« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
CHRIST REJECTS NONE.
“ Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.”—John vi. 37.
READER, I need scarcely tell you, that these are the words of Christ, for who but he would or could utter such words? Who would say this but the compassionate Friend of sinners, the Shepherd who came to seek and to save that which was lost? And who could say it but He in whom all the fulness of the Godhead dwells ? He it is who says, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink; for he knows that in himself there is room for all, and that the waters of life which flow from him can never be exhausted. And he it is who says, Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out; for he knows the worst that can come, and that his grace is sufficient for the worst of sinners. But why, it may be asked, did he give mankind such invitations and assurances ? Because he knew that awakened sinners would be so much discouraged by their own ignorance, weakness, guilt, and unworthiness, as to need the most explicit assurances of his readiness to receive them; because he knew that if he made one exception, if he intimated that any one who came to him might be rejected, every convinced sinner would think himself to be that one, and would not dare to approach him : and also because he intended to leave all who refuse to come, without excuse, that if sinners would perish, their destruction should be owing to themselves, and not to him ; and that no man who heard the gospel should have any cause to pretend that he was not invited to share in its benefits. But let us consider particularly some of the cases which this general declaration of the Saviour includes.
1. We may consider our Saviour as declaring that none who come to him shall be excluded on account of their age. On the one hand, none shall be excluded because they are too young.
It was foretold of him that, when he should come as a shepherd, he should gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom. Agreeably to this prediction, he not only noticed the children who, in the temple, cried, Hosanna to the Son of David; but took up young children in his arms and blessed them, and said expressly, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not. Surely then he will cast out none because they are young.
Hear this, ye children : hear it, little children. Jesus Christ says you may come to him, and that he will not cast you out, if you do come. Many as young as you have come to him, and he never cast out one of them. Come then, children, to Christ, and cry, Hosanna to the Son of David. On the other hand, none who come to him shall be excluded because they are too old. It is true that there are peculiar difficulties attending the conversion of aged sinners, and that few of them probably are saved. But these difficulties are in themselves, not in Christ. They arise solely from their unwillingness to come. Those who come, though at the eleventh hour, are never rejected.
2. We may consider Christ as declaring that none who come to him shall be cast out on account of their station in life. None shall be excluded because they are poor and despised of men ; for Christ gathereth the outcasts of Israel ; his gospel is preached particularly to the poor; and God has chosen the poor, who are rich in faith, to be heirs of his kingdom. Nor shall honours or riches exclude their possessors from the Saviour, if they do not prevent them from coming to him; for though not many mighty or noble are called, yet some are; and, though hard, it is not impossible for a rich man to be saved.
3. We may understand Christ as declaring that none who come to him shall be cast out, on account of their ignorance and slowness to learn. He is one who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way. While he hides himself from the wise and prudent, he delights to reveal himself to babes in wisdom and knowledge. His first disciples were exceedingly foolish, and slow of heart to understand his instructions. Yet he did not therefore reject them. Nor can ignorance present any obstacle to Him who possesses all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; who can give eyes to the blind, and hearing to the deaf. Indeed, it is the blind whom he especially promises to guide and instruct. Other instructors may dismiss those who have no capacity to receive instruction; but this Divine Teacher can impart a capacity, and give an understanding heart.
4. This declaration warrants us to assert that none who come to Christ shall be cast out on account of the number, magnitude, or aggravations of their sins. It is a doubt of this truth, which, more than any thing else, discourages those who are burdened with conscious guilt, from coming to the Saviour for relief. They acknowledge that he is just such a Saviour as they need; but their sins are so great that he will not be their Saviour. They allow that his invitations and promises are as encouraging as possible ; but doubt whether these invitations and promises are intended for them. But is it not evident that, should our Saviour exclude any one on account of the number or greatness of his sins, the declaration, Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out, would, from that moment, be proved false ? And would he utter such a declaration with a view to falsify it? He was under no obligation to utter it. He could have no inducement to do so, unless he intended to fulfil it. He knew what mankind were ; he knew what length many of them would go in sin. Nay more, he foresaw all your
sins; he knew that there would be such a sinner as you are, and that you would hear of this declaration. Yet this knowledge did not deter him from making it. What then shall prevent him from fulfilling it? He is the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, nay the Truth itself, and he has declared that, though heaven and earth pass away, his word shall not pass
away; no, not one jot or tittle of it, till all be fulfilled. Sooner then will the earth sink under your feet; sooner shall the heavens be wrapped together as a scroll, and pass away, than you or any sinner, who comes to Christ, will be excluded.
Farther, the declarations of the Saviour imply not only that he will not exclude any, but that he will receive all that come to him; that he will do all that for them which he came to do for those who trust in him ; that he will enlighten their minds, sanctify their hearts, wash away their sins, and save them with an everlasting salvation. This he will do for you, for of you, if you
will come to him. Permit me, then, to press every one who has not already embraced the Saviour, to come to him without delay. In my Master's name I invite you to do this. Our Creator, our God, has made a great feast, a marriage feast for his Son; a feast for the entertainment of sinners; a feast in which all his inexhaustible stores, all the celestial dainties which infinite wisdom could devise, which almighty power could create, are set forth. To this feast you are now invited. The Master of the feast stands at the door to receive you, declaring that not one who comes shall be cast out; and, as his servant, I now invite you to come. I invite you, children, for there is a place for you. Leave your toys and follies, then, and come to Christ. I invite
who are young, for your presence is especially desired. Leave your sinful amusements and companions, then, and come to the Saviour. I invite you who are in the meridian of life. To you, O men, I call, and
my voice is to the sons of men. Particularly do I invite you who are parents, to come and bring your children with you to the Saviour's feast. I invite you who are aged, to come and receive from Christ a crown of glory, which your grey hairs will be, if you are found in the way of righteous
I invite you to corne, ye poor, and Christ will make you rich in faith, and heirs of his kingdom. I invite you to come who are rich, and bring your wealth to Christ, and he will give you durable riches and righteousness. I invite you
who are ignorant to come, and Christ will impart to you his treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I invite possess human learning to come, and Christ will baptize your knowledge, and teach you to employ it in the most advantageous manner. I invite you who are afflicted to come, for my God is the God of all consolation, and my Master can be touched with the feeling of your infirmities. I invite you who feel yourselves to be the greatest of sinners to come; for you will find many there whose sins once equalled your own, now washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. I invite you who have long despised, and who still despise this invitation, to come; for Christ's language is, Hearken to me, ye stout-hearted, and far from righteous
And if there be any one who thinks himself overlooked ; if there be one who has not yet felt that this invitation is addressed to him, I now present it to that person particularly, and invite him to come.
And now, my reader, I take you to record that you have received the invitation. If, then, you do not come, you cannot ascribe it to the want of an invitation. If you perish, it will be-not because Christ did not offer to save you, nor because
did not hear the offer—but solely because you would not accept it. You are, therefore, left without excuse. I am aware, however, that you will fancy you have an
You will pretend that you wish to come, but are unable. My friend, I know nothing of that. I am not directed to answer such objections. I have nothing to do with them. My business is simply to state to you the gospel; to proclaim to you glad tidings; to invite you to Christ, and to assure you, in his name, that if you come, you shall most certainly be received. If you say that you cannot come--if you can make God believe it if you dare go to the judgment seat with this excuse, and
eternal interests on its being accepted as sufficient—it is well. But before you determine on this course, permit me to remind you, that God's sentiments, as revealed in his word, differ very widely from yours with respect to this excuse. He