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Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of 'grace, that we may oo
tain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. iv. 16. OTHAT We were all so wise as to prepare and provide ourselves in due
time with the right armour of faith, before the time of need and hour of death approach! Come, my reader, let us begin now, and go die rectly to the gate of Mercy, lest we should come too late and be undone, Behold the encouragement of Christ :- -“ I am the door (says he) and the way,” John x. 1. chap. xiv. 6. Now, by this door you may find the ene trance into the heart and favour of God, Christ himself sitting on a mercy-seat to receive and welcome the vilest of sinners. And there is no drawing near to God but through him, and clothed in the robes of the righteousness of our only Redeemer, Mediator, and Advocate. He is Alpha and Omega, the Begining and the End, nay, the very. All in ALL to believers. With Christ they can never part; and he can never part with them.
Of him who did salvation bring,
Tho' sin and sorrow wound my soul,
God commendeth his love towards us ; in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him : for, if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much
more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Rom. v. 8, 9, 10. HERE we have much more reason to cry out than Moses (Deut.xxxiii.
3.) “ The Lord loved the people:" but here I must beseech thee too, OʻLord, that this infinite gift of thy Son may appear to magreater and greater every day; and that thy love, shining out iu his redemption, may go on so to increase in my soul, as to disperse all clouds of darkness, unbelief, and hard thoughts of thy goodness. Whenever this slanderous spirit tries to lift up his head, grant that my faith and love may be quickened and strengthened in such a manner, as heartily to praise thy great love, in spite of all his suggestions ; this is the chief desire which I offer unto thee in all my prayers, night and day. The want of faith and love, I am sensible, is still my greatest want ; my soul is like a large empty vessel, but I pray thee to fill it speedily, notwith, standing any opposition that may be made by my unrenewed part.
Come, guilty souls, and flee away,
Like doves to Jesu's wounds; This is the welcome gospel-day, Wherein free grace abounds.
God lov'd the world, and gave his Sor
To drink the cup of wrath ;
That come to him by faith.
For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. 1 Pet. ii. 21.
To believe in Christ for justification, is but one half of the duty of
faith: it respects Christ only as he died and suffered for us, as he made atonement for our sins, peace with God, and reconciliation for us and as our righteousness : unto these ends he is, indeed, primarily and principally proposed unto us in the gospel; and with respect unto them, we are exhorted to receive him and to believe in him : but this is not all that is required of us :- Christ in the gospel is proposed unto us as our pattern and example of holiness; and, as it is a cursed imagination that the whole end of his life and death was to exemplify and confirm the doctrine of holiness which he preached, so to neglect his being our example in considering him by faith unto that end, and labouring after conformity to him, is evil and pernicious; wherefore, let us be much in contemplation of what he was, what he did, how in all instances of duties and trials he carried himself until a glorious image of his perfect holiness is implanted in our minds, and we are made like unto him thereby:
Let me walk with Christ below,
In his likeness daily grow;
Follow him, and run my race,
The gospel is malle known to all nations for the obedience of fuith.
Rom. xvi. 26.
The obedience of faith here spoken of, is the same thing as belicving
the report of the gospel. Rom. x. 16. An hearty submission to the righteousness of God, even to Christ, who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one who believeth : this is the obedience of faith, strictly speaking, by which we give glory to God, take full shame to ourselves, renounce all that nature is proud of, and are brought to rest for our justification and acceptance with God, on that alone which has satisfied his law and justice. However slightly we may be disposed to pass over this, it is a high point of obedience not easily brought about in such a creature as man, and needing an effectual light and energy from above! It is taught purely from above; and he who would learn it, must seek it by much prayer continually; for in vain shall we strive to obey God in other things, until we learn to obey him in this ! Careless reader; See to it that you learn your need of Christ ! Awakened and distressed sinner, Seek not to heal yourself by a forced obedience ; learn the obedience of faith, that you may be purged in
your conscience from dead works to serve God. Self-despairing sinner, Obey the gospel-call of God to your soul and live. Believer, Let your fruit be to holiness.
Within me, Lord, thy Spirit place, And let me daily grow
grace, Conveying health, and peace, and pow'r ; | That I may love and serve thee more.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest. Matt. xi. 28.
This is a free invitation to every weary and heavy-laden sinner, made
by him who alone is able to take away the load and guilt of sin ! every person under the pressure of sin, not only may, but must come to Jesus thus laden with guilt, if he hopes to succeed for pardon ! While we endeavour to prepare our way by holy qualifications, we rather fill it with stumbling-blocks, whereby our souls are hindered from attaining to the salvation of Christ ! Christ would have us to believe on him, who justifies the ungodly, and therefore he doth not require us to be godly before we believe: he came as a physician for the sick, and doh not expect they should recover their health in the least degree before they come to him. The vilest sinners are fitly prepared and qualified for this design, which is to show forth the exceeding riches of his grace, pardoning our sins, and saving us freely. Eph. ii. 5,9. It is no affront to Christ, or slighting or contemning the justice and holiness of God, to come to Grd while we are polluted sinners; but rather it is an affronting and contemning the saving grace, merit, and fulness of Je sus, if we endeavour to make ourselves righteous and holy before we receive Christ himself, and all holiness and righteousness in him by faith.
Come, sinner, laden with deep wo! He cures all sickness, and all sore,
And turns no beggars from his door.