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THE PROMISE REMOVES OBSTACLES.
is an age
since none can create but God? Why, God indeed doth make them new creatures. “Behold,” saith he, “I make all things new.” And hence it follows (even after he had said, they are "new creatures"); "and all things are of God;" that is, all these new creatures stand in the several operations and special workings of the Spirit of grace, who is God. 2 Cor. v. 17, 18.
Object. 7. "But how shall they escape all those dangerous and damnable opinions, that like rocks and quicksands are in the way which they are going ?' Answ. Indeed this
there was an age of errors in the world; but yet the gift of the Father, laid claim to by the Son in the text, must needs escape them, and in conclusion come to him. There are a company of shall comes in the Bible that do secure them. Not but that they may be assaulted by them; yea, and also for the time entangled and detained by them from the Bishop of their souls; but these shall comes will break those chains and fetters, that those given to Christ are entangled in, and they shall come, because he hath said they “shall come” to him.
Indeed, errors are like that strange woman of whom you read in the Proverbs, that sitteth in her seat in the high places of the city, “to call passengers who go right on their ways.” Prov. ix. 13–16. But the persons, as I said, that by the Father are given to the Son to save them, are secured by “shall come to me.” And therefore, of such it is said, God will guide them with his eye, with his counsel, by his Spirit, and that in the way of peace, by the springs of water, and into all truth. Psalm xxxii. 8; lxxiii. 24; John xvi. 13; Luke i. 79. So then he that hath such a guide, (and all that the Father giveth to Christ shall have it), he shall escape those dangers, he shall not err in the way; yea, though he be a fool, he shall not err therein.
For of every such a one it is said, “Thine
ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isa. xxx. 21.
There were thieves and robbers before Christ's coming, as there are also now; but saith he, “the sheep did not hear them.” And why did they not hear them, but because they were under the power of that absolute promise, “shall come,” that had that grace in itself to bestow upon them, as could make them able rightly to distinguish voices. “My sheep hear my voice." But how came they to hear it? Why, to them it is given to know and to hear, and that distinguishingly. John x. 8, 16; v. 25; Eph. v. 14.
Further. The very plain sentence of the text makes provision against all these things. For, it saith, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;" that is, 'shall not be stopped, or be allured to take up any where short of shall they turn aside, to abide with any besides me.'
GROUNDS OF COMING TO CHRIST.
“SHALL come to me.”—To me. By these words there is further insinuated (though not expressed) a double cause of their coming to him. 1. There is in Christ a fulness of all-sufficiency, even of all that, which is needful to make us happy. 2. Those that indeed come to him, do therefore come to him that they may receive it at his hand.
For the first of these, there is in Christ a fulness of all-sufficiency, even of all that which is needful to make us happy. Hence it is said, “For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell.” And again, “Of his fulness, all we have received, and grace for grace.” Col. i. 19; John i. 16. It is also said of him, that his riches are unsearchable, “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Eph. iii. 8. Hear what he saith of himself, “Riches and honor are with me, even durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment; that I may cause them that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” Prov. viii. 18-21.
This in general: but, more particularly; there is that light in Christ that is sufficient to lead them out of, and from all that darkness, in the midst of which all others but them that come to him, stumble, and fall, and perish. “I am the light of the world,” saith he, “he that followeth me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John viii. 12. Man by nature is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knows not whither he goes, for the darkness hath blinded his eyes; neither can any but Jesus Christ lead men out of this darkness. Natural conscience cannot do it; the ten commandments, though in the hearts of men, cannot do it. This prerogative belongs only to Jesus Christ.
There is life in Christ, that is to be found no where else (John v. 40): life, as a principle in the soul, by which it shall be actuated and enabled to do that which through him is pleasing to God. “He that believeth on (or cometh to) me," saith he, “as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John vii. 38. Without this life a man is dead, whether he be bad, or whether he be good; that is, good in his own and other men's esteem. There is no true and eternal life, but what is in the “me” that speaketh in the text.
There is also life for those that come to him, to be had by faith in his filesh and blood. “He that eateth me, shall live by me.” John vi. 57. And this is a life against that death that comes by the guilt of sin, and the curse of the law, under which all men are, and for ever must be, unless they eateth “me,” that speaks in the text. 6 Whoso findeth me,” saith he, “ findeth life;" deliverance from the everlasting death and destruction, that without me, he shall be devoured by. Prov. viii.
Nothing is more desirable than life, to him that hath in himself the sentence of condemnation; and here only is life to be found. “This life," namely, eternal life, “this life is in his Son ;” that is, in him that saith in the text, “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me.” 1 John
The person speaking in the text, is he alone by whom poor sinners have admittance to, and acceptance with the Father, because of the glory of his righteousness, by and in which he presenteth them amiable and spotless in his sight. Neither is there any way besides him, so to come to the
THE FULNESS OF CHRIST.
Father. “I am the way," says he, “ the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John xiv. 6. All other ways to God are dead and damnable; the destroying cherubims stand with flaming swords, turning every way to keep all others from his presence (Gen. iii. 24); I say, all others but them that come by him. “I am,” saith he, “the door: by me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved." John x. 9.
The person speaking in the text, is he, and only he, that can give stable and everlasting peace. Therefore, saith he, “My peace I give unto you. My peace,' which is a peace with God, peace of conscience, and that of an everlasting duration. • My peace,' peace that cannot be matched. “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you;" for the world's peace is but carnal and transitory, but mine is divine and eternal.' Hence it is called the peace of God, that passeth all understanding.
The person speaking in the text, hath enough of all things truly, spiritually good, to satisfy the desire of every longing soul.
“ Jesus stood, and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink.” “I will give to him that is athirst, of the fountain of the water of life freely.” John vii. 37; Rev. xxi. 6.
With the person speaking in the text is power to perfect, and defend, and deliver those that come to him for safeguard. “All power," saith he, “is given unto me in heaven and earth.” Matt. xxviii. 18.
Thus might I multiply instances of this nature in abundance. But,
Secondly, They that in truth do come to him, do therefore come to him that they may receive it at his hand. They come for light, they come for life, they come for reconciliation with God; they also come for peace, they come that their souls may be satisfied with spiritual good, and that they may be protected by him against all spiritual and eter