Tell me, you vain professor, when did you shed a tear for the deadness, hardness, unbelief, or earthliness of your heart? Do you think that such an easy religion can save you? If so, we may invert Christ's words and say, 'Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to life, and may there be that go in there.'
The world is not a theater large enough to display the glory of Christ upon or unfold even half of the unsearchable riches that lie hidden in Him. And such is the deliciousness of this subject, Christ, that were there ten thousand volumes written upon it, they would never become tiring to the heart. We used to say that any one thing can finally tire us and this is true, except about this one eminent thing, Christ, and then one can never tire, for such is the variety of sweetness in Christ.
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It is the most sweet and comfortable knowledge; to be studying Jesus Christ, what is it but to be digging among all the veins and springs of comfort? And the deeper you dig, the more do these springs flow upon you. How are hearts ravished with the discoveries of Christ in the gospel? what ecstasies, meltings, transports, do gracious souls meet there? Doubtless, Philip's ecstasy, John 1: 25. 'eurekamen Iesoun, ' 'We have found Jesus, ' was far beyond that of Archimedes. A believer could sit from morning to night, to hear discourses of Christ; 'His mouth is most sweet', Cant. [i.e., Song of Solomon] 5: 16.
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He embraces all things that are lovely: he seals up the sum of all loveliness. Things that shine as single stars with a particular glory, all meet in Christ as a glorious constellation. Col. 1:19, "It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." Cast your eyes among all created beings, survey the universe: you will observe strength in one, beauty in a second, faithfulness in a third, wisdom in a fourth; but you shall find none excelling in them all as Christ does. Bread has one quality, water another, raiment another, medicine another; but none has them all in itself as Christ does. He is bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, a garment to the naked, healing to the wounded; and whatever a soul can desire is found in him, 1 Cor. 1:30
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Wrath to come implies both the futurity and perpetuity of this wrath.... Yea, it is not only certainly future, but when it comes it will be abiding wrath, or wrath still coming. When millions of years and ages are past and gone, this will still be wrath to come. Ever coming as a river ever flowing.
Ah, did we but rightly understand what the demerit of sin is, we would rather admire the bounty of God than complain of the straithandedness of Providence. And if we did but consider that there lies upon God no obligation of justice or gratitud to reward any of our duties, it would cure our murmurs (Gen. 32:10).
I think it is not very difficult to discern by the duties and converses of Christians, what frames their spirits are under. Take a Christian in a good frame, and how serious, heavenly, and profitable, will his converses and duties be! what a lovely companion is he during the continuance of it!
Let us see that our knowledge of Christ be not a powerless, barren, unpractical knowledge: O that, in its passage from our understanding to our lips, it might powerfully melt, sweeten, and ravish our hearts! Remember, brethren, a holy calling never saved any man, without a holy heart; if our tongues only be sanctified, our whole man must be damned. We must be judged by the same gospel, and stand at the same bar, and be sentenced to the same terms, and dealt with as severely as any other men.
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Turn in upon yourselves, get into your closets, and now resolve to dwell there. You have been strangers to this work too long; you have kept other vineyards too long; you have trifled about the borders of religion too long. Will you now resolve to look better to your hearts? Will you hate and come out of the crowds of business and clamors of the world and retire yourselves more than you have done? Oh, that this day you would resolve upon it!
[Providences] often puzzle and entangle our thoughts, but bring them to the Word, and your duty will be quickly manifested. "Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end" (Ps. 73:17). And not only their end, but his own duty, to be quiet in an afflicted condition and not envy their prosperity.
What is a child, but a piece of the parent enrapt up in another skin? And yet our dearest children are but as strangers to us, in comparison of the unspeakable dearness that was between the Father and Christ. Now, that he should ever be content to part with a Son, and such an only One, is such a manifestation of love, as will be admired to all eternity.
Look to it, my dear friends, that none of you be found Christless at your appearance before him. Those that continue Christless now, will be left speechless then. God forbid that you that have heard so much of Christ, and you that have professed so much of Christ, should at last fall into a worse condition than those that never heard the name of Christ.
Surely if He would not spare His own Son one stroke, one tear, one groan, one sigh, one circumstance of misery, it can never be imagined that ever He should, after this, deny or withhold from His people, for whose sakes all this was suffered, any mercies, any comforts, any privilege, spiritual or temporal, which is good for them.
Let us consider and marvel that ever this great and blessed God should be so much concerned, as you have heard He is in all His providences, about such vile, despicable worms as we are! He does not need us, but is perfectly blessed and happy in Himself without us. We can add nothing to Him.
It would much conduce to the settlement of your heart, to consider that by fretting and discontent you do yourself more injury than all your afflictions could do. Your own discontent is that which arms your troubles with a sting; you make your burden heavy by struggling under it. Did you but lie quietly under the hand of God, your condition would be much more easy than it is.
If God has given you but a small portion of the world, yet if you are godly He has promised never to forsake you (Heb. 13:5). Providence has ordered that condition for you which is really best for your eternal good. If you had more of the world than you have, your heads and hearts might not be able to manage it to your advantage.
There is no grace more excellent than faith; no sin more execrable and abominable then unbelief. Faith is the saving grace and unbelief the damning sin. (Mark 16:16) ... Before Christ can be received, the heart must be emptied and opened: but men's heart's are full of self-righteousn ess and vain confidence (Rom 10:3).
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I look upon every good man, as a good book, lent by its owner for another to read, and transcribe the excellent notions and golden passages that are in it for his own benefit, that they may return with him when the owner shall call for the book again: but in case this excellent book shall be thrown into a corner and no use made of it, it justly provokes the owner to take it away in displeasure. --Funeral of John Upton, Esq
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Christ and his benefits go inseparably and undividedly... Many would willingly receive his privileges, who will not receive his person; but it cannot be; if we will have one, we must take the other too: Yea, we must accept his person first, and then his benefits: as it is in the marriage covenant, so it is here.