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stand as officers unto all the rest. The stomach hath a great deal of meat in it, but it hath not that meat for itself, but that it may communicate to all the members. The liver hath a great deal of blood in it, but the liver hath not the blood in it for itself, but that it may communicate it unto all the parts. And the head, it hath all the senses seated in it, it hath many spirits ; but not for itself, but for the members. So Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church whatsoever grace and holiness as Mediator he hath received, he hath not received for himself, but for others.
This may make the saints and people of God to come with boldness to the throne of grace: hath Christ received for others, and not for himself; then why not for me? Lord, why not for me? Now you shall see that further proved in the lxist chapter of Isaiah, the 1st and 2nd verses: “ The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, and to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God: to comfort all that mourn.” They are the words of Christ, spoken in the person of Christ: as if he had said thus: There are a generation of men in the world, that are taken captive by their sins; and lie bound in chains and irons by Satan: and they are broken and bowed down greatly under the burden of them: now God the Father, he hath designed me to go open the prison doors to these poor captives: and because God the Father hath designed me to it; therefore the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, not in me; therefore the Spirit of the Lord is me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek. So that you see, now, that anointing that falls upon the head of Christ, it falls not upon him for himself, barely, but that it may run down upon all his members. That is a second proposition.
III. As there is an infinite treasury of grace and holiness in Christ, which he hath not received for himself but for others : so, in the third place, there is an infinite propension and willingness in Jesus Christ to communicate this grace unto the children of men. Pray mark it: there is an infinite propension and willingness in Jesus Christ, to communicate
and give out his grace unto the children of men.
66 He is faithful (says the apostle) in all his house, as Moses was, Heb. iii. 2. Now if Jesus Christ should receive gifts for men, for others; and then run away with all, and not be willing to give them out; he could not be faithful: but faithful he is. Look, I pray, for this in the xvith Psalm, at the 2nd “ Thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my
Lord : my goodness not for thee: but for the saints that are in the earth, and for the excellent, in whom are all my delight.” You read the words thus: “ Thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee.” But in the Hebrew, the word extendeth is not. 66 Thou art my Lord: my goodness not for thee: but for the saints that are in the earth.” That these words are spoken of Christ, pray read the four last verses: “ I have set the Lord always before me:” at the 8th verse, “because he is at my righthand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.” Now compare these words with what the apostle says in Acts ii. 25: “ David speaketh concerning him (mark): For I foresaw the Lord always before my face; he is on my right-hand, I shall not be moyed: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad : moreover also, my flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,” the same words, “neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Mark what is said then at the 29th verse, the apostle proves, that these words of the Psalm, must needs be understood of Christ, and not of David. “Men and brethren, (says he) let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is doth dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” Therefore, says he, these words cannot be understood of David, but must be understood of Christ. Now then, this Psalm being thus to be understood of Christ, says Christ, “ Lord, thou art my Lord: my goodness is not for thee: but for the saints that are in the earth, and for the excellent, in whom is all my delight.” They are my delight, and therefore what goodness I have from thee, I am willing to give it out again unto them; because all my delight is in them. Do you not think, that a man is willing to eat his meat
when he is a hungry? Pray look into the ivth chapter of John, and you shall see what was Christ's meat, verse the 34th : “ Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” My meat is to do the will of him that sent me: what is that? Finish his work; what is that? You read before in the lxist of Isaiah, That the Spirit of the Lord was upon him: and God the Father had anointed him to open the prison door. Now therefore, saith he, look how willing a man is to eat his meat when he is a hungry; so willing am I to relieve poor sinners, to open the prison door to poor captive souls. Tender hearted mothers, are you willing to give your children suck? to have your breasts drawn? Yes: why so ? Truly, not only because of my child, but the truth is, unless my breasts be drawn it is a pain to me: not only for my child therefore, but for mine own ease also, you will say. Why, brethren, the humanity of Jesus Christ, is, as I may so speak, the breasts of the Deity ; by which we suck out all the holiness and grace which we have: and if Jesus Christ's breasts be not drawn, he counts it a pain to him. And therefore he complains so in the gospel : “I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not,” John i. 11; they will not draw my breasts ; he counts it a pain to him. Tell me are you willing to receive grace? Yes. If you be willing to receive grace, Jesus Christ is willing to give it ; for you cannot be willing, if he were not willing first; your willingness does come from his. But I pray what grace are you willing to have ? Oh! says one, I am a poor ignorant creature: I would fain, I would fain have more knowledge. Oh!' says one, I am one of great passions, and of a disordered life; and, oh! that I had my life better ordered. Oh! says another, I am a poor guilty soul; and I would have pardon, I would have pardoning grace. Now I will appeal to you: whether do you not think, that an honest man is willing to do the work of his office? Can a man be an honest man, and not be willing to do the work of his office; this is the office of Jesus Christ. He is a prophet, and therefore he must be willing to teach you; you
that complain that you are ignorant. This is the office of Jesus Christ to be a king; and therefore he is is willing to direct you; and to order you: you that complain of distemper, and disorder.
This is the office of Christ to be a priest, and therefore he is willing to satisfy for you: and indeed, if Jesus Christ were not willing to give out his grace unto the children of men, he would never lay it upon such conditions as he does. When a man is unwilling to do a thing for another, he will put it upon hard conditions: as Saul being unwilling to give his daughter to David, he put it upon hard conditions. But now, What does Jesus Christ require ? What does the Lord Jesus Christ require for the communication of his grace? But only this, that you do receive it: mark only this, that we do receive it; a condition indeed, that is no condition: I say a condition that is no condition, because he promises strength to receive also. Oh! my beloved : why should we cumber the way to heaven with preparations, and qualifieations, and precedaneous conditions ? There are no incomes, no incomes to be paid at our coming in to Jesus Christ; there are no precedaneous conditions : grace is free and mercy is free, and Christ is free, and his love is free; there is an infinite propension in Jesus Christ, to communicate this his grace to the children of men. This is the third proposition.
IV. As Christ is infinitely willing : (so in the fourth place) there is nothing, either in heaven, or in earth that can hinder him from doing all. For now, grant all the former three : that there is an infinite treasury of grace in Christ. That he hath not received it for himself, but others. That he is infinitely willing to give it out unto the children of men. Yet, if he can be hindered, all the former is nothing: mark therefore the fourth, and then we come to the use. There is nothing, either in heaven, or earth, that can hinder Jesus Christ from communicating his grace.
“I work, says God, and who shall let? And I communicate, my grace, says Christ, and who shall hinder?” Isa.xliii. 13. If any thing can hinder, it must be either Satan without us, our sins within us : Satan without cannot hinder, he could not go into the herd of swine, he could not destroy a hog, a sow, a pig till he had leave from Christ: and can Satan hinder then, when Christ intends to communicate his grace? He is called the strong man, but Christ is called the stronger than he.“ Peter, Peter, says our Saviour, Satan hath desired to winnow thee; but I have prayed that thy faith fail not,”
Luke xxii. 31, 32. Aye, one prayer, one prayer by Jesus Christ is stronger than all the temptations of Satan. Satan cannot hinder. Nor can our sins within hinder. For if you look into the iind chapter of Titus; it is said there at the 14th verse, “ He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity.” If from all iniquity, then from unbelief. Then unbelief cannot hinder. If a King came on purpose to pardon all rebellion : if he be able, and willing, and come on purpose to pardon all rebellion : then no one rebellion can hinder, can be a reason why he should not pardon. The covenant that God makes with his, is like the covenant that he made with Noah ; as you read in the livth chapter of Isaiah, the 8th and 9th verses: “In a little wrath I hid my face from thee, for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer : for this is as the waters of Noah unto me : for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth : so have I sworn that I would not be wrath with thee, nor rebuke thee.” Mark, the covenant God would make with his people, is like the covenant that he made with Noah: The covenant that he made with Noah, what is that? Pray now look into the vijith chapter of Genesis, and the 21st verse, Noah being come out of the ark, and offering unto the Lord; “ The Lord smelled a sweet savour : and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.” I think it should rather be read thus, according to the Hebrew; I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth ; although : ye read it, for, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for, the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. One would think he should rather say thus : I will curse the ground again, and I will bring a new flood, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. No, but the covenant that God made with Noah, was thus: I do now make a covenant with mankind, that the world shall never be drowned again; yea, though man do sin, yet the world shall not be drowned again. This is the covenant that the Lord made with Noah: The Lord did not make such a covenant as this: I do promise, that