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complete salvation of sinners) he is able also to perform? Whatever difficulties lie in the way, in life and death, are you fully persuaded that he is able and faithful? And are you determined to depend and rest your soul upon him ? Yours is that very 6 faith, which was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” By this faith, Abraham gave glory to God, ascribing to him what is his real due, power, faithfulness, and mercy. Nor can you any other way honour the Son, but by an entire dependence upon him, wherein you give him that of which he is jealous, and which is his just and proper right, the glory of being the alone, all-sufficient, and faithful Redeemer. . But,
Fourthly, That you may not be mistaken, let us be more particular.
1. With an evident sense of your guilt, misery, and being without help in yourself, do you come to Christ that he may reconcile the Father to you, resolvedly determined to leave yourself with him for this purpose ? Seeing an all-sufficient merit in his death and righteousness, would you that he should apply it to you, for God's forgiving you your sin, and taking you into his favour? And do you disclaim all other hope and confidence of obtaining pardon and peace with God, besides what the merit of Christ's atonement and righteousness gives you, being assured that if you fail of obtaining a part in this, you perish? Do you thus flee to Christ for refuge from the stings of a guilty conscience, the sight of your own vileness, and the apprehension of deserved wrath? So far it is well. “ No flesh
must glory in God's sight. He that glorieth, must glory in the Lord;" whose “ blood cleanseth from all sin," and who will be known by this name, “ The Lord our righteousness.” But,
2. Is this your application to the Lord Jesus for reconciliation with God, accompanied with an equally urgent desire, and which you cannot endure you should not see fulfilled to you, that he will rescue you from the slavery of sin and Satan, that he will put a new heart into you, and restore the image of the blessed God to your soul? In other words, do you approve of Christ as a master and husband, as well as a Saviour, desiring to be his with all the faithfulness of a servant, with all the affectionate loyalty of a spouse ? Hath the majesty, the loveliness, the condescension of this Redeemer, engaged your heart to him, so as you find yourself ready and desirous to leave your father's house, to be subject to his directions, to be under his protection, to cleave steadfastly to him, and every way to own and honour him, whatever you may lose, whatever you may suffer? Can you appeal to your own breast, and doth that declare, that in this manner, without any reserve, you desire to be the follower of Christ, valuing him because of that freedom he offers you from sin, because of that power he would give you of becoming the servant, as well as the child of God? If having “ found this pearl of great price," you are thus willing to “sell all that you have to buy it,” if you are content and desirous to take Christ's yoke on you, I ask,
3. Are your prejudices against Christ and his
word removed, so that you come to him as “the light of the world,” willing that he may teach you “all things that pertain unto life and godliness? Are you resolved, that in all things his word shall be your rule, that you will not hearken to any reasonings of your unbelieving heart, to the pleadings of your own flesh, to the customs of a wicked world, against it? and are you desirous that the Holy Spirit may lead you into all the truths which are therein? Are you ready to acknowledge Jesus to be the great “ prophet that should come into the world,” by meekly submitting yourself to the teaching of his word and Spirit ? Like the convicted Saul, is your heart prepared for action, and waiting for direction, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?”
Judge you, that in this way you come to Christ, to be justified, governed, and taught by him? But are you sincere in all this? - Show me thy faith by thy works,” saith St. James. Therefore,
4. To prove your sincerity, to try the truth of your faith, what effect hath it upon you ? If it be true faith, you are become a living member of Christ's body; if you come to Christ with a real sincerity in the things described, he is faithful; and it will appear, that he dwelleth in you by the Spirit which he gives you; producing such immediate fruits in your heart and life, as you must own (if you believe the Scriptures, or are acquainted with your own inability) are altogether above your power.
It is my purpose to give you a large account of this matter hereafter. Wherefore, for the present, I shall be content only to say so much in a general way, as may serve to prevent your imagining you come to Christ, if you do not. And this will be sufficiently done, if you consider more attentively, what it is you come to him for. You know that he is able to save and help you; and you hear him say, if you come to him, he will in nowise cast you out, or reject your suit. So that if you do really come to him for the “ things which pertain unto life and godliness,” it cannot be that you should be without them. See then, - First, You are come to Christ, that he may reconcile the Father to you. But you will not think that you do this in sincerity, unless the choicest affections of your heart are engaged to him. “ To you who believe, he is precious.” And is he become so to you? Doth the dignity of his person command, and his gracious condescension constrain your love? Is it a pleasure for you to think of him in his life, his death, his glory; and is his name delightful to you? Doth it grieve you to see him daily despised of men ? and are you rejoiced in the prospects of that illustrious day, when he “ shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance” on his Father's enemies and his own, “ when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe?” Do you reproach yourself with your sins, and mourn, when you consider how they have pierced him ? Do you regard yourself, and all you have, as his property, the purchase of his blood? And are you ready to part with any thing for him ? If you have not been called to it already, are you willing to “ suffer for
his name's sake?” Can you be content to part with your worldly friendships, respect, character, interests for him? Do you 'c count all these things dung, in comparison of Christ?” In sincerity, can you make a faithful answer to all these things? Then consider, farther,
Secondly, You are come to Christ, that he may deliver you from the power which sin hath had over you, leading you into a new and heavenly course of life. And what? Hath he done this for you? Are you “made free from sin, and become the servant of righteousness ?” Hath no outward sin dominion over you? And are you actually at war with all that sin which you find in your heart "not obeying it in the lusts thereof?” If you commit sin, if but one sin (as far as you can see) reigns over you in heart or life, you are 6 not born of God.” And are you become a servant of God? Are you heartily about your Father's business? Do you “exercise yourself to have a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man?” Have you your fruit unto holiness, intent upon everlasting life, as the end and scope of all your pursuits? All your pretensions of coming to Christ, unless this be the issue, are vain; for how reasonably doth he insist, " Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" You overset the very design of his coming, which was “ to turn men from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God.” You do him the greatest dishonour, “making him the minister of sin.” Nor can you have the least title to faith, 66 which entereth into that within the vail,