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thus largely opened and pressed? What good is there that does come thereby?
What good! I answer, What good would you have ? What good would you do? Would you have the Lord Jesus Christ to become your strength ? The way to have him to become your strength, is to count bim so. Look I pray upon the xxxist Psalm, the 2nd and 3rd verses: “ Be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.”
fortress.” Be thou my rock, for thou art my rock. What kind of argument is this? Yet it is a good argument: the way to have Christ our rock, is to account him our rock; my very resting upon the promise does make it mine; and your very resting upon Jesus Christ does make him yours; and what will make you rest more upon him, than to see that all is from him?
Again. Would you have your hearts warmed with love unto Jesus Christ? Indeed our whole life should be nothing else but an expression of love to Christ, as Christ's life and death was nothing else but an expression of love to us. Now, says a gracious soul, is this true indeed, that all grace is from Christ? that whatsoever grace the saints have, they have it from Jesus Christ? that there is not a good thought in my heart, but runs through the heart of Jesus Christ before it does come at mine? What infinite cause then have I to love Jesus Christ.
Again. Would you live in dependance upon Christ for grace, for truth? The serious consideration of this truth will help you to it. I confess indeed, will some say, when I look upon myself, I am a man or woman of such poor gifts or parts, that I have no hope, I am afraid I shall never attain to the truth of the time; but is it so, that all is from Jesus Christ? whatsoever grace the saints have, they have it from Jesus Christ? Why may not I know the truth of the time as well as another? I will yet wait on Jesus Christ.
Again. Would you walk humbly, be very humble, and get a serious and deep humiliation for sin committed? The study of this truth will help you to do it. You know what the prophet Isaiah says, “ Oh, Lord, (says he) woe is me, I am undone, I am undone,” Isa. vi. 5. Why? what is the matter? Oh, says he,“ mine eyes have seen the King." If you look into the iiird chapter of Matthew, you will find
there, in John the Baptist, such a self-humbling speech, Christ-advancing speech, as you shall not meet with many of the like again. Says he, at the 11th verse,“ Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear;” or as other Gospels hath it, “ Whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” Beloved, I pray consider it a little. John, than which there was not a greater, the great preacher that all the country followed, John cries out and says, " Whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” What made him think thus ? What wrought his heart into this humble, this self-denying frame? The very doctrine we are now upon? Says he, “ I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear : he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” As if he should say thus : I may baptize you outwardly, but the efficacy of all those ordinances, it is from Jesus Christ, and therefore, because the efficacy of every ordinance is from Jesus Christ, says he, As for me, I am not worthy to bear his shoes, to undo his latchet.
Yet further, in the general, Would you be fruitful ? would you be fruitful in your life and conversation ? People, they complain of barrenness. Would you be fruitful? Observe what course the gardener takes with the apricot. This is a fruit, says he, that will not grow every where; but surely, if it will grow any where, it will grow upon the back of this chimney, the warm heat, the heat of this chimney will nurse it up. Or else, It will grow up against that wall, I will set it in the face of the sun, that it may have the smiles of the sunbeams, and then it will grow. He sets it there, and then it
grows, and brings forth a pleasant fruit. Dost thou complain thou art not fruitful; what is the reason? may be thou growest in the shade, may be thou growest in the shade ; but come and bring forth thine heart, set it in the sun, under the warm beams of the love of Jesus Christ : see if thy heart be not fruitful then. And, beloved, what greater love than this, that Jesus Christ hath died for sinners ? that he hath died for sinners ? that he hath purchased all grace for sinners? And he keeps their stock in his own hand, to give it out unto them according to all their wants. Here is love; here is grace. This is the way to be fruitful.
I come to the application.
Is it so, that all grace is from Christ, that whatsoever grace the saints have, they have it from Jesus Christ-Christ meriting, and Christ working; that all our efficiency and sufficiency, and all-sufficiency is from Christ. That he is the great Joseph, the world's Joseph, the Lord-Keeper of all our graces, the Lord-Treasurer of all our comforts. Then, oh, what infinite cause have we all to advance and lift up the name of Jesus Christ, to hallow Jesus Christ, not verbally but really. Commanded ye are to honor your parents : they give you a being, and yet by that being you are brought forth under the wrath of God; but yet honor them, because you have your being from them. Aye, and by your birth and by your nature exposed unto the wrath of God for ever; yet honor them, because you have your being from them.
And shall we honor our parents because we have our outward being from them? and shall we not honor Jesus Christ, from whom we have the being of all our graces, the being of our souls unto all eternity? What infinite engagements are upon us all to honor Jesus Christ.
You will say unto me, This indeed does naturally follow; but how shall we honor Jesus Christ according to the heighth of this doctrine? how shall we honor Jesus Christ according to the heighth of this truth, that is now before us? Give me leave to spend some time in this, this is that I have been driving at all this while. Some particulars herein.
Ye cannot honour Jesus Christ, unless that you do offer up your own Christ unto him: I say, unless you offer up your own Christ to him; I mean, your natural Christ to him. Some there are, that make a Christ of their good meaning, and think to be saved thereby; rest upon that, and think to be saved thereby. Some rest upon an honest and sober conversation, and think to be saved thereby. Some rest upon their duties, enlargements in duties, and think to be saved thereby. Some rest upon their very resting; trusting is not to be trusted to: but some rest upon their
very resting, and think to be saved thereby. Some rest upon those enjoyments and sweetnesses that they meet withal in duty, and think to be saved thereby. Beloved, you may observe, that when the Lord commanded his people in the Old Testament to honour him, he commands them to sacrifice such things to him, which other nations did make their gods;
they should sacrifice sheep, and oxen, and birds ; such things they should offer up unto God, that others did worship as god : plainly teaching this, that he that will honour God, must give that unto God which the world makes its god. So say I, if you would honour Christ, you must give that up unto Jesus Christ, which other men do make their Christ. Many false Christs there are that are made by men: you cannot honour Jesus Christ, if you do not give up those to him.
Again. You cannot honour Jesus Christ, if you count it a small matter to belong to him. A servant that honours his master, does count it a great matter to belong to him. And therefore David, he does title some of his Psalms so: a Psalm of David the servant of the Lord: he does not say, a Psalm of David the king of Israel ; but, a Psalm of David the servant of the Lord : counting it more honour to be the Lord's servant, than to be king of Israel; he counted it a great matter to be the Lord's servant, because he honoured the Lord. Those that honour Christ, they look upon the things of Christ as great matters : the works of Christ, as great works: and the ordinances of Christ as great matters ; and a great matter to belong to Christ: and if they lose any thing, or lose any friend; they will relieve themselves here; Oh! but yet I belong to Jesus Christ, yet I belong to Jesus Christ.
Ye cannot honour Jesus Christ, and give the worst to him. Abel honoured God, and he offered the best; and because he offered the best, therefore he honoured God.
66 If I be a Father, where is mine honour? (says the Lord.) Why bring ye the lean, and the maimed, and the feeble?" Mal. i. 6, 8. “ Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase," says Solomon, Prov. iii. 9. Observe therefore, what is your best, and what is your substance, and what are your first fruits and give them up to Christ. Young men, young men, and women ; the best of your years, the best of your strength, the best of your time is to be given to Jesus Christ : ye cannot honour Jesus Christ, and give him the worst: oh! that the old people would be much humbled; and the young people would be much encouraged : you cannot honour Jesus Christ, and give the worst to him.
Ye cannot honour Jesus Christ, and despise the choice work of Christ. What is the choice work of Christ? Grace, grace is the choice work of Christ, that comes out of his hand; and the worst name that you can give it, is, to call it hypocrisy. Some there are, that looking upon the lives of godly men, they say: Aye, but it is all hypocrisy, and they are hypocritical. Yea, and some poor souls there are, that when they look upon their own souls, they conclude and say; Aye, but it is all hypocrisy ; I prayed such a time, but it was all in hypocrisy: aye, but what if it be the grace of Christ? what if it prove so ? Surely, surely ye cannot honour Jesus Christ, and despise the choicest works that come out of his hands.
Again, a man is said then for to honour Christ, when he does trust unto him, and rest upon him for help at a dead lift, as we speak commonly, and the more a man does rely upon Jesus Christ in straits and in the time of temptation, the more he does honour Jesus Christ. Abraham gave glory to God, he believed above hope, and under hope ; and because he believed above hope, and under hope, therefore he gave glory to God, when he considered his own body. Man or woman, wouldest thou therefore now honour Jesus Christ? Say, True, I confess indeed I have sinned much; and when I look upon myself, I know no reason why such a wretch, so great a sinner as I, should be saved: but because the way to honour Christ is for to rest upon him; and I have dishonoured Jesus Christ enough already, therefore now, through the grace of God, I will cast the weight of my poor guilty soul upon Jesus Christ; yea, for that very reason will I leave the weight of my guilty soul upon him, because thereby I may honour him.
Again, the way to honour Jesus Christ, is, so to walk and so to live, as the men of the world may speak well of the ways of Christ hy your conversation. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may glorify God,” &c. Matt. v. 16. The men of the world will then speak well of the ways of Christ, when a christian, that hath the name of Christ in a special manner put upon him, when he does that through the strength of Christ, which the men of the world cannot do: pray for those that persecute you ; do good to those that do ill to you: when a man is abundant in the work