The Marriage of Cana
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Did I come to preach myself, and not Christ Jesus my Lord, I would come to you, not in this Plainness of Speech, but with the enticing Words of Man’s Wisdom. Did I desire to please natural Men, I need not preach here in the Wilderness. I hope my Heart aims at nothing else than what our Lord’s great Fore-runner aim’d at, and which ought to be the Business of every Gospel Minister, that is, to point out to you the God-Man Christ-Jesus.—Behold then, by Faith behold, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the Sins of the World.—Look unto him, and be saved. You have heard how he has manifested, and will yet manifest his Glory to be true Believers; and why then, O Sinners, will you not believe in him? I say, O Sinners, for now I have spoken to the Saints; I have many Things to speak to you. And Oh! May God give you all an hearing Ear, and an obedient Heart!
My Lord, even the Lord Jesus, who shewed forth his Glory above 1700 Years ago, has made a Marriage Feast, and offers to espouse all Sinners to himself, and to make them Flesh of his Flesh, and Bone of his Bone. He is willing to be united to you by one Spirit. In every Age, at sundry Times, and after divers Manners, he hath sent forth his Servants, and they have bid many, but yet, my Brethren, there is Room.—The Lord therefore now has given a Commission in these last Days to other of his Servants even to compel poor Sinners by the Cords of Love to come in.—For our Master’s House must and shall be filled.—He will not shed his precious Blood in vain.—Come then, my Brethren, come to the Marriage.—Do not play the Harlot any longer.—Let this be the Day of your Espousals with Jesus Christ,—he only is your lawful Husband,—he is willing to receive you, tho’ other Lords have had Dominion over you, Come to the Marriage.—Behold the Oxen and Fatlings are killed, and all the Things are ready, let me hear you say, as Rebecca did, when they asked her, whether she would go and be a Wife to Isaac; Oh let me hear you say, We will come. Indeed you will not repent it. The Lord shall turn your Water into Wine. He shall fill your Souls with Marrow and Fatness, and cause you to praise him with joyful Lips. Do not say, you are miserable, and poor, and blind and naked, and therefore ashamed to come, for it is to such that this Invitation is now sent. The Polite, the Rich, the Busy, Self-righteous Pharisees of this Generation have been bidden already, but they have rejected the Counsel of God against themselves. They are too deeply engaged in going, one to his Country House, another to his Merchandize. They are so deeply wedded to the Pomps and Vanities of this wicked World, that they, as it were with one Consent, have made Excuse. And tho’ they have been often called in their own Synagogues, yet all the Return they make is to thrust us out, and thereby in Effect say, they will not come. But God forbid, my Brethren, that you should learn of them; no, since our Lord condescends to call first, (because if left to yourselves you would never call after him) let me beseech you to answer him, as he answered for you, when called upon by infinite offended Justice to die for your Sins, that is, Lo! I come to do thy Will, O God! What if you are miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, that is no Excuse;—Faith is the only wedding Garment Christ requires; he does not call you because you are already, but because he intends to make you Saints. No, it pities him to see you naked. He wants to cover you with this Righteousness. In short, he desires to shew forth his Glory, that is, his free Love thro’ your Faith in him. Not but that he will be glorified, whether you believe in him or not; for the infinitely free Love of Jesus Christ will be ever the same, whether you believe it, and so receive it, or not. But our Lord will not send out his Servants in vain, to call you always. The Time will come when he will say, None of those which were bidden, and would not come, shall taste of my Supper.—Our Lord is a God of Justice, as well as a God of Love; and if Sinners will not take hold of his Golden Sceptre, verily he will bruise them with his Iron Rod. It is for your Sakes, O Sinners, and not his own, that he thus condescends to invite you. Oh suffer him then to shew forth his Glory, even the Glory of the exceeding Riches of his free Grace, by believing on him. For we are saved by Grace thro’ Faith. It was Grace, free Grace, that moved the Father so to love the World, as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life! It was Grace that made the Son come down and dye. It was Grace, free Grace, that moved the Holy Ghost to undertake to sanctify the Elect People of God; and it was Grace, free Grace that moved our Lord Jesus Christ to send forth his Ministers to call all poor Sinners this Day. Let me not then, my Brethren, go without my Errand. Why will you not believe in him? will the Devil do such great and good Things for you as Christ will? No indeed, he will not. Perhaps he may give you to drink at first of a little brutish Pleasure, But what will he give you to drink at last? a Cup of Fury, and of trembling; a never dying Worm, a self condemning Conscience, and the bitter Pains of eternal Death. But as for the Servants of Jesus Christ, it is not so with them. No he keeps his best Wine till the last. And tho’ he may cause you to drink of the Brook in the Way to Heaven, and of the Cup of Affliction, yet he sweetens that with a Sense of his Goodness, and makes it pleasant Drink, such as their Souls do love. I appeal to the Experience of any Saint here present, (as I doubt not but there are many such in this Place) whether Christ has not proved faithful to his, ever since you have been espoused to him? Has he not shew’d forth his Glory every since you have believed on him? And now, Sinners , what have you to object? I see you are all silent, and well you may.—For if you will not be drawn by the Cords of Infinite and everlasting Love, what will draw you? I could urge many Terrors of the Lord to perswade you; but if the Love of Jesus Christ will not constrain you, your Case is desparate. Remember then this Day I have invited all, even the worst of Sinners, the most abandon’d Adulterers and Adulteresses to the Lord Jesus. If you perish remember you do not perish for lack of Invitation—You yourselves shall stand forth at the last Day, and I here give you a Summons to meet me at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and to clear both my Master and me.—Would weeping, would Tears prevail on you, I could wish my Head Waters, and my Eyes Fountains of Tears, that I might weep our every Argument, and melt you into Love.—Would any Thing I could do or suffer influence your Hearts, I think I could bear to pluck out my Eyes, or even to lay down my Life for your Sakes. Or was I sure to prevail on you by Importunity, I could continue my Discourse till Midnight, I would wrestle with you even till the Morning Watch, as Jacob did with the Angel, and would not go away till I had overcome.—But such Power only belongeth unto the Lord,—I can only invite; it is He only can work in you both to Will and to Do after his good Pleasure; It is his Property to take away the Heart of Stone, and give you a Heart of Flesh; It is his Spirit that must convince you of unbelief, and of the everlasting Righteousness of his dear Son.—'Tis he alone must give Faith to apply his Righteousness to your Hearts, It is He alone can give you a wedding Garment, and cause you to sit down and drink New Wine in his Kingdom.—Whatever others may boast of Man’s Free-will, I know of no Free-will any one hath, except a Free-will to do Evil continually—As to Spirituals we are quite dead, and have no more Power to turn to God of ourselves than Lazarus had to raise him self, after he had lain stinking in the Grave four Days.—If thou canst go, Oh Man, and breathe upon all the dry Bones that lye in the Graves, and bid them live, if thou canst take thy Mantle and divide yonder River as Elijah did the River Jordan [then] will we believe thou hast a Po[wer] to turn to God of thyself: But [as] thou must despair of the one, so thou must despair of the other, without Christ’s preventing and quickning Grace; In him is thy only Help; —Fly to him then by Faith; Say unto him, as the poor Leper did, Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make us willing; and he will stretch forth the Right-Hand of his Power to afflict and relieve you: He will sweetly guide you by his Wis[do]m on Earth, and afterwards take you up to partake of his Glory in Heaven.
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