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gave to the Samaritans, as you may read,ver.30.39,42. She was the bleffed inftrument of drawing many there. to the Lord Jefus.
IV. The Fourth general Head propofed, was, Tɔ give the Reafons of the Doctrine, whence it is, that faving discoveries of Chrift makes perfons to condemn and debafe therafelves to the loweft, and commend and exalt Chrift to the higheft; or, what influence a faving difcovery of Chrift hath upon this felf-debafing and Chrift-exalting exercife? I thall confider the reafons of this two-fold effect jointly, because they neceflarily go together, and are influenced by the fame means they are like the two fcales of a balance, that which makes the one fcale fall and go down, makes the other rife and go up; fo that difcovery of Chrift which brings down felf to the duft, does at the fame time fet up Chrift upon the throne. When the haughtinefs of man is brought low, then the Lord alone is exalted, Ifa. ii. 11.
1. The first reafon then, why the faving difcoveries of Chrift do humble felf to the loweft, and exalt Chrift to the higheft, is from the fpecial light wherein Chrift is feen. They that fee the glory of Chrift with the one eye, they fee, at the fame time, their own unworthines with the other. The fame light that difcovers the holinefs of God, difcovers the vilenefs of man. The fame light that difcovers the fulnefs of Chrift, difcovers the emptiness of the creature. That light that discovers his infinite merit, discovers the infinite guilt and demerit · of fin. When the righteoufnefs of Chrift is feen, the unrighteoufnefs of the finner is feen at the fame time, and in the fame light; and hence, no wonder then, while the poor foul is aftonifhed with the view of God's glory in the face of Chrift, he is alfo aftonished with. the view and apprehenfion of his own bafenefs and brutishness; and has the meaneft thoughts of himself, when he has the highest thoughts of Chrift. The more a man converfes with Chrift, the more he converfes with himself; and the light that discovers Chrift, discovers the foul to itfelf: and therefore the difcoveries of Chrift cannot but tend to debafe felf, and exalt Chrift.
2. When Chrift is difcovered, then the love of God to the foul is discovered, and this fills it with humble wonder. O! how aftonishing a thing is it, that God's love is manifefied to one fo full of fin and wickednefs! This debafes the foul in its own fight, becaufe it knows itfelf to be fo unworthy of his love; this works humility: but yet unworthy as it is, the love of God is manifefted to it; this quickens love in the foul, and love excites praife. O how fhall I manifeft love to him that hath manifefted love to the like of me! Thus the love of Chrift conftrains both to the debafing of felf and exalting Christ.
3. The third reafon is, from the special work of the Spirit there is a fpeciality in the work of the Spirit upon the foul to whom Chrift is favingly difcovered; Lord, fays Judas, not Ifcariot, how is it that thou wilt manifeft thyfelf to us, and not to the world? John xiv.22. God manifefts his love to the world, in outward refpects; but to his own, in his privy-chamber. It is the work and office of the Spirit to fet home the love of God upon the hearts of his people; and to every one of them alone, as it were: he takes them afide, that they may have fome private converfation with Chrift; fuch as this woman had, when Chrift was the only preacher, and fhe was the only hearer. O but the view of this di, ftinguished grace raifes in the foul both David's note, “What am I, and what is my father's houfe, that thou haft brought me hitherto?" And Mary's note at the fame time, "My foul doth magnify the Lord."
4. The influence that the difcovery of Christ hath upon the felf-debafing and Chrift-exalting exercife, flows from the fpiritual end and defign of these faving discoveries and manifeftations of Chrift; this is God's great end in difcovering Chrift, 1 Cor. i. 29, 30, 31. "Of God, he is made unto us wisdom, righteoufnefs, fanctification, and redemption." For what end?" That no flefh fhould glory in his fight; at that he that glorieth might glory in the Lord:"That is, that felf may be condemned and debafed, and Chrift alone may be commended and exalted. And this is the great end of the Spirit's work: when he comes to teftify of Chrift, what is his defign? Why, fays Chrift, John xvi. 9. 14. "He will convince the world of fin; and
he fhall glorify me;" that is, he will humble the finner, on the one hand, and exalt the Saviour, on the other; and fo lead the finner to condemn himfelf, and to commend Chrift.
5. It arifes from the special power and efficacy that is in faving difcoveries of Chrift, for working all faving effects; why, Beholding his glory, we are changed into the fame image, 2 Cor. iii. 18.; and changed, as in other refpects, fo in this particular, that felf is pulled down, and Chrift fet up: we are changed from pride, to humility; from felf-love, to felf-loathing; from felf-indulgence, to felf-abhorrence; and from felf-feeking, and felf-exalting, to a Chrift-exalting difpofition and exercife. All the graces of the Spirit iffue from a faving difcovery of Chrift, and come in that way to a lively exercife; "We beholding his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth: of his fulness have we all received, and grace for grace," John i. 14. 16. We cannot fee his fulness, without fharing of his fulness; yea, to fee his fulness is to fhare of it: this is the ftrength of that for which we have in John iii. 2. We shall be like bim, FOR we fhall fee him as he is; fo here, bebolding bis glory, his fulness of grace and truth, we receive out of bis fulness. Now, the more of Chrift's fulnefs and Spirit, that one hath, the more will he have of Chrift's ends before him; which is a debafing of the creature, and a glorifying of God, that he may be all in all.
6. This exercife doth arife from the divine fplendor of the difcovery; for, when Chrift difcovers his face, then the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ, is difcovered, 2 Cor. iv. 6. When Chrift is feen, then the glory of God's perfections, and the fplendor of his attributes, is feen. Now, every thing in God dashes the finful man that fees it, and makes him nothing in his own eyes; and, at the fame time, makes Chrift, in whom that divine glory fhines, to be all in all to the man; fo that he cannot but fet Chrift above all, and give him, in all things, the pre-eminence.eminence.Thus you fee the reafons whence it is, that faving discoveries of Christ make the fubjects thereof, to condemn and debase themfelves to the loweft, and to commend and exalt
Chrift to the higheft, as the woman of Samaria here does; Come fee a man that told me all things that ever I did; Is not this the Chrift?
V. The fifth thing propofed, was, To make fome application of the whole. And this we fhall effay in an ute. of information, examination, and exhortation.
1ft, We fhall improve this fubject in an ufe of information, by deducing the following inferences. Is it fo then, that faving difcoveries of Chrift have this effect, to make one, at the fame time, to condemn and debafe himfelf, and to commend and exalt Chrift, faying, Come fee a man which told me all things that ever I did; Is not this the Chrift? From this text and doctrine we may see and learn the following leffons.
1. Hence fee why pride and felf-conceit, self-righteousnefs and felf-juftification prevail fo much in the world, and in the visible church; and what makes people, notwithstanding all that ever they did, yet to be vainly puft up, inftead of condemning and debafing themselves: why, because they have never got a faving discovery of Chrift; Chrift hath never touched their heart, and told them all that ever they did they are ftrangers to the power of the word. It is very strange how wicked men will juftify themselves, as those, John viii. 48. "Say we not well, that thou art a Samaritan, and haft a devil?" Here was the greatest blafphemy imaginable, to fay this of Chrift; yet they justify it, Say we not well in this? Chriftlefs men will justify their ill words, and bafe works and evil actions.-What fay you, Sabbath-breaker? Why, was it not well done, fay you? it is but a work of neceffity, a needful bufinefs.-What fay you, drunkard? Why, it was but a hearty bottle with my friends; and was it not well done?-What fay you, whoremonger? Why, it was but a trick of youth; and what is the matter of that?--What fay you, fwearer? Why, it was neither banning nor fwearing that I intended; it was but a fingle word, and a word in paffion.-What say you, fcold and railer? Why, fay you, I think they deferved all that I faid to them; I am fure I loofed my tongue upon fuch a man, and gave him his holy-day's name;
and was it not well done, and well faid?--Indeed, you will hardly get a finner at all; if you will take every perfon's excufe, and every body's judgment of themfelves, they will juflify all that ever they did; or, at leaft, make it but a matter of moon-fhine. A common ftrumpet, fuch as this woman was formerly, may think nothing of all her bale and lewd behaviour. The moft notorious finner goes lightly under the burden of his fin, without any fell-condemnation, or felf-debafement, till Chrift and they meet together; and until he fhow them, by one glance, all things that ever they did.
2. Hence fee, the greatest of finners may conceive hope of mercy at the hand of our merciful Lord Jefus, from fuch inftances as this; yet, let not wicked finners indulge themselves in fin, and prefume that God will not notice their lewdnefs, and fecret as well as open wickednefs; for the time is coming, wherein Chrift will, either in a way of mercy or judgment, tell you all things that ever you did. Pfal. 1. 21. "Thofe things thou haft done, and I kept filence: thou thoughtft that I was altogether fuch an one as thyfelf: but I will reprove thee, and fet them in order before thine eyes. Confider this, ye that forget God, left he tear you in pieces, when there is none to deliver." If this remarkable inftance of grace, to fuch a bafe woman, be abufed by you to licentioufnefs, and your opening a door of prefumption to yourself, expecting mercy in a continued courfe of wickedness, you are under a terrible delufion; for, "God will wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy fcalp of him that goes on in his trefpaffes." But, if you would enter in at the door of hope that is opened to you, in fuch examples as this, O feek, that, in a merciful way, he may difcover your fins to you, fo as, to make you know, at the fame time, that he is the Chrift, the anointed of God, to fave you from your fin.
3. Hence fee, that the word preached doth then only do faving good, when it comes clofe home to the heart, and when Chrift is feen there for here, fee how the word of Chrift came home with power upon this woman's heart, He told me; be told me all things that ever