June 20, 2010

Edward Pearse (c.1633–c.1674) on Christ's Offers of Grace and Loving Invitations

4. A change from the offers of Grace, to the Revelations of Wrath: Shall thy loving kindness be declared in the grave, or they faithfulness in destruction (saith the Psalmist) in that 88 Psal. 11. True in the 1 Pet. 3.19, 20. we read of Christ's preaching by his Spirit to the Spirits in Prison, that is, to Souls in Hell: But mark, when was it that he preach'd to them? not when in prison, but in the days of Noah, when they lived in the world. There is never an offer of grace and love made to souls in the Grave; while life lasts, the soul hears the joyful sound: And O the sweet offers, the gracious tenders, the loving invitations, that are made to him of Christ, of Grace, of Eternal Life and Love! O the wooings, the meltings, the entreatings, the allurings of Divine Love to and over the soul! but when death comes, farewell all these, farewell all the sweet offers of Christ, and all the blessed motions of the Spirit; then there's nothing but wrath revealed, and wrath shall come on the neglecting soul to the uttermost.

5. A Change from fair probabilities to utter Impossibilities of Life and Salvation; a sad change still: Now is the accepted time, now is the day of Salvation; now, and not hereafter, 2 Cor. 6. 2. Now there is a fair probability of the worst of Sinners to be saved, if they will look after Salvation, and mind their eternal Concerns; Christ is both able and willing to save: To save was the end of his coming into the World, and of all he did and suffered here, 1 Tim. 1. 15. Now they are besought and entreated to be reconciled to God, 2 Cor. 5. 19, 20. but when Death comes, that changes these fair probabilities into utter Impossibilities of Life and Salvation. Therefore mark: Now (saith the Apostle) is the day of Salvation; that is, now whilst Life lasts, and while the Gospel is preached.
Edward Pearse, The Great Concern, or A Serious Warning to a Timely and Thorough Preparation for Death (London: Printed for J. Robinson, at the Golden Lyon in St. Paul's Church-Yard; and B. Aylmer at the three Pigeons in Cornhill, 1674), 73–75.

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