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God will treat with you no more, when a gulph shall be fix ed betwixt him and you for ever, Luke xvi. 26. O what will you do when the season of mercy, and all hopes of mercy, fhall end together! When God thall become inacceffible, inex orable, and unreconcilable to you for evermore.
O what wilt thou do, when thou shalt find thyfelf shut up under eternal wrath when thou shalt feel that mifery thou art warned of! Is this the place where I must be! Are these the torments I must endure! What, for ever! yea, for ever: Will pot God be fatisfied with the fufferings of a thoufand years? no, por millions of years! Ah finners, did you but clearly fee the prefent and future mifery of unreconciled ones, 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 Chrift, 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 caufing his infinite power to avenge the abufe 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 know the time of your visitation! That you would not dare to adventure, and run the hazard of one day more in an unreconciled ftate.
Thirdly, and laftly, This point fpeaks to thofe who have be lieved our report, who have taken hold of God's ftrength, 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.
Firth, Admire and ftand amazed at this mercy. " I will praise thee, O Lord, (faith the church, Ifa. xii. 1.) Though "thou waft angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and "thou comforteft me." O how 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. At peace with you, and at enmity with millions as good by nature as you at peace with you that fought it not: at peace for ever; no diffolving this friendship for evermore. O let this confideration melt your hearts before the Lord, and make you cry, What am I, Lord, that mercy fhould take in me, and thut out 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!
Secondly, Beware of new breaches with God: God will speak peace to his people, and to his faints: but let them not turn again to folly," Pfal. lxxxv. 8. What tho' this state of friendfhip can never be diffolved, yet it is a dreadful thing to have it clouded: you may lofe the fenfe 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: efpecially those that are endeared to you by the bonds of natural relation': When Paul was reconciled to God himself, his heart was full of heaviness for others that were not reconciled; for his " bre "thren and kinfmen according to the flesh," Rom. ix. 2, 3 When Abraham was become God's friend himself, then, "that Ifhmael might live before thee!" Gen, xvii. 18.
Fourthly and laftly, "Let your reconciliation with God re<i lieve you under all burdens of affliction you fhall meet with "in your way to heaven:" Let them that are at enmity 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 nothing can comfort a man that must go to hell at last, so nothing should deject a man that fhall, through many troubles, at last, reach heaven.
Explaining the Work of the Spirit, as the internal, and moft effectual Means of the Application of CHRIST.
JOHN vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath fent me, draw him.
UR last discourse informed you of the usefulness and influence of the preaching of the gofpel, in order to the ape plication of Chrift to the fouls 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 Chrift in itself, and in its own virtue, except a fupernatural, and mighty power, go forth with it, for that end and purpose. Let Boanerges and Barnabas try their ftrength, let
the angels of heaven be the preachers; till God draw, the foul cannot come to Chrift.
No faving benefit is to be had by Chrift, without union with his person, no union with his perfon without faith, no faith, or dinarily wrought, without the preaching of the gofpel by Christ's ambafadors, their preaching hath no faving efficacy, without God's drawings, as will evidently appear, by confidering thefe words, and the occafion of them.
The occafion of these words is found (as learned * Cameron well obferves) in the 42d verfe. "And they faid, is not this Jefus "the fon of Jofeph, whofe father and mother we know?" Christ had been preffing upon them in his ministry, the great and ne ceffary duty of faith; but notwithstanding the authority of the preacher; the holiness of his life; the miracles by which he confirmed his doctrine; they still objected against him, “is not this "the carpenter's Son?" From whence Chrift takes occafion for these words; "No man can come unto me, except my Father "which hath fent me, draw him," q. d. In vain is the authority of my perfon urged; in vain are all the miracles wrought in your fight, to confirm the doctrine preached to you; till that fecret, almighty power of the Spirit be put forth upon your hearts, you will not, you cannot, come unto me.
The words are a negative propofition.
In which the author, and powerful manner of divine operati, 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 confider them in the order they lie in the text.
Ouders-No Man] not one, let his natural qualifications 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 perfons, in all ages, need the fame power of God, one as well as another; every man is alike dead, impotent, and averse to faith in his natural capacity. No man, or-not one, among the fons of men.
Avvaras,--Can] or is able: he speaks of impotency to special and faving actions, fuch as believing in Chrift is: no act that is faving, can be done without the concurrence of fpecial grace. Other acts that have a remote tendency to it, are performed by a more general concourfe and common affiftance; fo meu may come to the word, and attend to what is fpoken, remember, and confider what the word tells them; but as to believing or com
Cameronis Myrothee. p. 139.
ing to Chrift, that no man can do of himself, or by a general and common affiftance.
No man can.
Egdeiv xрos μe, Come unto me] (i. e.) believe in me unto falvation. Coming to Chrift, and believing in him, are terms aequipollent, and are indifferently ufed to exprefs the nature of faving faith, as is plain ver. 35. "He that cometh to me, shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me fhall never thirst:" it notes the terms from which, and to which the foul moves, and the voluntarinefs of the motion, notwithstanding that divine. power, by which the will is drawn to Christ.
Ear μno Пατnр,---Except my Father] not excluding the other. two perfons; for every work of God relating to the creatures, is common to all the three perfons: nor only to note that the Father is the first in order of working: but the reason is hinted in the next words.
O pas μs who hath sent me,] God hath entered into. covenant with the Son, and fent him, stands obliged thereby, to bring the promised seed to him, and that he doth by drawing them to Christ by faith: fo the next words tells us the Father doth. Ελκυση αυτόν. Draw him.] That is powerfully and effectually incline his will to come to Chrift: "+ Not by a violent "coaction, but by a benevolent bending of the will which was "averfe;" and as it is not in the way of force and compulfion, fo neither is it by a fimple moral fuafion, by the bare propofal of an object to the will, and fo leaving the finner to his own electi on; but it is fuch a perfuafion, as hath a mighty overcoming efficacy accompanying it: of which more anon,
The words thus opened, the obfervation will be this:
Doct. That it is utterly impoffible for any man to come to Jefus Chrift, unless he be drawn unto him by the fpecial and mighty power of God.
No man is compelled to come to Chrift against his will, he that cometh, comes willingly, but even that will, and defire 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 defire the help and affiftance of grace, (faith Ful
+ Non violenta coactio immediata, fed voluntatis a Deo averfæ benevola flectio. Glaf. Rhet. Sacra p. 236.
Ut ergo defideremus adjutorium, hoc quoque eft gratia; ipfa Bamque incipit effundi, ut incipiat posci. Fulgen. Epist. 6. ad Theod.
gentius) even the defire is of grace; grace must first be shed "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. fuppose the utmost degree of natural ability; let a man be as much difpofed and prepared, as nature can difpofe or prepare him, and to all this, add the propofal of the greatest arguments, and motives, to induce him to come; let all these have the advantage of the fittest season to work upon his heart; yet no man can come till God draw him: we move as we are moved; as Chrift's coming to us, fo our coming to him are the pure 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 Christ. 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 confidered, that drawing is ufually diftinguished into phyfical and moral. The former is, either by co-action, force, and compulfion: or, by a fweet, congruous efficacy upon the will. As to violence and compulfion, it is none of God's way and method, it being both against the nature of the will of man, which cannot be forced, and against the will of Jefus Chrift, who loves to reign over a free and willing people, Pfal. ex. 5. "Thy people fhall be willing in "the day of thy power." Or, as that word may be rendered, they fhall be voluntarineffes, 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 Jefus 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 conIcience, and effectual perfuafion of the will.
But yet by moral perfuafion, we must not understand a fimple and bare propofal, or tender of Chrift and grace, leaving it still at the finner's choice, whether he will comply with it or For though God does not force the will contrary to its nature, 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 faw thus; for all truth hath a power of inclining the mind to affent; the greater truth, the greater power, and the greateft 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 ift Mantuanus de patientia, lib. 3. cap. 2.