« السابقةمتابعة »
lofe and ruin your fouls, O receive the word of falvation. It is a coftly falvation; it comes running in the channel of the blood of Chrift. It is bought to your hand, and free to you, however dear bought by the Redeemer. You have nothing to pay for it; the price of it is paid already; the condition of it is fulfilled.It is a complete falvation; falvation from every thing you need to be faved from: falvation from unbelief, enmity, atheism, heart-hardness, heart-deadness, and every thing that you make an objection against receiving of this falvation. You fay you cannot believe, you cannot repent; but would you be faved from your unbelief and impenitence? This, and all the other branches of falvation is fent to you, when the word of falvation is fent. Will you welcome a Saviour to fave you from all, to be wifdom, and righteousness, and fanctification, and redemption, and all to you? It is an everlasting salvation. Would you be happy after death, and have an eternity of happiness? "Life and immortality is brought to light by this word of falvation." O poor dying finner, confider what an everlasting falvation this is.
(2.) Confider what need thou haft of this falvation. Thou haft a dark mind; and needeft falvation from that darkness and ignorance. Thou haft a guilty conscience; and needeft falvation from that guilt. Thou haft a hard heart; and needeft falvation from that hardnefs. Thou haft powerful and ftrong corruption; and needeft falvation from that. Thou haft a corrupt nature; and needest falvation from that. Thou haft many heart-plagues ; and needeft falvation from thefe plagues, and healing. Behold, all this falvation, and infinitely more, comes with the word of falvation; no falvation thou needeft is excepted. Thy need is great, death is at hand, judgment at hand: "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of falvation." There will be no word in the day of judgment to finners, but a word of condemnation; "Depart from me, ye curfed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels :" but now, in the day of falvation, is fent to you this word of falvation; now, now is the day; and, perhaps, now or never.
(3.) Confider what a firm ground this word of falva
tion is for faith to build upon. It is the word of God; the God that cannot lye. It is ratified by the oath of God. It is a word confirmed by the blood of the Son of God. It is a word attefted by the Three that bear record in heaven. It is a word spoken by the infpiration of the Spirit of God, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit faith to the churches. The Spirit and the bride fay, Come;" come and hear this word of falvation; come and believe; come and apply to thyfelf what is offered to thee.
(4-) Confider the good warrant you have to intermeddle with this word of falvation. It is fent to you on purpose that you may believe it with application to yourself; and that every one of you, thou man, thou woman, may take it home to thy own heart; for, To thee is the word of falvation fent. To thee is this love-letter fent from heaven. Read the indorfement, and fee if it be not to thee.-It is backed to thee, O guilty finner, faying, "Chrift came to fave finners."-It is backed to thee, O inhabitant of the earth, that art not yet in hell; "Look to me and be faved, all the ends of the earth."-It is backed to thee, O fcorner, that haft hitherto been a mocker of God and godlinefs; Wifdom crieth without, fhe uttereth her voice in the streets: How long, ye fimple ones, will yè love fimplicity and the fcorners delight in their fcorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold I will pour out my Spirit unto you; I will make known my words unto you," Prov. j. 20. 22, 23.—It is backed to thee, O rebellious finner. If thou wert excepted, all mankind would be fo: behold, Chrift hath afcended up on high, led captivity captive, and received gifts. for men, even for the rebellious, that God the Lord might dwell among them."-It is backed for thee, O black and bloody finner; "Come now and let us reason together, faith the Lord; tho' your fins be as fcarlet, they fhall be as white as fnow; tho' they be red like crimfon, they fhall be as wool," Ifa. i. 18.It is backed to thee, O finner that art thirsting after other things than Chrift; Ifaiah lv. 1, 2. "Ho, every one that thirfteth, come. Wherefore spend you your money for that which is not
bread? &c. Wherefore do ye thirft and pant after other things that cannot give you fatisfaction?"-Yea, it is backed for thee, O unhumbled, unconvinced finner. Say not that it cannot concern thee, because thou art not convinced of thy fin: O! the word of falvation comes even to thee alfo; Rev. iii. 18. "I counfel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire; that thou mayft be rich; eyefalve, that thou mayft fee; and white raiment that thou mayft be clothed." Even to thee that, as in the preceding verfe, art faying, that thou art rich and increafed with goods, and ftandeft in need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miferable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Unconcerned finner, to thee, even thee, is the word of this falvation fent. Is this love-letter backed for thee? O then know, that tho' you have no will, you have a warrant to receive it, and Chrift in it. If you reject this word of falvation, it is either becaufe you will not, or dare not, or cannot receive it.
If you fay, you will not take it to you, then remember you are fubfcribing your own doom. And I take inftruments against you, that you will not have falvation; you will not come to Chrift that you may have life; you are preferring fome base luft to the Lord of glory, and fo preferring, of confequence, damnation to falvation, death to life.
If it be not a will of obftinacy, but of impotency, faying, Oh! if my will were fubdued; behold, the word of falvation comes with falvation from that plague of unwillingness, faying, "Thy people fhall be willing in the day of thy power:" and, To you is the word of this falvation fent, that you may welcome it; and fo far as you welcome it, fo far are you willing.
If you fay you dare not take the word to yourself, as the word of falvation to you why dare you not do what God enjoins you? Why dare you not take what God offers you? How durft you fin against God, when he forbad you? And now you dare not take his word for your falvation, when he requires you! How durft you venture on his fury againft his command? And now you dare not venture on his favour, through Chrift, at his call and command? Was it not enough to
offend his juftice? And will you now venture to flight his mercy? This is worfe than all your former fins, to refufe falvation that he freely offers from the guilt of
If you fay you cannot, because of utter impotency, that fhall be no ftop. You cannot believe, you cannot come to Chrift; but, as the word of falvation is fent to you, fo falvation is come to you, because you cannot come to it. The Saviour is come to you, because you cannot come to him: are you for him? The word of falvation is a word of power, and drawing power is in it, to draw you that cannot come : When I am lifted up, I will draw all men after me." Are you willing to be drawn? Then the word of falvation hatli fo far taken effect upon you, as to remove your unwillingness and to make you willing. Look for another pull of omnipotency; for the word of falvation is a word of omnipotency: It is the almighty word of the almighty God. Saving power, drawing power is in it. Welcome it as fuch; and, in due time, you fhall be able as well as willing. Your faith is not to be acted in the fense of felf-ability and fufficiency, but in the fenfe of felf-inability and infufficiency. "Our fufficiency is of God;" falvation is of God; faving faith is of God; "All things are of God, who hath given to us the miniftry of reconciliation," 2 Cor. v. 18. and given to you this word of falvation: and it contains all your falvation. And if any part of it were left to you, it would not contain all your falvation. What you cannot do, this falvation can; therefore receive it, and blefs God for it, that To you is the word of this falvation fent.
GOSPEL-COMPULSION; or, MINISTERIAL POWER AND AUTHORITY.*
LUKE XIV. 23.
-Compel them to come in, that my boufe may be filled.
Y friends, though the work of fequeftrating fome to the MINISTERIAL OFFICE, be ordinary in the church of Chrift, yet the occafion and circumstances of this work to-day, among our hands, is extraordinary in many refpects, in fo much that there was fcarce ever a parallel it hath had in Scotland. But, as extraordinary cafes require extraordinary fervices; fo, it is matter of lamentation, that the defections and corruptions of the times fhould make it not only highly expedient, but abfolutely neceffary, for the relief of Chrift's scattered
* This fermon was preached at the Ordination of Mr. John Hunter, to the Paftoral Office, in the united congregations of Morbottle and Stitchel, by appointment of the Affociate Prefbytery, on the 17th Oct. 1739. being set apart for, and observed as a day of, fafting and prayer at Gateshaw. The first edition of the fermon acquaints us, that it was published at the earneft defire, and repeated entreaty, of a great many hearers. To which is fubjoined an Appendix, directed more especially to the united focieties in and about the forefaid Morbottle and Stitchel, upon account of the much lamented death of the above Rev. Mr. John Hunter, who deceafed Jan. 7th, 1740.; not having been four complete months ordained minifter..