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CHRIST'S POWER TO CAST OUT.
of Christ, that every one may receive for the things done in the body, according to what they have done." If they have closed with him, heaven and salvation; if they have not, hell and damnation.
And for these reasons he must be the Judge:
1. Because of his humiliation. Because at his Father's word he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. “Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This hath respect to his being Judge, and his sitting in judgment upon angels and men. Phil. îi. 7.
2. Because of his dignity. That all men might honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. " For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.” John v. 22, 23.
3. Because of his humanity. “He hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” John v. 17.
4. Because of his righteous judgment. This work is fit for no creature; it is only fit for the Son of God. For he will “reward every man according to his works." Rev. ii. 2.
Thus have I in brief passed through this text by way of explanation. My next work is to speak of it by way of OBSERVATION. But I shall be also as brief in that as the nature of the thing will admit.
" All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me; and hím that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” John vi. 37. These words, as explained, afford us many observations; some of which are these.
1. That God the Father, and Christ his Son, are two distinct persons in the Godhead.
2. That by them (not excluding the Holy Ghost) is contrived, and determined the salvation of fallen mankind.
3. That this contrivance, resolved itself into a covenant between these persons in the Godhead, which standeth in giving on the Father's part, and receiving on the Son's. “ All that the Father giveth me,” &c.
4. That every one that the Father hath given to Christ (according to the mind of God in the text) shall certainly come to him.
5. That coming to Jesus Christ is therefore not by the will, wisdom, or power of man: but by the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father. “All that the Father giveth me, shall come.”
6. That Jesus Christ will be careful to receive, and will not in any wise reject those that come, or are coming to him. “ And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out."
There are, besides these, some other truths implied in the words. As,
7. They that are coming to Jesus Christ, are ofttimes heartily afraid that he will not receive them.
8. Jesus Christ would not have them that in truth are coming to him, once think that he will cast them out.
These observations lie all of them in the words, and are plentifully confirmed by the scriptures of truth; but I shall not at this time speak to them all, but shall pass by the first, second, third, fourth, and sixth; partly, because I design brevity, and partly because they are touched upon in the explanatory part of the text. I shall therefore begin with the fifth observation, and so make that the first in order, in the following discourse.
First, then: Coming to Christ is not by the will, wisdom, or power of man; but by the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father. This observation consists of two parts. The coming to Christ is not by the will, wisdom, or power of man: But by the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father.
That the text carrieth this truth in its bosom, you will find if you look into the explanation of the first part thereof before. I shall therefore here follow the method propounded, viz. show,
I. That coming to Christ is not by the will, wisdom, or power of man. This is true, because the word doth positively say
it is not. 1. It denieth it to be by the will of man. " Not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man.” And again, “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth.” John i. 13; Rom. ix. 16.
2. It denieth to be of the wisdom of man, as is mani. fest from these considerations.
(1.) In the wisdom of God it pleased him, that the world by wisdom should not know him. 1 Cor. i. 21. Now if by their wisdom they cannot know him, it follows, by that wisdom, they cannot come to him; for coming to him, is not before, but after some knowledge of him. Acts xiii. 27; Psalm ix. 10.
(2.) The wisdom of man, in God's account, as to the knowledge of Christ, is reckoned foolishness.
" Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ?” and again, “ The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” Now if God hath made foolish the wisdom of this world; and again, if the wisdom of this world is foolishness with him, then verily it is not likely, that by that a sinner should become so prudent, as to come to Jesus Christ, especially if you consider,
(3.) That the doctrine of a crucified Christ, and so of salvation by him, is the very thing that is counted foolishness to the wisdom of the world. Now, if the
doctrine of a crucified Christ be counted foolishness by the wisdom of this world, it cannot be, that by that wisdom a man should be drawn out, in his soul to come to him. 1 Cor. i. 20; ii. 14; iii. 19; i. 18, 23. .
(4.) God counteth the wisdom of this world one of his greatest enemies; therefore by that wisdom no man can come to Jesus Christ. For it is not likely that one of God's greatest enemies should draw a man to that which best of all pleaseth God, as coming to Christ doth. Now, that God counteth the wisdom of this world one of his greatest enemies, is evident. Because it casteth the greatest contempt upon his Son's undertaking, as afore is proved, in that it counts his crucifixion foolishness; though that be one of the highest demonstrations of divine wisdom. Eph. i. 7, 8. Because God hath threatened to destroy it, and bring it to nought, and cause it to perish; which surely he would not do, were it not an enemy, would it direct men to, and cause them to close with Jesus Christ. See Isa. xxix. 14; 1 Cor. i. 19. Because he hath rejected it from helping in the ministry of his word, as a fruitless business, and a thing that comes to
THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD.
nought. 1 Cor. ii. 4, 6, 12, 13. Because it causeth to perish those that seek it, and pursue it. 1 Cor. i. 18, 19. And because God has proclaimed, that if any man seemeth to be wise, he must become a fool in the wisdom of this world, and that is the way to be wise in the wisdom of God. “If any man seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” 1 Cor. iii. 18-20.
3. Coming to Christ is not by the power of man. This is evident, partly,
(1.) From that which goeth before. For man's power, in the putting forth of it, in this matter, is either stirred up with love, or sense of necessity. But the wisdom of this world neither gives man love to, or sense of a need of Jesus Christ; therefore his power lieth still, as from that.
(2.) What power has he that is dead, -as every natural man spiritually is, “dead in trespasses and sins"--even as dead to God's New Testament things, as he that is in his grave is dead to the things of this world? What power hath he then, whereby to come to Jesus Christ? John v. 25; Eph. ii. 1; Col. ii. 13.
(3.) God forbids the mighty man's glory in his strength; and says positively, “By strength shall no man prevail.” And again, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.” Jer. ix. 23, 24; Zech. iv. 6; 1 Cor. iii. 21.
(4.) Paul acknowledgeth that man, nay converted man, of himself, hath not a sufficiency of power in himself to think a good thought; if not to do that which is least, (for to think is less than to come;) no man by his own power can come to Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. iii. 5.
(5.) Hence we are said to be made willing to come, by the power of God; to be raised from a state of sin, to a state of grace, by the power of God; and to believe (that is, to come), through the exceeding working of his mighty power