« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
apprehensions I have of his suitableness tơi anfwer the neceffitous condition of such a finner as I am
4. Haft thou viewed and observed him for as to like him, and choose him for thy Reconciler and Saviour? What fayest thouy poor finner? Wilt thou have him for thise own? It is perfonal propriety in him that makes the thoughts and fight of him ravishing and enriching for ever.
Sinner' answers: O tremendous and astonishing Mystery of divine grace, in fending forth from the Father and the Son that Holy Spirit of promise, that, by his illuminating virtue and quickening power, i might have fuch a faving fight of Christ the Savie our, as should both beget in me a liking to his per: fon, and likewife cause in me a burning defire to be united and married to him. I am indeed fick of love to him, and filled with such desires after him, ac nothing short of a mystical union to his most holy and glorious person can satisfy my thirsting foulet 5. Art thou willing that this. Meliator faall
, have the whole honour of faving thee by his own mediatorial righteousness. For, as no righteous+ ness of a mere creature can ftand before the bar of God's infinite and incomprehensible holinefs, and to abide such a trial as to be judgede fit and fufficiènc to-juftify a finner before God, seeing that thra righteousness to which such honour is referved and assigned must be the righteousness of God, and also the righteousness of a finless man; fo this Mediator will become a saviour to none who will
mix or join any thing of their own, or other creatures, with his immaculate and all-fufficient righteousness. The whole and entire work of reconciling and saving finners is devolved on him alone. He will admit of no competitor in this work, to which the Father hath called and anointed him; and the which he himself, as vademony and surety for God's elect, hath undertaken to go through and perform. What sayest thou, sinner? Art thou willing to submit to this?
Sinner answers : 0 thou Holy of holies ! I see and find so little need of joining any righteousness of my own, or other creatures, to the complete and perfect righteousness of this Mediator, that I am resolved to look nowhere else for a righteousness whereby to be justified and saved. I am fully convinced, that as he needs no coadjutor to help him out in this work of saving sinners, seeing he is the holy and almighty one of God, able to save to the uttermost; so I see nothing like a legal righteousness which can answer the demand of the strict and righteous law of God, either in myself, or any other mere creature whatsoever. Whatever, therefore, is or can be , suggested or objected by the devil or carnal reason, against this righteousness of his, as insufficient to save, I am, by strength from above, fixedly resolved to cast my weary bleeding soul thereon, come life, come death.
6. There is a thing called the cross, which thou must expect, and look to meet with, if thou
resolve to live and reign with Christ in heaven hereafter. Thou must look to part with all that in this world is near and dear to thee, for his fake and the gospel's. Thou must sacrifice thy reputation and credit among men. Thou must become willing to be accounted a fool, a madman, a turbulent fellow, an enemy to Cæsar, a separatist from the church. Thou must not think or look to be advanced to worldly wealth and honour, if thou tread in those steps of Christ which lead to the heavenly glory. He went to heaven, antipodes to this vain world wherein thou art; fo must thou if thou desirest to meet hiin in heaven. Thou must expect and look to have all the world set against thee for thy witnessing to the truth, and .condemning the errors and wickedness of the world. Thou must expect and look to be cast off by father, and all fleshly relations, for his and the gospel's fake. Thou wilt, for following Christ in the ways of holiness, be accounted an hypocrite, a self- conceited and a self-justifying precisian, and proud pharisee, and that by the greatest pharisees of the times. The powers of darkness will all combine against thee to besiege and fight against thee; and yea, the very face of Providence shall seem to frown and look black on thee, to try whether thou wilt stick faithfully to Christ and the gospel. And, finally, if God call thee to leave all, and rather to lay down thy life than to leave and lose Chrift, thou must crample them all under thy feet, pre
ferring Christ before father, mother, brethren, wife, and children, though never so dearly beloved ; yea, and thy very life too. What sayest thou to this, finner ? Wilt thou venture on having or taking Christ on these terms ?
Sinner answers: For ever blessed and holy Lord God! thou knowest how hard this task is for flesh and blood, and not only hard, but'even impossible. Yet considering the absolute necessity of the choice now laid before me, and in regard of that Divine Power whereby I find my heart made willing to make choice of Christ on the terms now mentioned, I desire to choose and have him; let God do with me, and all that is dear to me, what he pleaseth, so he give me his Christ. . I am so apprehensive of the sweet and soul-enriching advantages which accompany the cross, that I am very unwilling to be exempted from it, if I may have my own choice.
. I, therefore, through the Divine Spirit's gracious power enabling me hereto, do yield my free and full consent to this matchless match; cafting myself on him, when actually married to him, in a way of humble dependance, for strength and power to act and suffer in a way of duty, whatever becomes of his disciple and follower: and, oh! that God above, with Christ and the Holy Ghost, might say Amen to it.
Matters being thus proposed by the Holy Ghost, and I, the worst and most unworthy of finners to be saved, being endued with power from him to
close with the proposals made, I immediately felo my whole heart and soul quickened within me, and drawn out to an effectual closing with Chrift in the offers of the gospel, like a fhip sticking in the fand, which no strength or art of men can fet afloat, till the full spring-tide come and fet her afloat, carrying her forth into the broad ocean. The quickening virtue of the Holy Ghost, and the attracting power of the Lord Jesus, drew me to believe in him; my soul crying out, with a silent and a ftill voice, My Lord and my God, thou art mine to save me, and I am thine to serve thee. Hereupon I felt, as it were, another fpirit put into me, whereby I was enabled to understand and know the design of the great God in causing fo great a change to pass upon me.
The Holy Ghost within me witnessing to his own work now wrought in my soul, and fealing me to the day of redemption in believing, I felt a torrent of unspeakable joy come from above, flowing in upon me in fuch manner and measure as I believe no faint or angel in heaven can set forth or express as I felt it.
1 Hereupon I fell into an holy ecstasy and divine rapture of inexpressible joy, with these thoughts and expressions within myself:
Oh! What a change is this which I now sensibly feel? A dead sinner brought to life again; a rebel and a fugitive from God brought home and reconciled by the blood of the Lamb; a prisoner and a