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opens finally and everlastingly to him; the heart once opened to Christ, must stand open for ever to him, never to shut out Christ any more. And here is a very observable difference betwixt a man that comes to Christ, in a sudden fright of conscience, and parts with him again when that fright is over; and a man that receiveth Christ not to fojourn, but to dwell in his heart by faith, Ephel. iii. 17. When Christ comes into the heart, he faith, here will I dwell for ever; and Lord, faith the soul, so I receive thee; this is the day of union, O let me never know a day of separation ; let it never be in the power of life or death, angels, principalities, or powers, things preseat or to come, to make a separation betwixt thee and me. Soul, faith Christ, thou shalt be mine whilst I am in heaven; and Lord, faith the foul, I will be thine whilft I am on carth. I will never leave thee nor forfake thee, faith Christ: O my Lord, faith the soul, hold me fast in thy hand, that I may never leave nor forsake thee; my estate, liberty, and life, may, and must go; but it is in the fixed purpose of my heart never, never to let thee go. The efpoufals betwixt Christ and the soul are for cver, Hof. ii. 19. “I will betroth thee unto me for so ever, yea, for ever.” And here lies apother great difference betwixt the hypocrite that takes Christ with a politic reserve, that will venture with Christ at lea no farther than he can fee the shore; and the upright heart that embarks itself with Christ without reserves, come what will; that saith to him, as Strai 10 David, when persuaded to go back in a time of danger; pay, faith he, where my Lord Jesus Christ is, whether it be ia liberty or in prison, in life or in death, there also will I be. Flesh may persuade to a recreat; nay, faith the soul, I cannot retreat ; but wherever the truths of Christ, the interest and glory of Christ are, there also must I be ; for upon these terms I first received him, and opened the door of my heart to him. These things are no surprizes to me, Christ and I have debated them long ago; he deale fairly with me, and I must deal faithfully with him,
Now, brethren, view over these fix trials : Have your eyes been opened to see fin in its vileness, Christ in his beauty and Decessity ? Have your hearts been pricked and wounded with compunction and sorrow for sin ? Are the loves and delights of lin gone out of your souls ? Have you do exceptions either to the cross or yoke of Christ? Have you given up all your own righteousness, whether grofs or refined, for dung and dross, and received Chrift for ever? Then thy heart is favingly opened to him.
. Fourth Use. The last use that closeth this point, will be consolation to all those whose hearts the Lord hath thas opened to receive Chrift at his koocks and calls of the gospel.
Hath God indeed opened any of your hearts, and made you focerely willing to receive Chrift? then there are ten fweet consolations, like so many boxes of precious oiotment to be pour. ed forth, in the close of this discourse, upon every such foul. And the
First Consolation shall be this: The opening of any man's heart to receive Christ, is a clear folid Scripture-evidence of the Lord's eternal love to, and setting apart that man for him. self from all eteroity. I do not say, that every man, whose heart is opened by faith, is thereupon immediately assured and fatisfied that God hath chofen him to falvation: But whether he apprehended it or no, the thing io itself is certain and real: Consult 1 Theff. i. 4, 5. " Knowing, brethren beloved, your " election of God; for our gospel came not to you in word “ only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost," bc. Their election of God was the thing to be proved; but alas, might they say, who can kdow that but God alone? It is among the divine secrets; yes, faith the apostle, we know it, and by this we kaow it; for our gospel came not unto you in an empty found, but io mighty efficacy, effectually opening your hearts to believe. A more clear and certain evidence of your elec. rion cannot be given in this world. Look again into Rom. viii. 30.“ Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called; “ and whom he called, them he also jostified ; and whom he
juftified, them he also glorificd.”
There are two great and ravishing truths cleared in this Scripture; the one is this, that the whole number of the called, upon earth, is taken out of such as were predestinated to life before the world was. The other is this, that as the whole number of the glorified saints in heaven, is made up of fouls called and justified upon earth; so the called soul, that is, the soul that favingly opens to Christ by faith, may from that work of the Spirit upon him, solidly reason backward to God's clecting love before all time; and forward to his glo. rification with God, when time shall be no more,
O how Itrong is the confolation flowing out of this glorious work of the Spirit upon our hearts! that is one thing.
11. Confolation. The opening of the beart to receive Chrift, is the peculiar effect of the divine and almighty power of God; the arm of an angel is too weak to break those strong bars be
* juftifice are twone is the on our of the otheaven, is Tour, that
fore-mentioned. Therefore the exceeding greatness of his power, is applied unto this work of believing, Eph. i. 19. “ And what " is the exceediog greatness of his power to us-ward who be" lieve, according to the working of his mighty power which « he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead.” Here is power, the power of God, the greatness of his power, the exceeding greatness of his power, the very fame power which wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead;" and all this no more than needs to make the heart of man open by faith to receive Christ; the only key that fits the cross wards of man's will, and effectually opens his heart, is io che hand of Christ, Rev. iii. 7. “ He hath the key of David, he openeth and “ no man Ihutteth."
How long have some of yon fat under able ministers, searching fermoos, and rouzing providences ? yet all to no purpose, till this almighty power came with the word, and then the work was done. " Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy e power;" Pfal. cx. 3. What a glorious power was that which opened Christ's grave, when he lay in the heart of the earth, with a mighty stone rolled upon his fepulchre ? And how mighty a power is that which breaks asunder all those bars which kept thy soul in the state of fin and death? None feel this power, but only those whom God intendeth for falvation ; and having once wrought this, it is engaged to go through with all the rest, which yet remaineth to be done, to perfect thy tal. vation.
III. Confolation. The openiog of thy heart to Christ, is not only an effect of almighty power, but such an effect of it, without which all that Christ hath done and suffered had been of oo avail to thy salvation; neither the eternal decrees of God, nor the meritorious sufferings of Christ, are effectual to any man's salvation, until this work of the Spirit be wrought upon his heart. The offering up of Christ is, in its kind and place, sufficient to purchase our redemption ; but it is the receiving of Christ by faith that briogs home salvation to our souls; where there be many con-causes to produce one effect, that effect is pot produced until the last cause have wrought. Thus it is bere, the moving cause, viz. the free grace of God, hath wrought; and the meritorious cause, the death of Christ, hath also wrought; but still the heari, even of an elect man, remaineth under guilt and condemnation, until the Spirit, who is the applying cause, have also wrought this blessed effect we now speak of. It is Christ in us, i. e. io union with our souls, which is, to us, the hope of glory, Col. i. 27. I Cor. i. 30. Behold then the last
England's Dutyi hy faith i herein electe Itroke given in this opening of the heart by faith; herein electing love hath brought home Christ, with all the purchases and benefits of his death, into the actual possession of thy fool. O how transporting and ravishing a consideration is this !
IV. Consolation. lo this work, the opening of the heart by faith, the great desigo and main intention of the gospel is also answered and accomplished. You behold in the church a glori. ous frame of ordinances set up by divine institution, ministers appointed to preach fermons, facraments, prayers, singing, variety of ordinances set up, excellent gifts given to men, as the fruit of Christ's ascension into heaven. Now what was the desiga of God in the institution of all these thiogs, but that by them, as instruments in his hand, our ignorant, dead, unbelieving hearts might be opened to Christ, in acts of repentance and faith, and built up to a perfect man? Ministers are sent “ to “ open your eyes, turn you from darkness to light, and from the « power of Satan to God," Acts xxvi. 18. They are not sent by Christ into this world to get a living, to drive so poor a trade as that for themselves, but to bring you to faith, i Cor. ii. 5. When God's elect are thus brought in and built up in Christ, you shall see this glorious frame of ordinances taken dowo; there will be no more preaching nor hearing, the end of all these things being accomplished ; 1 Cor. xv. 24.“ Then cometh the “ end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, “ even the Father," &c. Now the consideration of the accom. plishment of the great and principal desigo of the gospel thus far upon thy heart, is matter of transporting joy. Ministers may, and must die, ordinances may be removed, but this blessed effect of them upon thy foul shall never die: God will perfect what he hath begun. That is the fourth consolation.
V. Confolation. And then, Sthly, That day whereio thy heart is savingly opened to receive Christ, that very day is falva. tion come to thy soul. When Zaccheus's heart was opened to Christ, he tells him, Luke xix. y. " This day is falvation come " to thy house." Salvation was come into the world before thou wast boro ; yea, falvation was come to thy doors in the teoders of the gospel before, but it Qever came into thy soul till the day wherein thy heart opened to Chrift by faith. And is not this matter of singular consolation? If salvation be dol, what is ; no wonder that the eunuch went home rejoicing when he had received Christ by faith, Acts viii. 39. that the jaylor rejoiced with all his house, Acts xvi. 34. Neither blame, nor wonder at men for rejoicing, for it is the day of their salvation. Iç is true, their salvation is not finished that day, there may be
many things yet to be done, and suffered by them before the completeing of it; but it is beguo that day, the foundation is
kaid in the soul that day, and the top-stone shall be set up with 9 shouting in due time, cryiog, grace, grace, vato it.
- VI. Confolation. The opening of a singer's heart to Christi 1 makes joy in heaven, a triumph io the city of our God above;
Luke xv. 7. “ I say unto you, likewise, that joy Mall be in
“ heaven over one lioner that repenteth, more than over ninety! " nine jult persons which need po repentance." As when a 1 young prince is born, all the kingdom rejoices, the conduits rug
with wine, and there is all demonstration of joy and thankful. ness in every city and towa: It is much more so in heaven,
when a soul is born to Chrift under the gospel. It is a satis11 faction to the heart of the Lord Jesus, who now beholds more
of the travail of his soul, and to all the angels and faints, that another soul is espouled to him.
Beloved, when the gospel is effectually brought home by the Spirit to the heart of, a singer, and wounds him for fin, fends him home, crying, O sick, lick of fin, and sick for Christ; the news thereof is presently in heaven, and fets the whole city of God a rejoicing. Chrilt Qever rejoiced over thee before, thou halt wounded him and grieved him a thousand times, but he
never rejoiced in thee till now; and that which gives joy to · Christ may well be matter of joy to thee. Aod that is the sixtha consolation.
VII. Confolation. And then, 7thly, That day thy heart is unlocked, unbarred, and savingly opened by faith, that very day an intimate, fpiritual, aod everlastiog union is made betwixt Christ and thy soul; from that day Christ is thine, and thou art his. Christ is a great and glorious person, but how great and glorious foever he be, the small and feeble arms of thy faith may surround and embrace him; and thou mayest say, with the church, “ My beloved is mine, and I am his : " For mark what he saith in the text, “ If any man open to me, I will come “ unto him.” That soul shall be my habitation, there will I dwell for ever. Thus will Christ dwell in your hearts by faith. What soul feels got itself advanced by this union with the Son of God ? Hereby the believer becomes a member of his body, flesh and bones; this is an honour bestowed upon thy soul, above, and beyond all that honour that cver God bestowed upon any angel in heaven ; to them Christ is an head by way of dominion, but to thee by way of vital influence. Angels are as the barons and nobles of his kingdom but the belicver
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