The Great Gospel SUMMONDS to Close with CHRIST.
Under the Pain of the Highest Rebellion against the GOD of Heaven; being the Substance of a PREFACE and SERMON at Hemphlar-bank in the Parish of Lanrick Feb. 20. 1676
Mr. John Welsh,
late Minister of the Gospel in Iron-Gray.
But He was Wounded for our Transgressions, He was Bruised for our Iniquities: The Chastisement of our Peace was upon Him, and with His Stripes we are Healed.
[Original spelling had been retained throughout]
The 24 Psalm from the 9 Verse being Sung.
If it be asked at us, as some will be ready to ask, by what Authority do ye these things? Who gave you this Authority? Ye have no Warrand neither from the Kingnor the Rulers for what ye have done: Wa [What?], they have straitly charged us to speak no more in this Name. We Answer, we do it by the Authority of JESUS CHRIST, The Great Shepherd of the Flock, He has commanded us to Preach in Season and out of Season; He has given us Commandment to go and Preach and Baptize all Nations; and therefore they have forbidden us that are in Power: But we must Answer as the Apostle did, Is it fit in the Sight of GOD to Obey you or GOD, judge ye: He who is The King of kings, it is by Vertue of His Orders, Who is the Mighty GOD, The Judge of the whole World, before Whom we must all appear, He has commanded, and it is by Vertue of His Command that we come to Preach, and it is by Vertue of His Command that ye come to Hear, and we will rather bide the Glooms of our Rulers, or we bide the Glooms of our GOD; We will rather take His Approbation, Well done thou Good and Faithfull Servant, than we will study to be called Unloyal, and yet we are very Loyal, Loyal we are, and Loyal we are commanded to be, but in Subordination to GOD, we must first Fear GOD and then Honor the King; but when the Command of the King justels with the Command of GOD, then we are at a Point what is our present Duty: O for a blyth Meeting, and for the shining of his Presence this Day: For we may put it as a great Question if ever we will all Meet again; Yea we may put it out of question that we will never all Meet again in this side of Time: And it is like that there are some here that shall Curse Time: And it is like that there are some here that shall Curse the day that ever they were brought into the World. And O the day that ever they were brought into the World. And O sirs! It is a sad thing that there should be such Ground or Suspicion of this amongst you, that he lived where there was so much of a Powerfull Preached Gospel, and under Lively Ordinances: But there is very much of this, and many stood in the Cross Way when his People fled before his Enemies; If GOD be GOD they shall rew [rue] it; But we could with that such rewing [ruing] might be in Time, and that they might prevent their utter Destruction: But we are astrayed many an one rew [rue] it when it is too late. It is a sore Matter that Men should be found not to Venture as far for JESUS CHRIST in his Service, as they will Venture in the Service of a Mortal Man: Some has eve Ventured very far in their Service that has gotten but a little Thanks for it: Many has gotten sore Wounds, and gotten small Reward. But our LORD will not do so: There is never one can come and say to Him, I have gotten this Wound in your Service: There is never one that can come and say to Him, I have gotten this broken Head or this Wound in your Service, but they will be well Rewarded: None can say I have been Fyned or Confyned, or I have been put out of House and Hold in your Service; Well says the LORD, Enter ye into your Masters Joy. There is none of you that has lost a Cot-house for Him, but ye shall get a Kingdom, and then what will ye be behind: Therefore there is two Words that I shall tell you of that are here that are his People. First, Have Courage and syd [side] with his Ordinances and his Cause and Interest: Continue waiting upon thir [these] Opportunities, and you may blame your selves and ye want them, for the matter is not without hope: No, no; Our LORD JESUS CHRIST He will keep the Fields yet, and His Enemies shall be made His Footstool: Therefore sirs, wait on the LORD, as it is in the hinderend of the 27 Psalm, that Psalm that ye were singing; Wait on the LORD and be of good Courage, and He shall strengthen thine Heart: Wait I say upon the LORD: Christians tyne not your Strength, for I assure you there is very many Great and Sweet Encouragements that your Labour shall not be forgotten, ye shall be well Rewarded, for all your Sufferings are written in a Book. There is a Book, and the King will cal for that Book, that it may be read, and will say, What shall be done to the Man that the King delighted to Honor? What shall be done to this Man that has Suffered, and has gotten no Reward , he shall be exalted and set above the rest, and Honor and Respect shall be put upon him; Honor and Respect shall be put upon them that have had their Heads and their Hands put up upon Ports, and these that has had their Bodies burnt; and the LORD will fetch them in, and say, Thus shall it be done to the Man that the King delighteth to Honor. Wait on a while poor silly doubting troubled Soul, thats fleit for going wrong about thy own particular Case, Wait on the LORD; He will satisfie poor Folk who sits on the Throne of Grace: Wait upon Him, til he prepare his Answer to the question: Wait upon him ye that are Sad and Weary, and Crying, Oh for my Mother, and for my Mothers Case! As it is in the Lamentation, What will be done for Her in the day that She is spoken for? for there is few or none to do for her or to speak for her, or to take her by the hand to lead her forth. Many Ministers has left her, & many Professors has left her: What will we do for Breasts to her? What loss of Ministers has She had? and what great loss of Children has befallen Her? That is Sad says some: How dow we Wait? for his Work in particular is even sore Distrest; If it were not so, there would be some hope that we would have a Glorious and Beautifull Upshot. Its twice there in the last Verse of the 27 Psalm, Wait ye; and he strengthens his Argument (says he) I say upon the LORD. Its many of your Unbeliefs that makes you have no Patience to Wait upon the LORD as he has Commanded. Says many we may Wait long till our Eyes go Blind or we see Ministers sent to Preach the Gospel; Wait upon the LORD, and be of good Cheer: Wait I say (says he) upon Him: For why? The LORD will not forsake his People; He will once have about with his Enemies, have about of his enemies, He will have about with them; He will once make them hing [hang] their Heads, and think Shame of Themselves for what they have done. It may be that there is many here that desires never to see that Day; It is like and it is like also, that there is some here may see that Day, that if the Question were speired [asked] would Answer, Lo this is our God and we have Waited for Him, and we will be Glad and Rejoyce in His Salvation: But there is even some Folk that has been Stout in Wronging CHRISTand his People. I say who knows how soon they may be put quite out of Countenance with GOD’s Appearing; They will be saying in that Day, When saw we Thee Hungry and Fed Thee not? When saw we Thee in Prison, and Visited Thee not? They would fain deny every Ill Turn that they have done to his People; but it will not be with them.
Sirs, I do not Grudge much that I see not many of these Folk that they call Gentils here; I shall never Repine at that which CHRIST Rejoyces in, I Thank Thee, O Father, who has Revealed these Things unto Babes. What is come of them all? There is never one of the Lords and Lairds and Great Men for Him: There is few of the Great Men (as ye call them) for Him: We hear little tell of their Religion that was the Carriers on of Religion, whate are they all now? We may even tell them, that these are a whein poor People in the Land that are sticking to Him; The poor of the People shall Trust in Him, and there were no moe [more], And it is a great Mercy, GOD has taken a Sacrifice, and a Noble Sacrifice at the very first beginning: He took a Nobleman at the beginning, that Worthy Great-man the Merquess ofArgyle; and he got a Minister too, to Seal his Covenant; and a very Worthy-man he got, a Gentleman, a very Eminent Considerable Gentleman Wariston, that Worthy Gentleman he Dyed for the Covenant: He has taken one of all Ranks to Seal the Covenant and his Truths; and then after than, he took the Commons, he took many of them that were Poor Men, that he brought out and honoured them with Scaffolds, and gave Testimony for the Cause and Covenant of GOD: and ever since that Day, there is ay some Body that follows him, Fyning, and some with Confyning, and some with Imprisonment. Ye that is Young Ones, it may be, ye wilt speir [ask] the Question, Wherefore was it that all that was? and how came it that their Preachings was upon Hill-sides, and that Persecution was? It may be the Days is coming it will be told: And we tell you it the Day from this Hill-side, it will be told, and the Young Ones will speir [ask], how could that be? (co the Bairns) Was that in Covenanted Scotland? What was the Cause of this? There bude to be some Abominable Provoking Cause of this: And it will be Answered, It was even the Sins of his People that had provoked him; he gave them up to their Enemies, and they shut out all the Godly Ministers, and they sent in upon them a whein Wicked, Ungodly, Unconscionable Perjured Men to fill up their Room, and the Godly were put to the Wilderness. Well, when the Time of Delivery comes, think ye not but it will be a fell Story to tell the Bairns off, O when our Stories is read, there will be uncouth Things in it to be read; and the very worst of Men, how ready soever they be now to Persecute, shall be made to drie their Shame; their Shame shall be from Generation to Generation, and their Posterity shall think Shame to say that such a Man was my Qutcher, or such a Man was my Grand-father. And it may be many of you no see that Day: We cannot tell, it may be so and otherways too; GOD has done as great Things for us: And I assure you it may fall out so, that the LORD give his Enemies a dead stroak. Ay says Enemies, we never knew that GOD would have done such a Thing. They say among the Heathen, the LORD has done Great Things for them: Ay says the People of GOD, ye see he has done Great Things for us whereof we are Glad. They had never mind of a Sorrowfull Day then that they had, they were all forgotten.
Now we shall not detain you any longer: Let us go and call upon the LORD, they he would give us a Word at this Time and a Blessing. Let us Pray.
Follows the SERMON,
Ye will find it written in the 53. Of Isaiah at the 5. Verse.
But He was Wounded for our Transgressions, He was Bruised for our Iniquities: The Chastisement of our Peace was upon Him, and with His Stripes we are Healed &c.
I Find the most part of you a Company of Stupid Hearers: Our LORD may have Designs that we know not off; But for us, for ought we see, we may say, Why is this? Was it to go and Offer CHRIST to a Company of Careless Person that Cares not for Him, and that are no affected with the Offer; But His Thoughts are not like our Thoughts: He knows what his Design in this is.
Well we have pitched upon this scripture, as thinking that if any thing may readily affect your Hearts, and melt your stony Hearts within you, we may have some Purposes to speak off that which may do it. O that GOD would help us, and that his Right Hand might be Revealed in this Preached Gospel.
Then the Words that we have read, take them up in these four or five Particulars: For the whole Story is of CHRIST and his Sufferings, and of a Covenant of Redemption between the Father and the Son, as ye may gather almost from every word of the chapter, and the Persons for whom he Suffered, and what Case they were in; how little they could do for the getting of his Love manifested to them. So we have somewhat spoken of CHRIST, He was Wounded, He was Bruised, He Suffered/ Secondly, Ye have somewhat spoken of the Elect for whom CHRIST was Wounded and Bruised: What were they? They were Transgressors, they were Sinners, they were Men that were full of Diseases, and Putrifying Sores. Thirdly, Ye have the Benefits, what they were that resulted to these Elect Sinners by his Sufferings: There is two of them, they are mentioned in the words read; they are there mentioned Peace and Healing. Two Great Benefits. Fourthly, Ye have how this comes to pass; What made CHRIST to be Wounded? How came He to be Wounded? It was for Sinners, it was for a number of Transgressors, and that points at that which was the Eternal Transaction between the Father and the Son, when they closed the Transaction concerning the Salvation of Sinners. The Father required the Son to Die: Says the Son, I undertake it: Therefore the Father keeps Him at his Undertakings. He will have the Son who entered Surety be as good as his Word, and He will have Him pay the Ransom, and He will pass it. He was Bruised for our Transgressions, that we might have Peace: He was Wounded for us, and therefore by his stripes we might be made Whole. But take the Words more particularly, There is Two Kinds of Persons spoken of here, and there is somewhat spoken of the Two kinds of Persons. The First Person spoken of is He, What He? The LORD JESUS CHRIST the Fathers onely begotten Son, He who counted it no Robery to make Himself Equal with GOD: He who was filled with all the Fullness of the God-head: He that from all Eternity rested in the Bosom of the Father, it was He. The Second Person spoken of it, Us, and We: Our Transgressions, and our Iniquities, we are healed. Who is this Us and We that is here spoken of? Its not all the World; but it is only them that CHRIST has purchased out of the World: It is not all Sinners, but us and we that is Poor Elected Persons that the LORD has given Him of the Father to Seek and to Save, and that He has Undertaken to Save. Then, What were his Sufferings? and that is the Third Thing, What were the Sufferings of our LORD JESUS CHRIST that He Undertakes? There is three words to express this: He was Wounded, that is one; He was Bruised, that is another of them; and He was Smitten, thats another word in the general. We see then from the whole Scope of the Sufferings of our LORD JESUS CHRIST that they were Very Great, and that there was no Worth in Poor Elect Sinners for whom he Suffered. What were they? They were such as were Workers of Iniquity, such as wasvery great Transgressors, such as was Rank Enemies to GOD, such as were Wounders of him, and that there was no Gross Evil but they had the same Temptations too, that the rest of the World followed. Those that had given him many a Wound; and there was nothing of odds between them and the rest of the Wicked World. And then ye have what the Benefits were that he Purchased unto his People, and there is Two of them, Peace, and Healing: Peace point at our Justification, andHealing points at our Sanctification. And then Lastly, How comes this that CHRIST should suffer for me? How comes this to pass? What could move JESUS CHRIST to be wounded? What move him to undergo such Great Sufferings and Sharp for Sinners? And this comes to be Answered by Vertue of the Covenant that past between Him and the Father, for the satisfying of the Divine Justice of GOD, that Poor Sinners might not be destitute: Divine Justice must be satisfied; and this Divine Justice is satisfied by his wounds and by his Chastisements, and Stripes. So he satisfies for these things that Justice calls for from them, and soJudgement and Mercy is made to kiss one another.
Now I come to speak to some few Doctrines, for we have here the Sum of the whole Gospel: Therefore we wad have you thus taking notice, First, We have Mans Misery. Secondly, Ye have the Redeemer set out there. Thirdly, Ye have a peace of Mans Redemption out of Misery. Fourthly, Ye have the Grounds of all this, the Covenant of Grace.
Now then I have five Points of Doctrine to speak a word shortly to from this that we have read, and we shall labour to keep with your ordinary time.
The first thing then is this, That by Nature Elect Sinners as well as others, are in a very sad and lost Estate: Its not only the World that is here called thir [these]Transgressors and Enemies; but it is even those that the LORD has Chosen out of the World to save: I say that even the Elect People of GOD are by Nature lying in a very deplorable Condition: Wherein stands the Sadness of their Case? But we have oft had occasion to speak to it, and therefore we shall be but very short on it; yet there is Three Things: There is First, Miekle [Much] Corruption of the whole Nature; and there is our Actual Transgressions, whereby we are Defyled, Enemies to GOD, lyable to his Curse and Wrath to all Eternity: This is the Case of all the Elect, Men and Women. There is no Ground then wherefore a Sinner, that GOD has shewed Mercy upon has to boast of, if he look to the Rock from whence they are hewn. We will find it just our State that is the state of the Wicked World, that gets Hell to their hinderend: It is free Grace only that has made the Change; for in our selves there is no difference. Ille [I’ll] tell you Sirs, we shall leave theApplication for the most part of all thir [this] to the close. Therefore the Second Point of Doctrine that I shall speak to is this, That Our LORD JESUS CHRIST the Son of GOD, the Second Person of the Trinity, He, for the Salvation of Lost Sinners undertook many a Great Suffering: All thir [these] Expressions holds out this, and we may safely found a Doctrine upon this word. Look to the whole Chapter and ye will see it clear for whom it is that he suffered, even the Elect World,CHRIST (ye see) suffered for them that gave him no Thanks; He suffered for them that helped on his Sufferings; he was despised, and counted smitten of GOD by them that thought nothing of him; they saw no Beauty nor Comeliness in him; it was even for them that he suffered. I shall speak more particularly to this Doctrinein thir Things, First, I shall shew what Great Sufferings our LORD underwent for to bring healing and peace unto Sinner. Secondly, For whom it was he underwent these Sufferings. Did our LORD undergo such Sufferings for Sinners? To fall upon this were a very great head to speak to, to tell you what he suffered in hisConception, and to tell you what he suffered when he was brought forth into the World in his Child-hood, to tell you what he suffered before he entered upon his Publick Ministry, and to tell you what he suffered when he was taken and araigned, and brought before the Judgement seat of Herod and Pilat, and Condemned; and to tell you what he suffered upon his Body, and what he suffered upon his Soul: I say it would take very much Time, and we would but spill it in the speaking too: And therefore I Recommend unto you the last Chapter of Matthew, and the last Chapter of Luke, and the last Chapter of John, and unto that which is here recorded of him by the Prophet Isaiah; ay but I shall tell you of some Things wherein his Sufferings appears to be very great, and we may judge by thir [these] Things. (I pray you Sirs take heed) First, Consider what was the Debt that he undertook to pay, it was no the Debt of one or two, but even of the whole Elect, Men and Women, many Thousands Millions of them, many Thousands of them that cannot be counted, it was that which he suffered that they should have suffered throw Eternity. Secondly, He suffered Great Things: Wherefore? It was to satisfie the Divine Justice of GOD; The Divine Justice of God was put in Arms, and set against the Son for the Revenging of a broken Law, and a broken Covenant; and the Son of GOD had the Divine Justice of GOD to satisfie for the Original andActual Transgressions of the Elect, and for all the Breaches of the Commands of GOD, for that Mans breaking of this Command, and for this Mans breaking of that Commands, and every Mans Sins that is moe [more] than the Hairs of his Head for number. Thirdly, Look to this and ye will see that it bud to be Great Sufferingshe underwent; because his Sufferings was a much to manifest a just GOD, as the Creation of a World did to manifest a Powerfull GOD, and an Almighty GOD: So that his Sufferings does as much to manifest a Powerfull and Omnipotent and Just GOD. Fourthly, Will ye consider that these Sufferings behoved to be very Great Sufferings: For they were such as put the Son of GOD so sore to it, that it put him to a Strait, as it were, it put him to a Stress like a Man indeed that was charged for a Great Sum; it put him to a Stress, and to Pray; and so our LORD was put to such a Stress that he crys, now is my Soul troubled, and what shall I do? And he was put to pray to the Father. And then, Fifthly, Consider this, How hard the Sufferings was that he undertook in particular, and ye will see that they were very many and great: Look to his Sufferings in his Incarnation, ye see he had not a Chamber to be brought forth in, be bud to be brought forth in a Stable; and he had not a Creedell but a Horse Mainger: And look to his Sufferings throw all his Life-time, how many times he lay thereout at the back of a Bush, and had but a Stone to lay his Head on; and how many times he was Hungry and Wary; and look to his Sorrow, what Grief of Mind he had, to see People crying out against him, just in the midest of his Suffering; and to see Peter deny him even when he was Suffering for him; and look what he suffered in the Garden, when he drank that Cup that made him sweat great Drops of Blood that came trinkling out of Him; and He had not only outward Sufferings but inward also, He was bearing the Wrath of GOD upon his Soul, that made Blood and Sweat come out of him, that made him to Faint that He dought not carry his own Cross, but he bud to get help: and then look to his Sufferings what a Shamefull Death he was put to, what a Painfull Death, and what Travel of Soul he was put to, not only Travel in Body, but Travel in Soul, that made him cry out with Strong Crys and Tears unto Him that heard him, and he was made to Cry, My GOD, my GOD, Why hast Thou forsaken Me? Now for whom was it that he suffered all this? Ye will see that and ye would look unto this same Chapter, and ye will read them for whom he suffered, it was even for many that had pierced and crucified him, for they shall look on Him whom they have pierced, Zech. 12:10. John 19:37. It was for them that gave him no Thanks for his Sufferings; He suffered for them that said, it is well wared on him; He suffered for them that looked upon him as Despised and Rejected of Men; He was a Man of Sorrow, and acquainted with Grief, Isaiah 53:3. For whom suffered he? Even for them that had Denyed him; and as the Disciples turned their Back upon him, and killed him for them that Esteemed Him not, Smitten and Wounded: It was even for them he suffered that were like Sheep going astray, it was fro Sinners and Transgressors that he suffered all this; it was for a Company of Poor Men and Women that gave him no Thanks for his Sufferings, for they were so far from giving him Thanks, that they helped on his Sufferings, Thirdly, Why was it that he suffered? We have spoken to that already, we shall only say but a word to it: First, It is to tell you how holy a GOD he is, and how just a GOD he is, how faithfull he is in the Execution of his Threatenings, that he will not pass by on Sin unpunished, that speaks out that he is Faithfull, & that he would have his Threatnings faithfully Executed, in that day thou eats thou shall surely die the death, Gen. 2:17. He will have them fullfilled either in the Principal or in the Cautioner.
Now for the Use of this, I shall leave it, because I would fain gain time. There is another Observation, and it is this, What are the Benefits that Redounds to us by His Sufferings? What are the Benefits, There is Two mentioned here, Peace with GOD and Healing to our Souls. What gets Sinners by his Sufferings? What get they? They get the Feid [Feud] taken away that is between GOD and them, and they get healing to their Transgressions: They are not done away and his Blood purge them not away; we may be purged from all our Sins by his Blood: They must have Clean Water to Sprinkle them, and to Cleanse them from all theirTransgressions. He gives them Peace with GOD throw his Suffering, and Peace in their own Conscience, everlasting Peace in their own Consciences; a Peace that passeth all Natural Understanding; These Peaces redounds to his People by his Sufferings.
And then Fourthly, We have how his Sufferings comes to be brought about. How came it that the Justice of GOD falls upon him? and this leads us unto the Great Contrivance of the Covenant of Redemption, wherein this Matter was Contrived in the Counsel of GOD from all Eternity: In that he was to have a considerable part of Lost Men and Women, and that he was to satisfie for them for a broken Covenant and was to keep them from the Wrath of GOD, that was to come upon them by right for the breaking of his Law, and this was done by his Sufferings in their Nature for them.
Now Sirs, I desire this of you (that ye may be) now when I have brought Matters to this pass, and given a touch of these Things; Then in order to the Application: And there is thir [these] Three Uses that I would make of it.
And the First Use, is an Use of Exhortation; We would Exhort you to be taken up with wondering, what man or Woman is there among you that can hear thir [these] Things spoken of, and no wonder at it? That CHRIST should have suffered all this for the life of you and me; That He that is the Son of GOD should have quat [quit] Heaven, and that the Son of GOD should have become Man, that He should have been put so sore to it, as to Die for Sinners. We cannot tell what calls for wondering, and this calls not for wondering from us; O the height! O the breadth! O the length! O the depth of this Mystery! That the Son of GOD should have been put so sore to it as to die for Sinners; and not only to die, but to drink the Cup of the Fathers Wrath: Who can hear this declared, and no wonder at the hearing of it; O wonder, O wonder at it Sirs! wonder at the hearing of it.
And Secondly, I shall say this from it by way of Exhortation, Is it so, That our LORD JESUS CHRIST was put to so Great Suffering? Wa then I would Exhort you to look how ye should look upon Sin, if Sin should not be very Detestable to you, and very abominable, if ye should not be at very much Pains to forsake Sin that brought our Blessed LORD JESUS CHRIST to undergo such Great Sufferings, which would have brought you to such sad Condemnation, and ly under the Wrath of GOD Eternally, and Eternally: And therefore Sinners, we think and there were no more to be a Motive to press you to forsake your Sins, and to hate every False Way, and to hate the very least Word and Thought of it, that this might be a Motive that it brought our LORD JESUS CHRIST to undergo such Great Sufferings. Sirs, Love to Him will call for this, all ye that Love the LORD hate Evil, Psalms 97:10.
But then there is another Use that I would make of Exhortation; Was our LORD JESUS CHRIST brought to so many and Great Sufferings? and has he undergone them so cheerfully? Yea He has undergone it: And is He satisfied to see the Travel of his Soul? O Sirs! Do not ye then do what ye can do to Disappoint him, while he is making offer of his Blood to Wash you: Do not that which will make him rew that he shed his Blood for the like of you: For when it is so, that ye do not give him a suitable Meeting, ye give him just ground to rew; for ye have done what in you lyes to make his Sufferings of none Effect.
But the Use that I shall mainly insist on at this time, is another of Exhortation, and that is, Our LORD JESUS CHRIST is doing now, as he did after his Resurrection, when he came out of the Grave, when his Disciples gathered together in a Chamber for fear of the Jews, he came in there among them, and says, Peace be unto you, in that 20 of John 21 verse, in the beginning of that Chapter there was some word of his Resurrection: Now there was some of them that affirmed that he was risen, yet still they though it was but a Notion and a Mistake; although there was Angels come down from Heaven, and gave Testimony that He was risen, yet some of them could not believe that; but when he comes in among them, What says he to Thomas? even that which he says to us the day, He holds out his Hands and the Hole that is in his Side, he shews forth His Hands, and his Side, and says, Be not Faithless but Believe, and that is the thing, reach hither your Hands into the Hold of my Side, and be not Faithless, but Believe; and that is the thing that I am come here for the day as a Messenger of the Living GOD, to let you see this Day the Wonderfull Condescending Love of CHRIST, and to say unto you, Reach hither the Hand of your Faith, and take a look of this Bloody Saviour who was Crucified, come put in your Fingers, put in your Hand in the Hole of that Bloody Side of his, and be not Faithless, but Believe: That is theGreat Thing that CHRIST calls for, that is the Great End where fore he would have his Sufferings told us; Wherefore? That it might bring his People to a close with Him, to give Him Credit, and to Believe in Him: Therefore now we come here, and that which we say to you, we bid you reach hither your hand, and be not Faithless, but Believe; that is the Great End wherefore he would have his Sufferings told, to close with this Suffering LORD JESUS CHRIST: Come to him, and be no more Faithless, but Believe, and say with that Man Thomas, my Lord, and my God. Whenever that was presented to him, he could not longer stand out: And this Argument prevail not with you, I wonder what will prevail with you when the Sufferings of CHRIST is laid out unto you: Therefore says Thomas, my Lord and my God; I can stand no longer, for now I have seen the Wonderfull Love of GOD; now I see the Wonderfull Love of CHRIST, which made him undergo all these Great Sufferings; now I have seen the wonderfull excellency of a Saviour. Now therefore, Sirs, ye man give me leave to insist here a little, for this is the Great Scope wherefore CHRIST keeps up a Preached Gospel, that ye might believe, that ye may be saved, and brought to a Closing with JESUS CHRIST: Therefore, In theFirst Place, I do here summond you of all Ranks of Persons unto a serious Frame, and unto a Composure of Spirit suitable unto the Message that I am to Declare unto you; I summond you Men and Women, and I come now to you, and I present before you, a Bloody CHRIST, a Suffering Saviour; I come to you as he did to hisDisciples: I say unto you as he said to his Disciples, Reach forth your hands unto a Bloody Saviour, take a look of him believingly; Look unto him, and Close with him: Look to him who hath said, Look unto Me all ye Ends of the Earth, and be saved, Isaiah 45:22. O Sirs! Come and take a Look of this suffering CHRIST, take a Look of him: Therefore I shall First tell what sort of Persons I summond; I summond you Old Persons that has even had a Profession al your Time, and yet never Closed with him, ye that has even made a fashon of closing with JESUS CHRIST, and yet to this Day has never done it; I summond them at this Day at this present Time that they come and take a Look of this suffering JESUS CHRIST, that they stretch out the hand of their Faith and close with him, and that they come and say,my Lord and my God.
Secondly, I summond them that is without that has never yet been hankering about to do it, and them that has made many Mints, but never came cleanly oft in the doing of it; I summond you to come hither, and stretch out your hands, and be not Faithless, but Believe. I summond you Whoremongers, Adulterers, Drunkards, or whatever ye be, as ye heard in the Forenoon; come to him, O sinners! Come hither and reach hither your hands, and be not Faithless, but Believe, and close with this suffering JESUS CHRIST; Will ye let him go away and not take the Offer off his hand? and he no get meikle [much] Thanks for his Offer; Shall he have that to say, that ye would not take the Offer, and that ye would not give him meikle Thanks for his Sufferings? Will you not take the Benefits that he offers to you by his Sufferings? I come here in his Name, and offers you Peace, Will ye not take it? I offer you healing in his Name, Will you not take it off his hand?
Now therefore there is Three Things that I shall shortly speak to in this Exhortation, and I shall labour to contain my self in as little bounds as I can in Prosecuting of it. First, I shall speak a word to this, after what manner we would have you closing with a suffering Christ. Secondly, Upon what Terms we would have you closing with a suffering Christ. Thirdly, From what Motives we press you to close with a suffering Christ. Fourthly, We shall labour to satisfie the Objection of them that would go about this Work of closing with Christ. And then in the last Place, We shall require your Answer as to the Imbracing of Jesus Christ.
And for the First Thing that we are to speak to was, What way we are to close with a suffering Christ: And there is Three Things in this closing with Him. First, And ye wad close with a suffering Christ, YE must do it Timously, and ye must close with him Instantly, at this ver Time ye must close with him; ye must not stand to consider, and advise what he hath done for you, and what he hath suffered for you, and how that is that ye are made Partakers of his Benefits that he has purchase by his sufferings. Secondly, Ye must Close with Him Deliberatly as well as Instantly; Ye may not do it at First, a Brash at it will not do the Turn: But it must be a Resolved Business upon serious Deliberation; Ye must both do it Instantly and Advisedly: I give you this Reason for it, because I know, and ye come to Restrict your Closing with Him and do it not Resolutly and Deliberatly, ye are fair to fall back again, and to turn your Backs upon Him when ye meet with the Cross: Therefore it must be a thing done Deliberatly. And Thirdly, As ye must Close with Him Deliberatly, so ye must not take CHRIST by Halfs, ye must take all CHRIST as He makes offer of Himself to be a King, and to be a Priest, and to be a Prophet, and ye must take him for Justification, and for Sanctification; Ye must take him for a Physician, and for an Husband, to be a Guide, to be a Saviour and to be a Redeemer, to be all things that ye stand in need of, that is the Third Thing, ye must Close Deliberately. And then Fourthly, Ye must Close with Him Cheerfully, and ye must close with Whole CHRIST, with you whole Soul; the whole Soulmust give its Consent: Ye must not close with him with your Consciences only, and with your Affections only; but ye must close with him with your whole Soul. O what Great Advantage will ye have in closing with him Presently.
And then the next Thing that I Proposed was, The Terms upon which ye are called to close with Him; And for the Terms, I shall give you thir Two or Three Words that holds out the Terms. First, Ye will see it in the 55. Of Isaiah at the 7 Verse. Let the Wicked forsake his Way, and the Unrighteous Man his Thoughts, and let him Return to the LORD, and he will have Mercy upon him, and to our GOD, for He will abundantly pardon: And ye will see another of them in the 3d of Hosea at the 3d Verse. There is one of the Terms that we are called upon, Thou shalt abide for me for many days: Thou shalt not play the Harlot, and thou shalt not be for another, so also will I be for thee. Ye must abide for Him for many Days; Ye must not turn to other Lovers; Ye may not be like a Whorish woman that compassesStrangers: But ye mast say, ye are Wedded to Him as your Husband, and ye must Prefer Him above all others. Ye may not turn to others, (says he) Ye must abide for me for many days. And then Thirdly, This is the Terms, Ye must close with his Cross: and ye would close with him ye must take Him and his cross. O Sirs! Ye must take Him and his Cross, and any of you Resolve to close with Him, ye must also Resolve to take Him with his Cross, and to follow him whithersoever he goeth, and to sell all that ye may follow him. And that is the Terms in the 45 Psalm at the 10 Verse. Hearken, O Daughter, and Consider and Incline thine Ear; forget also thy own People, and they Fathers House, so shall the King greatly desire thy Beauty.
Now the next Thing that I am to speak to, is the Motives upon which we would have you pressed to close with Him: Now Sirs, May not this be a Reason for to move you to close with him, the Great Benefits that he has purchased to them that will close with him, both Peace and Healing, and this prevail not with you, we wat not what will prevail with you. O Sirs, Shall we go away and leave you this Day? Dear Friends, we dow not leave you untill we press you with thir Motives to close with JESUS CHRIST; We would fain deal with you to close with him, ye shall both get Peace & Healing in Time, and Peace after Time: Ye shall get Peace with GOD and Peace with your own Consciences; Ye shall get Peace to your own Souls; Ye shall get Perfect Peace; That Man shall be keeped in perfect Peace whose Mind is stayed upon Him. Why? Because He has purchased that to them that will close with him; Ye shall get Peace and Healing: Poor Backsliden Sinners that thinks shame of your Backslidings: Hard hearted Sinners, that thinks shame of your hard heartedness, will you come to him and close with JESUS CHRIST, and take his Purchase that he has purchased with thir Wounds and ye would come and close with him ye shall get healing.
And then I come to some Motives out of the Text, And First, Take this for a Motive, therefore firs, under the Pain of Rebellion as ye would not be found Traitorsand Rebels to the Great GOD of Heaven, ye must close with him. This is he Command that ye Believe on the onely Begotten Son of GOD: Therefore he Commands, and we Command and Charge you in his Name, under the Pain of Rebellion, under the Pain of being found Disobeyers of the Gospel, and under the Pain of all thePunishments that shall come upon you to close with JESUS CHRIST. And Thirdly, Close with him because he is a GOD that is greatly satisfied to have his Benefitsthat he has purchase applyed to Sinners to have them making Application of them by closing with him, and ye would give him Satisfaction for his Benefits, and as ye would be carefull to satisfie him for them that is making Offer of them, this is the Way to satisfie him, to close with him. And then Fourthly, Ye have manyCalls to call you: I tell you sirs. Ye are called by your frequent Sick beds, Sickness in your Persons, and Sickness in your Families, all these things is calling you: The Mercies of GOD is calling you; the Judgments of G O D is calling you; and ye have the Torments of Hell calling you; Ye have your Unbelieving Sinfull Heartscalling you, your Backsliden Hearts calling you. What then Sirs? Will ye not give up with your Lust and close with him, and imbrace him? Ye have the Angelscalling you; Its said that the Angels they rejoyce at the Conversion of one Soul: And ye have the Devil by all his Temptations calling you; so ye have many Calls to close with this Suffering LORD JESUS CHRIST. Fifthly, Close with him. Why? Because he takes it as a great Proof of your Sincerity, even when once ye begin to say, My Lord and my God: Therefore close with him; and then I would have you closing with him, as ye would not be found Guilty of Trampling Under-foot the Blood of the Covenant, and counting it an Unholy Thing; Even that Blood by which Sinners are to be saved.
But now I come to the Last Thing that I proposed, and that is, To speir [ask] what ye have to say to it; What say ye to it? Have you any thing to say against what we have been speaking to you? Have ye any thing to say against what He suffered? Or against what he did after He suffered? When he said Thrust in your hands in my Side, and be not Faithless but Believing? Or will ye be like Thomas after he had gart him see him, he crys, My Lord and my God. Well Sirs, What will ye all do? Tell me what ye think of all that has been said of a Suffering CHRIST this Day? What Effect has it now upon you? And what Effect shall it have afterwards? Will ye leave this Place without Closing with JESUS CHRIST: What say ye to it? What say ye? Have ye any Objections? Yes says some, I have Three Objections. What is these Objections that hinders me. I have many Doubts in my Bosom, that I dar[e] not presume. Wherefore dar[e] ye not? I have been such a Great Sinner. I tell you then Sinners in the Name of the LORD, ye that have these Fears and Doubts, come away, and let not that hinder you; but let it put you to make the more use of the Master; Come away to Him, Though your Sins were as Scarlet and as Crimson, ye shall be made White as Snow; in that first of Isaiah, 18. Verse. Therefore let none speak that He is Unwilling, He is not Unwilling to help any of the Elect for whom he suffered so many things: I say never think that ye have that of your selves, and that it belongs to Free-will (as the Blasphemous Quakers says) ye have GODs Command for it, and ye have GODs Warrand for it, and ye have GODs Intimation, and these are his Revealed Duties that he bids you do. But what will ye say further? What shall I do? Let me see what I shall do. Be serious in going about that which you have Revealed in the Word of GOD to be your Duty, and that is all that the Gospel calls for, and that you close with JESUS CHRIST.Secondly, Say ye, I would fain close with him, but I fear I break to Him again; this ye had spoken to in the forenoon. I have closed with him, but I have broken again, and I never ingage in that Duty, but I break in some thing; I never put my hand to that, but I am crossed in it. I like you all the better of that, that it is so; Resolve in CHRISTs strength, and he will keep you, and all the Devils in Hell shall not get you to break it. O ! But say ye, I have been trysted to make many Promises, and I have broken them all, and I fear that I do so again. I say, ye must Resolve again in CHRISTs strength; and the hand of Zerubabel that hath laid the foundation, he shall finish it. Go not from this Place till you close with him; We dow not leave you till ye give your Consent; Turn again unto Me, saith the LORD,and I will Heal your Backslidings. Well Sirs, What have ye more for your Discouragements? Will ye come and Close with him: He hath sent me this Day to bid you come and Close with Him, He who hath stooped so low as to make Offer of Him self to Sinners, and has undergone such Great Sufferings: It shall be counted the Greatest Rebellion against the G O D that made you that can be done, when he has done all this to purchase Salvation, and has brought it to your hands. (I pray you Sirs, sit down there, or I will speak no more) and ye would not take it.
But there is a second Objection: Says some, I cannot close with him; ye bid us close with him; but we cannot it is als [as] far from us as to touch these Skyes, we can do nothing in it. Wa, What says the LORD to that Poor Man that had the wothered hand? He bids him stretch it out. I cannot wad he say; but yet what says the LORD to him? Stretch out thy hand. And we bid you in his Name make a Mint, and shew your Goodwill, and he will help you to do it, and ye would but make a Mint at it, and ye would but say LORD I believe with the Faith that I have, and as I can, I believe, L O R D, help my unbelief. Its a strange matter Sirs, ye will not try: The Man might have said What needs me stretch out my wothered hand? I ken that I cannot stretch it out. But yet CHRIST bids him stretch it out as he can, and he makes his Mint Effectual. Ye that says ye cannot do so meikle as to make a Mint, make the Mint, and GOD will make these Mints Effectual, and ye may find him: And therefore, and ye dat not, or think ye cannot get Grips of Him, yet will ye give Him a Look, Look unto Me all ye Ends of the Earth, and be saved,Isaiah 45:22. For I am GOD, and there is none else. This is all that he requires, that ye would give him a Look.
Well, What have ye to say in the Third Place. I will not close with him, that is the Truth of the Matter; I will not part with the World; I will not Serve Him; I will not Obey his Commands; I am not Resolved upon that yet; I will not leave the World that I have had so meikle Advantage in; no, no, I will not close with him, let you say what you will. Woes me, that is a sore Matter, will ye not have him? Let Ministers say what they will, will ye not have him? Whats the Reason of that? Have ye any thing to say against him? He is able to declare of himself that it is not his fault that makes you Unwilling. O Say ye, He is a hard Master, there is no Living with Him, I will not get my Idols entertained in his Service; He is an uncouth hard Master, there is no Living with Him, and I dow not part with my Idols, my Lusts, and with my Sin; and ye would have the plain truth of it, I think there is neither Man nor Wife that ever has a blyth day in his Service, and therefore I must take my hazard, whatever come on the back of it; I must Sin, and I must take mine Advantage in these things. Well Sirs, I say there is meikle more Advantage to be had in closing with CHRIST, & I shall say but Two Things to this: First, He will get better nor ever stood on your feet to serve him, and them that will be blyth of him, and that will be both seen and heard. Secondly, I tell you that he is a very Good Master; but the Reason why ye do not believe, ye know not the heartsom hours in secret the People of GOD hath with him. Ye do not believe, but because ye heard thir things spoken to already: I shall forbear, and speak only to a word, and so I have done.
Sirs, I think that we have met with a strange piece of Providence, I cannot tell what it means, for we designed to have spoken the LORDs Word else where this Day; but we have beyond our Expectation been brought here again, and I would fain think that the LORD had done it, for some Design that he had for catching of some Souls to himself, or at least it is to make many inexcusable in the Great Day. Well its by chance that we are brought here, I say this Day; and I have been presenting unto you, a bloody, wounded, and bruised CHRIST. O he is all Crushed with the Wrath of GOD: He was forced to cry, What shall I do? My Soul is Sorrowfull even unto Death, and what shall I do? This Wounded CHRIST He has purchased Salvation unto Sinners, and hath sent us here this Day as his Ambassadors to make Offer of him, and we have been telling you of the Terms. Have we prevailed with you Sirs? What say ye to it? We are come in his Name and we may not leave you like a Knotless-treed; but as I am an Ambassador and Messenger of the Great King, and therefore I dar not leave you: Here is my Warrand, we are his Messengers, we come forth in the Kings Great Name; He who is KING of kings that made Heaven and Earth; and He by whom they shall be judged one Day: It is in his Name that we come forth; and I Summond and Charge you all, as ye will Answer before the Great G O D, and as ye would be found of Him in Peace, & as ye would one Day look him in the Face, and no cry Hills and Mountains fall upon you to close with him. We Charge you by the Love of JESUS CHRIST that put him to suffer all these Things. Secondly, We Charge you by the Torments of Hell that surely shall follow upon Disobeyers. We Charge you under the pain of suffering the Wrath of the Everlasting G O D. We Charge and Obtest you by the Love of Him who was Dead and is now Alive, and Lives for evermore. We Charge you by Him who hath the Keys of Hell and Death, and the Keys of Heaven. We Charge you that ye come and tell us, what ye Resolve to do: or are ye Resolved to live as ye have done? Are ye Prayerless, Godless Livers? Will ye leave off that? Are ye Drunkards? Will ye leave off that? Will ye yet Drink more? What Resolve ye to do? Are ye Swearers? Will ye yet swear more? Are ye Repenting? Or Resolve ye to live a while longer in your Sins? Will ye continue in these things, and keep your Idols, and your Corruptions? Are ye Resolved upon that, or upon the other hand? Will ye come this Day and make a Resignation of all your Selves unto the LORD, and close with this Suffering CHRIST, before his Wrath come upon you. Have ye drawn back, will ye draw back more? Or will ye come to Him? We say sirs, for our part, we are but Men, and it may be some of you has seen our Infirmities: But we come this Day in CHRISTs Room; We are come here in his Name at this Time, and by his Orders and Authority: We Charge you to come and Close with him: We Charge you under the Pain of Death. We Charge you under the Pain of the Highest Rebellion. We Charge you under the Pain of the Just Vengeance of GOD. We Charge you under the Pain of the Indignation of that Wrath that shall come upon Rebels to Close with this Bloody Saviour JESUS CHRIST. What say ye to it? We Charge you to it: We Offer Him to you: We lay the Offer to every Mans Door, & to every Mans Conscience, & we Command & Charge you to come and Close with Him: And we desire the LORD GOD of Heaven that he would confirm this Argument; And if ye will not close with him, he will make every Mans Conscience stand as a Thousand Witnesses against him in theGreat Day that Neglects this Offer, that Despises and makes Light of it. Now what say ye to it, Men and Women that has had many Preachings preached to you?We think its very like and GOD had sent this Preaching to some Places of the Land where there is not so great a Profession of Religion, we would not have gotten heard what we had been saying, there would have been such as din amongst them. O the Grosness of the Hearts of Sinners that makes Light of this Great Offer!What say ye to it? We intreat you, we beseech you to give an Answer. Say to it; We must have an Answer, and we desire not to take a Denyal: No, no, thats no the Answer that ye will not do it. We man have another Answer from you; For we are sent to be Peremptor with you this Day; And we Charge you to come and take Him, and close with Him this Day; For ye cannot tell if ever ye shall have the Offer again after this Day. What think ye Sirs, that it is for nought that we come out to Preach when we are in such hazard, and when we are looked on as Traitors and Rebels in every one of thir Meetings; its not a small Business this: Therefore GOD calls us to be Serious, and no to Trifle it, till we get our Business done. And therefore Men and Women will you come and close with him. Dear Friends, will ye say to it: Dear Beloved Friends, will you let CHRISTs Death and Pains he underwent in his Suffering perswade you to take CHRISTs Offer: For we would fain have you to close with him, for your own Life and Salvation; we press it upon you, and as he is offered, so take him. Ye man promise this, say to it. What say ye to it? Say to it, Dear Friends, give your Answer; say to it. What say ye to it? Say to him, we seek not your Answer. Say to him, say something to the LORD: For as the LORD lives ye man say something, yea, or nay. What say ye to him? Close with him, or as the LORD lives (I say) ye shall Curse the Time that ye came here to all Eternity, for Refusing CHRIST this Day in his Offer: Therefore speak to GOD this Day as ye would not have him to speak in Wrath to you. Sirs, say that ye will be the LORDs. Say, that ye will enter into an Everlasting Covenant with Him never to be forgotten; or as the LORD Lives, these Stocks, and this Water, and that Brae, and the Earth that ye sit on shall be a Witness against you, and this Tent and I, and these Clouds that is above your Heads shall be a Witness against you Eternally.Therefore now Sirs, come, and take the Offer, and tell GOD that from this Day forward ye Resolve to be for Him. Say to it: What say ye? Think ye that it is for nought that we come out upon such a Business, and spends our Lives in the Discharging of our Commission. We are Discharged to come here; but it is for your Immortal Souls that we are come here: Therefore in the Name of The LORD JESUS CHRIST, We Charge you, let it be your Work to close with him. Say Young-bairns [children], the Youngest of you all, will ye close with him? Say to it, LORD, I would be content to close with him? If ye will not, then the Sun, Moon andStars shall be a Witness against you. Will ye speak to him: Will ye cast away your Idols, and say, What have I to do with Idols any more? Will ye say to Sirs. Now I betake myself to him, he shall be my GOD, and I resolve that it shall be so, that he shall be my GOD and my King: Say to Sirs. Will ye say Old-men and Young-men? Will ye say Old-women and Young-women? Say to it: Answer GOD who is biding you close with him: Say with Good David, Thou art my GOD and my King; for Thou hast Established my Throne, and put a Crown upon my Head; and He hath made with me an Everlasting Covenant well ordered in all things and sure: He found him to be a Saviour when he was quite lost. Well then, will ye say to it Sirs, we are but Fool Creatures, Poor Sinfull Men like your selves, and it may be sometimes ye have seen our Weakness: But we say we are come here this Day not in our own Strength: But we tell you we are come here Cloathed with His Authority at this Time: We are not come here this Day in our own Name, but in the Name and Authority of our Master, as we are Ambassadors of JESUS CHRIST, we beseech you to close with Him: We would fain fall down upon our knees and that would prevail with you to gar you say the thing: We would fall down upon our bare Knees before you, O Sirs, say to it: What should you say? Say even that Word with Thomas said, My Lord and my God; and say with David, O my Soul, thou hast said unto the Lord that thou art my God: But I said moreover the Lord shall be my God. Say with the Church in that 50 of Jeremiah and 5. verse What is that, Come say they, let us enter our selves into an Everlasting Covenant with GOD which shall never be forgotten. Well Sirs, I say this Day ye must either enter into an Everlasting Covenant with Him never to be forgotten. We may even leave you Sirs, and we dow not think of leaving till ye come to a close with Him; Is there any here that will not Close with Him? We fear that this be the Ill Turn that we were speaking of in the Morning; Without question the Word will be the Savour of Death unto Death to some, als well as it will be the Savour of Life unto Life unto others. Well Sirs, take heed what ye are Doing, go to Him , and Close with Him. We would fain have you Closing with Him: I would think it Heartsom if there were many of you going alone, and trying how it is with you every one of you; Try your selves about it, and the LORD perswade you so to do; To Him be Praise.