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says he, “if our gospel also be vailed, it is vailed to them that are lost;" there is not another dispensation of grace to be expected to take off that vail. It is God's last grace to the world, Heb. i. 1, 2. The Lord has been making a feast for the world these five thousand years, and now the last service is on the table. The last ship for Immanuel's land is now making ready to sail ; therefore ye must put to sea, now or never, Heb. x. 26, 27.
IV. Sinners are desired to come in. They not only have leave to come in, but they are desired by the Master of the house to come in. Arise then, ye worst of sinners, the “ Master calleth you." called, not to a funeral, but a feast; not to a prison, but to the guest-chamber, where he may entertain you with all the delicacies of heaven. If ye were not desired, why would he send his servants to compel you to come in? and will ye refuse when ye are desired ? Consider, I pray you, (1.) It ill becomes you, vile worms, to refuse his call. I am sure he might be for ever happy in himself, though you and I both were where, in strict justice, we should be, in the bottomless pit. He needs none of us. What are we that he should be pleased to trouble himself about us, whether we sink or swim! The angels adore him, his Father honours him, and vile wretches, whom he desires to come in, have the face to refuse him whom the Father heareth always. (2.) There are many as good as you, whom he never desired to come in. He does not call you because he has none other to call, who might fill his house. He might remove this gospel
, from you, and send it into the dark places of the earth, and compel the pagans to come in. Should he do it, it is very likely his offers would be better entertained amongst them than amongst us. Some divide the world into thirty parts, and find that nineteen of these are possessed by pagans, six of them by Jews, Turks, and Saracens, and only five by Christians; and of these five parts Christian, many are Antichristian, lying yet under the darkness of Popery. And has the Lord chosen as out from among so many, to give us the invitation to come in, and shall we refuse? Lastly, How will ye look him in the face, when yo appear before his tribunal, if ye will not come in now at his desire ? How will ye look back op rejected love? What will ye do when he comes in wrath to you, that will not come to him now, upon his call ?
OBJECTION. But some will say, Is it possible that he calls me, even pile and wretched me? ANSWER. We have general invitations clogged with no conditions, free offers made to all that will come, Is. lv. 1. Rev. xxii. 17. And the Lord expressly shews, that no vileness nor unworthiness shall stop any that will come, Is. i. 18. Jer. iii. 1. and what would ye have more? We are sent this day,
in our Master's name, to compel you all to come in, be your case
you, that Christ calls to come in. But if ye believe our doctrine from the word, concerning the misery of your natural state, without hearing your name and sirname in particular, why would ye require more in the doctrine concerning the remedy?
V. Sinners must come in. Compel them to come in. Sirs, ye not only may come, but ye must come, even the worst of you. Ye are not only desired to come in, but ye must not abide without. Consider,
First, “ This is his commandment, that ye believe," 1 John iii. 23. Ye are peremptorily commanded to come in. God is peremptory with you, and so must we be peremptory with you too. Therefore I tell you, ye must come, and I charge you in his name to come in, and not disobey his peremptory command. Lay your hands to your hearts then, and see what ye will do ; whether ye will still abide without, and obey the devil, and your doubts, fears, and jealousies of Christ, or come in upon God's command. Have ye any regard to the authority of God? have ye any respect at all to his command ? then give a peremptory answer, within your own breasts, just now, whether ye will come in or not.
Are ye peremptory, that ye will not come, like those sullen desperate sinners, Jer. ii. 25, “No, I have loved strangers, and after them will I go ?” then what shall we say or do for you? Lord, compel them to come in! Oh! will ye harden yourselves against the Lord, will yo stretch out your hand against God, and strengthen yourselves against the Almighty ? For Christ's sake, for your soul's sake, recal that word.
Secondly, But if ye dare not be peremptory that ye will not come, then be peremptory ye will come ; for your coming is so commanded, that it will admit of no excuse. Those that were first bidden to this supper, they would not come, but they sent their excuses : but were their excuses sustained ? no; God would not take them off their hand, but passeth a peremptory sentence against them, ver. 24. “None of those men which were bidden, shall taste of my supper.” We dare admit no excuses in this matter, bring them from whence ye will, whether from the heaven above you, the hell within you, or the world about you; whether from God's greatness, your own vileness, or world's incombrances. Whatever your case be, ye are commanded of God to come ; and his commands are not to be disputed, but obeyed. Wherefore, if ye will not be peremptory that ye will come, we must report to our Lord that ye will not come.
Thirdly, This duty is so peremptorily commanded, that ye must come, and come presently; it admits of no delay. “ To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” “Now is the accepted time.” We dare not allow you a day, nay nor an hour, to think on it, whether ye will come or not; lest the next day, or the next hour, ye be cast ipto hell, or a hell be cast into you, for refusing tlie offer made to you this moment, which is gone before I can name it. Wherefore delay no longer; but this moment open the everlasting doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Fourthly, This is the duty God has commanded you: John vi. 29. “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." Ye can do the Lord no greater pleasure than to come in. Would ye exalt him this day ? then come on his call, Hos. xi. 7: would ye put the crown on Christ's head ? would ye make it a “ day of the gladness of his heart”? then come in, Cant. iii. 11. It is a great ease for full breasts to be sucked: the breasts of mercy and love are full; come, starving sinner, do him the pleasure to suck the breasts of his consolations. This is the great comprehensive duty: If ye do this, ye do all; if ye do not this, ye do nothing. What mean ye to be nibbling at the works of God, neglecting this, which is the work. Ye are keeping your windows closed in the daylight, and setting up a candle here and there, within your house; yet there are terrible dark corners within the house still ; open your windows, I beseech you, and let in the sun, “ the sun of righteousness,” and that will be instead of all, and better than all. Would ye, all at once, be wise, righteous, and holy? then come in to Christ, 1 Cor. i. 30. Ye that can do nothing, come to Christ, and so ye shall do all, Philip. iv. 13. Would ye honour God? would ye honour his law? then come to Christ. But if ye come not to Christ, do what ye will, ye do nothing. Should ye henceforth keep all the ten commandments, but neglect this, all you do would get a black note of condemnation from heaven written on it. Remember, I pray you, that “he that honoureth not the Son, honoureth
Ι not the Father,” John v. 23. All your other duties are but cyphers without this ; and multiply them as ye will, the sum in all will be but nought, if this duty do not stand upon their head.
Lastly, It is a duty commanded, with certification of God's eternal displeasure and wrath against those that will not come : Mark xvi. 16. “ He that believeth not shall be damned.” Psal. ii. 12. " Kiss the Son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way.” And therefore I, as an ambassador for Christ, do, in his name, command and charge you, and every one of you, to come in, under the pain of God's displeasure, under the pain of vengeance, even the Mediator's
vengeance ; certifying, that if ye will not come, our Lord Jesus Christ will come out of heaven against you, and ye shall be “slain before him,” Luke xix. 27. To be slain, and die before Christ, who died to save sinners, is a thousand deaths in one; it is a hell upon a hell. But those "that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus -Christ shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, even that Lord whose gospel they have not obeyed, 2 Thess. i. 8,9. Ah! would he be pleased but to confine his presence to heaven, and only allow those that now despise and slight him the favour of being punished from the absence of the Lord; ah! would he but make their destruction come to them at some distance, would he dart the arrows of his wrath into them from afar: nay, but he will have a throne of justice in hell, that they may be punished “ from the presence of the Lord,” who while in the world fled from his presence on a throne of grace in the gospel. O consider in time what ye do: vo fire will burn so violently as that which breaks forth from the altar; no flame of wrath will pierce into a damned soul, like that which is blown up by the breath of a slighted Mediator.
VI. and Lastly, Sinners shall come in. Compel thein to come in. Leaving secret things to the Lord, I must tell you, sinners, Christ will not want as many as will fill his house. And struggle as long as ye will, in ye shall come. His house shall be filled. The Mediator has bought the furniture of his house too dear to want any of it, and to leave so much empty room in it. I hope there are some here that are the purchase of blood, which men and devils shall not get kept back from Christ. His Father has engaged by covenant, that his house shall be filled, Psal. xxii. 30. “They shall come.” See Is. liii. 10, 11. Nay, is not Christ's hand at the hearts of some just now? Do not some of you find a moving of the iron gate of your hearts, towards an opening of it to Christ? Have you not felt something within working to compel you to come in ? Are not some almost in already? Thrust forward; there is no safety till ye be not only almost, but altogether Christians.
Come in to Christ then, ye old people, that are bowing down to meet the grave. Ye have delayed long, delay no more. Though it is very rare, yet it sometimes falls out, that a man is born when he is old, Joel ii. 28. Come in, ye of middle age. Are ye out of Christ in your best estate? Surely then your best state is a bad state, a miserable state. Ye are busy providing for your families, but what are ye doing for your souls? Ye are laying up for old age, which, it may be, you will never see: what are ye laying up for eternity ? Come in, ye young people; ye are too old to be out of Christ. Do not think religion is only for the hoary head, the wrinkled brows, and hollow eyes; there are more with green heads than with gray hairs in the grave. Therefore come in, and delay not. The older ye grow putting off the work of religion, your hearts will grow the harder to work upon. Come in, ye profane wretches, that are far from righteousness: come, ye hypocritical professors, that are not far from the kingdom of God: come, ye trembling souls, that are hard at it, and yet dare not come in. 0 why will ye not come in? I think it must be either because yo will not, or because ye dare not. I fear there are some amongst us that will not come in; they have no mind to quit their lusts, they must follow their old courses, cost what it will; they see no beauty in Christ for which he is to be desired. I shall say little more to such. If ye be resolute for sin, hell, and death, and that no Christ, no heaven, no hell, shall keep you back from the broad way; who can stop you? But be it known unto you, and be it recorded in the black book of your consciences, which shall be opened at the day of judgment, that salvation was in your offer this day, that we endeavoured to compel you to come into Christ, but ye would not; and that therefore your blood shall be on your own heads.
As to you that dare not come in, why dare ye not, after all yo have heard ? are ye afraid to come in on Christ's call ? dare ye not embrace his invitation ? dare ye not obey the great command of God?
OBJECTION. But my sins are innumerable, and most heinous; can there be any room for me? dare such a vile and unworthy wretch as I come in? ANSWER. If your sins were each of them as big as a mountain, were they as numerous as the sand of the sea; yet the blood of Christ, being the blood of the Son of God, is able to purge them away, 1 John i. 7. Lay over all your guilt and unworthiness on him who is altogether lovely: sooner shall the rocks sink under the weight of a bird lighting down upon them, than that blood shall
Remember none are compelled to come in, none are called, but the vile and unworthy, Matth. ix. 13. Should your disease keep you from the physician? dare ye not come to the fountain to wash, because ye are unclean? for whom is the fountain opened, but for unclean sinners ? The gospel-supper, though a costly one indeed, was provided for none but those that were unworthy of a drop of water, and far more, unworthy of Christ's blood. Be assured, beloved, the question betwixt Christ and you is not, Whether or not Christ will stoop so low as to wash such a foul soul in his own blood ? that is a question determined already, Is. i. 18. Zech. xiii. 1. But the question that remains to be decided, is,