THE SOVLES INGRAFTING into CHRIST.

By T. H.

[printer's or publisher's device]

LONDON, Printed by J. H. for Andrew Crooke, at the signe of the Beare in Pauls Church-yard. 1637.

THE SOVLES Ingrafting into CHRIST.

MAL. 3.1.

Behold, I will send my Messenger, and hee shall pre­pare the way before mee, and the Lord whom yee seeke shall suddenly come to his Temple: even the Messenger of the Covenant whom yee delight in: Behold hee shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.

FOr the Preface two things are considerable. 1. What wee have done. 2. What wee will doe. We have finished the scope of our endevour, which was to shew how Christs Merits are applied to the Soule, how it stands possessed of grace here and happinesse hereafter. Now these two things must be wrought in the Soule, before it can be made partaker of saving grace: 1. A preparation. 2. an Implantation. A preparation there must be,1 for a sinner naturally as he hath no grace, so hee [Page 2] is not naturally capable to receive grace. This ap­peares in 2. things: 1. On Gods part, he breakes the cursed Combination betwixt Sinne and the Soule, hee drawes us from sinne to himselfe. 2. Something on our part touching the dispositi­on of our hearts: and that in 2. workes. 1. Con­trition, 2. Humiliation. Now there was a neces­sity of these two to be in the Soule, as wee then disputed, for these are the two maine hinderan­ces 1 of our Faith: 1. Security, when the soule being blinded takes rest and sees no need to be better, therefore desires it not, hence naturall men thinke it Curiosity, therefore the Lord sends in this worke, and causeth us to know the misery of sinne, and pierces our soules with it, and so upon this we desire a change, for else it sees it must be 2 condemned. 2. When the sinner thus sees his misery, then he begins to scramble for his owne comforts, that he may releeve himselfe, hee will reforme sinne and doe superficiall duties, and so thinke to make amends, this is Carnall confi­dence, thus many a man perisheth, resting on these huskes, for Meanes are not Mediatours, and Services are not Saviours; Now in the place thereof God discovers that there is sinne enough in the best services. The Soule being thus plucked off from sin and from all his lusts, and pared from his abilities, renouncing all confidences, and being nothing hee is fit for Christ to bee all in all unto him; thus farre we have gone. All this while the Soule is like the children of Israel partly wan­dring in the valley of Teares, partly wildring in [Page 3] the desart of Humiliation. Egypt was a Type of a mans naturall condition, Moses a Type of the Law, Iosuah a Type of Christ, the wildernesse a Type of these two. Now the soule having passed through all these, is just upon the Coast of Ca­naan. The soule is like a graft, first, it is cut off, then pared, and then ingrafted: So Con­trition cuts us off, and Humiliation pares us. The next Point is, the ingrafting into the Lord Jesus, the heart being thus prepared, it is implanted in­to the true vine, the Lord Christ.

Touching the worke, wee will discover these 2. things:

  • 1. We will open it in generall.
  • 2. We will discover the parts of it.

What it is in generall, our implantation into 1 Christ, is the worke of the Spirit, whereby the humbled sinner stands possessed of Christ, and is made partaker of the Spirituall good things in him.

3. Things in the Description.

The humbled sinner, for else nothing to doe 1 with Christ, stands possessed of Christ, I use the word possessor, because it is rather wrought upon the soule, than comes out of any Principle in the soule; Christ possesses him, and hence hee comes to bee possessed, Gal. 4.9. as if he should say, It is not, how wee can perceive him, but how hee will know us. Philip. 3.12. Still a man is more passive than active, the worke lyes on Gods part. The childe holds the father, because the father holds him. So we hold God, because he holds vs.

2 Hee is made partaker of the good things in Christ, still the action lyes on Christs part, wee worke so far, as we are wrought on.

These two things are generall in all the workes of application. 1. To be possessed of Christ: 2. To be made partaker of the Spirituall good in him.

1 As in vocation, Christ drawes the soule, hee challenges more of him, than the being posses­sed, and the soule following him there is the spi­rituall good.

2 In Justification, Christ layes downe a price, there is the possession, and withall, the soule is freed from the guilt and punishment of sinne; there is the spirituall good.

3 In Adoption, Christ, not onely cals a sinner, and justifies him, but adopts him, and makes him of a sinner a sonne, there is a nearer possession, and he hath the privileges of a sonne; there is the Spirituall good derived from Christ.

4 In Sanctification, the Lord Christ, by the power of his Spirit leaves a stampe of his Image, grace for grace, he is marked for his owne, this is the further possession; he is freed from the power of corruption; this is the Spirituall good. Thus in all we see, the soule is possessed of Christ, hee is partaker of the Spirituall good in him.

All this is done by Gods Spirit: a graft cannot put it selfe into the stocke, but the same hand that cut it off, and pared it, must ingraft it, to the same Spirit that wrought Contrition, and hu­miliation, comes to bee the Spirit of grace and promise. Now for the ground of our discourse, [Page 5] wee have chosen this Text, which is a Prophecie of Iohn the Baptist.

Wherein observe 2. things.

The words are spoken of Iohn the Baptist.

First, Consider the worke of Iohn the Baptist, he was the Messenger of God, and was to pre­pare the way for Christ. 2. We have the Conse­quence, The Lord will suddenly come into his Tem­ple: We come to the point, but before I can dis­cover the severall particulars, give me leave to o­pen two words, that so the doctrine may bee un­deniable.

First, what is meant by Temple. 2. What, by 1 Christs comming into the Temple.2

First, the word Temple, besides the naturall and literall sense of it, it is also taken Mystically and Spiritually, and so it is here to be conceived, and then it implyes partly the Church of God, I meane the company of the faithfull which serve God in uprightnesse of heart, and as in generall, all the company of the people fearing God, are said, to be the Church of God, and his Temple, so also in particular, every man that is faithfull, is the Temple of God, 2 Cor. 6.10. Yee are the Temple of the Holy Ghost. Looke as it was in the materiall Temple in Jerusalem, the text saith, the Glory of the Lord fell upon it, and the Lord said, he would abide there, and reveale himselfe there, so the heart humbled and prepared is the Temple of the Lord, and the Lord takes possession of it, and rules in it, and will provide for it for ever. Looke as a man dwels in a house prepared for [Page 6] him, so the Lord dwels in a humbled Soule. Thus we have shewed what is meant by Temple.

2 What is meant by the comming of the Lord into his Temple: as the Temple was Spiritually to bee conceived, so is this comming. By com­ming, is here meant, when the Lord comes to take possession of the Soule truly prepared, ob­serve it that the Lord Christ comes as a King, therefore he hath a Harbinger before him, hee hath one to prepare all things for him.

A King comes 2. waies, first he takes soveraigne possession at the place where hee is; If he come to a towne or to an Inne, the Guests that tooke up the place, must be gone: so the Lord comes as a King, he comes to take soveraigne possession of the Soule. 2. All Kings bring furniture with them, when he comes to a place, his owne fur­niture must bee hung up. So Christ comes these 2. wayes, he takes full possession of the soule, and provides mercifully for the soule. Thus wee have the words opened, and now the point is plaine enough. The English of the text is this: When Iohn the Baptist, by the power of the Word and Spirit of Contrition, and Humiliation, hath laid the Soules of Gods servants, humbled and willing to be at Gods dispose, then suddenly and imme­diatly, the Lord Jesus will come, and hee will command as a King, and take possession of an humble Soule, and provide gratiously for it, hee comes to the naked wals, he brings his provision with him, he cares for nothing but a Soule pre­pared and emptied, and he will bring provision [Page 7] enough of Vocation, Adoption, Justification, and Sanctification: now we will gather the points as they lye.

Doct. 1 That the Lord Jesus cannot be hindred from comming into an humbled Soule.

Doct. 2 That the Lord Christ takes possession of the Soule, as a King, and will provide for it.

The first is, that Christ cannot bee hindred from comming into a Soule truly humbled, hee commeth speedily, as who should say, he layeth all other worke aside, as though he cared for no­thing, lookt after nothing, intended after no­thing, but how all might come into the heart prepared: the wicked of the world, he will not come at them; though the rich crie, he will not heare them; though the honorable perish, he will not looke after them; but the Lord will come suddenly into an humble Soule, nay, to speake with reverence, he leaves all Company, he leaves Heaven and the blessed Angels, he leaves all, and onely desires to be in, and to live with an hum­ble broken heart, it is the manner of the Phrase; he comes suddenly, as who should say, he lets all alone, he cares for nothing, go he must, and take possession of a broken Soule; this is the cause that the Scripture doth not content it selfe, in expres­sing the marvellous tender respect, that the Lord hath toward such a Soule, the delight the Lord hath in an humble Soule, he will lie with a broken heart, and dwell with it, and sleepe with it; he will suddenly come into his Temple, Luke 15.16. We may see it in the father of the prodigall: the [Page 8] prodigall he resolved to returne to his father, and say, I have sinned against Heaven and against thee, &c. the father he observes this, that he is content to be at his dispose, and hee lyeth at the doore, and desires to come into his family, though his condition were base, and he was rag­ged; the father he might say, go to your Queanes, let them comfort you if they can; no, the text saith, hee saw him a farre off, and hee ranne and had compassion on him, and fell upon his neck, and kissed him, before the prodigall could speake a word, or kneele downe, he ranne, and kissed him.

Observe here foure particulars: He saw him a farre off, and had compassion on him, ranne to meet him, and kissed him. Hee never now re­members that he was riotous, a whorer, a drun­kard, that he had lavished out all his substance: all this was forgotten: but when he sees him come humbly, and brokenly, he saw him a farre off, before the prodigall could see his father; nay hee compassioned his wretchednesse, before he could confesse it, nay, hee ranne to meet him more speedily than he could come to him, and when the prodigall fell downe before him, hee fell on his necke and kissed him, before he could speake a word; this Scripture doth not satisfie it selfe, it cannot tell how to expresse the marvellous ready inlargement of the Lord, to give entertainment to an humbled Soule, and it is remarkable, after the prodigall had said, Father I have sinned, &c. Fetch out, saith he, the best robe; to cover him, [Page 9] and put a ring on his finger, &c. As who should say, Tis no matter for thy stubbornnesse and re­belliousnesse; a prodigall thou hast been, I care not for it, bring this robe to cover him, kill the fat Calfe to feed him, and the ring to adorne him. So Luke 15.4. A man that hath an hundred sheepe, and one be gone astray, he leaves there 99. and he goes seeking for that, and when hee findes the stragling sheep, though it cannot come home, he takes it upon his shoulder and brings it home: The lost sheepe is the lost Soule, that is bee-wildred, the Lord Jesus after all mercies vouchsafed to him, and kindnesse enlarged to­wards him; yet the lost sheepe will be stragling, the Lord leaves all now to seeke him: and marke the phrase and the degree thereof, he leaves all to seeke it, and will never leave till hee finde it, he doth not seeke hourely, but he seekes till hee hath found it; when he hath found it, he brings it home. The Lord will leave all, to seeke an humbled sinner; the more need thou hast of Christ, the more labor he will bestow in seeking of thee, and he will never leave seeking, till hee hath found thee; and when he hath found thee, though thou canst not goe, he will carry thee up­on his shoulders, to everlasting happinesse. This is to expresse the marvellous readinesse and bounty of the Lord, towards a poore humble sinner, Matth. 13.45. This is the scope of the Parable of the Pearle; the text saith, The King­dome of God is like unto a Pearle, which when a Merchant had found, he seld all he had, and bought [Page 10] it. First, we will open the text, then apply it to our purpose. The Pearle is nothing else but the rich Mercy of God, and Grace, and Salvati­on in Christ: the Merchant man is every poore sinfull creature, that wants mercy to comfort him, and grace to pardon him; for what is all the world, if my Soule wants mercy? well he know­eth where the Pearle is; the bargaine is thus, he must sell all and buy this Pearle: Hee comes to Gods tearmes, & buyeth it at his rate, and there is no more words: this selling of all is, when a man parts with all sinnes, and confidence in him­selfe: then he hath sold all, when he will neither trust to his owne worth, nor rest in his owne suf­ficiency, and seeth himselfe miserable by corrup­tions committed, and seeth that he is unable to releeve himselfe out of his misery, and then hee is willing to part with all; and when hee hath done this, then there is no more words to the bargaine, but the Lord bids him take the Pearle, he hath bought it, and carry it away with him: so then the case is cleere, if you bee good chap­men, and bid roundly, and come to Gods price, there is no more words to the bargaine. You would have sinne and Christ, God and Devill; no, no, but sell all and the pearle is yours: you may take it in your hand, and carry it home with you: thus much for the proofe.

Reasons. I come now to the Reasons, whence comes it, that the Lord will not delay to come into an hum­ble soule, the marvellous readinesse of the Lord, it is admirable to thinke on it: the reasons are three:

Because the Lord Jesus was sent, for this very 1 end, by God the Father, Matt. 15.24. And hee came also to this very purpose, Luke 19.10. Ga­ther up the places. I am not sent, but to the lost sheepe of Israel; and in the other place, there he came to seeke, and save that which was lost, that is, lost in the sight and sense of his owne misery, lost in regard of his owne ability and sufficiency to helpe himselfe: Then lastly, willing to be dis­posed by another, this is the nature of a lost man. The man that is in the wildernesse, if hee knew not the way out, there is no meanes to succour him; therefore he is willing and contented, that any man should direct him the way out: if a man should say, this is the path that leads you out of the wildernesse to such a place, would hee not yeeld to his advice, hee were but a lost man; so dost thou see, that thou art lost, if thou liest in the wildernesse of sinne, thou art a damned man; and then lost, dost thou see that thou art unable to come out and succour thy selfe, art thou conten­ted to be informed by God, and disposed by him, then marke what the text saith: The Sonne of man, the Lord Jesus came to seeke such sinners, and the Lord will never leave till he finde thee, and when hee hath found thee, hee will never leave till hee hath saved thee: the Lord, though thou canst not seeke him, hee will seeke thee; and when hee hath sought thee, hee will save thee too. Then if the end of Christs comming, and the scope of his sending, be to save a lost sinner, then above all, hee will attaine his owne end, fulfill [Page 12] what was betrusted to him, hee will seeke and save him.

The second ground.Because an humble broken soule, is the fittest subject to set forth the glory of the riches of Gods grace and Salvation, that is in Christ pur­chased, and through Christ conveyed to the soule: I say they are the fittest subjects for God to worke upon, for the Lord to come to and dwell in, and to set forth the honour of the worke of Redemp­tion as it deserves, Ephes. 2.11.12. The text saith, hee worketh all things according to the counsell of his will, and why so? namely, to the praise of the glory of his grace. Now observe it, there is no soule so fit to set forth the praise of the glory of the grace of the Lord, and the great worke of Salvation, as a broken soule, and selfe denying heart: for an humble soule denies all in it selfe, but expects all from grace, and the free favour of God. It saith, it is unworthy to receive mercy, that it needs and beggs, and therefore an humble soule is the fittest of all to set forth the great worke of God, all the Councell of God; to set forth the riches of his grace, that all may be said to be grace, as in that of Zacharie, when the temple was built, thy cryed, Grace, Grace, Grace, as who should say, grace layeth the first stone, and grace layeth the last stone; all is of grace, from begin­ning to ending: so an humble soule setteth forth the freenesse of Gods grace abundantly, and saith, I deserved nothing but hell, and if I have any thing but hell, it is from Gods mercy. But a proud heart, hee opposeth the worke of God; all the [Page 13] workmanship of the grace of God: The proud heart will have something of it selfe, and take something to it selfe to boast of, and where is grace now? it's not grace, but your parts and a­bilities that you attribute all to, and by that meanes hinder the setting forth the riches of Gods mercy in Christ: Therefore an humble soule is the best shop, wherein the great worke of redemption, and frame of salvation may be seene: the poore soule will say, Looke what the Lord hath done, and it is marvellous in our eyes, it ought to be marvellous in our hearts. Looke as it is with men; No wise man will dwell in an house, where his credit may not be maintained, and where hee may not have all conveniences necessary, and therefore no marvell though Christ comes into an humble heart, it is the fittest place for the credit of Christ: Christ would worke all in the soule; the humble soule is content, he shall take notice of it. It is a schoole rule, there is no wise man that disposeth of the frame of a building, but if he hath disposed of it, he will set it up, and dwell in it, unlesse he wants power or wisdome; power, in that he hath begun a thing, and was not able to finish it; none of these can befall God: God is a wise sufficient cause, hee never disposeth of a matter fully, but he brings a frame and a forme to the matter disposed: Now when the Lord hath prepared a building, and framed an humble soule to dwell in, if hee will not finish his frame, hee must want power and wisdome: But these cannot be wanting, to an almighty, and [Page 14] most wise God, therefore hee that hath fitted the heart for his owne credit, and for all conveni­ences, that all may be wrought by him, and all glory may come to him, surely that powerfull God, that cannot be hindred, and that wise God, that doth nothing but out of wisedome, hee will reare up the building of grace, and salvation shall be bestowed upon the soule.

The third ground.Because now all hinderances are taken out of the way that should stop him, and all impedi­ments that should let him, are removed wholly, therefore the place being for him, and he ready to come, he must of necessity come: for if there be any hinderance, to stop the comming of Christ into the soule; it must either lie on his part or on our part, but it shall appeare that there is no hin­drance either on Gods part, or a broken soules part, therefore there is nothing can hinder the Lord from comming: if there be any thing on our parts to hinder him, it is either because wee love our selves, or cleave to our sinnes: Now a broken heart hath renounced both these; an humble soule saith, sinne shall not rule in mee; and a selfe de­nying heart saith, I cannot rule my selfe, and therefore Lord guide mee with thy grace, now the way is ready, the soule is divorced from all other matches, therefore it is ready for the Lord; the humbled soule hath renounced sinne, and all authority of it selfe, and would have Christ rule over it: Now therefore all impediments must be on Christs part, that which cannot be, Revel. 3.20. Our Saviour Christ is so farre from being [Page 15] unwilling to come into the soule, that he stands knocking at the doore; hee knocks at a proud loose heart, at a base drunken heart, Forsake these sinnes, and entertaine a Saviour: renounce these corruptions, and entertaine thy owne salvation: be not under the power of corruption, that will undoe thee, but submit to Christ, that will re­deeme thee: Hee knocks and knocks againe, Open my Love, my Dove, my undefiled one: the Lord knocks thus at the doore; therefore if the doore be open, he will surely come in: nay he prote­steth himselfe, I stand at the doore and knock: hee hath stood often at the heart of many stubborne sinners, and knocked by mercies and judgements, and knocked by the word, and all blessings hee hath bestowed, and saith, If any will open, I will come in and dwell with him. Now then, he that pro­miseth, that if the doore be open, hee will come in, if the doore be open, that hee may come, there is no unreadinesse in him to come into the soule, but in an humbled soule, the doore is open, away sinne, away selfe, I trust you not, let the Lord come and rule in, & take possession of the heart of mine; the doore is wide open now, and the Lord knocked before, is glad to take the occasion, and comes speedily into the soule prepared and hum­bled. So then if it be the end of the ruling and com­ming of Christ, if the glory of his mercy bee ad­vanced thereby, if there be no hindrance, neither on our parts, or on Christs part; then the soule be­ing thus disposed, immediately expect our Savi­our, for hee will come. Thus much for the proofe.

Quest. I confesse, nothing should be deare (and if I know my selfe) there is no sinne, but I am content it should be loosened from mee, my sinne I have abandoned, my selfe I have renounced, and yet I find no comfort, so that this doctrine is not true, or my heart not cured.

Answ. Is it thus with thee? then Christ is come, but thou perceivest it not. When Iacob awaked out of his sleepe, Surely (said hee) the Lord is in this place, and I perceived it not: And so the Lord is in thy soule, and thou perceivest him not.

Quest. But can Christ be, and not be seene?

Answ. I, tis too too often, and the hindrances are of two sorts.

  • 1. On our part.
  • 2. On Christs part.

Those on our parts, are of foure sorts.

1 Christ is come into thy soule, and thou dost not know him. Matt. 14.26. When Christ was nearest to comfort &c. they thought it had beene a spirit to terrifie them. So thou saiest, thy sinnes are ugly to thee, thou thinkest this is not Christ, but it is: Jesus Christ is there, and thou seest it not. Iohn 20.15.16. The poore soule of the woman longed for Christs society, and shee thinking it had beene a gardner, enquired of a Sa­viour, for a Saviour: So a broken hearted sinner seekes a Saviour; if you know how I may ob­taine favour with God, counsell a poore sinner. It is Christ that gives thee the heart to seeke him, and that Christ thou seekest: by the vertue of a Saviour, thou seekest for a Saviour, as a man lookes for a candle, by the light of his candle. Iohn 14.9.

Thou attendest not to our Saviour when hee 2 comes; hee that comes, quietly conveies himselfe, and thou seest him not: as to his Disciples, when they were all shut up in a Chamber, then hee appeared in the midst, Luk. 24. Why seekest thou the living among the dead. So wee rub the sore day­ly, and thinke, can grace come into such a heart: Whilst thou art thus looking on corruption, thou canst not see Christ: Why seekest thou the living a­mong the dead, why seekest thou a Saviour to com­fort thee, among corruptions that would con­demne thee. It was not the fault in Hagars eyes, that shee saw not the fountaine, but shee attended not to it; so wee sit disconsolate, and Christ is in us, but wee looke not after him: A man that waits for a Noble-man; if hee come not at the houre appointed, hee goes into a corner and weepes, because hee thinks he hath taken distaste, and this, whilst the Noble-man approaches, and is there a great while, before hee knowes it; so while wee goe drooping under our corruptions, the Lord Christ comes not, and wee goe to dis­couragement, and in the mean time Christ comes, and wee see him not. Hee that goes in a dungeon shall never see Sun-shine, though it shine never so cleerely; so when this Sonne of Righteousnesse shines, wee goe into the dungeon of discourage­ment, and so perceive him not, though hee shines most cleerely.

Wee also are not able aright to know when 3 Christ is in us: because wee judge him by sense, and some extraordinary sweetnesse, wee imagine [Page 18] should be in us: woe judge upon false grounds; every sinner sets up a fancie in his owne Imagi­nation, that if Christ comes, strange matters will be wrought. Now framing this fancie in his conceit, he will take no other evidence of Christs comming.

It was the fault of Gideon, Iudges 6.13. he judges Gods presence there, upon false grounds; for hee was with him, as well to helpe him beare the misery, as to deliver him from it; so it is with an humble sinner burthened with the sight of his abominations; when the Ministers say, The Lord is with you, you broken sinners, they reply, If the Lord be with us, why is all his befalne us: what, say some, distempers so violent, corruptions so many, and can the Lord be here? where are those miracles the Saints heretofore have found? Behold what God did for David, for Elias, for Paul, they led captivity captive, and were more than Conquerors over their corruptions, and yet wee are burthened with our sins. I answer, the Lord is as well present to helpe thee contend against sinne, as to make thee domineere over it. The same Apostle that was more than Conqueror at one time, was led captive at another, Rom. 7.23. And had the flesh lusting against the Spirit, Rom. 8.1. Gal. 5.17. This is your conceit; you thinke if the King come, there will be no Trai­tours; but Traitors will follow the Court: you thinke if the King come to your harts, hee must needs promote you to some place of honour. This is the apprehension of a broken heart: Were [Page 19] Christ in mee, then I should have such and such sufficiency; these are desperate mistakes, Iohn 20.25. It is a patterne of a broken Soule that de­pends upon some stirring apprehension, if I had that ability, if my heart could so breake, if I had such assurance, then Christ were come: You will not beleeve the King is come, unlesse hee hug you in his bosome. Thus wee judge according to sense, not according to the promise of Christ, who is blessed for ever: It befalls the Soule as Iacob, Gen. 45.24. Hee would not beleeve their word; but when hee saw their Chariots, then he was per­swaded of it: this is the frame of disconsolate spirits. Wee have the word of God, to confirme the presence of Christ, unlesse you be Charioted with that ability, as to triumph over all sinnes, your spirits are not revived, you beleeve not that Ioseph is yet alive, your Saviour is with you.

When our eyes are held, namely when the 4 sting of Conscience sea [...]es, or when the fiercenesse of temptation presses in, or else when some world­ly inconvenience sits close, so that the thoughts of a mans heart are wholly bestowed upon that object, the Soule cannot owne Christ, though he were close by him. A man that hath his heart swayed with sad meditations, though hee meet with a man of his acquaintance, yet hee would not know him: So it was with the disciples, looke Luke 24. vers. 32. Did not our hearts burne in us; as who should say, there was testimony enough, of a divine presence, it was a Christ that spake, but wee were not able to see it: So when [Page 20] the soule is taken up with two hurries, partly with temptation, partly with worldly occasions, it sees not Christ, though the heart burnes towards him: this is the ground, why, when Satan lets flie, though wee propound never so many promi­ses, alwayes those perplexed Spirits forget what is spoken, and their minde is only upon temptati­on: They attend not Christ in the promise, be­cause their eyes are held, though they be in their privie Chamber, and may talke with our Savi­our, Psalm. 13.23.

The Lord Jesus, out of our just desert, doth hide himselfe, Esay 8.17. Psalm. 31.22. Now Christ hides himselfe in these three cases.

1 When the Saints fall into some foule grosse sin, or else are at truce with some bosome corrupti­on, though but an infirmitie, then God doth with­draw his presence, for obedience is the tearme of Gods presence, 2. Chron. 15.1. Hee is with us, while we are with him: If then the Saints breake company, no marvell though Christ withdraw his society, Iohn 19.21. This is the tenure of Christs manifestation, provided wee love him; but if not, hee is gone, Psalm. 51. Create a new Spi­rit within mee, (as who should say) all is to begin a new. This God doth so shew his indignation against sinne, hee will not beare nor bolster it, no not in his owne, and this God doth not only when they sin fouly, but when they are at truce with a distemper, though but an Infirmity: as for example, if a Christian be overtaken ordinarily with a cholerick distemper, if a Christian be eager [Page 21] of the world, or growes dead in services, it is just with God, that these men should be destitute of their comforts.

When the Saints of God grow wanton, abu­sing 2 the sense and sweetnesse of the feeling of his favour, thereupon growing carelesse, now God seeing a man abusing his goodnesse, it is just with him to estrange himselfe from that Soule, that hee may labour for his former strength againe, Cant. 5.2. Psalm. 30.6.

The Lord hides himselfe by way of preventi­on,3 as thus; hee will not make some of his to ap­prehend his favour, lest they should pranck up themselves in the privilege, and censoriously con­temne their fellow brethren; but holds out the heart at the staffe end, so much mercy as may serve his turne, that hee may be a little comforted, and yet humbled. If the Father see the child grow proud, hee keeps him upon dependance, that he may have better obedience. So God sees wee have unruly hearts, and therefore keeps us upon dependance, that hee may have more obedience, Iohn 16.12. If there were high sailes upon a lit­tle Barke, they would drowne it in stead of car­rying of it: So men proportion their sailes, accor­ding to their Barke. This is one maine ground, why God takes away the sense of his favour: The Sea is the world, the Soule sailes about, and a lit­tle gale carrieth it on, but if it should have great sailes, they would drowne it; not that grace doth this, the fault is not in the sailes, but in the boat that will not beare, &c. So the fault is not in [Page 22] grace, but in the Soule, that cannot beare it: This is the reason why many men have smoken out their dayes in sorrow, and at their death have great assurance: It was the speech of a good man, that God will not alwayes give his servants a cup of Sack; his meaning was, hee would not al­wayes comfort them; the comforts of Gods Spi­rit are better than wine, now much of this com­fort with a proud heart, would cause him to tram­ple upon every man: Therefore God keeps the cup to the last. If while therefore God keeps us under hatches, if while hee withdrawes his hand, wee doe contend with the Almighty, and often say, why should I pray, and God answers not, heare and God accepts not? if when wee are kept low, and doe thus, if then wee had what wee would, certainly wee would turne our backs to the Almighty and say, as they in Ieremy 2.31. Wee will come no more unto thee: Therefore it is good for God to doe thus, wee are not able to beare this saile, else God would give it.

Vse 1 If this be so, let every Soule take his part and portion: All you stout disobedient spirits, that will not obey the Gospell of God, all hearts not broken, and spirits not humbled, I have nothing to say to you for the while: But you that have a­ny obedience of the worke of the spirit, and grace in your Soules, you that are now willingly con­te [...]d, and resolutely perswaded to give way to Ch [...] and breake open doore to a Saviour: if there be any Soule that hides himselfe according to the former doctrine, you humble, broken [Page 23] hearted sinners, goe your wayes with comfort, and the God of heaven goe with you, nay, hee is with you, hee will meet with you at home, nay, hee will meet with you in the mid-way; what e­ver thy sinnes, or miseries, or wants be, here is consolation, yea abundant consolation, to sup­port the heart, if thou beest a poore broken hearted sinner, it is enough, the Lord Christ will come into your soules, and let then what will, or can come, the Lord Jesus will come, and that suddenly. But you will say, So many are the sinnes that lye upon mee, my corruptions like clouds, come in upon mee, all my oathes and drunkennesse, all pride, and loosenesse, and vanitie, and earthly mindednesse, all my corruptions come in upon mee, and the guilt remaines, and they are not pardoned: their horror remaines, and I cannot get my soule pacified in the assu­rance of the forgivenesse of them: that pride, and adultery, and drunkennesse, army after army, Le­gion after Legion of sinnes, presse in upon mee. Are your soules thus perplexed with miseries? why, I beseech you, consider what I say: art thou humbled thou polluted heart? art thou oppressed with thy corruptions? doth thy soule say, it is the greatest burthen I have, the greatest wound I feele; if my heart were but rid of my sinnes, my soule should be quiet, and my heart pacified; why then, If the Lord seeth thee humbled, hee will never see thee corrupted, hee will come suddenly: let all thy corruptions come accusing, let all thy sinnes rise up at armes against thee: yet if thy [Page 24] heart be broken for these, and humbled in the consideration of these, and resolved to forsake them, the Lord will come suddenly, and then mercy will come to pardon all, to subdue all these cursed distempers that hang upon thee: But you will say, What, will this Lord come into my soule, this wretched soule, these mud-walls, this abhomi­nable heart; what to mee, will the Lord come to my temple? such hideous sinnes have I commit­ted, and the Lord come into such a rotten cot­tage, and such a base cursed heart as mine? Aye, marke what the text saith, I stand at the doore and knock; If any man will open, I will come in. Hee knocks at the doore of every proud person, and adulterer, and drunkard: if any adulterous person will open, the Lord will come and sanctifie him: If any uncleane wretch will open, the Lord will come and release him from all abhominati­on: what a comfort is this then? let Satan accuse us, and sinne condemne us, if the Lord will com­fort us, who can discourage us? if the Lord will save us, who can condemne us? Againe, as this is comfort against all sinnes, so there is marvellous comfort against all extremities and miseries: If thou art humbled, let miseries come, and troubles and temptations come, and Christ will come too, into an humble Soule, in all weaknesses, Christ will come, to strengthen in all disgraces: and will come to honour thee, here is comfort: The favour of men goeth away, the neerer a man goeth to God, the farther they goe from him, hee is a stranger now to his brother, and an aliant to his [Page 25] mothers Sonne: why, let thy wants be what they will, and let troubles come, and weaknesse come, though they come, the Lord will not goe away; though friends be farre off, the Lord will be neere unto thee: Be therefore comforted, for e­ven the wise man saith, a man will change ho­nour to get a commoditie, sometimes hee will part with honour, for profit, and money will supply all; whatsoever the world can doe, money can doe. Therefore this quiets the rich man; I have it by mee, I have many wants, that is no matter, I have it by mee in money: haply hee wants a house, thats no matter, hee hath it by him in money, and therefore can build him one: hee wants cloathes to cloath him; but hee hath it in money, and that will buy them, (thus money answers to all.) You that are broken hearted sinners goe home chearfully, eat your bread with glad hearts: the Lord accepts you, and how ever men will not looke after you, but looke aloofe: goe home, and the Lord comfort you more and more, know the Lord Christ comes suddenly and answers to all; it was the speech of Christ to his Disciples: Feare not little flock, it is your Fathers will to give you a Kingdome: You are troubled, you shall have a Kingdome, that will quiet you: you are disgraced, you shall have a Kingdome, that will honour you: you are in per­secution, you shall have a Kingdome, that will comfort you. Let an humble Soule goe downe into the Sea, and fly into the uttermost parts of the earth, yet it will comfort thee, the Lord will [Page 26] come suddenly, and bring his provision with him; wheresoever thou art, hee will be with thee, to comfort thee and cheare thee. You little ones that are humbled, it is not your Fathers pleasure only to give you a Kingdome, but his Sonne and hee answers all: what though thou hast many miseries? thou hast a Christ that is the God of all mercies: thou hast many sinnes, what of that? thou hast a Christ, that is the God of all grace; where ever thou art, hee will bee with thee; though thou wert banished, yet he will wander up and downe all the wildernesse, but he will find thee and bring thee upon his shoulders, to cheare thee, and com­fort thee here, and give the end of thy hopes here­after: If wee be not comforted hereby, it is a shame, therefore let every sad Soule take his part: if you have Christ, you have enough, though you never see good day after.

Now wee come to the second doctrine.

Doct. 2 When the Lord Jesus comes to the humbled Soule, hee takes possession of it as his owne: now when the soule is at Gods dispose, that mercy may doe what it will with him: and then the Lord takes possession, Ezek. 16.8.

Quest. Wherein lies the Soveraigne possession?

Answ. It appeares in two particulars.

1 The Lord Jesus undertakes for the Soule.

2 Hee disposeth of it to his best advantage.

Hee undertakes for it, (namely) hee takes upon him, to shelter it from all the evill which it could not avoid: I told you before, the sinner sees his vilenesse of sinne, and desires now to be freed, [Page 27] but cannot deliver himselfe, and therefore sues to Christ. Now our Saviour steps in, and saies, hee will undertake to pay all: If men be oppressed with some outragious enemy, they seeke to some sorraigne Prince, and submit to him, if hee will take the protection of them. So when the Soule is oppressed with too many sins, with too heavy pangs, it falls downe and desires Christ to be Lord protectour of it; and then presently Christ comes and frees it from the evill. 35. Numb. 25. it was an Injunction, that the man-slayer should fly to the Cities of refuge, and they should open the gate to him: the man-slayer is the poore sin­ner that is pursued, now hee flies to the Lord Je­sus, his refuge (as David often speakes.) Now Christ receives and delivers him from the hand of the avenger. The dangers of an humble heart are three, for which Christ undertakes; first, the justice of the Father not satisfied; secondly, the temptation of Satan not conquered; thirdly, Sinne, not yet subdued: All these the Soule sinkes under, and cries, who will deliver mee: when the heart is thus, Christ is come to rescue it, and saith, be comforted: the justice of my Father I will satisfie, the malice of Satan I will crosse, the power of corruption I will cashiere.

The sinner sees a just God, that will have his 1 glory: when thus justice makes out, Christ puts in Bale. When a man is arested, if some great man give his word, hee is acquitted: so when the venome of Gods vengeance pursues thee, Christ passeth his word, hee will see all satisfied, bee [Page 26] [...] [Page 27] [...] [Page 28] therefore comforted, Christs word will goe, hee desires no other pacifier.

Temptation is subdued, sinne and Satan must give way: That supreme authority makes sinne and Satan vanish. Rev. 1.18. A key is an en­signe of authority, he that hath the Key, may let in and shut out whom hee will. So Christ can bring out whom he will, Ephes. 4.8. Looke how Conquerours lead captived slaves, so Christ leads sinne and death, Luke 10.18. When the Scepter of Christ was displayed, Satan fell like lightning.

3 Sinne comes to be cashiered, sinne pleads pre­scription in the Soule, and challenges a title; yet Christ having taken possession, hee will have all charges; when sinne saith, I have possessed the Soule from my youth, therefore why should I out, Christ replies, it is usurped, all this title is but forged, it is mine, and I come for my owne, there­fore sinne depart, Rom. 8.3. Christ condemnes sinne in the flesh: to condemne sinne, is as much as, when a man hath cast in his cause, hee layes claime to a thing, and is cast by law. So sinne layes claime to the Soule: and Christ comes and condemnes sinne in the flesh: Hee makes the cause goe against sinne: for sinne claimes right on this ground, every sonne of Adam is the childe of disobedience, he is under my power, and death is his due from mee. Now Christ answers, Those for whom the sinne of Adam hath beene satisfied, over those sin hath no possession: but the Soule is such; doth Adams sin remaine? I have satisfied [Page 29] for it. Is sinne strong? I have led captivity cap­tive: thus sinne loseth his cause, this is to con­demne sinne in the flesh, Acts 26.18. First they were turned from the power of Sathan, and then followed remission of sinnes, and sanctification.

Hee disposes of the Soule for his best advan­tage; 2 when Satan the strong man kept the house, and the soule was at his manage, and tillage, it either lay fallow ground, as Ier. 4.3. overspread with thornes. When sinne and Satan rule the heart, they blinde it, and the whole entertaine­ment on our part, as God calls, so the Soule en­tertaines that call: and that appeares in two things.

The sinner receives the worke of grace and 1 mercy, being empty: The Lord may powre in what he will, there is roome in the Soule to enter­taine any thing: and this is called passive receiving, namely hereby God fits the Soule to receive mer­cy, and prepares it, that it may come, and the soule being emptied, entertaines the worke of mercy.

The soule being emptied, and having received 2 vertue from God, returnes an answer to this call; and this we call active calling. The soule having received power, by vertue of that power returnes an answer to the call of God, as it is with an ec­cho; first the ayre is moved by the voice, second­ly, being moved it returnes the same voice: So it is with the answer of the Soule, Psal. 27.8. Like that of the men of Syria 1 Kings 20.32.33. When Ahab said, my brother Benhadad, so the sinner waits and lookes, when will God have mercy, at last God saith, my sonne, and the Soule answe­reth, [Page 30] thy Sonne Lord, Ier. 3.22. marke how they answer: Behold wee come, for thou art the Lord our God: The Lord saith, come away, and the Soule saith, behold I come, 1. Cor. 6.17. Its the same voyce that ecchos, the same beame that re­flects from the wall: So it is the same spirit that returnes the voyce: and this answer of the Soule, wee tearme faith. Now wee have cut out our worke, and for the further handling, we have chosen this text, which is, to discover this worke of vocation.

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