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7. Have you received it as the word of God, the word by way of eminency, the word of God in Chrift, i Theff. ii. 13. and received it not as the word of man, of this or that man; but, as it is in truth, the word of God ? &c.
2. Have you received it as a word of salvation, or as a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, both as a truth and as a good ? This reception of it supposes a view you have of your being a lost finner welcoming a Saviour. 3. Have
you received it as the word of this salvation, a present salvation, a particular falvation? This particular salvation from sin and wrath that you need, this near salvation ; “ I bring near my righteousness to the stout-hearted, and far from righteousness ; my salvation Mall not tarry,” Il. xlvi. 12. 13. this great falvation, this purchased falvation, this promised salvation, this offered salvation, presently offered. Faith fixes upon something present. You need not say, Rom. x. 6–8., « Who will afcend to heaven, &c. the word is nigh," &c. Again,
4. Have you received it as a sent salvation, as God's send, as God's gift, sent by the hand of his ambassadors, fent freely and sovereignly, without your seeking after it, sent out of the storehouse of divine grace.
5. Have you received it as sent to Ginners, to finners in general ? For here is glad tidings of great joy to all people. “ Upon this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, of wines on the lees,” &c. If.xxvi.6.
6. Have you received it as sent unto you in particular ? To you, finners, says the general dispensation : To thee, finner, in particular, says the particular offer: “Whosoever will, let him come. Halt thou then received it, as sent to thee, though a guilty sinner; to thee, though a vile sinner? Hait thou entertained it with a me, me, of particular application, saying, Here is an offer to me, a gift to me, a promise from heaven to me? Hast thou found thyself called by name, and said, I am warranted to take hold of Christ, and the salvation he brings with him, in this word of salvation; and even so I take him at his word, “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbe. lief?” Have you hereupon found the virtue of this word, as a word of salvation, saving you from your doubts and fears, saving you from your bonds and fetters, saving you from your helpless and hopeless condition, and making you to hope for complete falvation from fin and misery? Have you found falvation begun in the faith of the word of salvation, and being begotten to a lively hope thereby? And does this hope begin to purify your heart, and this faith begin to work by love to God, and hatred of sin, and of yourleit for sin? And is your Vol. III.
continual recourse to this word of falvation, or to the promise of God in Christ, for all your salvation ?
8thly, Hence fee what matter of joy and praise believers have, who have been determined thus to entertain the word of fal. vation; for when the word of falvation is received through grace, then the work of falvation is begun : and you need be in no uneafiness now, though you be called to work out the work of your salvation with fear and trembling ; because it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do. He that hath begun the good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of the Lord. The word of salvation may be unto thee, Obeliever, the word of confolation all the days of your life: for it is a word of salvation, not only from the sinful state and mi. serable state you was in, but it' is a word of salvation also bringing the good news of salvation in every case ; salvation from the devil, the world, and the fleth ; falvation and deliverance from the hands of all your enemies ; falvation from the sting of death, salvation from the terror of judgement, salvation from the curse of the law, and from the guilt of all your fins; salvatioa not only from all evil, but salvation to eternal life ; for the word of falvation you have received and entertained through grace, contains all the words of eternal Jife. The word of falvation is the word of life for you, when under deadness, and the word of liberty for you, when under bondage; a word of rest for you, when ander weariness; a word of relief for you, when under distress of whatsoever fort. It is a word of salvation confirmed with the oaths of God, “ That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, they might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope fet before them.”
9thly, Hence fee matter for terror to those that negle& this great falvation that is sent to them by this word. “ How shall they escape who neglect so great a salvation," and a salvation come fo near to them? O linner, it is a falvation sent to your house, and will you reje& it? salvation fent to your soul; a word of salvation fent to your hand to receive it, and will you reject it? a word of salvation seot to your car, faying, ic But hear, and your soul fhall live :” A word of salvation sent to your heart, and by it God is knocking at the door of your heart : will you refuse him that speaketh from hea. ven? See Heb. xii. 25. If you will not hear God's word of grace in the gospeh, saying, “ To you is the word of this fal. vation sene;" you must lay your account to hear his word of wrath in the law, saying, yea, swearing in his wrath, that you Mall not enter into his rest. If you have no fear of God, as it is in the verse where my text lies ; if you lhall never be
persuaded to fear the Lord, and his goodness manifested in the word of salvation sent to you, you must lay your account to fear the Lord and his wrath, manifested in the word of condemnation, which the law pronounces against them that believe not the gospel, John iii. 18.
6. He that believeth not is condemned already.” And there is no escaping this sentence of condemnation, but by receiving the word of salvation.
1 othly, Hence see how much it is the interest of every one to receive, and entertain, and welcome this word of salvation. “ O hear, that your souls may live." Hear the joyful found of salvation, Oloft perishing sinner, before the door of mercy be shut, and the day of grace be over. Consider,
1. What sort of a salvation is offered to you. It is a spiritual salvation, the salvation of the immortal soul. “What shall a man profit, though he gain the whole world, if he lose his own soul?" If you would not lose and ruin your souls, O receive the word of salvation. It is a costly salvation, it comes running in the channel of the blood of Chrift. It is brought to your hand, and free to you, however dear bought by the Redeemer. You have nothing to pay for it; the price of it is paid already; the condition is fulfilled. It is a complete falvation, falvation from every thing you need to be saved from ; falvation from unbelief, enmity, atheism, heart-hardness, heart-deadness, and every thing that you make an objection against receiving of this salvation. You fay you cannot believe, you cannot repent; but would you be saved from your unbelief and impenitence? This, and all the other branches of salvation is sent to you, when the word of salvation is fent. Will you welcome a Saviour to save you from all, to be wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, and all to you? It is an everlasting salvation. Would you be happy after death, and have an eternity of happiness ? Life and immortality is brought to light by this word of salvation. O poor dying linner, consider what an everalafting falvation this is.
2. Consider what need thou hast of this salvation. Thou hast a dark mind, and needest salvation from that darkness and
orance. Thou hast a guilty conscience, and needelt falvation from that guilt. Thou hast a hard heart, and needest salvation from that hardness. Thou hast a powerful and strong corruption, and needest salvation from that. Thou hast a corrupt nature, and needest salvation from that. Thou hast many heart-plagues, and needest salvation from these plagues, and healing. Behold all this salvation, and infinitely more, comes with the word of salvation ; no salvation thou needeft is excepted. Thy need is great, death is at hand, judgement at
Boniring the accepted time, now is the day of salva
be no word in the day of judgement to fin. wurd of condemnation : “Depart from me, ye
1. everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his onge now, in the day of salvation, is sent to you this
pendation; now, now is the day, and perhaps now, or
der what a firm ground this word of salvation is in to believe upon. It is the word of God, the God hon vannot lie. It is ratified by an oath of God. It is a
de confirmed by the blood of the Son of God. It is a word
en by the inspiration of the Spirit of God: “ He that buch ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. The Spirit and the bride say, Come;" come and hear this word of salvation ; come and believe ; come and apply to thyself what is offered to thee.
4. Consider the good warrant you have to intermeddle with this word of salvation. It is sent to you on purpose that you may believe it with application to yourself; and that every one of you, thou man, thou woman, may take it home to thy own heart; for to thee is the word of salvation sent. To thee is this love letter sent from heaven. Read the indorsement, and see if it be not to thee. It is backed to thee, guilty finner, saying, Christ came to save finners. It is backed to thee, O inhabitant of the earth, that art not yet in hell; “ Look to me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” It is backed to thee, O fcorner, that hast hitherto been a mocker of God and godliness, Prov. i. 20. 22. 23. It is backed to thee, Oreo bellious sinner. If thou wert excepted, all mankind would be fo. Behold Christ hath afcended up on high, led captivity captive, and received gifts for men, even for the rebellious, that God the Lord might dwell among them. It is backed to thee, O black and bloody sinner, Isa. xviii. “ Come now, and let us reason together, faith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they ihall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” It is backed to thee, O finner, that art thirsting after other things than Christ, lfa. lv. 1. 2. “ Ho, every one that thirlteth, come. Wherefore spend ye your money for that which is not bread ?” &c. Wherefore do ye thirst and pant after other things that cannot give you fatisfaction? Yea, it is backed for thee, O. unhumbled, unconvinced sinner. Say not, that cannot concern thee, because thou art not convinced of thy sin. O, the word of salvation comes even to thee also, Rev. iii. 18. “ I counsel thee to buy of me gold isied is the fire,” &c. even thee, that, as in the
preceding verse, art saying that thou art rich and increased with goods, and stand in need of nothing; and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Unconcerned sinner, to thee, even to thee, is the word of this salvation fent. Is this love-letter backed for thee? () then, know, that though you have no will, you have a warrant to receive it, and Christ in it. If you reject this word of salvation, it is either because you will not, or dare not, or cannot receive it.
If you say you will not take it to you, then remember you are willingly subscribing your own doom. And I take instruments against you, that you will not have salvation, you will not come to Christ that you may have life; you are preferring some base luft to the Lord of glory, and so preferring, of consequence, damnation to salvation, death to life.
If it be not a will of obstinacy, but impotency, saying, O if my will were subdued; behold the word of salvation comes with salvation from that plague of unwillingness, saying, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. And to you is the word of this falvation sent, that you may welcome its and so far as you welcome it, so far are you willing.
If you say you dare not take the word to yourself as a word of salvation to you; why dare you not to do what God offers you? How durft you sin against God when he forbade you? And now you dare not take his word for your salvation, when he bids you! How durst you venture on his fury against his command? And now you dare not venture on his favour, through Christ, at his call and command. Was it not enough to offend bis justice and will you venture now to flight his mercy? This is worse than all your former sins, to refuse falvation that he offers from the guilt of all.
If you say you cannot, because of utter impotency; that shall be no stop. You cannot believe, you cannot come to Chrift; but as the word of salvation is sent to you, so salvation is come to you, because you cannot come to it. The Saviour is come to you, because you cannot come to him. Are you for him? The word of salvation is a word of power; and drawing power is in it, to draw you that cannot come. “When I ám lifted up, I will draw all men after me.” Are you will. ing to be drawn? Then the word of salvation hath so far taken effect upon you, as to remove your unwillingness, and to make you willing. Look for another pull of omnipotency; for the word of salvation is a word of omnipotency; it is the almighty word of the almighty God. Saving power, drawing power, is in it. Welcome it as such, and in due time you shall be able