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FEAR FROM SATAN'S ROAR.
and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.” Again, “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill, that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.” 1 Sam. ii. 8; Psalm cxiï. 7, 8.
You see also when God would make a wedding for his Son, he called not the great, nor the rich, nor the mighty; but the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind. Matt. xxii.; Luke xiv.
5. Thy fears that Christ will not receive thee, may arise from the hideous roaring of the devil, who pursues thee. He that hears him roar, must be a mighty Christian, if he can at that time deliver himself from fear. Satan is called a roaring lion; and then, to allude to that in Isaiah, if one look into them, they have darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkness in their very heaven.' 1 Pet. v. 8; Isa.
There are two things, among many, that Satan useth to roar out, after them that are coming to Jesus Christ. 1. That they are not elected; 2. That they have sinned the sin against the Holy Ghost. To both these I answer briefly,
First, Touching Election, out of which thou fearest thou art excluded. Why, coming sinner, even the text itself affordeth thee help against this doubt, and that by a double argument.
1. That coming to Christ is, by virtue of the gift, promise, and drawing of the Father. But thou art a coming; therefore God hath given thee, promised thee, and is drawing thee to Jesus Christ. Coming sinner, hold to this; and when Satan beginneth to roar again, answer, “But I feel my heart moving after Jesus Christ; but that would not be, if it were not given by promise, and drawing to Christ by the power of the Father.' 2. Jesus Christ hath promised, that him that cometh to him, he will in no wise cast out. And if he hath said it, will he not make it good, I mean even thy salvation? For, as I have said already, not to cast out, is to receive and admit to the benefit of salvation. If then the Father hath given thee, as is manifest by thy coming; and if Christ will receive thee, thou coming soul, as it is plain he will, because he hath said, “he will in no wise cast out,” then be confident; and let these conclusions, that as naturally flow from the text, as light from the sun, or water from the fountain, stay thee.
If Satan therefore object, “But thou art not elected;' answer, ‘But I am coming, Satan, I am coming; and that I could not be, but that the Father draws me; and I am coming to such a Lord Jesus, as will in no wise cast me out. Further, Satan, were I not elect, the Father would not draw me, nor would the Son so graciously open his bosom to me.'
I am persuaded, that not one of the non-elect shall ever be able to say, no, not in the day of judgment, I did sincerely come to Jesus Christ. Come they may feignedly, as Judas and Simon Magus did; but that is not our question. Therefore, Othou honest-hearted coming sinner, be not afraid, but come!
As to the second part of the objection, about sinning the sin against the Holy Ghost; the same argument overthrows that also. But I will argue thus :
Coming to Christ is by virtue of a special gift of the Father; but the Father giveth no such gift to them that have sinned that sin; therefore thou that art coming hast not committed that sin. That the Father giveth no such gift to them that have sinned that sin, is evident, firstly, Because they have sinned themselves out of God's favor; "they shall never have forgiveness.” Matt. xii. 31. But it is a special favor of God to give unto a man, to come unto Jesus Christ; because thereby he obtaineth forgiveness. Therefore he
SIGNS OF THE UNPARDONABLE SIN.
that cometh, hath not sinned that sin. Secondly, They that have sinned the sin against the Holy Ghost, have sinned themselves out of an interest in the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood; “there remains for such no sacrifice for sin.” But God giveth not grace to any of them to come to Christ, that have no share in the sacrifice of his body and blood. Therefore, thou that art coming to him, hast not sinned that sin. Heb. x. 26.
Coming to Christ is by the special drawing of the Father. “No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him." But the Father draweth not him to Christ, for whom he hath not allotted forgiveness by his blood; therefore, they that are coming to Jesus Christ, have not committed that sin because he hath allotted them forgiveness by his blood. John vi. 44.
That the Father cannot draw them to Jesus Christ for whom he hath not allotted forgiveness of sins, is manifest to sense: for that would be a plain mockery, neither becoming his wisdom, justice, holiness, nor goodness.
Coming to Jesus Christ lays a man under the promise of forgiveness and salvation. But it is impossible that he that hath sinned that sin, should ever be put under a promise of these. Therefore he that hath sinned that sin, can never have heart to come to Jesus Christ.
Coming to Jesus Christ lays a man under his intercession ; for he ever liveth to make intercession for them that come. Heb. vii. 25. Therefore he that is coming to Jesus Christ cannot have sinned that sin. Christ has forbid his people to pray for them that have sinned that sin; therefore will not pray for them himself; but he prays for them that come.
He that hath sinned that sin, Christ is to him of no more worth, than is a man that is dead. For he hath crucified to himself the Son of God; yea, and hath also counted his precious blood, as the blood of an unholy thing. Heb. vi. 6. Now he that hath this low esteem of Christ, will never come to him for life; but the coming man has a high esteem of his person, blood, and merits. Therefore he that is coming has not committed that sin.
If he that has sinned this sin might yet come to Jesus Christ, then must the truth of God be overthrown; which saith in one place, he hath never forgiveness; and in anothor, “I will in no wise cast him out.” Therefore, that he may never have forgiveness, he shall never have heart to come to Jesus Christ. It is impossible that such a one should be renewed either to, or by repentance. Heb. vi. Wherefore, never trouble thy head, nor heart about this matter; he that cometh to Jesus Christ, cannot have sinned against the Holy Ghost.
6. Thy fears that Christ will not receive thee, may arise from thine own folly, in inventing, yea, in thy chalking out to God, a way to bring thee home to Jesus Christ. Some souls that are coming to Jesus Christ are great tormentors of themselves upon this account: they conclude, that if their coming to Jesus Christ is right, they must needs be brought home thus and thus: As to instance,
Says one, “If God be bringing me to Jesus Christ, then will he load me with the guilt of sin till he makes me roar again.'
'If God be indeed bringing me home to Jesus Christ,' says another, 'then must I be assaulted with dreadful temptations of the devil.'
"If God be indeed bringing me to Jesus Christ,' says a third, then even when I come at him, I shall have wonderful revelations of him.'
This is the way that some sinners appoint for God: but perhaps he will not walk therein; yet he will bring them to Jesus Christ. But now, because they come not the way
of their own chalking out, therefore they are at a loss. They look for a heavy load and burden; but perhaps God gives them a sight of their lost condition, and addeth not that
ASK NOT GREATER BURDENS.
heavy weight and burden. They look for fearful temptations of Satan; but God sees that yet they are not fit for them; nor is the time come that he should be honored by them in such a condition. They look for great and glorious revelations of Christ, grace, and mercy; but perhaps God only takes the yoke from off their jaws, and lays meat before them.' And now again they are at a loss, yet a coming to Christ. "I drew them” saith God "with cords of a man, with bands of love:” I took the yoke from off their jaws, and laid meat unto them.” Hos. xi. 4.
Now, I say, if God brings thee to Christ, and not by the way that thou hast appointed, then thou art at a loss; and for thy being at a loss, thou mayest thank thyself. God hath more ways than thou knowest of, to bring a sinner to Jesus Christ: but he will not give thee before hand an account by which of them he will bring thee to Christ. Isa. xl. 13; Job xxxiii. 13.
Sometimes he hath his way in the whirlwind; but sometimes the Lord is not there. Psalm xviii. 10; 1 Kings xix. 11.
If God will deal more gently with thee than with others of his children, grudge not at it. Refuse not the waters that go softly, lest he bring up to thee the waters of the rivers, strong and many; or even these two smoking firebrands, the devil and guilt of sin. Isa. viii. 6, 7. He saith to Peter, “Follow me.” And what thunder did Zaccheus hear or see? "Zaccheus, come down," saith Christ: "and he came down,” says Luke,) "and received him joyfully." But had Peter or Zaccheus made the objection that thou hast made, and directed the Spirit of the Lord as thou hast done, they might have looked long enough, before they had found themselves coming to Jesus Christ.
Besides, I will tell thee, that the greatness of sense of sin, the hideous roaring of the devil, yea, abundance of revelations, will not prove that God is bringing thy soul to