« PreviousContinue »
than to procur
« And were by 113t
the children of wrath, even as others." Agair Jo
believe that altogether corrup.d unholy, and are utterly unable to make for surselves either a holy heart or life, that you ?
no more able to subdue a lust,
ourself a pardon, that the breaking of the pc r of sin is as far above thy reach, as the remov į the guilt of it? Eph. ii. 1.
" And you hath quickened, who were dead in trespasses and
Do you believe the docrine of salvation rough Jesus Christ, held forth in the gospel ? ou cannot believe in the Lord to falvation, by
as you give an affent to this doctrine by faith. Jhis is the bottom on which faith proceeds vhen laying hold of God in Christ.-Do you sieve, with full assurance, that there is no
o make miserable man happy again, but by thi enjoyment of God as his own God ? ( for the full assurance of this ! it would effectually determine those who are hanging on this day about the world's door, and that of their lusts.-Do
you believe that there is no other way to come to the enjoyment of God as our God, but through Jesus Christ, who was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem ? Acts, iv. 12. “ Neither is there falvation in any other ; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” If so, his name would be precious. Do you believe that there is no way to be saved from guilt, but by his righteousness, and from pollution, but by his Spirit ?
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he took upon him man's nature, and suffered in it to satisfy the justice of God, that he might thus by his blood bring finners again to God, to enjoy him as their God? Eph. ii. 13. “ But, now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far
off, are made nigh by the blood of Chrift."-Do you believe that the blood of Christ is the blood of God, and that therefore it is a cement truly sufficient to knit or join a holy just God, and any guilty sinner whatsoever, who comes unto God through him ? This is gospel-truth : John, i. 7. ~ And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”—Heb. vii. 25. “ Wherefore he is able also to save to the uttermost, all that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Believest thou this? If thou believest it not, how can it be expected that thou shouldst draw near to God, seeing the only way of access to God is to thy unbelieving heart not fufficient to bear the weight of a guilty soul? If thou fayest thou dost believe, then, to try this, I would ask thee, Dost thou believe that this blood is a cement sufficient to join thy guilty soul, even thine, to God ? to bear thy weight, who perhaps thinkest there was never one upon it with such a load of guilt ? If not, then thou dost not believe the doctrine of the gospel, Heb. vii. 25. already quoted.-If thou dost believe all this, then,
Do you also believe, that whatsoever guilty finner will come to God through him, may have the benefit of that sufficiency of his blood, that is, that God shall be his God, that he shall have the righteousness of God, even God-man, to cover all his sins, the Spirit of Christ to sanctify him, and make him like God? This is gospel-truth, Ifa. lv. 1.-3. Rev. iii. 18. and chap. xxii. 17. Do you believe this? If not, you cannot draw near to God indeed; it cannot be expected that you, who give no credit to his word, will venture on himself. But if you say you do believe, then doit thou also believe, that if thou comeft to God
through through him, thou, even thou, shalt have this benefit? If thou stoppest here, then I do not know but devils go farther in believing than thou dost, namely, to believe this general proposition, without excepting so much as thee. But thou, monstrous dishonourer of the blood of Christ, and the truth of God, read thy fin, tremble, and repent : 1 John, v. 10. “ He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." But if thou dost, with full afsurance, believe this, then what remains, but that thou draw near with full assurance of faith ? Take God in Chrift for thy God, without in the least doubting of thy welcome. - This drawing near with full assurance of faith is in its nature,
2. To claim God in Christ as your God, without doubting of your title. Having taken him as your God, do not stand debating whether or not he is yours; only believe, believe he is yours :
« Wilt thou not from this time to me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth?” What the better will you be of him, if he be not yours ? John, i. 12.“ But as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." I must content myself at this time, only to offer two or three things on this exercise : -As,
(1.) When thou takeft God for thy God in Christ with a true heart, canst thou doubt thy title, without dishonouring the blood of Christ and the truth of God? For these two do fecure it. Dost thou not so far dishonour him, who is set over the
bouse of God, when he has given thee the benefit of the covenant, even himself, in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwells, if thou doubteit of thy title to them, for so thou doft in effect. question his commission and right. Glorify the Son of God, then, and honour the infinite virtue and mcrit of his blood, by claiming God as your God upon this ground.
I know we are apt to think, we do but doubt the truth of our taking God in Chrift as our God. But do we doubt of the offer? Do we doubt of our soul's saying Amen to it on any terms? Do we not? Take heed, then, that the doubt run not upon another ground, whatever our unbelieving heart may suggest.
(2.) When thou dost sit down at the table of the Lord, thy soul hungering for Christ, the bread. and wine are given thee by his minifters in his name, and with his own words, « This is my body,” &c. doft thou believe these words? If thou doft believe them, thou darest not, with many profane spectators and communicants, also look. upon these sacred fymbols as naked signs of Christ's body and blood, but must believe, that by, and. with these signs, the body and blood of Christ, which were never separated from his Godhead since they were first united, are really and truly exhibited, and given to thee, to thy faith, and thou : receiving the fame in faith, art as really made partaker of his body and blood, as thou art of that bread and wine : 1 Cor. x. 16: “ The cup of. blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” What, then, should hinder thee to claim God as thy God in Christ, without doubting of your title, when you have a sealed gift of him made you by his authority before the world,
angels, and men ?---This drawing near with full assurance of faith is in its nature,
3. To improve your interest claimed, without doubting of success. Feed with a fear of circumspection ; but the less unbelieving fear, the betThis
you are to do still in the way of believing, believing the promises, without doubting of their being accomplished to you for time and for eternity, for grace and glory : Matth. xxi. 22. “ And all things whatsoever ye shall alk in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Rely on the word of grace, the covenant in his blood, that for as poor and mean as you may appear this day, ye shall be pillars in the temple of God, seeing he has said it; for as black and deformed as you are this day, ye shall shine as the stars for ever and ever. Is there a luft, or lufts, you would have fubdued, believe, with full assurance of faith, the promise fuited to that case, as in Mic. vii. 19. “ He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their fins into the depths of the sea.” And so in other cases.
What way can one imagine we should luck the sap of these promises, but by believing them, and so relying and trusting on the Lord according to his word? The heavenly treasures contained in them are unseen things, they are known to us only by the testimony of the word, and the inward fenfation which they experience upon believing them. How, then, can we think to get the benefit of them, but in the way of believing them ? Suppose some rich prince beyond seas, who can, nevertheless, at any time convey his treasures hither, should find means to get proclaimed among a company of poor people here, that, whosoever will take him, and him only, for their Provider,