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1. Have you received it as the word of God, the word by way of eminency, the word of God in Chrift, i Theff. ii. 13. and received it not as the word of man, of this or that man; but, as it is in truth, the word of God? &c.
2. Have you received it as a word of salvation, or as a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, both as a truth and as a good ? This reception of it supposes a view you have of your being a lost finner welcoming a Saviour.
3. Have you received it as the word of this salvation, a present salvation, a particular salvation ? This particular salvation from sin and wrath that you need, this near salvation ; “ I bring near my righteousness to the stout-bearted, and far from righteousness ; my salvation shall not tarry,” Il. xlvi. 12. 13. this great salvation, this purchased salvation, this promised salvation, this offered salvation, presently offered. Faith fixes upon something present. You need not say, Rom. x. 6–8., « Who will afcend to heaven, &c. the word is nigh," &c. Again,
4. Have you received it as a sent salvation, as God's send, as God's gift, fent by the hand of his ambassadors, sent freely and sovereignly, without your seeking after it, sent out of the storehouse of divine grace.
5. Have you received it as sent to finners, to finners in ge. neral ? For here is glad tidings of great joy to all people. « « Upon this mountain shall the Lord of hofts make unto all people a feast of fat things, of wines on the lees,” &c. If.xxvi.6.
6. Have you received it as sent unto you in particular ? To you, finners, says the general dispensation : To thee, finner, in particular, says the particular offer: “Whosoever will, let him come.” Halt thou then received it, as sent to thee, though a guilty sinner; to thee, though a vile finner ? Hait thou entertained it with a me, me, of particular application, saying, Here is an offer to me, a gift to me, a promise from heaven to me? Hast thou found thyself called by name, and said, I am warranted to take hold of Christ, and the salvation he brings with him, in this word of salvation; and even so I take him at his word, “ Lord, I believe, help thou my unbe. lief?” Have you hereupon found the virtue of this word, as a word of salvation, saving you from your doubts and fears, saving you from your bonds and fetters, saving you from your helpless and hopeless condition, and making you to hope for complete salvation from sin avd misery? Have you found fala vation begun in the faith of the word of salvation, and being begotten to a lively hope thereby? And does this hope begin to purify your heart, and this faith begin to work by love to God, and hatred of lin, and of yourleit for sin? And is your Vol. III.
continual recourse to this word of falvation, or to the promise of God in Christ, for all your salvation ?
8thly, Hence fee what matter of joy and praise believers have, who have been determined thus to entertain the word of fal. vation ; for when the word of salvation is received through grace, then the work of falvation is begun : and you need be in no uneafiness now, though you be called to work out the work of your salvation with fear and trembling ; because it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do. He that hath begun the good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of the Lord. The word of salvation may be unto thee, Obeliever, the word of consolation all the days of your life: for it is a word of salvation, not only from the sinful state and mi. serable state you was in, but it is a word of falvation also bringing the good news of falvation in every case ; salvation from the devil, the world, and the flesh; falvation and deliverance from the hands of all your enemies ; falvation from the sting of death, falvation from the terror of judgement, fal. vation from the curse of the law, and from the guilt of all your sins; salvatica not only from all evil, but salvation to eternal life ; for the word of falvation you have received and entertained through grace, contains all the words of eternal Jife. The word of falvation is the word of life for you, when under deadnels, and the word of liberty for you, when under bondage; a word of rest for you, when ander weariness; a word of relief for you, when under distress of whatsoever fort. It is a word of salvation confirmed with the oaths of God, « That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, they might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope fet before them."
Sthly, Hence fee matter for terror to those that neglect this great falvation that is sent to them by this word. “ How shall they escape who neglect so great a salvation," and a salvation come so near to them? O sinner, it is a falvation sent to your house, and will you reject it? salvation fent to your soul; a word of salvation fent to your hand to receive it, and will you reject it? a word of salvation sent to your ear, faying, " But hear, and your soul thall live :” A word of salvation sent to your heart, and by it God is knocking at the door of your heart : 0) will you resuse him that speaketh from hea. ven? See Heb. xii. 25. If you will not hear God's word of grace in the gospeh, saying, “ To you is the word of this sal. vation sent;" you must lay your account to hear his word of wrath in the law, saying, yea, swearing in his wrath, that you shall not enter into his rest. If you have no fear of God, as it is in the verse where my text lies; if you fall never be
persuaded to fear the Lord, and his goodness manifested in the word of salvation sent to you, you must lay your account to fear the Lord and his wrath, manifested in the word of condemnation, which the law pronounces against them that believe not the gospel, John ii. 18. “ He that believeth not is condemned already." And there is no escaping this sentence of condemnation, but by receiving the word of salvation.
iothly, Hence see how much it is the interest of every one to receive, and entertain, and welcome this word of salvation. “ O bear, that your souls may live.” Hear the joyful sound of salvation, o loft perishing sinner, before the door of mercy be shut, and the day of grace be over. Consider,
1. What sort of a salvation is offered to you. It is a spiritual salvation, the salvation of the immortal soul. "What shall a man profit, though he gain the whole world, if he lose his own soul?" If you would not lose and ruin your souls, O receive the word of salvation. It is a coftly salvation, it comes running in the channel of the blood of Christ. It is brought to your hand, and free to you, however dear bought by the Redeemer. You have nothing to pay for it, the price of it is paid already; the condition is fulfilled. It is a complete falvation, salvation from every thing you need to be saved from ; salvation from unbelief, enmity, atheism, heart-hardness, heart-deadness, and every thing that you make an objection against receiving of this salvation. You say you cannot believe, you cannot repent; but would you be saved from your unbelief and impeni. tence? This, and all the other branches of salvation is sent to you, when the word of salvation is sent. Will you welcome a Saviour to save you from all, to be wisdom, and righteourness, and sanctification, and redemption, and all to you? It is an everlasting salvation. Would you be happy after death, and have an eternity of happiness ? Life and immortality is brought to light by this word of salvation. O poor dying linner, consider what an everalafting salvation this is.
2. Consider what need thou hast of this salvation. Thou hast a dark mind, and peedest salvation from that darkness and ignorance. Thou hast a guilty conscience, and needest salva. tion from that guilt. Thou hast a hard heart, and needest sale vation from that hardness. Thou hast a powerful and strong corruption, and needest salvation from that. Thou hast a cora rupt nature, and needest salvation from that. Thou haft many heart-plagues, and needest salvation from these plagues, and healing. Behold all this salvation, and infinitely more, comes with the word of salvation ; no salvation thou needest is excepted. Thy need is great, death is at hand, judgement at
r ning the accepted time, now is the day of salva
".. be no word in the day of judgement to fino ch wurd of condemnation: “Depart from me, ye ... it everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his
s now, in the day of salvation, is sent to you this sono intentation; now, now is the day, and perhaps now, or
Lender what a firm ground this word of salvation is isi o to believe upon. It is the word of God, the God
sannot lie. It is ratified by an oath of God. It is a
e confirmed by the blood of the Son of God. It is a word * led by the Three that bear record in heaven. It is a word
en by the inspiration of the Spirit of God: “ He that buch ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches. The Spirit and the bride say, Come;" come and hear this word of salvation ; come and believe ; come and ape ply to thyself what is offered to thee.
4. Consider the good warrant you have to intermeddle with this word of salvation. It is sent to you on purpose that you may believe it with application to yourself; and that every one of you, thou man, thou woman, may take it home to thy own heart; for to thee is the word of salyation sent. To thee is this love letter sent from heaven. Read the indorsement, and see if it be not to thee. It is backed to thee, O guilty finner, saying, Christ came to save finners. It is backed to thee, O inhabitant of the earth, that art not yet in hell; « Look to me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” It is backed to thee, O scorner, that hast hitherto been a mocker of God and godliness, Prov. i. 20. 22. 23. It is backed to thee, O rebellious sinner. If thou wert excepted, all mankind would be so. Behold Christ hath ascended up on high, led captivies captive, and received gifts for men, even for the rebellious, that God the Lord might dwell among them. It is backed to thee, O black and bloody sinner, Isa. xviij. “ Come now, and let us reason together, faith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they fhall be white as snow; though they be red like crimfon, they shall be as wool.” It is backed to thee, O finner, that art thirsting after other things than Christ, lsa. lv. 1. 2. " Ho, every one that thirdteth, come. Wherefore speud ye your money for that which is not bread ?" &c. Wherefore do ye thirst and pant after other things that cannot give you satisfaction? Yea, it is backed for thee, O. unhumbled, uncon. vinced sinner. Say not, that cannot concern thee, because thou art not convinced of thy sin. O, the word of salvation comes even to thee also, Rev. iii. 18. “ I counsel thee to buy of me gold isied in the fire,” &c. even thee, that, as in the
preceding preceding verse, art saying that thou art rich and increased with goods, and stand in need of nothing; and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Unconcerned sinner, to thee, even to thee, is the word of this salvation fent. Is this love-letter backed for thee? ( then, know, that though you have no will, you have a warrant to receive it, and Christ in it. If you reject this word of salvation, it is either because you will not, or dare not, or cannot receive it.
If you say you will not take it to you, then remember you are willingly subscribing your own doom. And I take instruments against you, that you will not have salvation, you will
not come to Christ that you may have life; you are prefer- ring some base lust to the Lord of glory, and so preferring, of
consequence, damnation to salvation, death to life.
If it be not a will of obftinacy, but impotency, saying, O if my will were subdued ; behold the word of salvation comes with salvation from that plague of unwillingness, saying, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. And to you is the word of this salvation sent, that you may welcome its and so far as you welcome it, so far are you willing.
If you say you dare not take the word to yourself as a word - of salvation to you; why dare you not to do what God offers
you? How durst you sin against God when he forbade you?
And now you dare not take his word for your salvation, when - he bids you! How durst you venture on his fury against his :command? And now you dare not venture on his favour,
through Christ, at his call and command. Was it not enough
to offend bis justice and will you venture now to flight his • mercy? This is worse than all your former sins, to refuse fal. vation that he offers from the guilt of all.
If you say you cannot, because of utter impotency; that shall be no stop. You cannot believe, you cannot come to Christ; but as the word of salvation is sent to you, so salvation is come to you, because you cannot come to it. The Saviour is come to you, because you cannot come to him. Are you for him? The word of salvation is a word of power; and drawing power is in it, to draw you that cannot come. “When I am lifted up, I will draw all men after me.” Are you willing to be drawn? Then the word of salvation hath so far taken effect upon you, as to remove your unwillingness, and to make you willing. Look for another pull of omnipotency; for the word of salvation is a word of omnipotency; it is the almighty word of the almighty God. Saving power, drawing power, is in it. Welcome it as such, and in due time you shall be able