July 27, 2009

Daniel Burgess (1645–1713) on God Begging

And for Sinners, that make light of all God's Calls to Reconciliation; and are inflexible by his very entreaties, for whole Weeks, Months, and Years together; who sees it not? Their Life is a practical protest, that they will bear the prison of Hell, the torment of Fire, and that for the space of Eternity, rather than be friends with God. So they love God; so they love themselves. Tis true, we cannot here persuade them, but that they do truly love themselves, and their God too. But in utter darkness itself men will see better. There they will see and say, God was kind, and made them good offers; but they were themselves their own destroyers; being by sin bewitched, in heart to murder him, and in act to murder themselves. There they will understand the sense, as well as feel the truth, of Prov. 8:36 and 35.

There they will know to their torment, what it is for God to beseech and pray sinful Dust to come take Pardon and Peace; and for them to lend him a deaf ear, or give him a more reproachful repulse against convictions of Conscience. Reader, there stay a while: Think, and speak with thy self of the huge imports of this word: [As though God did beseech you by us.] How, GOD beseech? SOVEREIGNTY beg? And that of both Creatures and Rebels too? What meaneth this, and what is it we are to learn by it? God beseech! The word astonishes me; and filleth my mind with these thoughts above others. First, How powerful is Love? Secondly, How loveful is the Divine Majesty, that thus condescendeth, that makes Omnipotence stoop? Thirdly, How wonderful is this condescension, whereunto God never stooped before, and beyond which it is not to be thought possible that he should ever stoop? Fallen Angels, had nothing like it: Fallen Men, can have nothing beyond it. God stoops; he stoops low; he stoops lowest, unto us. The lowest that the nature and honour of his Government will admit. God beseech!
Daniel Burgess, Man's Whole Duty, and God's Wonderful Intreaty of Him Thereunto (London: Printed by J. Richardson for Tho. Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside; and John Lawrence at the Angel in the Poultry, 1690) 94-96. Google Books has an edition of this work HERE.


Observe: According to Daniel Burgess, God "beseeches," "stoops" and "begs" in the gospel call for all "to take pardon and peace," even towards those who finally "bear the prison of hell," out of "love" and "kindness," and makes them "good offers."

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