COME AND WELCOME TO JESUS CHRIST
"ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVETH ME SHALL COME TO ME; AND HIM THAT COMETH TO ME I
WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT." - JOHN 6:37.
A little before, in this chapter, you may read that the Lord Jesus walked on the
sea to go to Capernaum, having sent his disciples before in a ship, but the wind
was contrary; by which means the ship was hindered in her passage. Now, about
the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came walking upon the sea, and overtook
them; at the sight of whom they were afraid.
Note, When providences are black and terrible to God's people, the Lord Jesus
shows himself to them in wonderful manner; the which sometimes they can as
little bear, as they can the things that were before terrible to them. They were
afraid of the wind and the water; they were also afraid of their Lord and
Saviour, when he appeared to them in that state.
But he said, "Be not afraid, it is I."
Note, That the end of the appearing of the Lord Jesus unto his people, though
the manner of his appearing be never so terrible, is to allay their fears and
Then they received him into the ship, and immediately the ship was at land
whither it went.
Note, When Christ is absent from his people, they go on but slowly, and with
great difficulty; but when he joineth himself unto them, oh! how fast they steer
their course! how soon are they at their journey's end! 1
The people now among whom he last preached, when they saw that both Jesus was
gone and his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking
for Jesus. And when they had found him, they wonderingly asked him, "Rabbi, when
camest thou hither?" but the Lord Jesus, slighting their compliment, answered,
"Verily, verily, ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did
eat of the loaves, and were filled."
Note, A people may follow Christ far for base ends, as these went after him
beyond sea for loaves. A man's belly will carry him a great way in religion;
yea, a man's belly will make him venture far for Christ.
Note again, They are not feigning compliments, but gracious intentions, that
crown the work in the eye of Christ; or thus, it is not the toil and business of
professors, 2 but their love to him, that makes him approve of them.
Note again, When men shall look for friendly entertainment at Christ's hand, if
their hearts be rotten, even then will they meet with a check and rebuke. "Ye
seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves,
and were filled."
Yet observe again, He doth not refuse to give, even to these, good counsel: he
bids them labour for the meat that endureth to eternal life. Oh! how willingly
would Jesus Christ have even those professors that come to him with pretences
only, come to him sincerely, that they may be saved.
The text, you will find, is, after much more discourse with and about this
people, and it is uttered by the Lord Jesus as the conclusion of the whole, and
intimateth that, since they were professors in pretence only, and therefore such
as his soul could not delight in, as such, that he would content himself with a
remnant that his Father had bestowed upon him. As who should say, I am not like
to be honoured in your salvation; but the Father hath bestowed upon me a people,
and they shall come to me in truth, and in them will I be satisfied. The text,
therefore, may be called Christ's repose; in the fulfilling whereof he resteth
himself content, after much labour and many sermons spent, as it were, in vain.
As he saith by the prophet, "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength
for nought, and in vain" (Isa 49:4).
But as there he saith, "My judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God;"
so in the text he saith, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and
him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." By these words, therefore,
the Lord Jesus comforteth himself under the consideration of the dissimulation
of some of his followers. He also thus betook himself to rest under the
consideration of the little effect that his ministry had in Capernaum, Chorazin,
and Bethsaida: "I thank thee, O Father," said he, "Lord of heaven and earth,
because thou has hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed
them unto babes; even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight" (Matt
11:25; Luke 10:21).
The text, in the general, standeth of TWO PARTS, and hath special respect to the
Father and the Son; as also to their joint management of the salvation of the
people: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to
me I will in no wise cast out." The first part of the text, as is evident,
respecteth the Father and his gift; the other part the Son and his reception of
FIRST, For the gift of the Father there is this to be considered, to wit, the
gift itself; and that is the gift of certain persons to the Son. The Father
giveth, and that gift shall come: "And him that cometh." The gift, then, is of
persons; the Father giveth persons to Jesus Christ.
SECOND, Next you have the Son's reception of this gift, and that showeth itself
in these particulars: -1. In his hearty acknowledgement of it to be a gift: "The
Father giveth me." 2. In his taking notice, after a solemn manner, of all and
every part of the gift: "All that the Father giveth me." 3. In his resolution to
bring them to himself: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me." 4. And
in his determining that not anything shall make him dislike them in their
coming: "And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
These things might be spoken to at large, as they are in this method presented
to view: but I shall choose to speak to the words, FIRST, BY WAY OF EXPLICATION.
SECOND, BY WAY OF OBSERVATION.
[FIRST, THE TEXT TREATED BY WAY OF EXPLICATION.]
[THE EXTENT OF THE GIFT.]
"All that the Father giveth me." This word all, is often used in Scripture, and
is to be taken more largely, or more strictly, even as the truth or argument,
for the sake of which it is made use of, will bear. Wherefore, that we may the
better understand the mind of Christ in the use of it here, we must consider,
that it is limited and restrained only to those that shall be saved, to wit, to
those that shall come to Christ; even to those whom he will "in no wise cast
out." Thus, also, the words all Israel, is sometimes to be taken, although
sometimes it is taken for the whole family of Jacob. "And so all Israel shall be
saved" (Rom 11:26). By all Israel here, he intendeth not all of Israel, in the
largest sense; "for they are not all Israel which are of Israel;" "neither
because they are of the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, In Isaac
shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh,
these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted
for the seed" (Rom 9:6-8).
This word ALL, therefore, must be limited and enlarged, as the truth and
argument, for the sake of which it is used, will bear; else we shall abuse
Scripture, and readers, and ourselves, and all. "And I, if I be lifted up from
the earth," said Christ, "will draw ALL men unto me" (John 12:32). Can any man
imagine, that by ALL, in this place, he should mean all and every individual man
in the world, and not rather that all that is consonant to the scope of the
place? And if, by being "lifted up from the earth," he means, as he should seem,
his being taken up into heaven; and if, by "drawing ALL men after him," he meant
a drawing them unto that place of glory; then must he mean by ALL men, those,
and only those, that shall in truth be eternally saved from the wrath to come.
"For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all"
(Rom 11:32). Here again you have all and all, two alls; but yet a greater
disparity between the all made mention of in the first place, and that all made
mention of the second. Those intended in this text are the Jews, even all of
them, by the first all that you find in the words. The second all doth also
intend the same people; but yet only so many of them as God will have mercy
upon. "He hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon
all." The all also in the text, is likewise to be limited and restrained to the
saved, and to them only. But again; -
The word "giveth," or "hath given," must be restrained, after the same manner,
to the same limited number. "All that the Father giveth me." Not all that are
given, if you take the gift of the Father to the Son in the largest sense; for
in that sense there are many given to him that shall never come unto him; yea,
many are given unto him that he will "cast out." I shall, therefore, first show
you the truth of this; and then in what sense the gift in the text must be
First, [ALL cannot be intended in its largest sense.] That ALL that are given to
Christ, if you take the gift of the Father to him in the largest sense, cannot
be intended in the text, is evident -
1. Because, then, all the men, yea, all the things in the world, must be saved.
"All things," saith he, "are delivered unto me of my Father" (Matt 11:27). This,
I think, no rational man in the world will conclude. Therefore, the gift
intended in the text must be restrained to some, to a gift that is given by way
of speciality by the Father to the Son.
2. It must not be taken for ALL, that in any sense are given by the Father to
him, because the Father hath given some, yea, many to him, to be dashed in
pieces by him. "Ask of me," said the Father to him, "and I shall give thee the
heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy
possession." But what must be done with them? must he save them all? No. "Thou
shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a
potter's vessel" (Psa 2). This method he useth not with them that he saveth by
his grace, but with those that himself and saints shall rule over in justice and
severity (Rev 2:26,27). Yet, as you see, "they are given to him." Therefore, the
gift intended in the text must be restrained to some, to a gift that is given by
way of speciality by the Father to the Son.
In Psalm 18 he saith plainly, that some are given to him that he might destroy
them. "Thou hast given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them
that hate me" (verse 40). These, therefore, cannot be of the number of those
that are said to be given in the text; for those, even ALL of them, shall come
to him, "and he will in no wise cast them out."
3. Some are given to Christ, that he by them might bring about some of his high
and deep designs in the world. Thus Judas was given to Christ, to wit, that by
him, even as was determined before, he might bring about his death, and so the
salvation of his elect by his blood. Yea, and Judas must so manage this
business, as that he must lose himself for ever in bringing it to pass.
Therefore the Lord Jesus, even in his losing of Judas, applies himself to the
judgment of his Father, if he had not in that thing done that which was right,
even in suffering of Judas so to bring about his Master's death, as that he
might, by so doing, bring about his own eternal damnation also.
"Those," said he, "that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost,
but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (John 17:12).
Let us, then, grant that Judas was given to Christ, but not as others are given
to him, not as those made mention of in the text; for then he should have failed
to have been so received by Christ, and kept to eternal life. Indeed, he was
given to Christ; but he was given to him to lose him, in the way that I have
mentioned before; he was given to Christ, that he by him might bring about his
own death, as was before determined; and that in the overthrow of him that did
it. Yea, he must bring about his own death, as was before determined, and that
in the overthrow of him that did it. Yea, he must bring about his dying for us
in the loss of the instrument that betrayed him, that he might even fulfil the
Scripture in his destruction, as well as in the salvation of the rest. "And none
of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be
[Second, Those intended as the gift.] -The gift, therefore, in the text, must
not be taken in the largest sense, but even as the words will bear, to wit, for
such a gift as he accepteth, and promiseth to be an effectual means of eternal
salvation to. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that
cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Mark! they shall come that are in
special given to me; and they shall by no means be rejected. For this is the
substance of the text.
Those, therefore, intended as the gift in the text, are those that are given by
covenant to the Son; those that in other places are called "the elect," "the
chosen," "the sheep," and "the children of the promise," &c. These be they that
the Father hath given to Christ to keep them; those that Christ hath promised
eternal life unto; those to whom he hath given his word, and that he will have
with him in his kingdom to behold his glory.
"This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given
me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day" (John
6:39). "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither
shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is
greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand"
(John 10:28). "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give
eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. Thine they were, and thou gavest
them me, and they have kept thy word; I pray for them: I pray not for the world,
but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are
thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." "Keep through thine own
name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." "Father, I
will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they
may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the
foundation of the world" (John 17:1,6,9,10,24).
All these sentences are of the same import with the text; and the alls and
manies, those, they, &c., in these several sayings of Christ, are the same with
all the given in the text. "All that the Father giveth."
So that, as I said before, the word ALL, as also other words, must not be taken
in such sort as our foolish fancies or groundless opinions will prompt us to,
but do admit of an enlargement or a restriction, according to the true meaning
and intent of the text. We must therefore diligently consult the meaning of the
text, by comparing it with other the sayings of God; so shall we be better able
to find out the mind of the Lord, in the word which he has given us to know it
[THE PERSON GIVING, THE FATHER.]
"All that the Father giveth." By this word "Father," Christ describeth the
person giving; by which we may learn several useful things.
First, That the Lord God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is concerned with
the Son in the salvation of his people. True, his acts, as to our salvation, are
diverse from those of the Son; he was not capable of doing that, or those things
for us, as did the Son; he died not, he spilt not blood for our redemption, as
the Son; but yet he hath a hand, a great hand, in our salvation too. As Christ
saith, "The Father himself loveth you," and his love is manifest in choosing of
us, in giving of us to his Son; yea, and in giving his Son also to be a ransom
for us. Hence he is called, "The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort."
For here even the Father hath himself found out, and made way for his grace to
come to us through the sides and the heart-blood of his well-beloved Son (Col
1:12-14). The Father, therefore, is to be remembered and adored, as one having a
chief hand in the salvation of sinners. We ought to give "thanks unto the
Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints
in light" (Col 1:12). For "the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the
world" (John 4:14). As also we see in the text, the "Father giveth" the sinner
to Christ to save him.
Second, Christ Jesus the Lord, by this word "Father," would familiarize this
giver to us. Naturally the name of God is dreadful to us, especially when he is
discovered to us by those names that declare his justice, holiness, power, and
glory; but now this word "Father" is a familiar word, it frighteth not the
sinner, but rather inclineth his heart to love, and be pleased with the
remembrance of him. Hence Christ also, when he would have us to pray with godly
boldness, puts this word "Father" into our mouths; saying, "When ye pray, say,
Our Father which art in heaven;" concluding thereby, that by the familiarity
that by such a word is intimated, the children of God may take more boldness to
pray for, and ask great things. I myself have often found, that when I can say
but this word Father, it doth me more good than when I call him by any other
Scripture name. It is worth your noting, that to call God by his relative title
was rare among the saints in Old Testament times. Seldom do you find him called
by this name; no, sometimes not in three or four books: but now in New Testament
times, he is called by no name so often as this, both by the Lord Jesus himself,
and by the apostles afterwards. Indeed, the Lord Jesus was he that first made
this name common among the saints, and that taught them, both in their
discourses, their prayers, and in their writings, so much to use it; it being
more pleasing to, and discovering more plainly our interest in, God, than any
other expression; for by this one name we are made to understand that all our
mercies are the offspring of God, and that we also that are called are his
children by adoption.
[Import of the word GIVETH.] -"All that the Father giveth."
This word "giveth" is out of Christ's ordinary dialect, and seemeth to intimate,
at the first sound, as if the Father's gift to the Son was not an act that is
past, but one that is present and continuing; when, indeed, this gift was
bestowed upon Christ when the covenant, the eternal covenant, was made between
them before all worlds. Wherefore, in those other places, when this gift is
mentioned, it is still spoken of, as of an act that is past; as, "All that he
hath give me; to as many as thou hast given me; thou gavest them me; and those
which thou hast given me." Therefore, of necessity, this must be the first and
chief sense of the text; I mean of this word "giveth," otherwise the doctrine of
election, and of the eternal covenant which was made between the Father and the
Son, in which covenant this gift of the Father is most certainly comprised, will
be shaken, or at leastwise questionable, by erroneous and wicked men: for they
may say, That the Father gave not all those to Christ that shall be saved,
before the world was made; for that this act of giving is an act of
continuation. 3 But again, this word "giveth" is not to be rejected, for it hath
its proper use, and may signify to us -
1. That though the act of giving among men doth admit of the time past, or the
time to come, and is to be spoken of with reference to such time; yet with God
it is not so. Things past, or things to come, are always present with God, and
with his Son Jesus Christ: He "calleth those things which be not," that is, to
us, "as though they were" (Rom 4:17). And again, "Known unto God are all his
works from the beginning of the world." All things to God are present, and so
the gift of the Father to the Son, although to us, as is manifest by the word,
it is an act that is past (Acts 15:16).
2. Christ may express himself thus, to show, that the Father hath not only given
him this portion in the lump, before the world was, but that those that he had
so given, he will give him again; that is, will bring them to him at the time of
their conversion; for the Father bringeth them to Christ (John 6:44). As it is
said, "She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needle-work;" that is,
in the righteousness of Christ; for it is God that imputeth that to those that
are saved (Psa 45:14; 1 Cor 1). A man giveth his daughter to such a man, first
in order to marriage, and this respects the time past, and he giveth her again
at the day appointed in marriage. And in this last sense, perhaps, the text may
have a meaning; that is, that all that the Father hath, before the world was,
given to Jesus Christ, he giveth them again to him in the day of their
Things that are given among men, are ofttimes best at first; to wit, when they
are new; and the reason is, because all earthly things wax old; but with Christ
it is not so. This gift of the Father is not old and deformed, and unpleasant in
his eyes; and therefore to him it is always new. When the Lord spake of giving
the land of Canaan to the Israelites, he saith not, that he had given, or would
give it to them, but thus: "The Lord thy God giveth thee - this good land" (Deut
9:6). Not but that he had given it to them, while they were in the loins of
their fathers, hundreds of years before. Yet he saith now he giveth it to them;
as if they were now also in the very act of taking possession, when as yet they
were on the other side Jordan. What then should be the meaning? Why, I take it
to be this. That the land should be to them always as new; as new as if they
were taking possession thereof but now. And so is the gift of the Father,
mentioned in the text, to the Son; it is always new, as if it were always new.
"All that the Father giveth me." In these words you find mention made of two
persons, the Father and the Son; the Father giving, and the Son receiving or
accepting of this gift. This, then, in the first place, clearly demonstrateth,
that the Father and the Son, though they, with the Holy Ghost, are one and the
same eternal God; yet, as to their personality, are distinct. The Father is one,
the Son is one, the Holy Spirit is one. But because there is in this text
mention made but of two of the three, therefore a word about these two. The
giver and receiver cannot be the same person in a proper sense, in the same act
of giving and receiving. He that giveth, giveth not to himself, but to another;
the Father giveth not to the Father, to wit, to himself, but to the Son: the Son
receiveth not of the Son, to wit, of himself, but of the Father: so when the
Father giveth commandment, he giveth it not to himself, but to another; as
Christ saith, "He gave me a commandment" (John 12:49). So again, "I am one that
bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me" (John
Further, here is something implied that is not expressed, to wit, that the
Father hath not given all men to Christ; that is, in that sense as it is
intended in this text, though in a larger, as was said before, he hath given him
every one of them; for then all should be saved: he hath, therefore, disposed of
some another way. He gives some up to idolatry; he gives some up to uncleanness,
to vile affections, and to a reprobate mind. Now these he disposeth of in his
anger, for their destruction, that they may reap the fruit of their doings, and
be filled with the reward of their own ways (Acts 7:42; Rom 1:24,26,28). But
neither hath he thus disposed of all men; he hath even of mercy reserved some
from these judgments, and those are they that he will pardon, as he saith, "For
I will pardon them whom I reserve" (Jer 50:20). Now these he hath given to Jesus
Christ, by will, as a legacy and portion. Hence the Lord Jesus says, "This is
the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I
should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day" (John 6:39).
[THE FATHER'S INTENT IN GIVING.]
The Father, therefore, in giving of them to him to save them, must needs declare
unto us these following things: -
First, That he is able to answer this design of God, to wit, to save them to the
uttermost sin, the uttermost temptation, &c. (Heb 7:25). Hence he is said to lay
"help upon one that is mighty," "mighty to save" (Psa 89:19; Isa 63:1) and hence
it is again, that God did even of old promise to send his people "a Saviour, a
great one" (Isa 19:20). To save is a great work, and calls for almightiness in
the undertaker: hence he is called the "Mighty God, the wonderful Counsellor,"
&c. Sin is strong, Satan is also strong, death and the grave are strong, and so
is the curse of the law; therefore it follows, that this Jesus must needs be, by
God the Father, accounted almighty, in that he hath given his elect to him to
save them, and deliver them from these, and that in despite of all their force
And he gave us testimony of this his might, when he was employed in that part of
our deliverance that called for a declaration of it. He abolished death; he
destroyed him that had the power of death; he was the destruction of the grave;
he hath finished sin, and made an end of it, as to its damning effects upon the
persons that the Father hath given him; he hath vanquished the curse of the law,
nailed it to his cross, triumphed over them upon his cross, and made a show of
these things openly (2 Tim 1:10; Heb 2:14,15; Hosea 13:14; Dan 9:24; Gal 3:13;
Col 2:14,15). Yea, and even now, as a sign of his triumph and conquest, he is
alive from the dead, and hath the keys of hell and death in his own keeping (Rev
Second, The Father's giving of them to him to save them, declares unto us that
he is and will be faithful in his office of Mediator, and that therefore they
shall be secured from the fruit and wages of their sins, which is eternal
damnation, by his faithful execution of it. And, indeed, it is said, even by the
Holy Ghost himself, That he "was faithful to him that appointed him," that is,
to this work of saving those that the Father hath given him for that purpose; as
"Moses was faithful in all his house." Yea, and more faithful too, for Moses was
faithful in God's house but as a servant; "but Christ as a Son over his own
house" (Heb 3). And therefore this man is counted worthy of more glory than
Moses, even upon this account, because more faithful than he, as well as because
of the dignity of his person. Therefore in him, and in his truth and
faithfulness, God resteth well pleased, and hath put all the government of this
people upon his shoulders. Knowing that nothing shall be wanting in him, that
may any way perfect this design. And of this he, to wit, the Son, hath already
given a proof. For when the time was come, that his blood was, by Divine
justice, required for their redemption, washing, and cleansing, he as freely
poured it out of his heart, as if it had been water out of a vessel; not
sticking to part with his own life, that the life which was laid up for his
people in heaven might not fail to be bestowed upon them. And upon this account,
as well as upon any other, it is that God calleth him "my righteous servant" (Isa
53:11). For his righteousness could never have been complete, if he had not been
to the uttermost faithful to the work he undertook; it is also, because he is
faithful and true, that in righteousness he doth judge and make work for his
people's deliverance. He will faithfully perform this trust reposed in him. The
Father knows this, and hath therefore given his elect unto him.
Third, The Father's giving of them to him, to save them, declares that he is,
and will be gentle, and patient towards them, under all their provocations and
miscarriages. It is not to be imagined, the trials and provocations that the Son
of God hath all along had with these people that have been given to him that
saves them: indeed he is said to be "a tried stone;" for he has been tried, not
only by the devil, guilt of sin, death, and the curse of the law, but also by
his people's ignorance, unruliness, falls into sin, and declining to errors in
life and doctrine. Were we but capable of seeing how this Lord Jesus has been
tried even by his people, ever since there was one of them in the world, we
should be amazed at his patience and gentle carriages to them. It is said,
indeed, "The Lord is very pitiful, slow to anger, and of great mercy." And,
indeed, if he had not been so, he could never have endured their manners as he
has done from Adam hitherto. Therefore is his pity and bowels towards his church
preferred above the pity and bowels of a mother towards her child. "Can a woman
forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her
womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee," saith the Lord (Isa
God did once give Moses, as Christ's servant, an handful of his people, to carry
them in his bosom, but no further than from Egypt to Canaan; and this Moses, as
is said of him by the Holy Ghost, was the meekest man that was then to be found
in the earth; yea, and he loved the people at a very great rate; yet neither
would his meekness nor love hold out in this work; he failed and grew
passionate, even to the provoking his God to anger under this work. "And Moses
said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant?" But what was the
affliction? Why, the Lord had said unto him, "Carry this people in thy bosom as
a nursing father beareth the suckling child, unto the land which thou swarest
unto their fathers." And how then? Not I, says Moses, "I am not able to bear all
this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. If thou deal thus with me,
kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, and let me not see my wretchedness" (Num
God gave them to Moses, that he might carry them in his bosom, that he might
show gentleness and patience towards them, under all the provocations wherewith
they would provoke him from that time till he had brought them to their land;
but he failed in the work; he could not exercise it, because he had not that
sufficiency of patience towards them. But now it is said of the person speaking
in the text, "That he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his
bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young" (Isa 40:11). Intimating,
that this was one of the qualifications that God looked for, and knew was in
him, when he gave his elect to him to save them.
Fourth, The Father giving of him to save them, declares that he hath a
sufficiency of wisdom to wage with all those difficulties that would attend him
in his bringing of his sons and daughters unto glory. He made him to us to be
wisdom; yea, he is called wisdom itself (1 Cor 1:30). And God saith, moreover,
That "he shall deal prudently" (Isa 52:13). And, indeed, he that shall take upon
him to be the Saviour of the people, had need be wise, because their adversaries
are subtle above any. Here they are to encounter with the serpent, who for his
subtilty outwitted our father and mother, when their wisdom was at highest (Gen
3). But if we talk of wisdom, our Jesus is wise, wiser than Solomon, wiser than
all men, wiser than all angels; he is even the wisdom of God. "Christ is the
wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1:24). And hence it is that he turneth sin, temptations,
persecutions, falls, and all things, for good unto his people (Rom 8:28).
Now these things thus concluded on do show us also the great and wonderful love
of the Father, in that he should choose out one every way so well prepared for
the work of man's salvation.
Herein, indeed, perceive we the love of God. Huram gathered, that God loved
Israel because he had given them such a king as Solomon (2 Chron 2:11). But how
much more may we behold the love that God hath bestowed upon us, in that he hath
given us to his Son, and also given his Son for us?
[THE SON'S RECEPTION OF THE GIFT.]
"All that the Father giveth me SHALL COME." In these last words there is closely
inserted an answer unto the Father's end in giving of his elect to Jesus Christ.
The Father's end was, that they might come to him, and be saved by him; and
that, says the Son, shall be done; neither sin nor Satan, neither flesh nor
world, neither wisdom nor folly, shall hinder their coming to me. "They shall
come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
Here, therefore, the Lord Jesus positively determineth to put forth such a
sufficiency of all grace as shall effectually perform this promise. "They shall
come;" that is, he will cause them to come, by infusing of an effectual blessing
into all the means that shall be used to that end. As was said to the evil
spirit that was sent to persuade Ahab to go and fall at Ramoth-Gilead; Go: "Thou
shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so" (1 Kings 22:22). So
will Jesus Christ say to the means that shall be used for the bringing of those
to him that the Father hath given him. I say, he will bless it effectually to
this very end; it shall persuade them, and shall prevail also; else, as I said,
the Father's end would be frustrate; for the Father's will is, that "of all
which he hath given him, he should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the
last day," (John 6:39); in order next unto himself, Christ the firstfruits,
afterwards those that are his at his coming (1 Cor 15). But this cannot be done
if there should fail to be a work of grace effectually wrought, though but in
any one of them. But this shall not fail to be wrought in them, even in all the
Father hath given him to save. "All that the Father hath given me shall come
unto me," &c.
But to speak more distinctly to the words, THEY "SHALL COME," two things I would
show you from these words -FIRST, What it is to come to Christ. SECOND, What
force there is in this promise, to make them come to him.
[WHAT IT IS TO COME TO CHRIST.]
FIRST, I would show you WHAT IT IS TO COME TO CHRIST. This word come must be
understood spiritually, not carnally; for many came to him carnally, or bodily,
that had no saving advantage by him. Multitudes did thus come unto him in the
days of his flesh; yea, innumerable companies. There is also at this day a
formal customary coming to his ordinances and ways of worship, which availeth
not anything; but with them I shall not now meddle, for they are not intended in
the text. The coming, then, intended in the text is to be understood of the
coming of the mind to him, even the moving of the heart towards him. I say the
moving of the heart towards him, from a sound sense of the absolute want that a
man hath of him for his justification and salvation.
This description of coming to Christ divideth itself into two heads: First, That
coming to Christ is a moving of the mind towards him. Second, That it is a
moving of the mind towards him, from a sound sense of the absolute want that a
man hath of him for his justification and salvation.
[First.] To speak to the first, that it is a moving of the mind towards him.
This is evident; because coming hither or thither, if it be voluntary, is by an
act of the mind or will; so coming to Christ is through the inclining of the
will. "Thy people shall be willing" (Psa 110:3). This willingness of heart is it
which sets the mind a-moving after or towards him. The church expresseth this
moving of her mind towards Christ by the moving of her bowels. "My beloved put
in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him" (Can
5:4). "My bowels;" the passions of my mind and affections; which passions of the
affections are expressed by the yearning and sounding of the bowels, the
yearning or passionate working of them, the sounding of them, or their making a
noise for him (Gen 43:30; 1 Kings 3:26; Isa 16:11).
This, then, is the coming to Christ, even a moving towards him with the mind. 4
"And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth,
whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live" (Eze 47:9). The water in this
text is the grace of God in the doctrine of it. The living things are the
children of men, to whom the grace of God, by the gospel, is preached. Now,
saith he, every living thing which moveth, whithersoever the water shall come,
shall live. And see how this word moveth is expounded by Christ himself, in the
book of the Revelations: "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that
heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will," that
is, willing, "let him take the water of life freely" (Rev 22:17).
So that to move in thy mind and will after Christ, is to be coming to him. There
are many poor souls that are coming to Christ, that yet cannot tell how to
believe it, because they think that coming to him is some strange and wonderful
thing; and, indeed, so it is. But I mean, they overlook the inclination of their
will, the moving of their mind, and the sounding of their bowels after him; and
count these none of this strange and wonderful thing; when, indeed, it is a work
of greatest wonder in this world, to see a man who was sometimes dead in sin
possessed of the devil, an enemy to Christ and to all things spiritually good; I
say, to see this man moving with his mind after the Lord Jesus Christ, is one of
the highest wonders in the world.
Second, It is a moving of the mind towards him, from a sound sense of the
absolute want that a man hath of him for his justification and salvation.
Indeed, without this sense of a lost condition without him, there will be no
moving of the mind towards him. A moving of their mouth there may be; "With
their mouth they show much love" (Eze 33:31). Such a people as this will come as
the true people cometh; that is, in show and outward appearance. And they will
sit before God's ministers, as his people sit before them; and they will hear
his words too, but they will not do them; that is, will not come inwardly with
their minds. "For with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart," or
mind, "goeth after their covetousness." Now, all this is because they want an
effectual sense of the misery of their state by nature; for not till they have
that will they, in their mind, move after him. Therefore, thus it is said
concerning the true comers, At "that day the great trumpet shall be blown, and
they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the
outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at
Jerusalem" (Isa 27:13). They are then, as you see, the outcasts, and those that
are ready to perish, that, indeed, have their minds effectually moved to come to
Jesus Christ. This sense of things was that which made the three thousand come,
that made Saul come, that made the jailer come, and that, indeed, makes all
others come, that come effectually (Acts 2:8,18).
Of the true coming to Christ, the four lepers were a famous semblance, of whom
you read, (2 Kings 7:3), &c. The famine in those days was sore in the land,
there was no bread for the people; and as for that sustenance that was, which
was asses' flesh and doves' dung, that was only in Samaria, and of these the
lepers had no share, for they were thrust without the city. Well, now they sat
in the gate of the city, and hunger was, as I may say, making his last meal of
them; and being, therefore, half dead already, what do they think of doing? Why,
first they display the dismal colours of death before each other's faces, and
then resolve what to do, saying, "If we say we will enter into the city, then
famine is in the city, and we shall die there: if we sit still here, we die
also. Now, therefore, come, let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they
save us alive, we shall live; if they kill us, we shall but die." Here, now, was
necessity at work, and this necessity drove them to go thither for life, whither
else they would never have gone for it. Thus it is with them that in truth come
to Jesus Christ. Death is before them, they see it and feel it; he is feeding
upon them, and will eat them quite up, if they come not to Jesus Christ; and
therefore they come, even of necessity, being forced thereto by that sense they
have of their being utterly and everlastingly undone, if they find not safety in
him. These are they that will come. Indeed, these are they that are invited to
come. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest" (Matt 11:28).
Take two or three things to make this more plain; to wit, That coming to Christ
floweth from a sound sense of the absolute need that a man hath of him, as
1. "They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them; I
will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way wherein they
shall not stumble" (Jer 31:9). Mind it; they come with weeping and supplication;
they come with prayers and tears. Now prayers and tears are the effects of a
right sense of the need of mercy. Thus a senseless sinner cannot come, he cannot
pray, he cannot cry, he cannot come sensible of what he sees not, nor feels. "In
those days, and in that time - the children of Israel shall come; they and the
children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go and seek the Lord
their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying,
Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall
not be forgotten" (Jer 1:4,5).
2. This coming to Christ, it is called a running to him, as flying to him; a
flying to him from wrath to come. By all which terms is set forth the sense of
the man that comes; to wit, That he is affected with the sense of his sin, and
the death due thereto; that he is sensible that the avenger of blood pursues
him, and that, therefore, he is thus off, if he makes not speed to the Son of
God for life (Matt 3:7; Psa 143:9). Flying is the last work of a man in danger;
all that are in danger do not fly; no, not all that see themselves in danger;
flying is the last work of a man in danger; all that hear of danger will not
fly. Men will consider if there be no other way of escape before they fly.
Therefore, as I said, flying is the last thing. When all refuge fails, and a man
is made to see that there is nothing left him but sin, death, and damnation,
unless he flies to Christ for life; then he flies, and not till then.
3. That the true coming is from a sense of an absolute need of Jesus Christ to
save, &c., is evident by the outcry that is made by them to come, even as they
are coming to him, "Lord, save me," or I perish; "Men and brethren, what shall
we do?" "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" and the like (Matt 14:30; Acts 2:37;
16:30). This language doth sufficiently discover that the truly-coming souls are
souls sensible of their need of salvation by Jesus Christ; and, moreover, that
there is nothing else that can help them but Christ.
4. It is yet further evident by these few things that follow: It is said that
such are "pricked in their heart," that is, with the sentence of death by the
law; and the least prick in the heart kills a man (Acts 2:37). Such are said, as
I said before, to weep, to tremble, and to be astonished in themselves at the
evident and unavoidable danger that attends them, unless they fly to Jesus
Christ (Acts 9:16).
5. Coming to Christ is attended with an honest and sincere forsaking of all for
him. "If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and
children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my
disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my
disciple" (Luke 14:26,27).
By these and the like expressions elsewhere, Christ describeth the true comer,
or the man that indeed is coming to him; he is one that casteth all behind his
back; he leaveth all, he forsaketh all, he hateth all things that would stand in
his way to hinder his coming to Jesus Christ. There are a great many pretended
comers to Jesus Christ in the world; and they are much like to the man you read
of in Matthew 21:30, that said to his father's bidding, "I go, Sir, and went
not." I say, there are a great many such comers to Jesus Christ; they say, when
Christ calls by his gospel, I come, Sir; but still they abide by their pleasures
and carnal delights. They come not at all, only they give him a courtly
compliment; but he takes notice of it, and will not let it pass for any more
than a lie. He said, "I go, Sir, and went not;" he dissembled and lied. Take
heed of this, you that flatter yourselves with your own deceivings. Words will
not do with Jesus Christ. Coming is coming, and nothing else will go for coming
[Objections that usually lie in the way of coming to Christ.]
Before I speak to the other head, I shall answer some objections that usually
lie in the way of those that in truth are coming to Jesus Christ.
Objection 1. Though I cannot deny but my mind runs after Christ, and that too as
being moved thereto from a sight and consideration of my lost condition, for I
see without him I perish; yet I fear my ends are not right in coming to him.
Quest. Why, what is thine end in coming to Christ?
Answ. My end is, that I might have life, and be saved by Jesus Christ.
This is the objection; well, let me tell thee, that to come to Christ for life,
and to be saved, although at present thou hast no other end, is a lawful and
good coming to Jesus Christ. This is evident, because Christ propoundeth life as
the only argument to prevail with sinners to come to him, and so also blameth
them because they come not to him for life. "And ye will not come to me, that ye
might have life" (John 5:40). Besides, there are many other scriptures whereby
he allureth sinners to come to him, in which he propoundeth nothing to them but
their safety. As, "whosoever believeth in him should not perish;" he that
believeth is "passed from death unto life." "He that believeth - shall be
saved." "He that believeth on him is not condemned." And believing and coming
are all one. So that you see, to come to Christ for life, is a lawful coming and
good. In that he believeth, that he alone hath made atonement for sin (Rom 2).
And let me add over and above, that for a man to come to Christ for life, though
he comes to him for nothing else but life, it is to give much honour to him.
1. He honoureth the word of Christ, and consenteth to the truth of it; and that
in these two general heads. (1.) He consenteth to the truth of all those sayings
that testify that sin is most abominable in itself, dishonourable to God, and
damnable to the soul of man; for thus saith the man that cometh to Jesus Christ
(Jer 44:4; Rom 2:23; 6:23; 2 Thess 2:12). (2.) In that he believeth, as the word
hath said, that there is in the world's best things, righteousness and all,
nothing but death and damnation; for so also says the man that comes to Jesus
Christ for life (Rom 7:24,25; 8:2,3; 2 Cor 3:6-8).
2. He honoureth Christ's person, in that he believeth that there is life in him,
and that he is able to save him from death, hell, the devil, and damnation; for
unless a man believes this, he will not come to Christ for life (Heb 7:24,25).
3. He honoureth him, in that he believeth that he is authorized of the Father to
give life to those that come to him for it (John 5:11,12; 17:1-3).
4. He honoureth the priesthood of Jesus Christ. (1.) In that he believeth that
Christ hath more power to save from sin by the sacrifice that he hath offered
for it, than hath all law, devils, death, or sin to condemn. He that believes
not this, will not come to Jesus Christ for life (Acts 13:38; Heb 2:14,15; Rev
1:17,18). (2.) In that he believeth that Christ, according to his office, will
be most faithful and merciful in the discharge of his office. This must be
included in the faith of him that comes for life to Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1-3;
5. Further, He that cometh to Jesus Christ for life, taketh part with him
against sin, and against the ragged and imperfect righteousness of the world;
yea, and against false Christs, and damnable errors, that set themselves against
the worthiness of his merits and sufficiency. This is evident, for that such a
soul singleth Christ out from them all, as the only one that can save.
6. Therefore as Noah, at God's command, thou preparest this ark, for the saving
of thyself, by which also thou condemnest the world, and art become heir of the
righteousness which is by faith (Heb 11:7). Wherefore, coming sinner, be
content; he that cometh to Jesus Christ, believeth too that he is willing to
show mercy to, and have compassion upon him, though unworthy, that comes to him
for life. And therefore thy soul lieth not only under a special invitation to
come, but under a promise too of being accepted and forgiven (Matt 11:28).
All these particular parts and qualities of faith are in that soul that comes to
Jesus Christ for life, as is evident to any indifferent judgment. For, will he
that believeth not the testimony of Christ concerning the baseness of sin, and
the insufficiency of the righteousness of the world, come to Christ for life?
No. He that believeth not this testimony of the word, comes not. He that
believeth that there is life anywhere else, comes not. He that questions whether
the Father hath given Christ power to forgive, comes not. He that thinketh that
there is more in sin, in the law, in death, and the devil, to destroy, than
there is in Christ to save, comes not. He also that questions his faithful
management of his priesthood for the salvation of sinners, comes not.
Thou, then, that art indeed the coming sinner, believest all this. True, perhaps
thou dost not believe with that full assurance, nor hast thou leisure to take
notice of thy faith as to these distinct acts of it; but yet all this faith is
in him coming to Christ for life. And the faith that thus worketh, is the faith
of the best and purest kind; because this man comes alone as a sinner, and as
seeing that life is, and is to be had only in Jesus Christ.
Before I conclude my answer to this objection, take into thy consideration these
1st. [Consider] that the cities of refuge were erected for those that were dead
in law, and that yet would live by grace; even for those that were to fly
thither for life from the avenger of blood that pursueth after them. And it is
worth your noting, that those that were upon their flight thither, are in a
peculiar manner called the people of God: "Cast ye up, cast ye up," saith God;
"prepare the way; take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people" (Isa
57:14). This is meant of preparing the way to the city of refuge, that the
slayers might escape thither; which flying slayers are here, by way of
specialty, called the people of God; even those of them that escaped thither for
2dly. [Consider] that of Ahab, when Benhadad sent to him for life, saying, "Thus
saith thy servant Benhadad, I pray thee let me live." Though Benhadad had sought
the crown, kingdom, yea, and also the life of Ahab, yet how effectually doth
Benhadad prevail with him! Is Benhadad yet alive? saith Ahab; He is my brother;
yea, go ye, bring him to me. So he made him ride in his chariot (1 Kings 20).
Coming sinner, what thinkest thou? If Jesus Christ had as little goodness in him
as Ahab, he might grant an humble Benhadad life; thou neither beggest of him his
crown and dignity; life, eternal life, will serve thy turn. How much more then
shalt thou have it, since thou hast to deal with him who is goodness and mercy
itself! yea, since thou art also called upon, yea, greatly encouraged by a
promise of life, to come unto him for life! Read also these Scriptures, Numbers
35:11,14,15, Joshua 20:1-6, Hebrews 6:16-21.
Object. 2. When I say I only seek myself, I mean I do not find that I do design
God's glory in mine own salvation by Christ, and that makes me fear I do not
Answ. Where doth Christ Jesus require such a qualification of those that are
coming to him for life? Come thou for life, and trouble not thy head with such
objections against thyself, and let God and Christ alone to glorify themselves
in the salvation of such a worm as thou art. The Father saith to the Son, "Thou
art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified." God propoundeth life to
sinners, as the argument to prevail with them to come to him for life; and
Christ says plainly, "I am come that they might have life" (John 10:10). He hath
no need of thy designs, though thou hast need of his. Eternal life, pardon of
sin, and deliverance from wrath to come, Christ propounds to thee, and these be
the things that thou hast need of; besides, God will be gracious and merciful to
worthless, undeserving wretches; come then as such an one, and lay no
stumblingblocks in the way to him, but come to him for life, and live (John
5:34; 10:10; 3:36; Matt 1:21; Prov 8:35,36; 1 Thess 1:10; John 11:25,26).
When the jailer said, "Sirs, What must I do to be saved?" Paul did not so much
as once ask him, What is your end in this question? do you design the glory of
God, in the salvation of your soul? He had more wit; he knew that such questions
as these would have been but fools' babbles about, instead of a sufficient
salve5 "Which Cambell seeing, though he could not salve, to so weighty a
question as this. Wherefore, since this poor wretch lacked salvation by Jesus
Christ, I mean to be saved from hell and death, which he knew, now, was due to
him for the sins that he had committed, Paul bids him, like a poor condemned
sinner as he was, to proceed still in this his way of self-seeking, saying,
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:30-32). I
know that afterwards thou wilt desire to glorify Christ by walking in the way of
his precepts; but at present thou wantest life; the avenger of blood is behind
thee, and the devil like a roaring lion is behind thee; well, come now, and
obtain life from these; and when thou hast obtained some comfortable persuasion
that thou art made partaker of life by Christ, then, and not till then, thou
wilt say, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy
name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 6 who
forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy
life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies"
Object. 3. But I cannot believe that I come to Christ aright, because sometimes
I am apt to question his very being and office to save.
Thus to do is horrible; but mayest thou not judge amiss in this matter?
How can I judge amiss, when I judge as I feel? Poor soul! Thou mayest judge
amiss for all that. Why, saith the sinner, I think that these questionings come
from my heart. Let me answer. That which comes from thy heart, comes from thy
will and affections, from thy understanding, judgment, and conscience, for these
must acquiesce in thy questioning, if thy questioning be with thy heart. And how
sayest thou, for to name no more, dost thou with thy affection and conscience
thus question? Answ. No, my conscience trembles when such thoughts come into my
mind; and my affections are otherwise inclined.
Then I conclude, that these things are either suddenly injected by the devil, or
else are the fruits of that body of sin and death that yet dwells within thee,
or perhaps from both together.
If they come wholly from the devil, as they seem, because thy conscience and
affections are against them, or if they come from that body of death that is in
thee, and be not thou curious in inquiring from whether of them they come, the
safest way is to lay enough at thy own door; nothing of this should hinder thy
coming, nor make thee conclude thou comest not aright. 7 And before I leave
thee, let me a little query with thee about this matter.
1. Dost thou like these wicked blasphemies? Answ. No, no, their presence and
working kills me.
2. Dost thou mourn for them, pray against them, and hate thyself because of
them? Answ. Yes, yes; but that which afflicts me is, I do not prevail against
3. Dost thou sincerely choose, mightest thou have thy choice, that thy heart
might be affected and taken with the things that are best, most heavenly, and
holy? Answ. With all my heart, and death the next hour, if it were God's will,
rather than thus to sin against him.
Well then, thy not liking of them, thy mourning for them, thy praying against
them, and thy loathing thyself because of them, with thy sincere choosing of
those thoughts for thy delectation that are heavenly and holy, clearly declares,
that these things are not countenanced either with thy will, affections,
understanding, judgment, or conscience; and so, that thy heart is not in them,
but that rather they come immediately from the devil, or arise from the body of
death that is in thy flesh, of which thou oughtest thus to say, "Now, then, it
is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me" (Rom 7:17).
I will give thee a pertinent instance. In Deuteronomy 22, thou mayest read of a
betrothed damsel, one betrothed to her beloved, one that had given him her heart
and mouth, as thou hast given thyself to Christ; yet was she met with as she
walked in the field, by one that forced her, because he was stronger than she.
Well, what judgment now doth God, the righteous judge, pass upon the damsel for
this? "The man only that lay with her," saith God, "shall die. But unto the
damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death.
For, as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is
this matter; for he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and
there was none to save her" (Deut 22:25-27).
Thou art this damsel. The man that forced thee with these blasphemous thoughts,
is the devil; and he lighteth upon thee in a fit place, even in the field, as
thou art wandering after Jesus Christ; but thou criest out, and by thy cry did
show, that thou abhorrest such wicked lewdness. Well, the Judge of all the earth
will do right; he will not lay the sin at thy door, but at his that offered the
violence. And for thy comfort take this into consideration, that he came to heal
them "that were oppressed of the devil" (Acts 10:38).
Object. 4. But, saith another, I am so heartless, so slow, and, as I think, so
indifferent in my coming, that, to speak truth, I know not whether my kind of
coming ought to be called a coming to Christ.
Answ. You know that I told you at first, that coming to Christ is a moving of
the heart and affections towards him.
But, saith the soul, my dullness and indifferency in all holy duties,
demonstrate my heartlessness in coming; and to come, and not with the heart,
signifies nothing at all.
1. The moving of the heart after Christ is not to be discerned, at all times, by
thy sensible affectionate performance of duties, but rather by those secret
groanings and complaints which thy soul makes to God against that sloth that
attends thee in duties.
2. But grant it to be even as thou sayest it is, that thou comest so slowly,
&c., yet, since Christ bids them come that come not at all, surely they may be
accepted that come, though attended with those infirmities which thou at present
groanest under. He saith, "and him that cometh;" he saith not, If they come
sensible; so fast; but, "and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
He saith also in the ninth of Proverbs, "As for him that wanteth understanding,"
that is, an heart (for oftentimes the understanding is taken for the heart),
"come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled."
3. Thou mayest be vehement in thy spirit in coming to Jesus Christ, and yet be
plagued with sensible sloth; so was the church when she cried, "Draw me, we will
run after thee;" and Paul, when he said, "When I would do good, evil is present
with me" (Song 14; Rom 7; Gal 5:19). The works, strugglings, and oppositions of
the flesh, are more manifest than are the works of the Spirit in our hearts, and
so are sooner felt than they. What then? Let us not be discouraged at the sight
and feeling of our own infirmities, but run the faster to Jesus Christ for
4. Get thy heart warmed with the sweet promise of Christ's acceptance of the
coming sinner, and that will make thee make more haste unto him. Discouraging
thoughts they are like unto cold weather, they benumb the senses, and make us go
ungainly about our business; but the sweet and warm gleads8 of promise are like
the comfortable beams of the sun, which liven and refresh. 9 You see how little
the bee and fly do play in the air in winter; why, the cold hinders them from
doing it; but when the wind and sun is warm, who so busy as they?
5. But again, he that comes to Christ, flies for his life. Now, there is no man
that flies for his life, that thinks he speeds fast enough on his journey; no,
could he, he would willingly take a mile at a step. O my sloth and
heartlessness, sayest thou! "Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I
fly away, and be at rest. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and
tempest" (Psa 55:6,8).
Poor coming soul, thou art like the man that would ride full gallop, whose horse
will hardly trot! Now, the desire of his mind is not to be judged of by the slow
pace of the dull jade he rides on, but by the hitching, and kicking, and
spurring, as he sits on his back. Thy flesh is like this dull jade; it will not
gallop after Christ; it will be backward, though thy soul and heaven lie at
stake. 10 But be of good comfort, Christ judgeth not according to the fierceness
of outward motion (Mark 10:17) but according to the sincerity of the heart and
inward parts (John 1:47; Psa 51:6; Matt 26:41).
COME AND WELCOME TO JESUS CHRIST: Part Two