November 9, 2007

Jeremiah Burroughs (c.1600–1646) on Means to Draw Sinners to Christ

Secondly, In that Christ that is God-man, in one person, calls us to come to him: hence we have this Meditation, That certainly, the Lord is infinitly inclined to do good unto the Children of men, this is a mighty encouragement for all poor Souls to come to Christ, for when thou hearest, that Christ the Son of God is made man in one person, by that thou mayest gather this for thy encouragement, that certainly God is infinitely inclined to do good unto the Children of men, God would never Have wrought so strange a work, as to unite our Natures into one person with his Son, if he had not meant to do some infinite good unto mankind; the Lord hath given a most evident demonstration of it, in uniting mans Nature to his own Son. As if the King should be pleased to marry his Son to one that is the nearest Kinswoman you have, you would by that gather such an argument as this, and all your friends would conclude, surely the King doth intend much good to this family, that he is strongly inclined to prefer this family: So when God is pleased to marry his Son to our flesh, Yea, to take our Nature into a nearer union with him, then the Wife is taken into the Husband, we may gather this argument, and conclude, Surely, God doth intend much good unto the Children of men, and therefore come.

Thirdly, From this consideration, who Christ is, God manifested in the flesh, we may gather this encouragement to come to him, That the Lord in uniting the divine Nature with the Human in Christ, hath done already a greater work for the Children of men, than the saving of their Souls comes to; the saving of thy Soul is a difficult work; thou thinkest thus, Alas! for me to come and think to be saved by Christ, this is too great a thing, too good to be true, it is not possible that ever such a poor sinner as I am, should be raised to the glory that I hear of in the word, that God will raise his Saints unto, thou thinkest that the Salvation of thy Soul is so great, and so mighty a thing, and therefore that perhaps doth somewhat discourage thee in coming: but then, when thou hearest what Christ is, and how God hath united the divine and human Nature together in one person, from thence thou mayest gather this encouragement, that God hath done a greater work than to save thy Soul, for so it is: It is a greater work for God to unite the divine and human Nature together in one person, than to save all the Souls in the world. As if Christ should say thus, Oh, Come to me, know what I am, I am the Son of the Father, of the same Nature and being, and I am likwise made man, God the Father hath united my divine Nature to your flesh, and in this he hath done a greater work than the saving of your Souls, in this he hath shewed what intentions he hath for the good of mankind, and in this the terror of the almighty is taken away, and therefore come to me, that is the first Argument, come to Christ.


Secondly, Come to Christ, Why? For Christ hath come to you; do you come to him, for he hath come to you; that Christ might come to you, he hath even come, as it were, from the Bosome of the Father, and for a time was willing to have his glory Eclipsed, to come into this world, to be in the form of a Servant, to be in a mean condition here in this world, Christ hath suffered more in coming to you, than you can possibly suffer in going to him, Christ is content to come from the Father to you, what is it that you can go from to come to him. He is said in the Book of the Canticles, to come leaping over the Mountains, he comes leaping over all difficulties to you, if you think there are some difficulties in your going to Christ, know, that there was far greater difficulties that lay in the way in his coming to you, but whatsoever there was in the way, he was resolved to go through them all, and did come, and was here in the world, in the flesh, that he might save you, and he that is thus come to you, calls you to come to him.


Thirdly, You must know, That Christ is the great Mediator that is set between God and the Children of men: it is he that hath undertaken the great work, the greatest work that ever was in the World, to Mediate between the infinite offended God, and your sinful wretched Souls, for through your sins there was such an infinite distance made between God and you that it was impossible you should ever have gone without this Mediator. It is an argument of mighty use, if rightly understood, and throughly considered of, the vast distance that sin hath made between God and sinful creatures, that they can never come to God, but through the glorious Mediator that is come into the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, God and man, that was made by God the Father the Head of the second covenant, and hath undertaken to make up all the wrongs that our sins have done unto God, to pacify the wrath of God, and to satisfy the justice of God, it is he that hath undertaken to make peace between the Father and you, and it is he that calls unto you to come to him. If there were a company of Prisoners in danger of Death, and one should come to the Prince to mediate for them, to make peace between the Prince and them, one that the prisoners should know to be the only Son of the Prince, the delight of his Soul, and he is sent by the Prince himself to come to make peace and undertake it for them, and he comes unto the Prison doors, and calls to the Prisoners lying in their dungeon, and saith, arise, and come to me, hearken what I shall bring to you, observe my direction, and peace shall be made between the Prince and you, you shall have pardon, you shall have your lives; would not this stir them up to hearken unto him, and greedily to come unto the grate? Christ is come for this very end, this was the work that God the Father sent him into the world about, to be a Mediator between himself and poor, wretched, sinful creatures, and now he comes unto them, calls unto them and says, come to me, If you did but know what Christ was, and what his work was in coming into the world, it could not but mightily draw your hearts to come to him when he calls.


Fourthly, Come to me saith Christ, for if ever there were any that deserved to be hearkened unto, and to come unto when he calls, certainly I deserve it; For I have not only come to be a Mediator, but the truth is, it hath cost me my blood, I have manifested such Love unto you, that I have laid down my Life for you, I have shed my most precious blood, I have been willing to be made a curse, and all for the saving of your souls; my Love hath been more to you, then to mine own life, for that was laid down for you. I have undertaken, indeed, to mediate between my Father and you, but it hath cost me much, yet in Love to you I have thus done, all my blood is shed, the work is done, the price is paid, Come to me that you may have Life. And this is the meaning of that forementioned place, The Servant is bidden to go and invite the Guests, for all is ready, so here, the work is done, Christ hath done the work, there could not be that argument to our fore Fathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, they could not have such an argument to draw them, Christ could not say to them, Come to me, for I have not only undertaken to Mediate between the Father and your Souls, but I have laid down my life for you, shed my blood for you, I have paid the price already for you, I have purchased your Souls, I have done the whole work, it is finished. But now there is this Argument to draw your Hearts to Christ, for the work is finished, the greatest work that ever was, or shall be undertaken in the World, the greatest work of all is finished, and upon the finishing of this work, Christ calls you to himself, and saith, Come to me.
Jeremiah Burroughs, Four Books on the Eleventh of Matthew (London: Printed by Peter Cole, 1659), 159–163.


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