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lion is for faith to build upon. It is the word of God; the God that cannot lye. It is ratified by the oath of God. It is a word confirmed by the blood of the Son of God. It is a word attested by the Three that bear record in heaven. It is a word spoken by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit faith 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 intermeddie with this word of salvation. It is sent to you on purpose that you may believe it with application to yourself; and
you, thou man, thou wonian, may take it home to thy own heart; for, To tbee is the word of salvation fent. To thee is this love-letter fent from heaven. Read the indorsement, and see if it be not to thee.-It is backed to thee, O guilty sinner, 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 saved, all the ends of the earth.” It is backed to thee, o fcorner, that hast hitherto been a mocker of God and godliness; “ Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets: How long, ye simple ones, will yè love fimplicity and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: belold I will pour out my Spirit unto you; I will make known my words unto you,” Prov. j. 20. 22, 23.-It is backed to thee, O rebellious finner. If thou wert excepted, all mankind would be fo: behold, Christ bath 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 for thee, O black and bloody finner; “ Come now and let us reason together, faith the Lord; tho' your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; tho' they be red like crimfon, they shall be as wool," Isa. i. 18. It is backed to thee, o finner that art thirsting after other things than Chrift; Isaiah lv. 1, 2. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come. Wherefore spend you your money for that which is not
bread ? Vol. VII.
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 finner. Say not that it cannot concern thee, because thou art not convinced of thy fin : O! the word of salvation comes even to theě 'alfo; Rev. iii. 18. “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire; that thou mayst be rich; eyesalve, that thou mayst see; and white raiment that thou mayit be clothed.” Even to thee that, as in the preceding verse, art saying, that thou art rich and increaled with goods, and standelt in need of nothing, and knoweft not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Unconcerned finner, to thee, even thee, is the word of this salvation fent.' Is this love-let. ter backed for thee? O then know, that tho' you have no will, vou 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 subscribing your own doom. And I take instruments against you, that you will not have falvation; you will not come to Christ that you may have life; you are preferring some base lust to the Lord of glory, and fo preferring, of consequence, damnation to falvation, death to life.
If it be not a will of obstinacy, but of impotency, saying, Oh! if my will were subdued; behold, the word of falvation 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 salvation fent, that you may welcome it; and so far as you welcome it, fo far are you willing:
If you say you dare not take the word to yourself, as the word of salvation to you: why dare you not do what God enjoins you? Why dare you not take what God offers you ? How durst you sin against God, when he forbad you? And now you dare not take his word for your salvation, when he requires you! How durft 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 his justice? And will you now venture to flight his mercy ? This is worse than all your former fins, to refuse salvation that he freely 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 Christ; but, as the word of salvation is fent to you,
fo 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 : “ Wheu I am lifted up, I will draw all men after me." Are you willing to be drawn? Then the word of salvation hatli fo 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 as well as willing. Your faith is not to be acted in the sense of felf-ability and sufficiency, but in the sense of self-inability and insufficiency. Our fufficiency is of God;”. falvation is of God; faving faith is of God; “ All things are of God, who hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation,” 2 Cor. v. 18. and given to you this word of salvation: and it contains all your salvation. And if any part of it were left to you, it would not contain all your falvation. What you cannot do, this salvation can; therefore receive it, and blefs God for it, that To
is the word of this salvation sent,
GOSPEL - COMPULSION; or, MINISTERIAL
POWER AND AUTHORITY. *
LUKE xiv. 23.
--Compel them to come in, tbat my boufe may be filled.
Y friends, though the work of sequestrating some
to the MINISTERIAL OFFICE, be ordinary in the church of Christ, yet the occasion and circumstances of this work to-day, among our hands, is extraordinary in many refpects, in so much that there was scarce ever a parallel it hath had in Scotland. But, as extraordinary cases require extraordinary services; so, it is matter of lamentation, that the defections and corruptions of the times should make it not only highly expedient, but absolutely necessary, for the relief of Christ's scattered
* This sermon was preached at the Ordination of Mr. John Hunter, to the Pastoral Office, in the united congregations of Morbottle and Stitchel, by appointment of the Associate Prefbytery, on the 17th Oct. 1739. being set apart for, and observed as a day of, fasting and prayer at Gateshaw. The first edition of the fermon acquaints us, that it was published at the earnest desire, and repeated intreaty, of a great many hearers. To which is subjoined an Appendix, directed more especially to the united societies in and about the foresaid Morbottle and Stitchel, upon account of the much lamented death of the above Rev. Mr. John Hunter, who deceased Jan. 7th, 1740.; not having been four complete months ordained minister.
sheep, and oppressed heritage, thro' the violent meafures of church judicatories *. But my business, at present, is to give a hint at the nature of that minifterial work to which one is to be set apart here: and the text I have read, lays before us a fum of their work, as it relates to the finners with whom they have to do: their orders are, Compel them to come in, ibat my house may be filled.
These words are part of a parable, wherein the free grace of God, in Christ, is represented by a rich man making a great supper; that is, the rich and bountiful Lord providing all the treasures and blessings of the new covenant, and inviting all poor, indigent finners, to whom the gospel comes, to come and share of these blessings of everlasting life and happiness, to be had in Christ Jesus.
The entertainment, that this kind offer gets, is vari. ous; fome reject it, and others embrace it. The rejec. ters make trifling excuses, preferring their ground, their oxen, their wives; that is, their worldly polleffons and sensual enjoyments, to all the blessings of the everlasting gospel.
Hereupon care is taken to furnifh his table; Go, says he, to his servants, pick up the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind; by whom night be meant the def. pised, out-cast Gentiles, who were taken in, when the Jews, who flighted Christ, were rejected of him.
But tho' many of this furt came in and embraced the offer, yet the servant is brought in telling his Lord, fay. ing, “ It is done as thou hast commanded; and yet there is room.” Ministers are to give account to Christ, relating to their ministerial commiffion: 1. Of the execution of it; " It is done as thou haft commanded.” 2. Of the success thereof; “ Yet there is room:" intimating, that though several were come in, yet there was entertainment for many more.
Upon this a new warrant is given out to the servants, to go to the high-ways and hedges, since none among the
Mr. Hunter was the first probationer licensed by the Associate Presbytery; and his settlement in this new-erected congregation, the first of its kind that had taken place among thein. What these violent measures were, which occasioned this step, may be seen laid open, Vol. V. p. 298. 351. 389. 419.