April 14, 2009

More from George Swinnock (1627–1673) on God's Tenders and Offers

Now the Son of the ever blessed God tendereth himself to thee with many entreaties, goeth after thee up and down, night and day, knocking at the door of thine heart, with all his graces, comforts, and fruits of his death, by the ministry of his word, the motions of his Spirit, multitudes of temporal and spiritual mercies; but thou, unworthy wretch, slightest both him and his precious attendants, and esteemest thy shop and stock, thy corn and carnal comforts, far before him; but when thou shalt see what a weight of glory, what rivers of pleasures, others enjoy through the Saviour, and thyself feel more torment and pain than thou canst now possibly think or fear, for want of a Saviour, surely thou wilt have other manner of thoughts of him than now thou hast.

It would be as much worth to thee as heaven now to know Jesus Christ and him crucified; but it will be the hell of thine hell to know him there. Oh how deeply it will cut thine heart with horror to think that that Christ, whom thou shalt see at his Father's right hand, waited on thee till his head was wet with the dew, and his locks with the drops of the night, called frequently and fervently after thee, Turn, turn, O sinner! why wilt thou die, and run thus upon thy ruin? And yet thou wert as deaf as an adder, and wouldst not hear the voice of that sweet charmer.

Fifthly, It will teach thee the preciousness of time. Eternity will learn thee the value of time, when in that long evening and night, which shall never have a morning, thou shalt remember and consider that thou hadst a day of grace. Oh thou wilt think, Time was when I had the tenders and offers of all that love and life, mercy and merits, heaven and happiness, of which yonder blessed souls are possessors; when mercy came kneeling to me for acceptance, grace came a-begging at the door of my heart for admittance, it followed me to be and board, abroad and at home, beseeching me for the love of God, for the sake of my poor soul, to turn from lying vanities to the living God. How often did the minister with many entreaties invite, exhort, beseech me to pity my dying soul, 2 Cor. vi. 1, to leave my damning sins, and heartily to embrace my loving Saviour with all speed, assuring me from the word of the eternal God that then was the only accepted time, then was the only day of salvation! But I despised and deferred all. I thought I had time enough before me, and woe, and alas, it is now too late; the sun of my life is set, the gate of mercy is shut; I did not work in my day, and now the things of my peace are for ever hid from mine eyes. Alas, alas! poor creature, what wilt thou so in such an hour?
George Swinnock, The Door of Salvation Opened by the Key of Regeneration, in The Works of George Swinnock, 5 vols. (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1992), 5:140–141. See also p. 207 where Swinnock describes one sinner saying, “How did Jesus Christ himself with pardon and life come beseeching me, begging of me to open my heart and let him in; and yet, cursed wretch that I was, I denied him!”

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