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wait so long at your door, as you have made Christ wait upca you.

Exhort. 7. Lastly, Let us all bless and admire the Lord Jesus for the continuation of his patience, not to ourselves only, but to that whole sinful nation in'which we live. We thought the treaty of peace had been ended with us; many good men looking upon the iniquities and abominations of thelc times, considering the vanities and backsliding of professors, the heaven-daring provocations of this atheistical age, concluded in their own hearts, that God would make England another Shilob. Many faithful ministers of Christ said within themselves, God hath no more work for us to do, and we shall have no more opportunities to work for God: when lo, beyond the thoughts of hearts, the merciful and long-suffering Redeemer makes one return more to these nations, renews the treaty, and with compassion rolled together, speaks to us this day, as to Ephraim of old, how shall I deliver thee? look upon this day, this unexpected day of mercy, as the fruit and acquisition of the intercession oft your great advocate in heaven, answerable to that, Luke xiii. 7, 8, 9. Well, God hath put us upon one trial more: if now we bring forth fruit, well; if not, the ax lies at the root of the tree. Once more Christ knocks at our doors, the voice of the bridegroom is heard; those sweet voices, Come .unto me, open to me: your opening to Christ now, will be t/nto you as the valley of Achor, for a door of hope. But what if all this should be turned info wantonness and formality? What if your obstinacy and infidelity should wear out the remains of that little strength and time left you, and that former labours and sorrows have left your ministers? Then aftum est de nobis, we are gone for ever; then farewtl gospel, ministers, reformation, and all, because we knew not the time of our visitation. What was the dismal doom of God, upon the fruitless vineyard? Isa. v. 5. " I will take away the hedge thereof, and "it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and "it shall be troddeu down: I will also command the clonds, "that they rain not upon it." The hedge and the wall are the spiritual and providential presence of God; these are the defence and safety of bis people; the clouds and the rain are the sweet influences of gospel-ordinances. If the hedge be broken down, God's pleasant plants will soon be eaten up; and if the clouds rain not upon them, their root will be rotte-inefs, and their blossom go up as dust; our churches will soon become as the mountains of GilboTi: therefore fee that you know and improve the time of your visitation. • •• .

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III. Use of consolation.

I shall wind up this fourth doctriue, in two or three word* of consolation, to those that have answered, and are now preparing to anlwer the design and end of Jesus Christ in all his patience towards them, by their compliance with his great dedesign and end therein. O blessed be God, and let his high prailes be for ever in our mouths, that at last Christ is like to obtain his end upon some of us, and that all do not receive the grace of God in vain. And there be three considerations able to wind up your hearts to the height of praise, if the Lord. hath. niiw made them indeed willing to open to the Lord Jesus,

Ctnstderation I. The faith and obedience of your hearts makes it evident, that the Lord's waiting upon you hitherto bath been in pursuance of his design of electipg love. What was the reason God would not take you away by death, though you passed Ib often upon the very brink of it, in the days of your unregene-. racy i And what, think you, was the very reason of the revor cation of your goipel-libert'ies when they were quite out of fight, and almost out of h^pe? why surely this was the reason, that you, and luch as you are, might be brought to Christ at last. Therefore though the Lord let yon run on so long in sio, yet still he continued your life, and the means of your falvation, because he had a design of mercy and grace upon you. And flow the time of mercy, even the set time is come, Praise yc the Lord.

Consid. 2. You may also fee the sovereignty and freeness of divine grace in your vocation: your hearts resisted all along the most powerful means, and importunate calls of Christ; and would have resisted still, had not free and sovereign grace overpowered them when the time of love was come. Ah, it was pot the tractableness of thine own will, the easy temper of thy. heart to be wrought upon; the Lord let thee stand long enough in the stare of nature to discover that; there was nothing in na-r ture but obstinacy and enmity. Thou didst hear as many powerful sermons, melting prayers, and didst fee as many awakening providences before thy heart was opened to Christ, as thou hast lince: yet thy heart never opened till now; and why did it open now? Because now the spirit of God joined himself to the word; victorious grace went forth in the word to break the hardness, and conquer the rebellions of thy heart. The gospel was now preached (as the apostle speaks, 1 Pet. i. 12.) *' with ** the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, which things, (faith "he) the angels desire to look into." Ah friends* it is a glolious sight, worthy of angelical observation and admirationi \q behold the esfects of the gospel preached, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; to iee, when the Spirit comes along with the word, the blind eyes ot sinners opened, and they brought into a new world of ravishing objects; to behold fountains of tears flowing for sin, out of hearts lately as hard as the rocks; to lee all the bars of ignorance, prejudice, custom, and pnbelief, fly ppen at the voice of the gospel; to fee rebels against Christ laying down their arms at his feet, come uppn the knee of submiflion, crying, "Lord, I will rebel no more;" to fee the proud heart centered and wrapt up in its own righteousness, now stripping itself naked, loading itself with all shame and reproach, and made willing that its own shame should go to the Redeemer's glory. These, I fay, are sights which angels desire to look into.

Certainly your hearts were more tender, and your wills more apt to yield and bend in the days of your youth, than they were now, when fin had so hardened them, and long-continued custom riveted and fixed them, yet then they did not, and now they do yield to the calls and invitations of the gospel. Ascribe a)l to sovereign grace, and fay, " Not unto us, not unto us, but *' to thy name give the glory." The observation and experience of our own hearts will furnish us with arguments enough to resist all temptations of self-glorifying and conceit.

Certainly you were born not of flesh, nor of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Confid. 3. Lastly, This is a comfortable consideration, that he that waited upon you so long, and won your hearts at last; that hath gained you at the expence of so much pains and patience, will not now forsake you. Poor souls, 1 question not but there are many fears and jealousies within you, that all this will come to nothing, and you shall perish at last. Divers 'things foment these jealousies within your hearts: The weakness of your own graces, which alas, are but in their infancy; the fense you have of your own corruptions, and the great strength they still retain: The subtilty of Satan, who employs all his policies to reduce y©u; sometimes roaring after his escaped prey with hideous injections, which make your fouls to tremble; sometimes the discouraging apprehensions of the difficulties of religion, how far the spirituality of active obedience, and the difficulty of passive obedience is above your strength; sometimes feeling within yourselves fad alterations, by the hiding of God's face, and withdrawment of sweet and sensible communion with him. These, and such like things as these, cause many a qualm to come over your hearts; but chear up, Christ will not lose at last what he pursued so long; he that waited so many years for thy soul; will never cast it away now he hath seated himself in the possession of it.

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Rev. III. 20. Behold I stand at the door, {and knock] &c

IN the former point we have seen the Redeemer's posture, a posture of condescending humility, rather the posture of a servant than the Lord of all j Beheld I stand at the door. We now come to consider his action, or motion for entrance, I stand and knock: This metaphorical action of knocking, signifies nothing else but the motions made by Christ for entrance into the souls of sinners; and affords us this fifth observation.

Doctrine 5. That every convitlion of conscience, and motion, upon the affetlions ofsinners, is a knock of Christ from heaven for entrance into their fouls. This action of knocking is ascribed sometimes to the soul, and is expressive of its desires to come into the gracious presence and communion of God; so Mat. vii. 7. " To him that knocks "it shall be opened," i. e. to him that seeks by importunate prayer, fellowship and communion with the Lord: But here it is applied to Christ, and is expressive of his impoitunate desire to come into union and communion with the souls of sinners. Here I shall open to you the following particulars:

1. What are the doors of the foul at which Christ knocks.

2. What his knocking ait these doors implies. »

3. By what instruments he knocks at them.

4. tn what manner he performs this action.

First, What are the doors of the foul at which Christ knocks. You all know that term, Christ here useth, cannot be proper but meraphorical; it is a figurative speech, the door is that part which is introductive into the house, and whatever is introductive into the soul, that is the door of the soul. Now in the soul of man there are many powers and faculties that have this use, and are of an introductive nature, to let things into the soul of man. Some are more outward, as we may speak comparatively; and some more inward, as the doors of our houses are.

Christ knocks orderly at them all, one after another, for the operations of the Spirit disturb not the order of nature.

7. The Erst door that opens and lets into the soul'is the underjtanding; nothing passes into the foul, but it mult first come through this door of the understanding; nothing can touch the Jieart, or move the affections, but what hath first touched the understanding. Hence we read so often in scripture of the opening of the understanding, that being, as it were, the fore-door of the soul.

2. Within this is the royal gate of the soul, viz. The will of man, that noble and imperial power. Many things may pass into the mind, or understanding of a man, and yet be able to get no further; the door of the will may be shut against them. There were many precious truths of God let into the understandings of the Heathens, by the light of nature, but could never get further, their hearts and wiUs were locked, and shut up against them; as you may fee, Rom. i. 18. "They held "the truths of God in unrighteousness;" that is, they bound and imprisoned those common notices the law of nature impressed upon their minds, concerning the being and nature of God, and the duties of both tables. These truths could get no further into their souls, and, which is of fad and dreadful consideration, Christ himself stands betwixt these two doors, in the souls of many persons; he is got into their understandings, and consciences, they are convinced of the possibility, and necessity of obtaining Jesus Christ, but still the door of their will is barred against him, which drew from him that fad complaint, John v. 40. " You will not come unto me that you might have life." 'When this door of the will is once effectually opened, then all the inner doors of the affections are quickly set open to receive, and welcome him; desire, joy, delight, and all the rest, stand open to him: Theie are the doors at which the Redeemer knocks.

Secondly, Next we must consider what is meant by Christ's knocking at these doors, and what that action implies. In the general, knocking is nothing else but an action significative of the desires of one that is without, to come in; it is a sign appointed to that end: And what is Christ's knocking, but a signification to the soul of his earnest d< sires to come into it; a notice given to the foul of Christ's willingness to possess it for his own habitation? And it is as much as if Christ soould fay, foul, thoii art the house that was built by my hand, purchased, r.nd redeemed by my blood; I have an unquestionable right to it, and now demand entrance. More particularly, there are divers great things implied in this gracious act of Christ's knocking at the door of the soul.


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