, and stand in need of nothing. This thought will keep them away from Christ. But they must think, and know, that they are poor, miserable, wretched, blind, and naked; and that they stand in need of every thing.–Hence, I say, the gospel-market may be called a down-coming market, where the price of wares doth not rise, but rather fall. It is true, all the gospel wares and riches are bought with the price of blood, blood of infinite value.
It was a high price to Christ; but to you in the gospel-offer, the price is no price at all; for all the buyers are to buy, without money, and without price. Yea, the price falls lower than men can think or imagine. This market is lower than the Popish market, where good works are the price; lower than the legalist's market, where such and such good qualifications are the price. Lower than the Arminian market, where the act of believing, by the power of free-will, is the price. It is not a market of man's free-will, but of God's free. grace; nor of the power of nature, but of grace. It is a flying on the wings of grace, to the throne of grace; and this sovereign grace brings down all to her footstool, that share of her royal bounties. They are made content to be debtors to free grace.
3. Hence see the reason of God's dispensations towards his peoplethat are of a humbling and down-casting nature. As he calls them by his word, so also by his providence, to come down and ly at his feet. The children of grace have no reason to grudge the want of these things, which they are naturally ready to trust to. It is mercy to be brought down. It may be, God denies you riches : well, perhaps they would have been your confidence. Perhaps he denies you frames and enlargements ; well, it is possible, you would have rested on these, as your refuge and righteousness. People may be mistaken concerning God's way towards them; it may look like wrath, when it is love. God disappoints you in all your ways and shifts, and that by down-pulling dispensations, breaking the branches you hang by. The fiery serpent stings you ; why? It is not to kill you, but to make you look to the braseni serpent, Christ, on the pole of the gospel. The avenger of blood pursues the soul out of all his lurking holes; but it is to drive you to the city of refuge. A deluge of heavy judgments may come: but it is not to drown thee, but force thee to the ark. Personal afflictions, family afflictions, national afflictions, all are levelled for breaking down your false confidences, and bringing you down to Christ. See Hos. ii. 8,-14. The matter is, if God has a mind to convert thee, he will never leave thee, without some one thing or other upon thy soul, tossing thee, wearying thee, vexing thee: that thou shalt never have quiet, till at length thou land upon Christ. Such is the baseness and degeneracy of man's nature: we are like Joab, Absalom sent for him, he will not come; then comes the second summons, no; he will not answer. Well, says he, I will give a summons of another nature, and so he goes, and sets all Joab's cornfields in a fire: destroys all his confidences, as Jer. ii. 37. The corn-field of hopes and props must be set a fire; thus Manasseh could never be brought down till brought to extremity among the thorns in Babylon, and then he knew that the Lord was God.
4. Hence see the nature of true faith : it is a coming down. It is sometimes called a coming out, when it respects a leaving this world, and the Antichrists therein; " Come out of her, my people,” Rev. xviii. 14.-Sometimes it is called a coming in when it respects a being housed with Christ; “ Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled," Luke xiv. 23. Sometimes it is called a coming up, when it respects a mount
ing heaven-wards: “Who is this that cometh up front the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved ?" Song viii. 5. Sometimes it is called a coming down, as here, and elsewhere, particularly, Isa. xlvii. 1. “Come down and sit in, the dust,” &c. "And thus faith may be designed, as it respects the soul's descending from all these heights men are ready to climb and aspire unto. It is a coming from self-exaltation to self-humiliation. No grace sets a man so high in God's esteem, nor so low in his own esteem, as that grace of faith; which, viewing God's infinite excellency, makes the creature sink to nothing. By unbelief we set ourselves up above God, but by faith we come down.
5. How reproveable are they, who, instead of coming down, and sitting in the dust, are setting themselves up on such heights as to ascend presumptuously the very throne of God; pretending a zeal for Zion's King, and yet abusing his authority, and prostituting his royal prerogatives, by their pretended censures and excom. munications, passed without any power, but what is sinfully arrogated and assumed, without any cause or ground, but what is imaginary and fictitious, as bath been documented unto the world. Yea, prosecuted violently to the exposing of the discipline of God's house, and matter of laughter to a vain and profane generation, while exercised against those whom it cannot be executed against by the law of God, or man: 'nor by any rule of scripture or reason. If any enquire, how the proceedings of the separating Brethren, in these matters, appear to be sinful heights, and unwarrantable extremes, and extravagancies, and a sinful climbing up, instead of coming down to keep upon
solid ground? Why, that this work of separatists is not of God's approbation, or agreeable to his word, will appear in these particulars.
(1:) If it is a work that deviates from the good old way, Jer. vi. 16. “ Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein ; and ye shall find rest for your souls. Chap. xviii. 15. Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burnt incense to vanity,