October 23, 2007

John Shower (1657–1715) on Christ's Offers of Life

John Shower was a Puritan and a Presbyterian. He was counseled to preach by Thomas Manton before he was twenty years old. He was also an assistant to John Howe in London (See Joel Beeke's Meet The Puritans (Grand Rapids: RHB, 2006, 531–532.).
Sirs, he now offers you a pardon, as the purchase of his death, on easy, honourable, and advantageous terms; but it will be then too late, and in vain, to beg it. He now warns you of your danger, and tells you that the end of youthful lusts is death, and judgment, and eternal wrath. And then you shall know that he spake in earnest, and his words were true. Now, as a merciful Redeemer, he entreats you to be reconciled; he shall then be clothed with vengeance, and appear, to your confusion, as a terrible Judge.

At first, he came in the form of a servant, to make our peace with God, and was thereupon despised and rejected by men. But he shall shortly come again, to render vengeance to those that would not know him as a prince and a prophet, would not receive his message, and yield obedience to his holy gospel. Now he offers life, eternal life, and begs your acceptance of it; but he will then punish your ungrateful refusal of his offered mercy. Now he entreats you to be happy, and have compassion on yourselves; but then he will be as deaf to your entreaties, as you have been to his; and that, though you should urge him with the greatest importunity possible; though you beseech him by the mercifulness of his nature, by the freeness of his invitation, by the compassion of his death, by the merit of his sufferings, by the kindness of his sacrifice, by the grace of the gospel, &c. Now you will not believe his promises; but then you shall experience the execution of his threatenings. Now you will not hearken to his advice and warning, but you shall shortly feel the sad effects of your contempt and obstinacy. Now you will not be constrained by his dying love; but, ere long, you shall know the power of his wrath, whether you will or not; for, though at present he offers you life, yet upon your refusal, he will shortly pronounce the sentence of eternal death. As yet he invites you to him, but then he will bid you depart: "Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

From that God, after whose image you were created, in whose favour stands your life; from that Saviour, who redeemed you by his precious blood; and from that Holy Spirit, who would have sanctified you by his grace.

"Depart from me," and from all hopes of salvation by me: from me, and all the blessed company of saints and angels, that shall live with me for ever. "Depart from me," abandoned to an everlasting curse (of which both souls and bodies shall be the wretched unhappy subjects,) into exquisite torments set forth by fire; and such as were originally designed for the apostate spirits, of whom the Scripture doth suppose one to be the principal ringleader of all rest, and who are therefore termed "his angels."

They who tempted you to sin, shall deride your folly, and triumph in your ruin, and be your constant perpetual tormentors, since the fire is unquenchable, and never goeth out. "The wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, as the righteous into life eternal."
John Shower, Serious Reflections on Time and Eternity (Glasgow: William Collins, 1828), 240–242.


No comments: