COME AND WELCOME TO JESUS CHRIST
A These things, I say, do accuse us before Christ Jesus; yea, and also to our
own faces, if perhaps they might prevail against us. But these words, "I will in
no wise cast out," secureth the coming sinner from them all.
The coming sinner is not saved, because there is none that comes in against him;
but because the Lord Jesus will not hear their accusations, will not cast out
the coming sinner. When Shimei came down to meet king David, and to ask for
pardon for his rebellion, up starts Abishai, and puts in his caveat, saying,
Shall not Shimei die for this? This is the case of him that comes to Christ. He
hath this Abishai, and that Abishai, that presently steps in against him,
saying, Shall not this rebel's sins destroy him in hell? Read further. But David
answered, "What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this
day be adversaries unto me? Shall there any man be put to death this day in
Israel, for do not I know, that I am king this day over Israel?" (2 Sam
19:16-22). That is Christ's answer by the text, to all that accuse the coming
Shimeis. What have I to do with you, that accuse the coming sinners to me? I
count you adversaries, that are against my showing mercy to them. Do not I know
that I am exalted this day to be king of righteousness, and king of peace? "I
will in no wise cast them out."
2. But again, these words do closely imply, that the coming souls are afraid
that these accusers will prevail against them, as is evident, because the text
is spoken for their relief and succour. For that need not be, if they that are
coming were not subject to fear and despond upon this account. Alas, there is
guilt, and the curse lies upon the conscience of the coming sinner!
Besides, he is conscious to himself what a villain, what a wretch he hath been
against God and Christ. Also he now knows, by woeful experience, how he hath
been at Satan's beck, and at the motion of every lust. He hath now also new
thoughts of the holiness and justice of God. Also he feels, that he cannot
forbear sinning against him. For the motions of sins, which are by the law, doth
still work in his members, to bring forth fruit unto death (Rom 7:5). But none
of this needs be [a discouragement] since we have so good, so tender-hearted,
and so faithful a Jesus to come to, who will rather overthrow heaven and earth,
than suffer a tittle of this text to fail. "And him that cometh to me I will in
no wise cast out."
[Import of the words TO CAST OUT.]
Now, we have yet to inquire into two things that lie in the words, to which
there hath yet been nothing said. As, FIRST, What it is to cast out. SECOND, How
it appears that Christ hath power to save or cast out?
[WHAT IT IS TO CAST OUT.]
FIRST. For the first of these, What it is to cast out. To this I will speak,
First, Generally. Second, More particularly.
1. To cast out, is to slight and despise, and contemn; as it is said of Saul's
shield, "it was vilely cast away," (2 Sam 1:21), that is, slighted and
contemned. Thus it is with the sinners that come not to Jesus Christ. He
slights, despises, and contemns them; that is, "casts them away."
2. Things cast away are reputed as menstruous cloths, and as the dirt of the
street (Isa 3:24; Psa 18:42; Matt 5:13; 15:17). And thus it shall be with the
men that come not to Jesus Christ, they shall be counted as menstruous, and as
the dirt in the streets.
3. To be cast out, or off, it is to be abhorred, not to be pitied; but to be put
to perpetual shame (Psa 44:9; 89:38; Amos 1:11). But,
Second, More particularly, to come to the text. The casting out here mentioned
is not limited to this or the other evil: therefore it must be extended to the
most extreme and utmost misery. Or thus: He that cometh to Christ shall not want
anything that may make him gospelly-happy in this world, or that which is to
come; nor shall he want anything that cometh not, that may make him spiritually
and eternally miserable. But further, As it is to be generally taken [as
respecteth the things that are now], so it respecteth things that shall be
I. For the things that are now, they are either, 1. More general: Or, 2. More
1. More general, thus:
(1.) It is "to be cast out" of the presence and favour of God. Thus was Cain
cast out: "Thou has driven," or cast "me out this day; from thy face," that is,
from thy favour "shall I be hid." A dreadful complaint! But the effect of a more
dreadful judgment! (Gen 4:14; Jer 23:39; 1 Chron 28:9).
(2.) "To be cast out," is to be cast out of God's sight. God will look after
them no more, care for them no more; nor will he watch over them any more for
good (2 Kings 17:20; Jer 7:15). Now they that are so, are left like blind men,
to wander and fall into the pit of hell. This, therefore, is also a sad
judgment! therefore here is the mercy of him that cometh to Christ. He shall not
be left to wander at uncertainties. The Lord Jesus Christ will keep him, as a
shepherd doth his sheep (Psa 23). "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast
(3.) "To be cast out," is to be denied a place in God's house, and to be left as
fugitives and vagabonds, to pass a little time away in this miserable life, and
after that to go down to the dead (Gal 4:30; Gen 4:13,14; 21:10). Therefore here
is the benefit of him that cometh to Christ, he shall not be denied a place in
God's house. They shall not be left like vagabonds in the world. "Him that
cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." See Proverbs 14:26, Isaiah 56:3-5,
Ephesians 1:1922, 1 Corinthians 3:21-23.
(4.) In a word, "To be cast out," is to be rejected as are the fallen angels.
For their eternal damnation began at their being cast down from heaven to hell.
So then, not to be cast out, is to have a place, a house, and habitation there;
and to have a share in the privileges of elect angels.
These words, therefore, "I will not cast out," will prove great words one day to
them that come to Jesus Christ (2 Peter 2:4; John 20:31; Luke 20:35).
2. Second, and more particularly,
(1.) Christ hath everlasting life for him that cometh to him, and he shall never
perish; "For he will in no wise cast him out;" but for the rest, they are
rejected, "cast out," and must be damned (John 10:27,28).
(2.) Christ hath everlasting righteousness to clothe them with that come to him,
and they shall be covered with it as with a garment, but the rest shall be found
in the filthy rags of their own stinking pollutions, and shall be wrapt up in
them, as in a winding-sheet, and so bear their shame before the Lord, and also
before the angels (Dan 9:27; Isa 57:20; Rev 3:4-18, 15, 16).
(3.) Christ hath precious blood, that, like an open fountain, stands free for
him to wash in, that comes to him for life; "And he will in no wise cast him
out;" but they that come not to him are rejected from a share therein, and are
left to ireful vengeance for their sins (Zech 13:1; 1 Peter 1:18,19; John 13:8;
(4.) Christ hath precious promises, and they shall have a share in them that
come to him for life; for "he will in no wise cast them out." But they that come
not can have no share in them, because they are true only in him; for in him,
and only in him, all the promises are yea and amen. Wherefore they that come not
to him, are no whit the better for them (Psa 50:16; 2 Cor 1:20,21).
(5.) Christ hath also fullness of grace in himself for them that come to him for
life: "And he will in no wise cast them out." But those that come not unto him
are left in their graceless state; and as Christ leaves them, death, hell, and
judgment finds them. "Whoso findeth me," saith Christ, "findeth life, and shall
obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul:
all they that hate me love death" (Prov 8:35,36).
(6.) Christ is an Intercessor, and ever liveth to make intercession for them
that come to God by him: "But their sorrows shall be multiplied, that hasten
after another," or other gods, their sins and lusts. "Their drink-offerings will
I not offer, nor take up their names into his lips" (Psa 16:4; Heb 7:25).
(7.) Christ hath wonderful love, bowels, and compassions, for those that come to
him; for "he will in no wise cast them out." But the rest will find him a lion
rampant; he will one day tear them all to pieces. "Now consider this," saith he,
"ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver" (Psa
(8.) Christ is one by and for whose sake those that come to him have their
persons and performances accepted of the Father: "And he will in no wise cast
them out;" but the rest must fly to the rocks and mountains for shelter, but all
in vain, to hide them from his face and wrath (Rev 6:15-17).
II. But again, These words, CAST OUT, have a special look to what will be
hereafter, even at the day of judgment. For then, and not till then, will be the
great anathema and casting out made manifest, even manifest by execution.
Therefore here to speak to this, and that under these two heads. As, First, Of
the casting out itself. Second, Of the place into which they shall be cast, that
shall then be cast out.
First, The casting out itself standeth in two things. 1. In a preparatory work.
2. In the manner of executing the act.
1. The preparatory work standeth in these three things.
(1.) It standeth in their separation that have not come to him, from them that
have, at that day. Or thus: At the day of the great casting out, those that have
not NOW come to him, shall be separated from them that have; for them that have
"he will not cast out." "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all
the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; and
before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from
another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats" (Matt 25:31,32). This
dreadful separation, therefore, shall then be made betwixt them that NOW come to
Christ, and them that come not. And good reason; for since they would not with
us come to him now they have time, why should they stand with us when judgment
(2.) They shall be placed before him according to their condition: they that
have come to him, in great dignity, even at his right hand; "For he will in no
wise cast them out": but the rest shall be set at his left hand, the place of
disgrace and shame; for they did not come to him for life. Distinguished also
shall they be by fit terms: these that come to him he calleth the sheep, but the
rest are frowish goats, "and he shall separate them one from another, as a
shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats;" and the sheep will be set on the
right hand -next heaven gate, for they came to him -but the goats on his left,
to go from him into hell, because they are not of his sheep.
(3.) Then will Christ proceed to conviction of those that came not to him, and
will say, "I was a stranger, and ye took me not in," or did not come unto me.
Their excuse of themselves he will slight as dirt, and proceed to their final
2. Now when these wretched rejecters of Christ shall thus be set before him in
their sins, and convicted, this is the preparatory work upon which follows the
manner of executing the act which will be done.
(1.) In the presence of all the holy angels.
(2.) In the presence of all them that in their lifetime came to him, by saying
unto them, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the
devil and his angels": with the reason annexed to it. For you were cruel to me
and mine, particularly discovered in these words, "For I was an hungered, and ye
gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and
ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye
visited me not" (Matt 25:41-43).
Second, Now it remains that we speak of the place into which these shall be
cast, which, in the general, you have heard already, to wit, the first prepared
for the devil and his angels. But, in particular, it is thus described: -
1. It is called Tophet: "For Tophet is ordained of old, yea, for the king," the
Lucifer, "it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is
fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth
kindle it" (Isa 30:32).
2. It is called hell. "It is better for thee to enter halt" or lame "into life,
than having two feet to be cast into hell" (Mark 9:45).
3. It is called the wine-press of the wrath of God. "And the angel thrust in his
sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth," that is, them that
did not come to Christ, "and cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath of
God" (Rev 14:19).
4. It is called a lake of fire. "And whosoever was not found written in the book
of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev 20:15).
5. It is called a pit. "Thou hast said in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of
the congregation, in the sides of the north. Yet thou shalt be brought down to
hell, to the sides of the pit" (Isa 14:13-15).
6. It is called a bottomless pit, out of which the smoke and the locust came,
and into which the great dragon was cast; and it is called bottomless, to show
the endlessness of the fall that they will have into it, that come not, in the
acceptable time, to Jesus Christ (Rev 9:1,2; 20:3).
7. It is called outer darkness. "Bind him hand and foot - and cast him into
outer darkness," "and cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness,"
"there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt 22:13; 25:30).
8. It is called a furnace of fire. "As therefore the tares are gathered and
burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man
shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things
that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of
fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." And again, "So shall it be
at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from
among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be
wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matt 13:40-51).
9. Lastly, It may not be amiss, if, in the conclusion of this, I show in few
words to what the things that torment them in this state are compared. Indeed,
some of them have been occasionally mentioned already; as that they are
(1.) To wood that burneth.
(2.) To fire.
(3.) To fire and brimstone: But,
(4.) It is compared to a worm, a gnawing worm, a never-dying gnawing worm; They
are cast into hell, "where their worm dieth not" (Mark 9:44).
(5.) It is called unquenchable fire; "He will gather his wheat into the garner;
but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matt 3:12; Luke 3:17).
(6.) It is called everlasting destruction; "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them
that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who
shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord,
and from the glory of his power" (2 Thess 1:7-9).
(7.) It is called wrath without mixture, and is given them in the cup of his
indignation. "If any man worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark
in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath
of God, which is poured out without mixture, into the cup of his indignation;
and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy
angels, and in the presence of the Lamb" (Rev 14:9,10).
(8.) It is called the second death. "And death and hell were cast into the lake
of fire. This is the second death. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the
first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power" (Rev 20:6,14).
(9.) It is called eternal damnation. "But he that shall blaspheme against the
Holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." Oh!
these three words! Everlasting punishment! Eternal damnation! And For ever and
ever! How will they gnaw and eat up all the expectation of the end of the misery
of the cast-away sinners. "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever
and ever; and they have no rest day nor night," &c., (Rev 14:11).
Their behaviour in hell is set forth by four things as I know of; -(a.) By
calling for help and relief in vain; (b.) By weeping; (c.) By wailing; (d.) By
gnashing of teeth.
[THE POWER OF CHRIST TO SAVE, OR TO CAST OUT.]
SECOND. And now we come to the second thing that is to be inquired into, namely,
How it appears that Christ hath power to save, or to cast out. For by these
words, "I will in no wise cast out," he declareth that he hath power to do both.
Now this inquiry admits us to search into the things: First, How it appears that
he hath power to save; Second, How it appears that he hath power to cast out.
First, That he hath power to save, appears by that which follows: -
1. To speak only of him as he is mediator: he was authorized to this blessed
work by his Father, before the world began. Hence the apostle saith, "He hath
chosen us in him before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1:4). With all those
things that effectually will produce our salvation. Read the same chapter, with
2 Timothy 1:9.
2. He was promised to our first parents, that he should, in the fullness of
time, bruise the serpent's head; and, as Paul expounds it, redeem them that were
under the law. Hence, since that time, he hath been reckoned as slain for our
sins. By which means all the fathers under the first testament were secured from
the wrath to come; hence he is called, "The Lamb slain from the foundation of
the world" (Rev 13:8; Gen 3:15; Gal 4:4,5).
3. Moses gave testimony of him by the types and shadows, and bloody sacrifices,
that he commanded from the mouth of God to be in use for the support of his
people's faith, until the time of reformation; which was the time of this Jesus
his death (Heb 9, 10).
4. At the time of his birth it was testified of him by the angel, "That he
should save his people from their sins" (Matt 1:21).
5. It is testified of him in the days of his flesh, that he had power on earth
to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-12).
6. It is testified also of him by the apostle Peter, that "God hath exalted him
with his own right hand, to be a prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to
Israel, and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31).
7. In a word, this is everywhere testified of him, both in the Old Testament and
the New. And good reason that he should be acknowledged and trusted in, as a
(1.) He came down from heaven to be a Saviour (John 6:38-40).
(2.) He was anointed when on earth to be a Saviour (Luke 3:22).
(3.) He did the works of a Saviour. As, (a.) He fulfilled the law, and became
the end of it for righteousness, for them that believe in him (Rom 10:3,4). (b.)
He laid down his life as a Saviour; he gave his life as "a ransom for many"
(Matt 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Tim 2:6). (c.) He hath abolished death, destroyed the
devil, put away sin, got the keys of hell and death, is ascended into heaven; is
there accepted of God, and bid sit at the right hand as a Saviour; and that
because his sacrifice for sins pleased God (2 Tim 1:10; Heb 2:14,15; 10:12,13;
Eph 4:7,8; John 16:10,11; Acts 5:30,31).
(4.) God hath sent out and proclaimed him as a Saviour, and tells the world that
we have redemption through his blood, that he will justify us, if we believe in
his blood, and that he can faithfully and justly do it. Yea, God doth beseech us
to be reconciled to him by his Son; which could not be, if he were not anointed
by him to this very end, and also if his works and undertakings were not
accepted of him considered as a Saviour (Rom 3:24,25; 2 Cor 5:18-21).
(5.) God hath received already millions of souls into his paradise, because they
have received this Jesus for a Saviour; and is resolved to cut them off, and to
cast them out of his presence, that will not take him for a Saviour (Heb
I intend brevity here; therefore a word to the second, and so conclude.
Second, How it appears that he hath power to cast out. This appears also by what
1. The Father, for the service that he hath done him as Saviour, hath made him
Lord of all, even Lord of quick and dead. "For to this end Christ both died, and
rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living" (Rom
2. The Father hath left it with him to quicken whom he will, to wit, with saving
grace, and to cast out whom he will, for their rebellion against him (John
3. The Father hath made him judge of quick and dead, hath committed all judgment
unto the Son, and appointed that all should honour the Son, even as they honour
the Father (John 5:22,23).
4. God will judge the world by this man: the day is appointed for judgment, and
he is appointed for judge. "He hath appointed a day in the which he will judge
the world in righteousness by that man" (Acts 17:31). Therefore we must all
appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive for the
things done in the body, according to what they have done. If they have closed
with him, heaven and salvation; if they have not, hell and damnation!And for
these reasons he must be judge: -
(1.) Because of his humiliation, because of his Father's word he humbled
himself, and he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above
every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in
heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue
should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." This
hath respect to his being judge, and his sitting in judgment upon angels and men
(Phil 2:7-11; Rom 14:10,11).
(2.) That all men might honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. "For the
Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all
men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father" (John 5:22,23).
(3.) Because of his righteous judgment, this work is fit for no creature; it is
only fit for the Son of God. For he will reward every man according to his ways
(4.) Because he is the Son of man. He "hath given him authority to execute
judgment also, because he is the Son of man" (John 5:27).
[SECOND, THE TEXT TREATED BY WAY OF OBSERVATION.]
Thus have I in brief passed through this text by way of explications. My next
work is to speak to it by way of observation. But I shall be also as brief in
that as the nature of the thing will admit. "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).
And now I come to some observations, and a little briefly to speak to them, and
then conclude the whole. The words thus explained afford us many, some of which
are these. 1. That God the Father, and Christ his Son, are two distinct persons
in the Godhead. 2. That by them, not excluding the Holy Ghost, is contrived and
determined the salvation of fallen mankind. 3. That this contrivance resolved
itself into a covenant between these persons in the Godhead, which standeth in
giving on the Father's part, and receiving on the Son's. "All that the Father
giveth me," &c. 4. That every one that the Father hath given to Christ,
according to the mind of God in the text, shall certainly come to him. 5. That
coming to Jesus Christ is therefore not by the will, wisdom, or power of man;
but by the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father. "All that the Father giveth
me shall come." 6. That Jesus Christ will be careful to receive, and will not in
any wise reject those that come, or are coming to him. "And him that cometh to
me I will in no wise cast out." There are, besides these, some other truths
implied in the words. As, 7. They that are coming to Jesus Christ are ofttimes
heartily afraid that he will not receive them. 8. Jesus Christ would not have
them that in truth are coming to him once think that he will cast them out.
These observations lie all of them in the words, and are plentifully confirmed
by the Scriptures of truth; but I shall not at this time speak to them all, but
shall pass by the first, second, third, fourth, and sixth, partly because I
design brevity, and partly because they are touched upon in the explicatory part
of the text. I shall therefore begin with the fifth observation, and so make
that the first in order, in the following discourse.
[COMING TO CHRIST NOT BY THE POWER OF MAN, BUT BY THE DRAWING OF THE FATHER.]
OBSERVATION FIRST. First, then, coming to Christ is not by the will, wisdom, or
power of man, but by the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father. This
observation standeth of two parts. First, The coming to Christ is not by the
will, wisdom, or power of man; Second, But by the gift, promise, and drawing of
That the text carrieth this truth in its bosom, you will find if you look into
the explication of the first part thereof before. I shall, therefore, here
follow the method propounded, viz: show,
First, That coming to Christ is not by the will, wisdom, or power of man. This
is true, because the Word doth positively say it is not.
1. It denieth it wholly to be by the will of man. "Not of blood, nor of the will
of the flesh, nor of the will of man" (John 1:13). And again, "It is not of him
that willeth, nor of him that runneth" (Rom 9:16).
2. It denieth it to be of the wisdom of man, as is manifest from these
(1.) In the wisdom of God it pleased him, that the world by wisdom should not
know him. Now, if by their wisdom they cannot know him, it follows, by that
wisdom, they cannot come unto him; for coming to him is not before, but after
some knowledge of him (1 Cor 1:21; Acts 13:27; Psa 9:10).
(2.) The wisdom of man, in God's account, as to the knowledge of Christ, is
reckoned foolishness. "Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (1
Cor 1:20). And again, The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (2:14).
If God hath made foolish the wisdom of this world; and again, if the wisdom of
this world is foolishness with him, then verily it is not likely, that by that a
sinner should become so prudent as to come to Jesus Christ, especially if you
(3.) That the doctrine of a crucified Christ, and so of salvation by him, is the
very thing that is counted foolishness to the wisdom of the world. Now, if the
very doctrine of a crucified Christ be counted foolishness by the wisdom of this
world, it cannot be that, by that wisdom, a man should be drawn out in his soul
to come to him (1 Cor 3:19; 1:18,23).
(4.) God counted the wisdom of this world one of his greatest enemies;
therefore, by that wisdom no man can come to Jesus Christ. For it is not likely
that one of God's greatest enemies should draw a man to that which best of all
pleaseth God, as coming to Christ doth. Now, that God counteth the wisdom of
this world one of his greatest enemies, is evident, (a.) For that it casteth the
greatest contempt upon his Son's undertakings, as afore is proved, in that it
counts his crucifixion foolishness; though that be one of the highest
demonstrations of Divine wisdom (Eph 1:7,8). (b.) Because God hath threatened to
destroy it, and bring it to nought, and cause it to perish; which surely he
would not do, was it not an enemy, would it direct men to, and cause them to
close with Jesus Christ (Isa 29:14; 1 Cor 1:19). (c.) He hath rejected it from
helping in the ministry of his Word, as a fruitless business, and a thing that
comes to nought (1 Cor 2:4,6,12,13). (d.) Because it causeth to perish, those
that seek it, and pursue it (1 Cor 1:18,19). (e.) And God has proclaimed, that
if any man will be wise in this world, he must be a fool in the wisdom of this
world, and that is the way to be wise in the wisdom of God. "If any man seemeth
to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise. For the
wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Cor 3:18-20).
3. Coming to Christ is not by the power of man. This is evident partly,
(1.) From that which goeth before. For man's power in the putting forth of it,
in this matter, is either stirred up by love, or sense of necessity; but the
wisdom of this world neither gives man love to, or sense of a need of, Jesus
Christ; therefore, his power lieth still, as from that.
(2.) What power has he that is dead, as every natural man spiritually is, even
dead in trespasses and sins? Dead, even as dead to God's New Testament things as
he that is in his grave is dead to the things of this world. What power hath he,
then, whereby to come to Jesus Christ? (John 5:25; Eph 2:1; Col 2:13).
(3.) God forbids the mighty man's glorying in his strength; and says positively,
"By strength shall no man prevail;" and again, "Not by might, nor by power, but
by my Spirit, saith the Lord" (Jer 9:23,24; 1 Sam 2:9; Zech 4:6; 1 Cor 1:27-31).
(4.) Paul acknowledgeth that man, nay, converted man, of himself, hath not a
sufficiency of power in himself to think a good thought; if not to do that which
is least, for to think is less than to come; then no man, by his own power, can
come to Jesus Christ (2 Cor 2:5).
(5.) Hence we are said to be made willing to come, by the power of God; to be
raised from a state of sin to a state of grace, by the power of God; and to
believe, that is to come, through the exceeding working of his mighty power (Psa
110:3; Col 2:12; Eph 1:18,20; Job 23:14). But this needed not, if either man had
power or will to come; or so much as graciously to think of being willing to
come, of themselves, to Jesus Christ.
Second, I should now come to the proof of the second part of the observation
[namely, the coming to Christ is by the gift, promise, and drawing of the
Father], but that is occasionally done already, in the explicatory part of the
text, to which I refer the reader; for I shall here only give thee a text or two
more to the same purpose, and so come to the use and application.
1. It is expressly said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath
sent me draw him" (John 6:44). By this text, there is not only insinuated that
in man is want of power, but also of will, to come to Jesus Christ: they must be
drawn; they come not if they be not drawn. And observe, it is not man, no, nor
all the angels in heaven, that can draw one sinner to Jesus Christ. No man
cometh to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.
2. Again, "No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father"
(John 6:65). It is an heavenly gift that maketh man come to Jesus Christ.
3. Again, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.
Every man, therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh
unto me" (John 6:45).
I shall not enlarge, but shall make some use and application, and so come to the
[Use and Application of Observation First.]
Use First. Is it so? Is coming to Jesus Christ not by the will, wisdom, or power
of man, but by the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father? Then they are to
blame that cry up the will, wisdom, and power of man, as things sufficient to
bring men to Christ.
There are some men who think they may not be contradicted, when they plead for
the will, wisdom, and power of man in reference to the things that are of the
kingdom of Christ; but I will say to such a man, he never yet came to
understand, that himself is what the Scripture teacheth concerning him; neither
did he ever know what coming to Christ is, by the teaching, gift, and drawing of
the Father. He is such a one that hath set up God's enemy in opposition to him,
and that continueth in such acts of defiance; and what his end, without a new
birth, will be, the Scripture teacheth also; but we will pass this.
Use Second. Is it so? Is coming to Jesus Christ by the gift, promise, and
drawing of the Father? Then let saints here learn to ascribe their coming to
Christ to the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father. Christian man, bless
God, who hath given thee to Jesus Christ by promise; and again, bless God for
that he hath drawn thee to him. And why is it thee? Why not another? O that the
glory of electing love should rest upon thy head, and that the glory of the
exceeding grace of God should take hold of thy heart, and bring thee to Jesus
Use Third. Is it so, that coming to Jesus Christ is by the Father, as aforesaid?
Then this should teach us to set a high esteem upon them that indeed are coming
to Jesus Christ; I say, an high esteem on them, for the sake of him by virtue of
whose grace they are made to come to Jesus Christ.
We see that when men, by the help of human abilities, do arrive at the knowledge
of, and bring to pass that which, when done, is a wonder to the world, how he
that did it, is esteemed and commended; yea, how are his wits, parts, industry,
and unweariedness in all admired, and yet the man, as to this, is but of the
world, and his work the effect of natural ability; the things also attained by
him end in vanity and vexation of spirit. Further, perhaps in the pursuit of
these his achievements, he sins against God, wastes his time vainly, and at
long-run loses his soul by neglecting of better things; yet he is admired! But I
say, if this man's parts, labour, diligence, and the like, will bring him to
such applause and esteem in the world, what esteem should we have of such an one
that is by the gift, promise, and power of God, coming to Jesus Christ?
1. This is a man with whom God is, in whom God works and walks; a man whose
motion is governed and steered by the mighty hand of God, and the effectual
working of his power. Here is a man!
2. This man, by the power of God's might, which worketh in him, is able to cast
a whole world behind him, with all the lusts and pleasures of it, and to charge
through all the difficulties that men and devils can set against him. Here is a
3. This man is travelling to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the
living God, and to an innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men
made perfect, to God the Judge of all, and to Jesus. Here is a man!
4. This man can look upon death with comfort, can laugh at destruction when it
cometh, and longs to hear the sound of the last trump, and to see his Judge
coming in the clouds of heaven. Here is a man indeed!
Let Christians, then, esteem each other as such. I know you do it; but do it
more and more. And that you may, consider these two or three things. (1.) These
are the objects of Christ's esteem (Matt 12:48,49; 15:22-28; Luke 7:9). (2.)
These are the objects of the esteem of angels (Dan 9:12; 10:21,22; 13:3,4; Heb
2:14). (3.) These have been the objects of the esteem of heathens, when but
convinced about them (Dan 5:10,11; Acts 5:15; 1 Cor 14:24,25). "Let each [of
you, then,] esteem [each] other better than themselves" (Phil 2:2).
Use Fourth. Again, Is it so, that no man comes to Jesus Christ by the will,
wisdom, and power of man, but by the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father?
Then this shows us how horribly ignorant of this such are, who make the man that
is coming to Christ the object of their contempt and rage. These are also
unreasonable and wicked men; men in whom is no faith (2 Thess 3:2). Sinners, did
you but know what a blessed thing it is to come to Jesus Christ, and that by the
help and drawing of the Father, they do indeed come to him; you would hang and
burn in hell a thousand years, before you would turn your spirits as you do,
against him that God is drawing to Jesus Christ, and also against the God that
But, faithless sinner, let us a little expostulate the matter. What hath this
man done against thee, that is coming to Jesus Christ? Why dost thou make him
the object of thy scorn? doth his coming to Jesus Christ offend thee? doth his
pursuing of his own salvation offend thee? doth his forsaking of his sins and
pleasures offend thee?
Poor coming man! "Shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before
their eyes, and will they not stone us?" (Exo 8:26).
But, I say, why offended at this? Is he ever the worse for coming to Jesus
Christ, or for his loving and serving of Jesus Christ? Or is he ever the more a
fool, for flying from that which will drown thee in hell-fire, and for seeking
eternal life? Besides, pray, Sirs, consider it; this he doth, not of himself,
but by the drawing of the Father. Come, let me tell thee in thine ear, thou that
wilt not come to him thyself, and him that would, thou hinderest -
1. Thou shalt be judged for one that hath hated, maligned, and reproached Jesus
Christ, to whom this poor sinner is coming.
2. Thou shalt be judged, too, for one that hath hated the Father, by whose
powerful drawing this sinner doth come.
3. Thou shalt be taken and judged for one that has done despite to the Spirit of
grace in him that is, by its help, coming to Jesus Christ. What sayest thou now?
Wilt thou stand by thy doings? Wilt thou continue to contemn and reproach the
living God? Thinkest thou that thou shalt weather it out well enough at the day
of judgment? "Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days
that I shall deal with thee," saith the Lord? (Eze 22:14, John 15:18-25; Jude
15; 1 Thess 4:8).
Use Fifth. Is it so, that no man comes to Jesus Christ by the will, wisdom, and
power of man, but by the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father? Then this
showeth us how it comes to pass, that weak means are so powerful as to bring men
out of their sins to a hearty pursuit after Jesus Christ. When God bid Moses
speak to the people, he said, "I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with
thee" (Exo 18:19). When God speaks, when God works, who can let it? None, none;
then the work goes on! Elias threw his mantle upon the shoulders of Elisha; and
what a wonderful work followed! When Jesus fell in with the crowing of a cock,
what work was there! O when God is in the means, then shall that means -be it
never so weak and contemptible in itself -work wonders (1 Kings 19:19; Matt
26:74,75; Mark 14:71,72; Luke 22:60-62). The world understood not, nor believed,
that the walls of Jericho should fall at the sound of rams' horns; but when God
will work, the means must be effectual. A word weakly spoken, spoken with
difficulty, in temptation, and in the midst of great contempt and scorn, works
wonders, if the Lord thy God will say so too.
Use Sixth. Is it so? Doth no man come to Jesus Christ by the will, wisdom, and
power of man, but by the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father? Then here is
room for Christians to stand and wonder at the effectual working of God's
providences, that he hath made use of, as means to bring them to Jesus Christ.
For although men are drawn to Christ by the power of the Father, yet that power
putteth forth itself in the use of means: and these means are divers, sometimes
this, sometimes that; for God is at liberty to work by which, and when, and how
he will; but let the means be what they will, and as contemptible as may be, yet
God that commanded the light to shine out of darkness, and that out of weakness
can make strong, can, nay, doth oftentimes make use of very unlikely means to
bring about the conversion and salvation of his people. Therefore, you that are
come to Christ -and that by unlikely means -stay yourselves, and wonder, and,
wondering, magnify almighty power, by the work of which the means hath been made
effectual to bring you to Jesus Christ.
What was the providence that God made use of as a means, either more remote or
more near, to bring thee to Jesus Christ? Was it the removing of thy habitation,
the change of thy condition, the loss of relations, estate, or the like? Was it
thy casting of thine eye upon some good book, thy hearing of thy neighbours talk
of heavenly things, the beholding of God's judgments as executed upon others, or
thine own deliverance from them, or thy being strangely cast under the ministry
of some godly man? O take notice of such providence or providences! They were
sent and managed by mighty power to do thee good. God himself, I say, hath
joined himself unto this chariot: yea, and so blessed it, that it failed not to
accomplish the thing for which he sent it.
God blesseth not to every one his providences in this manner. How many thousands
are there in this world, that pass every day under the same providences! but God
is not in them, to do that work by them as he hath done for thy poor soul, by
his effectually working with them. O that Jesus Christ should meet thee in this
providence, that dispensation, or the other ordinance! This is grace indeed! At
this, therefore, it will be thy wisdom to admire, and for this to bless God.
Give me leave to give you a taste of some of those providences that have been
effectual, through the management of God, to bring salvation to the souls of his
(1.) The first shall be that of the woman of Samaria. It must happen, that she
must needs go out of the city to draw water, not before nor after, but just when
Jesus Christ her Saviour was come from far, and set to rest him, being weary,
upon the well. What a blessed providence was this! Even a providence managed by
the almighty wisdom, and almighty power, to the conversion and salvation of this
poor creature. For by this providence was this poor creature and her Saviour
brought together, that that blessed work might be fulfilled upon the woman,
according to the purpose before determined by the Father (John 4).
(2.) What providence was it that there should be a tree in the way for Zaccheus
to climb, thereby to give Jesus opportunity to call that chief of the publicans
home to himself, even before he came down therefrom (Luke 19).
(3.) Was it not also wonderful that the thief, which you read of in the gospel,
should, by the providence of God, be cast into prison, to be condemned even at
that session that Christ himself was to die; nay, and that it should happen,
too, that they must be hanged together, that the thief might be in hearing and
observing of Jesus in his last words, that he might be converted by him before
his death! (Luke 23).
(4.) What a strange providence was it, and as strangely managed by God, that
Onesimus, when he was run away from his master, should be taken, and, as I
think, cast into that very prison where Paul lay bound for the Word of the
gospel; that he might there be by him converted, and then sent home again to his
master Philemon! Behold "all things work together for good to them that love
God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28).
Nay, I have myself known some that have been made to go to hear the Word
preached against their wills; others have gone not to hear, but to see and to be
seen; nay, to jeer and flout others, as also to catch and carp at things. Some
also to feed their adulterous eyes with the sight of beautiful objects; and yet
God hath made use even of these things, and even of the wicked and sinful
proposals of sinners, to bring them under the grace that might save their souls.
Use Seventh. Doth no man come to Jesus Christ but by the drawing, &c., of the
Father? Then let me here caution those poor sinners, that are spectators of the
change that God hath wrought in them that are coming to Jesus Christ, not to
attribute this work and change to other things and causes.
There are some poor sinners in the world that plainly see a change, a mighty
change, in their neighbours and relations that are coming to Jesus Christ. But,
as I said, they being ignorant, and not knowing whence it comes and whither it
goes, for "so is every one that is born of the Spirit," (John 3:8), therefore
they attribute this change to others causes: as melancholy; to sitting alone; to
overmuch reading; to their going to too many sermons; to too much studying and
musing on what they hear.
Also they conclude, on the other side, that it is for want of merry company; for
want of physic; and therefore they advise them to leave off reading, going to
sermons, the company of sober people; and to be merry, to go a gossiping, to
busy themselves in the things of this world, not to sit musing alone, &c. But
come, poor ignorant sinner, let me deal with thee. It seems thou art turned
counsellor for Satan: I tell thee thou knowest not what thou dost. Take heed of
spending thy judgment after this manner; thou judgest foolishly, and sayest in
this, to every one that passeth by, thou art a fool. What! count convictions for
sin, mournings for sin, and repentance for sin, melancholy? This is like those
that on the other side said, "These men are [drunk with] full of new wine," &c.
Or as he that said Paul was mad (Acts 2:13, 26:24). Poor ignorant sinner! canst
thou judge no better? What! is sitting alone, pensive under God's hand, reading
the Scriptures, and hearing of sermons, &c., the way to be undone? The Lord open
thine eyes, and make thee to see thine error! Thou hast set thyself against God,
thou hast despised the operation of his hands, thou attemptest to murder souls.
What! canst thou give no better counsel touching those whom God hath wounded,
than to send them to the ordinances of hell for help? Thou biddest them be merry
and lightsome; but dost thou not know that "the heart of fools is in the house
of mirth?" (Eccl 7:4).
Thou biddest them shun the hearing of thundering preachers; but is it not
"better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of
fools?" (Eccl 7:5). Thou biddest them busy themselves in the things of this
world; but dost thou not know that the Lord bids, "Seek first the kingdom of
God, and his righteousness?" (Matt 6:33). Poor ignorant sinner! hear the counsel
of God to such, and learn thyself to be wiser. "Is any afflicted? let him pray.
Is any merry? let him sing psalms" (James 5:13). "Blessed is the man that
heareth me" (Prov 8:32). And hear for time to come, "Save yourselves from this
untoward generation" (Acts 2:40). "Search the Scriptures" (John 5:39). "Give
attendance to reading" (1 Tim 4:13). "It is better to go to the house of
mourning" (Eccl 7:2,3).
And wilt thou judge him that doth thus? Art thou almost like Elymas the
sorcerer, that sought to turn the deputy from the faith? Thou seekest to pervert
the right ways of the Lord. Take heed lest some heavy judgment overtake thee
(Acts 13:8-13). What! teach men to quench convictions; take men off from a
serious consideration of the evil of sin, of the terrors of the world to come,
and how they shall escape the same? What! teach men to put God and his Word out
of their minds, by running to merry company, by running to the world, by
gossiping? &c. This is as much as to bid them to say to God, "Depart from us,
for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways;" or, "What is the Almighty that we
should serve him? or what profit have we if we keep his ways?" Here is a devil
in grain! What! bid man walk "according to the course of this world, according
to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the
children of disobedience" (Eph 2:2).
COME AND WELCOME TO JESUS CHRIST: Part Five