« AnteriorContinuar »
prayer of thy people?” The storm of wrath cannot blow away mercy: 'therefore plead, In wrath remember mercy.
5. You may plead mercy in the face of great inwor. thiness, and fears of communicating unworthily; becaufe mercy regards nut our unworthiness, nor waits for our worth; but vents through the worthiness of the Lamb: and therefore you may fay, "He is worthy for whom thou shouldest do this."
6. You may plead mercy in the face of many chal. lenges, for omissions and commissions. You may take with the charge of the law, and the challenge of con. science against yourself; and yet hold your plea, and maintain your argument for mercy: In wrath remember mercy.
7. You may plead mercy in the face of firong unbelief and weak faith; in the face of living unbelief and languishing faith: for, though this way be faddening to your soul, and finking to your heart, even unto fainting; yet the mercy of God in Christ being a root, cause, and spring of faith, when he remembers mercy, he revives every languishing grace: '" They that dwell under his shadow fhall return; they Mall revive as the corn and grow as the vine.”
8. You may plead mercy in the face of manifold milcarriages in duty; luch as want of faith, freedom, fervour, love, liberty, fixedness of heart, and the like: for though this should be afflicting and humbling; yet the ground of hope and confidence is, in the free mercy of God through Christ.
9. You may plead mercy in the face of seeming refu.. fals and harsh answers: when he not only delays to give you the mercy you seek; but seems to deny you, and call you a dog to whom the childrens bread doth not belong, yet he allows for all that, to press in at the door of mercy, saying, “ Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from the Master's table.”
10. You may plead mercy in the face of real' refusals, rejections, and reproofs : for though the door of mercy seem to be shut and barred, and though he may juita Ty reject you for ever, and keep you long at the back of the door; yet he can foon open the door, and grant you
access to his presence. And tho' he should not, it becomes you to wait on him who faith, “ He will not contend for ever, neither will be be always wroth: left the spirits should fail before him, and the souls that he hath made."
11. You may plead mercy in the face of improbabili. ties; yea, and seeming impoffibilities, when there is no appearance of his shewing mercy; yet, like Abraham, against hope you are to believe in hope. Dispensations seeming to contradict the promised mercy, must not stop our mouth froin speaking, nor embarass our faith ; but rather set our prayer on proper edge, and our faith on exercise. . • 12. You may plead mercy in the face of prevailing iniquity. Surely this should humble and afflict you ; and wo to them that live in fin, and presume upon mercy: but when prevailing iniquity begins to discourage you from pleading mercy, shake off that discouraging temptation, and plead pardoning and purifying mercy the more earnestly; for, mercy hath been pled and should be pled, in the face of prevailing sin: “ Iniquities prevail against us; but yet as for our transgressions thou wilt purge them away,” Plal. lxv. 3.,
In a word, you may plead mercy in the face of all temptations to the contrary, from whatever airth. Though the devil should suggest to you that your pleading will bring a curse instead of a blessing, and that God hath decreed the contrary to what you ask; yet God's revealed will being the rule of your duty; and his revealed mercy, through Christ, being the ground of your hope, you are to have no regard to these wicked suggestions; In the midst of wrath, in the midst of woes, in the midst of all the fin and misery you can be furrounded with, as long as you are out of hell, there is ground to plead, Lord, remember mercy.
But possibly one may fay, What if I do not plead regularly and successfully so as to prevail? Why, if you plead so as your plea shall be regarded,
(1.) Your pleading for mercy will exclude your presuming upon mercy. The presumptuous finner pleads mercy as an excuse for his fin; this is not pleading for mercy to his soul, but mercy to his fin: whereas they
that duly plead mercy, they plead for vengeance upon their fins.
(2.) The pleading for mercy supposes a sense of fin and misery, and of wrath deferved. They who have no apprehensions of wrath, will have no due appre. henfions of mercy.
(3.) True pleading for mercy excludes all other pleas; the man hath nothing to plead but mercy: he hath no merit of his own to plead, but the merit of hell. If he pleads the merit of Christ, this is the same with plead. ing mercy; for mercy vents no other way but through the merit of Jesus. The foul dares not plead his du. ties, prayers, or tears ; his frames, affections, enlargements, or good qualifications; no: he hath nothing to plead but mercy.
(4.) The true pleader for mercy pleads it at the mercy-feat, sprinkled with the blood of Christ; where he fees mercy secured by the blood of the covenant, which makes them the fure mercies of David. Now, would your share of this mercy of God to eternal life? Then, while you plead for mercy, plead upon Christ's plea, and come in upon his right; and you shall be fure to obtain.
Now, what shall I say to you who never yet truly pleaded mercy, nor fled to the mercy of God in Christ? Alas ! how miserable are you, that never yet saw your need of mercy! and that are to this day despisers of mercy! What will become of you, if you remain in that case, when death and judgment comes ! O Sirs, will you come in yet at the open door of mercy? Would you wish to share of the mercy of God, and avoid the vengeance of God, when grim death ftares you in the face, and the awful tribunal appears? Then fly to the mercy of God now. But, say you, Where is the mercy of God? Why, all his mercy is in Christ; “ God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself." There is no mercy in God, out of Christ, to any guilty sinner. O then, Sirs, come to Christ for the mercy of God; for all the kinds of mercy that you need is in Christ. All
saving mercy of God is in Christ, as a Saviour: all the healing mercy of God is in Christ, as a Phyfician: all the teaching mercy of God is in-Christ, as a Priest : all the foul-fanctifying, fin subduing, and conquering mercy of God is in Christ, as a King: all the rich and supplying mercy of God is in Christ, as the store house and treasury of grace, that out of his folness you may receive, and grace for grace;' 6 My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him," saith God, Pfal.lxxxix. 24. And fince all the mercy of God is with him, O then, Sirs, comè; come to Jesus; and fo you will share of the mercy of God. If you say, you cannot come; I tell you among the relt, the drawing mercy of God is with him; and therefore he fays, “ When I am lifted up, I will draw all men after me:" and if when he says in his word, I will draw, your heart. was saying, Lord draw; draw me; I hope drawing mercy is not far away. O may power accompany the call and offer of mercy in Chrilt.
Again, As for you who have fled to the mercy of God in Christ, and know what it is to plead mercy, even in the midst of wrath; 0 Sirs, go on to plead that he would remember mercy, and to plead it joyfully ; whatever tokens of wrath you are enconipafled with, it is but fatherly wrath, and mercy is in the midst of it: mercy is in the midst of your afflictions ; mercy is in the inidst of your temptations ; mercy is in the midst of defertions ; `mercy is in the midst of your reproofs ; mercy is in the midst of your fickness and forrows; mercy is in the midst of your wants and poverty; mer. ċy is in the midst of all your losses and crosses; mercy is in the midst of all the wrath you are under: and hence, in the midst of wrath he will remember mercy; and therefore in the midst of wrath remember ye his mercy, and do not forget it, thom you should see nothing but wrath, Hab, jii. 17, 18. But possibly one may say, Why Mall I not believe that he is in earnest, when I perceive nothing but wrath in his providence and dealing with me? Yes; you are to believe that he is in earnest correcting you, in earnest chastising you; he is in ear. neft trying you, or he is in earnest visiting your iniquities with rods, and may be taking vengeance on
your your inventions : but for all that, never dream that he has forgotten mercy; for, " His loving-kindness will he not take away, nor alter the word that has gone out of his mouth.—The mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness ihall not depart from thee, nor the covenant of my peace be renioved,” Isa. liv. 10.
Therefore, upon the strongest ground, you may still plead mercy, and with holg confidence expect it.
2. I would advise you, not only to plead he would remember mercy to yourselves, but mercy toward others. Plead his mercy to all his churches: plead mercy to the church of Scotland, in the midst of wrathsul days : though you should see no particular promise in all the Bible to it, yet if faith can take a general promise, and apply it to a particular church, it will speak mercy to it, because the author of faith. never creates any useless act of faith. Plead mercy to the rising generation, that they may not be carried down the stream of impiety, profanity, and immorality; nor drowned in the deluge of error and infidelity, that is like to overAow the present generation.--Plead mercy to your concerns, to your children, family, relatives, friends, ac. quaintances, and to all your neighbours about you. Plead mercy to young communicants, who never trode that path before, that from this time the foundation of the spiritual temple may be laid, the building raised, and the promise made out, Hag. ii. 19.“ Froin this day will I bless you.”_Let mercy also be pled for old communicants, who are turned in to an easy way of com. municating by course, in a carnal, formal, customary manner, for the most part; and who are not at suitable pains to stir up the grace of faith, love, repentance, and other graces, to a lively exercise. --Plead mercy for ur. worthy communicants, who have approached to God's altar, and yet have not been prepared according to the preparation of the fanctuary, that the blood they have trampled upon, may wash away the fin of unworthy comniunicating.--Yea, let mercy also be pled for worthy cominunicants, that goodness and mercy may follow them, and that they inay follow the Lord with full pur. pose of heart, and adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour