صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

meanest are to have the thing; the poorest are called to as great things, as the greatest king on earth.


6. Next, this is attributed to it, and it is indeed a great one, that it is the calling that Christ never repents. gifts and calling of God are without repentance," (Rom. xi. 29). He has put mercy as the clause of the covenant, that binds up his hands that he will never repent; "Mercy is built up for ever," (Psa. lxxxix. 2).

7. Lastly, it is a very powerful efficacious call, therefore Paul (in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, when praying for soul light to them), joins this in verse nineteenth, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward, who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead." This is that arm of the Lord that is revealed on the hearts of all those whom the Lord fetches home to himself, and whom he brings home over the head of all opposition. Now, a little we would say of


USE 1. Ye may take it in that word of the 26th of the Acts, verse 19, "I was not disobedient to the heavenly call." Is there such a call tendered to us from the Lord Jesus Christ? then, we beseech you, do not disobey nor resist. There are several sorts of disobeying and resisting of the call of God in scripture. We shall name some. 1. One is that which we may call wilful disobedienceso the scripture terms it. "He sent forth his servants, to call them that were bidden to the wedding, and they would not come," (Matt. xxii. 3). And Luke xix. 14, "We will not have this man to reign over us." There is a strong unwillingness in the heart of every natural man, yea, even of many under this precious gospel, that the business sticks directly at their wills. They are convinced the gospel is good, and if they will not believe, they will perish; yet, believe they will not. Surely we may know this from our own spirits, that our disobedience sticks directly at our will. The matter is not so much the world, and their idols,

which to many are a snare, but the direct contradiction to the call of the gospel, and on this account, the disobedience of their will. When he has broken the back of his will, it is well.

2. The next sort of disobedience is not so high. It is called an excuse, not directly disobedience (Luke xiv. 18): "The first said, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come." I mean, that disobedience that is in the souls of those who are tethered and snared with their lusts, and the world. They have no such direct contradiction with their heart, but with their lusts; they are snared and fettered, that they delay from day to day.

3. There is a third sort yet worse. We may say, there are many who not only excuse themselves being ensnared, but they are so far from giving obedience to the gospel, that they spit in Christ's face, and mock the call in the mouth of the Lord's messengers, through the inward serpentine hatred reigning in their souls against Christ and the gospel.

4. These three take up the greatest part of the world; but disobedience to the call of God reaches yet further, and doth fall on, or befall many of those that do belong to God, and that both before and after their conversion. There are not many who have been converted, but who before their conversion may tell something of that-that they have resisted the Holy Ghost, slighted Christ's call, and grieved his spirit.

We would sum up all this, with some arguments to one and all to give obedience to God's call. We cannot speak to every sort; but since it is a duty on us all, we shall speak to some few things we should do, if we would obey this invitation and call of Christ. For argument, take one from the 12th Chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, verse 25: "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh; for if

they escaped not, who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven." See that ye slight not his invitations, for why? dreadful indignation was on them that disobeyed Moses' law, that disobeyed him that spake on earth; how much more dreadful is it to refuse Christ speaking from heaven!

2. A second argument to persuade you to give obedience to this call, is in Psalm xlv. 10, "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house, so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty." If thou wilt give obedience to his call, it shall exceedingly engage the affection of his soul to thee; then shall the king greatly desire thy beauty. Oh, how much it shall engage Him, if thou wilt obey his heavenly call! thou shalt " ravish his heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck”—as it is in the next verse of the


3. Another argument is in Canticles vi. 10, 11, 12, "Who is he that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? I went down into the garden of nuts, to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded: or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib." While she is giving obedience to follow to the garden, she had this her soul formerly dead and benumbed, come to be as the chariots of Amminadib, quick and lively in the ways of the Lord. This advantage thou shalt have, if thou wilt come with him from Lebanon and the lions' dens. Strength shall be put into thy soul, whereby to run the way of his commandments.

4. A fourth argument is, Tell me in all the world where you will find such an offer? and tell me what will you do, if you embrace not this offer? Therefore choose you. We set before you life and death. If you obey the call of the gospel, your soul shall live (Isa. liii 3); but "if ye will not

believe that I am he, ye shall perish, and die in your sins," (John viii. 24).

The next thing is, What must we do, if we would be obedient to this heavenly call? We must come from Lebanon, and look from the top of Amana, and Shenir, and Hermon, and from the lions' dens; or,

1. In the Psalmist's words, that we would hearken, O sons and daughters, and forget our own people, and our father's house. There must be a forsaking of your former life; and say, with Ephraim, "What have I to do any more with idols?" (Hos. xiv. 8); these must be cast to the moles and to the bats, (Isa. ii. 20). Ye must defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold; thou must cast them away as a menstruous cloth, and must say unto it, Get thee hence! Ye must be denied to your sinful lusts, and forsake your father's house, so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty. "On man cannot serve two masters" (Matt. vi. 24), much less, one woman be wife to two husbands; therefore, come with him from Lebanon.

2. Next, you must engage yourself unto him; resolve to be for him, and not for another, so he will be for you. There must be a thorough resigning of yourself to him, no more to be your own, but his: "they gave their own selves to the Lord," (2 Cor. viii. 5). This is one great part of the mystery of godliness, to give our own selves to God; that is the same that you call personally covenanting the soul, and all it can make, to be wholly his.

3. A third thing is in Num. xiv. 24. Caleb had another spirit within him, and followed the Lord fully. It is to walk worthy of the Lord unto all well-pleasing (Col. i. 10), a thing far out of request even with many whom the Lord has done good to-the serious, giving of the soul wholly to please him.

4. One thing more, if ye would be obedient to this heavenly call that God lays much weight on, is, the holding up in your soul, throughout your days, and the tenor of your

life, a holy estimation of the grace of the covenant, and the low base condition of yourselves. "Unto you therefore he is precious, which believe," (1 Pet. ii. 7). "That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified towards thee, for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord," (Ezek. xvi. 36). And, "Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious," (1 Pet. ii. 7). And, "Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you; be ashamed and confounded for your own ways (Ezek. xxxvi. 32); but for my holy name's sake," (ver. 22). If any of these abate, presently obedience to the call of the gospel will abate.

Now, we would speak somewhat of the person with whom we are invited to come. The text lays much weight on it, "Come with me, even with me." It is not without cause doubled. What have ye to say of it? If ye would search all the book of God, if ye would search heaven and earth, ye will not find such a ME again. We thought to have spoken to this: Come with crucified and slain me. If there be any generosity in our hearts, sure I am, that what he has done will move us to give obedience to this heavenly invitation. He has done much for us, and will we refuse to come with him? If so, we shall be most abominably ungrateful. Next, as Come with me, who have no form nor beauty; that is the former consideration; so, Come with me, who have all form and beauty. He is " altogether lovely," (Cant. v. 16): in all the world ye will not find a match for him: it is a matchless beauty, that your hearts should rather fall a-wondering at, than expect we should say any thing of it. Then, Come with rich me. Ye know that word, "the unsearchable riches of Christ." There is abundance of most precious things, in him, of all things necessary for eternal life, all things that appertain to life and godliness. And what more? Come with strong and powerful me. He it is on whom strength is laid; "I have laid help upon one who is mighty," (Ps. lxxxix. 19, and 17).

« السابقةمتابعة »