Imágenes de páginas

when he can sind none; an effectual plaister, applied lo heal our wound, when his own must bleed to eternity: And he obtains his end fully, if he can but keep off souls from Christ. Look, therefore, upon all those objections, and discouragements, raised in your hearts against coming to Christ, as so many artifices, and cunning devices of the devil, to destroy and ruin your souls. 'Tis true, they have a very specious and colourable appearance; they are gilded over with pretences of the Justice of God, the heinous nature of sin, the want of due and befitting qualifications for so holy and pure a God, the lapsing of the scalon of mercy, and an hundred others, of like nature: but, I beseech you, lay down this as a sure conclusion, and hold it sast; that whatever it be that discourages and hinders you from coming to Christ, is directly against the interest of your souls, and the hand of the devil is certainly in it.

Infer. 2. Hence, also, it follows, that unbelies is the true reason of all that difquietness, and trouble, by which the mind: of poor finners are so rack'd and tortured.'

If you will not believe, you cannot be established; till yoa come to Christ, peace cannot come to you: Christ and peace are undivided. Good souls, consider this; you have tried all other ways, you have tried duties, and no rest comes; you have tried reformation, restitution, and a stricter course of life; yet your wounds are still open, and fresh bleeding: these things, I grant, are, in their places, both good, and neceslary; but, of themselves, without Christ, utterly insufficient to give what you expect from them: why will you not try the way of saith? Why will you not carry your burthen to Christ? O! that you would be persuaded to it, how soon would you sind, what so long you have been seeking in vain! How long will you thus oppose your own good? How long will you keep yourselves upon the rack of conscience? Is it easy to go under the throbs and wounds of an accusing and condemning conscience; You know it is not: you look for peace, but no good comes; for a time of healing, and behold trouble. Alas! it must, and will be so, still, until you are in the way of saith, which is the true and only method to obtain rest.

Infer. 3. What cause have we all to admire the goodness of , Cod, in providing for us a Christ, in whom we may jind rest to our fouls!

How hath the Lord filled and furnished Jesus Christ with all that is suitable to a believer's wants! Doth the guilt of sin terrify his conscience? Lo, in him is perfect righteousness, to re* ©arc that guilt, so that it shall neither be imputed to bis p?F son, nor reflected by his conscience, in the way of condemnation, as it was before. In him, also, is a fountain opened, for 'washing and for cleansing the filth of sin from our souls; in him is the fulness both of merit, and of spirit, two sweet springs ot peace to the souls of men: well might the apostle say, "Christ, "the wisdom of God," 1 Cor. i. 30. and well might the Church say, " He is altogether lovely," Cant. v. 16. Had not God provided Jesus Christ for us, we had never known one hour's rest to all eternity.

Infer. 4. How unreasonable, and wholly inexcusable, in believers, is the fin of backsliding from Christ! Have you found rest in him, when you could not sind it in any other! Did he receive, and ease your souls, when all other persons and things were physicians of no value? And will you, after this, backslide from him again? O what madness is this!" Will a man "leave the snow of Lebanon, which cometh from the rock of "the field? Or shall the cold, flowing waters, that come from "another place, be forsaken?" No man, that is in his wits, would leave the pure, cold, refreshing stream, of a crystal fountain, to go to a filthy puddle, lake, or, an empty cistern; such the best enjoyments of this world are, in comparison with Jesns Christ.

, That was a melting expostulation of Christ's with the disciples, John vi. 67, 63. when some had forsaken him, "will ye, also,

go away ?" And it was a very suitable return, they made, Lord, whither away from thee should we go! q. d. From thee, Lord! No, no; where can we mend ourselves? be sure of it, when ever you go from Christ, ye go from rest to trouble. Had Judas rest? Had Spira reft? and do you think you shall have rest? No, no, " The backslider in heart shall be filled with his "own ways," Prov. xiv. 14, "Cursed be the man that depart"eth from him, he shall be as the heath in the desart, that

seeth not when good cometh, and shall inhabit the parched "places of the wilderness," Jer. xvii. 5. If fear of sufferings, and worldly temptations, ever draw you off from Christ, you may come to those straits, and terrors of conscience, that will make you wish yourselves back again with Christ in a prison, with Christ at a stake.

Infer. 5. Let all that come to Christ, learn to improve him, to the rest and peace of their own fouls, in the midst of all the troubles, and outward distresses, they meet with in the wtr/d.

Surely rest may be found in Christ, in any condition ; he is able to give you peace in the midst of all your troubles here. So he tells you in John \vi. 33, "These things have I spoken to "you, that in me you might have peace; in the world ye shall "have tribulation." By peace, he means not a deliverance from troubles, by taking off affliction from them, or taking them away, by death, from all afflictions; but it is something they enjoy from Christ, in the very midst of troubles, and amid.t all their afflictions, that quiets, and gives them reft, so that troubles cannot hurt them. Certainly, believers, you have peace in Christ, when there is little in your own hearts; and your hearts might be filled with peace, too, if you would exercise saith upon Christ for that end. 'Tis your own sault, if you be without reft, io any condition, in this world. Set yourselves to study the fulness of Christ, and to clear your interest in him; believe what the scriptures reveal of him, and live as you believe, and you will quickly sind the peace of God filling your hearts and minds.

Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.


i^yi^K^w^* ^itfm<?ii<?i {^iuS^u^^^i ^^i^i^i^^l^ ^i^^ LtfH


Wherein the general Exhortation is enforced, by one Motive drawn from the first Title of Christ.

Matth. ix. 12. But -when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a phyfician, but they that are fick,

TT A VI NG opened, in the former discourses, the nature, and method, of the application of Christ to sinners; it remains, now, that I press it upon every soul, as it expects peace, aud pardon from God, to apply and put on Jesus Christ; (i. e.) to get union with him, by saith, whilst he is yet held forth in the free, and gracious tenders of the gospel. To which purpose, I sliall now labour, in this general use of exhortation in which my last subject engaged me; wherein divers arguments will be further urged, both from

ti The titles, and

2. The privileges, of Jesus Chrisr.

The titles of Christ are so many motives, or arguments, fitted to persuade men to come unto him. Amongst which, Christ, as the phyfician ofsouls, comes under our first consideration, in the text before us.

The o:casion of these words cf Christ, was the call of Matthew the publicau, who having first opened his heart, next o> pened his house to Christ, and entertains him there. This ltraageand unexpected change, wrought upon Matthew, quickly brings in all the neighbourhood, and many Publicans aud sinners resorted thither; at which the stomachs of the proud Pharisees began to swell. From this occasion, they took offence at Christ, and, in this verse, Christ takes off the offesce, by such an answer as was fitted, both for their convitlion, and his own vindication. But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, The whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick."

He gives it, saith one, as a reason why he conversed so much with Publicans and sinners, and so little among the Pharisees, because there was more work for him; Christ came to be a physician to sick souls; Pharisees were so well, in their own conceit, that Christ saw they would have little to do with him; . and so he applied himself to those who were more sensible of their sickness. "v: *'

In the words, we have an account of the temper, and state, both of,

I. The secure and unconvinced sinner.

2. The humbled and convinced sinner. And,

3. Of the carriage of Christ, and his different respect to both. First, The secure sinner is here described, both with respect

to his own apprehensions of himself, as one that is whole, and also by his low value and esteem for Christ, he sees no need of him; "The whole have no need of the physician."

Secondly, The convinced and humbled sinner, is here, also, described, and that both by his state and condition, he is Jick; and by his valuation of Jesus Christ, he greatly needs him: they that are sick need the phyfician.

Thirdly, We have here Christ's carriage, and different respect to both; the former he rejects, and passeth by, as those with whom he hath no concernment; the latter he converses with, in order to their cure.

The words, thus opened, are fruitful in observations. I shall neither note, nor insist upon any, beside this one, which suits the scope of my discourse, viz.

Doct. That the Lord Jesus Christ is the only phyfician forfick souls.

The world isa great hospital, full of sick and dying fouls, all wounded by one and the lame mortal weapon, sin. Some aic senseless of their misery, feel not their pains, value not a physician; others are full offense, as well as danger; mourn uuderthe apprehension of their condition, and sadly bewail it. The merciful God hath, in his abundant compassion to the psrishiug* world, sent a physician from heaven, and given him his orders, under the great seal of heaven, for his office,' Ha. lxi. 1, 2. 'which he opened, and read, in the audience of the people, Luke iv, 18. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he "hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek, he "hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted," isc. He is the tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations: he is Jehovah Rophe, the Lord that healeth us; and that as he is Jehovah Tzidkenu, the Lord our righteousness. The brazen serpent that healed the Israelites in the wilderness, was an excellent type of our great physician Christ, and is exprefly applied to him, John iii. 14. He rejects none that com:, and heals all whom he undertakes; but, more particularly, I will,

Firsi, Point at those diseases which Christ heals in sick souls, and by what means he heals them.

Secondly, The excellency of this physician above all others: there is none like Christ, he is the only physician for wounded fouls.

First, We will enquire into the diseases which Christ, the physician, cures; and they are reducible to two heads, viz.

1. Sin; and,

2. Sorrow.

First, The disease of sm; in which three things are found exceeding burdensome to sick souls.

1. The guilt,

2. The dominion,

3. The inherence of sin; all cured by this physician, and how. First, The guilt of sin; this is a mortal wound, a stab in

the very heart of a poor sinner. It is a fond, and groundless distinction, that Papists make of sins mortal and venial; all sin, in its own nature, is mortal; Rom. vi. 23. " The wages of "fin is death." Yet though it be so in its own nature, Christ can, and doth cure it, by the sovereign balsam of his own precious blood; Eph. i. 7. " In whom we have redemption, through "his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the rictes of "his grace." This is the deepest, and deadliest wound, the soul of man feels in this world: What is guilt, but the obligation of the soul to everlasting punishment and misery? It put! the soul under the sentence of God to eternal wrath; the condemning sentence of the great and terrible God; than which, nothing is found more dreadful, and insupportable: put alj pains, all poverty, all afflictions, all miseries, in one scale, ana God's condemnation in the other, and you wei|" feathers, against a talent of lead.

« AnteriorContinuar »